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Book of Isaiah

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Isaiah 53

King James Version
The Suffering and Glory of the Servant (continued)
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Bible Commentary
Who would have believed the account of the humiliation and exultation of Messiah, the Lord's Servant (ch. 52:7, 13-15)! The story of the Saviour's selfless love and His vicarious sacrifice - the theme of chs. 52:13 to 53:12 - is the most amazing message, the greatest good tidings of time and eternity.2 The Messiah is referred to as the arm or power of God, because the almighty power of God was seated in him.3
2 The Messiah or Christ will grow up before God, in the sense of being submissive to His will, and subject to His care. Christ grew to manhood - physically, mentally, and spiritually - in harmony with the natural laws of human development. As a plant draws nourishment from the soil, so He was to draw on the wisdom of God. A plant growing in dry ground appears stunted and unattractive. The Jewish leaders found the character of Jesus unappealing. The dry ground may also be thought of as representing the Jewish nation and its barren, lifeless round of formal religion. Jesus was born a Jew, but the life He lived and the message He bore were not products of the degenerate Judaism of His day. There was nothing in Jesus' appearance to attract the attention. Men were not attracted to Christ by a display of supernatural glory, but by the beauty of a righteous life.2
Throughout His life Christ knew what it was to be hated, reviled, and rejected. In taking upon Himself the form of a man, Christ became sensitive to all the pain, sorrow, and disappointment known to man. Through the humanity of Jesus, divinity experienced all to which mortal man have fallen heir. All the ill treatment and malice that wicked men and evil angels could bring against Him were His constant lot, and reached a climax in His trial and crucifixion. Instead of sympathising with Christ in His affliction, men turned from Him with bitterness and contempt. They took no pity on Him, but reproached Him for His unhappy lot.  Even His disciples forsook Him and fled.2
4 Verses 4-6 emphasise the vicarious nature of Christ's sufferings and death. The fact that it was for us, and not for Himself, that He suffered and died is reiterated nine times in these verses, and again in vs. 8, 11. He suffered in our stead. The pain, humiliation, and abuse that we deserve, He took upon Himself. The enemy made it appear that the sufferings of Jesus were punishment inflicted upon Him by a vengeful God because He was a sinner. If that were true, He could not be the world's redeemer.2
5 Christ suffered the chastisement necessary to make us at peace with God, thereby saving us from our sins.2,3
6Christ received the punishment for the sins of the world.3
7 Christ uttered no protest or complaint or self-defence. Silence was evidence of complete and unquestioning submission. What Messiah did, He did voluntarily and cheerfully, in order that doomed sinners might be saved.2
8 Christ was delivered from oppression and punishment only by a violent death.3,4  He was not given a fair hearing, in spite of the pretence of correct judicial procedure. No one took His part or stood to defend Him. He bore it all alone.2 However Christ's death shall not be unfruitful; when he is raised from the dead, he shall have a spiritual seed, a numberless multitude of those who shall believe in him.3
9 They intended, by crucifying Christ with two thieves, that He should have His grave "with the wicked."4 This was a farther degree of humiliation.3 The righteous Servant was given the burial of a sinner, not of a saint. Having given up His life for transgressors, He was placed with them in death. He was buried in the tomb of a rich man, that of Joseph of Arimathaea. Christ suffered the fate of a sinner though He had done nothing to deserve that fate.2
10 The Lord was not delighted that His Servant, Messiah, should suffer, but rather, in view of the eternal welfare of men and the security of the universe, it was best for Him to suffer. It pleased the Lord in the sense that it was the will of the Lord. Only thus could the plan of salvation succeed. The sufferings of Christ were part of the eternal plan. His life substituted for our lives. As a result of sin, man had lost his innocence, his capacity to love and obey God, his home, his dominion over the earth, and even his life. Christ came to restore all things permanently, not only in this earth but throughout the universe. The death of God's Servant provided an acceptable and effective atonement for sin which was responsible for the loss. This sacrifice was essential to man's redemption and restoration. His seed or descendants are those willing to receive Him, to believe on His name. He endured the cross in view of this joy that was set before Him. That Christ should see His seed clearly implies His resurrection from the dead. Christ took delight in performing the will of His Father, and through Him God's will would once more prevail among men. Messiah's mission would be successful.2
11 Christ would see the travail of His soul, meaning the results of His labours. His sacrifice would not be in vain. Because of His death many would live; because of His sufferings many would find peace and joy eternal. The result would fully justify the sacrifice necessary to achieve it. The Father speaks of His Son, the Messiah, as My righteous servant. Christ bearing their iniquities is a restatement of the vicarious nature of Messiah's sacrifice.2
12 God will reward His triumphant Servant with a place of high honour before all the universe. All that had been lost as a result of sin would be restored. Christ became heir of all things, and shares His inheritance with those He has rescued from the hand of the enemy. They share in His triumph, not as vassals or slaves, but as men and women redeemed by His blood and destined to reign with Him forever. He will receive a name which is above every name, one before which every knee should bow. The intercessory ministry of Christ is clearly foretold.2

References and notes
King James Authorized Version
2.  SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 4 pgs 290-292
3.  John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible -

.  Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871).  Commentary by A. R. FAUSSETT -
.  The Forbidden Chapter II -
6.  Easton's Bible Dictionary -



Music for Isaiah 53

Click on image for song preview of Isaiah 53. This song was composed in 1982 and features on the low budget album Isaiah Servant Songs which was released in 2007.

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Author of Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah was the author of the book called by his name.


Jesus the Passover Lamb

Bible in Song Sermons cover a diverse range of Bible topics and issues. Click in image for a sermon from the 7000 Year Series - Jesus the Passover Lamb.


Physical Appearance of Jesus

The gospels do not provide any information at all about the physical appearance of Jesus. There are no pictures, no descriptions, or any details recorded about His outward appearance. The only clue given to His physical appearance is given by the prophet Isaiah, who recorded his description in 705 B.C, 700 years before the birth of Christ.5 In ch. 52:13-15 and ch. 53 Isaiah predicted that there would be nothing beautiful or majestic in the physical appearance of this future Servant. According to this prophecy, it seems that this messianic Servant, representing all men, would be a very average looking human being with no particular beauty in either his form or his face. However, He would have an inward beauty, but not outward. It is also interesting to note that Jesus had no wordily pomp or appeal, and he was a man of poverty and obscurity.5 However, Isaiah also predicted that this obscure Servant would have "his appearance so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness," but he was also to "be exalted and extolled, and be very high." His appearance was disfigured beyond human recognition at the cross. However, Jesus was resurrected from the dead and exalted to the right hand of the Father, just as Isaiah predicted 700 years in advance.5


Isaiah's Amazing Prophecies

A hundred fifty years before any hostilities had arisen between Babylon and Judah, Isaiah foretold the Babylonian exile, and the deliverance from it, (ch. 39: 6-7). More than 200 years in advance he named Cyrus the king of Persia - how he would conquer Babylon, and his involvement in rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem (chs. 44:28; 45:13). The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah was written 700 years before the Messiah, yet it minutely portrays His sufferings: these cannot be Jewish inventions, for the Jews looked for a reigning, not a suffering, Messiah.4,6


Impact of Isaiah's prophecies

Josephus in The Antiquities of the Jews, 11.1.1,2 says that Cyrus was induced by the prophecies of Isaiah to aid the Jews in returning and rebuilding the temple Ezr 1:1-11 confirms this; Cyrus in his edict there plainly refers to the prophecies in the second portion, which assign the kingdoms to him from Jehovah, and the duty of rebuilding the temple.4


Isaiah Song Category

The Isaiah Song Category is a great starting point for searching the songs which make up this music category. The song category page contains Daily Scriptures and easy links to song previews and song pages. The song pages include interesting background information and commentary about the songs and the Bible author. Sometimes there are links to related web pages including Bible Quotes, Sermons, Music samples, and Bible Puzzles.

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