Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Good Friday ABC


13 See,A my servantB shall prosper;C
    he shall be exaltedD and lifted up,E
    and shall be very high.F

Notes on verse 52:13

A “see” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
B “servant” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
C “prosper” = sakal. This is to consider or be prudent and so it can mean to instruct or be an expert. It can also mean dealing prudently, which implies success and prospering. This verb presumes intelligence of the subject. In one form of the verb, it can mean laying cross-wise.
D “exalted” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it an also mean to exalt or extol.
E “lifted up” = nasa. This to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
F “be…high” = gabahh. This is to soar or be lofty. So, this is to be high or lift up literally. Figuratively it means to be exalted or proud.

14 Just as there were many who were astonishedG at him
    —so marredH was his appearance,I beyond human semblance,J
    and his formK beyond that of mortalsL

Notes on verse 52:14

G “were astonished” = shamem. This is to amaze or be astonished. It can also mean devastate, stun, become numb, or be appalled.
H “marred” = mishchath. 2x in OT. From shachath (spoil, stifle, mar, decay, corrupt, be blemished; to ruin in a literal or figurative sense). This is corruption or disfigurement. It also includes ceremonial corruption.
I “appearance” = mareh. From raah (to see literally or figuratively). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees.
J “human semblance” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
K “form” = toar. 15x in OT. From taar (to incline, extend, mark out). This is an outline and so a form or figure or appearance.
L “mortals” = ben + adam. Literally “the sons of Adam.” Adam is perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.

15 so he shall startleM many nations;N
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,O
    and that which they had not heardP they shall contemplate.Q

Notes on verse 52:15

M “startle” = nazah. This is to sprinkle, spurt, or leap. Sprinkling especially refers to rituals of expiation.
N “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
O “see” = raah. Related to “appearance” in v52:14. See note I above.
P “heard” = shama.This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
Q “contemplate” = bin. This is to discern, consider, attend to. It refers to distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand.

53:1 Who has believedR what we have heard?S
    And to whom has the armT of the LordU been revealed?V

Notes on verse 53:1

R “believed” = aman. This is to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful. It is to put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid. This is where the word “amen” comes from.
S “what we have heard” = shemuah. Related to “heard” in v52:15. From shama (see note P above). This is a message, report, news, rumor, or doctrine. It means something that is heard so it could also refer to fame.
T “arm” = zeroa. Perhaps from zara (to sow, scatter seed, conceive). This is the arm, shoulder, or foreleg of an animal. It is figuratively used for power, force, might, or help.
U “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
V “revealed” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.

2 For he grew upW before himX like a young plant,Y
    and like a root out of dryZ ground;
he had no form or majestyAA that we should look at him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desireBB him.

Notes on verse 53:2

W “grew up” = alah. This to go up, approach ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
X “before him” = paneh. Literally “before his face.”
Y “young plant” = yoneq. From yanaq (to give milk, to suck, to nurse a nursing mother or a nursing infant). This is literally a sucker – a twig that broke from a tree and sprouted on its own. So, this is a young plant or a sapling.
Z “dry” = tsiyyah. 16x in OT. This is dryness or parched. So, it can also mean drought or dry places. By extension, it can mean a solitary place or a wilderness.
AA “majesty” = hadar. From hadar (to honor or adorn; majestic, respected, glorious; to favor or honor; to be proud). This is ornament, splendor, beauty, dignity, majesty, magnificence, and glory.
BB “desire” = chamad. This is to desire or delight in someone or something. It can also mean something that is precious or coveted. So, it can also refer to lust.

He was despisedCC and rejectedDD by others;
    a man of sufferingEE and acquaintedFF with infirmity;GG
and as one from whom others hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him of no account.HH

Notes on verse 53:3

CC “despised” = bazah. This is to scorn, disdain, or despise.
DD “rejected” = chadel. 3x in OT. From chadal (to cease, fail, neglect, reuse, stop; figuratively, to be idle or come up short). This is lacking, forsaken, rejected, vacant, destitute, or frail.
EE “suffering” = makob. 16x in OT. From kaab (being in pain, be sad, grieve, spoil, mar). This is pain, sorrow, or suffering. It can be anguish or affliction.
FF “acquainted” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
GG “infirmity” = choli. From chalah (properly, this is to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted; it can also mean to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat). This is sickness, affliction, grief, worry, or calamity.
HH “held…account” = chashab. This is properly to braid or interpenetrate. Literally it is to create or to wear. Figuratively, it can mean plotting – generally in a negative sense. More broadly, this can also mean think, consider, or make account of.

4 Surely he has borneII our infirmities
    and carriedJJ our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,KK
    struck downLL by God,MM and afflicted.NN

Notes on verse 53:4

II “borne” = nasa. Same as “lifted up” in v52:13.
JJ “carried” = sabal. 9x in OT. This is carry a heavy load, do strong labor, be a burden. Can also specially mean to be pregnant.
KK “stricked” = naga. This is touch, reach, arrive, come near, strike. This is touching for any reason including sexual or violent.
LL “struck down” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
MM “God” = Elohim.
NN “afflicted” = anah. This is to be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.

5 But he was woundedOO for our transgressions,PP
    crushedQQ for our iniquities;RR
upon him was the punishmentSS that made us whole,TT
    and by his bruisesUU we are healed.VV

Notes on verse 53:5

OO “wounded” = chalal. This is to pierce, which implies to wound. It is used figuratively for making someone or something profane or breaking your word. It can also mean to begin as though one opened a wedge.
PP “transgressions” = pesha. From pasha (to rebel, offend, quarrel; making a break from proper authority so can also refer to an apostate). This is transgression, rebellion, or sin. It could be a revolt on a national scale or an individual moral one.
QQ “crushed” = daka. 18x in OT. This is to crush or break into pieces. It can also mean bruise, being contrite or oppressed, to destroy, or be humble.
RR “iniquities” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
SS “punishment” = musar. From yasar (to discipline, correct, train, teach, punish; literally with blows, but figuratively using words). This is discipline, a correction a warning, or an instruction.
TT “whole” = shalom.From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).
UU “bruises” = chabburah. 7x in OT. From chabar (to unite, ally, attach, touch; to join in a literal or figurative sense; also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect). This is a blow, striking, or scourging. It can also refer to the wound or bruise – the stripe being blue and black marks on the skin.
VV “healed” = rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole.

6 All we like sheepWW have gone astray;XX
    we have all turned to our own way,YY
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

Notes on verse 53:6

WW “sheep” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
XX “gone astray” = taah. This is to wander, deceive, seduce, vacillate. It is to stray in a literal or figurative sense.
YY “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.

He was oppressed,ZZ and he was afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lambAAA that is ledBBB to the slaughter,
    and like a sheepCCC that beforeDDD its shearers is silent,EEE
    so he did not open his mouth.

Notes on verse 53:7

ZZ “oppressed” = nagas. This is driving an animal, worker, debtor, or an army. By implication, it can mean to tax, harass, distress, oppress, or tyrannize. This word can be used for taskmaster or overseer.
AAA “lamb” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.
BBB “led” = yabal. 18x in OT. This is to lead, bring, carry, conduct. Properly, it means to flow. It can mean to bring or lead with fanfare.
CCC “sheep” = rachel. This is a ewe or a sheep. The root of this word might mean to journey. This is where the name “Rachel” comes from.
DDD “before” = paneh. Literally “before the face of.”
EEE “silent” = alam. 9x in OT. This is to bind or tie fast. When applied to the mouth, it means to be silent or speechless. This can be voluntary or involuntary.

8 By a perversionFFF of justiceGGG he was taken away.
    Who could have imaginedHHH his future?III
For he was cut offJJJ from the land of the living,KKK
    strickenLLL for the transgression of my people.

Notes on verse 53:8

FFF “perversion” = otser. 3x in OT. From atsar (to restrain, confine, hold back, shut, stop, maintain). This is restraint or coercion. It can also mean barren or oppression.
GGG “justice” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
HHH “imagined” = siach. From siach (musing, meditation, communication, babbling, prayer, contemplation). This is to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter.
III “future” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.
JJJ “cut off” = gazar. 13x in OT. This is to cut or cut down. Used figuratively, it can mean to divide, exclude, decree, or destroy.
KKK “living” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
LLL “stricken” = nega. Related to “stricken” in v53:4. From naga (see note KK above). This is a blow, mark, wound, sore, assault, or affliction. It can mean a spot an so refer to a person with leprosy.

They made his grave with the wickedMMM
    and his tombNNN with the rich,
although he had done no violence,OOO
    and there was no deceitPPP in his mouth.

Notes on verse 53:9

MMM “wicked” = rasha. This is morally wrong so it refers to someone who is actively bad as wicked, criminal, an evil person, offender, condemned, or ungodly.
NNN “tomb” = maveth. Literally “death.” From muth (to die in a literal or figurative sense). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.
OOO “violence” = chamas. From chamas (to violate, do violence, to wrong; implies mistreatment). This is violence, cruelty, damage, wrong, injustice, or unrighteous. Violence implies a wrong done. The term is also used to describe unjust gain.
PPP “deceit” = mirmah. From ramah (to betray, deceive, beguile). This is deceit, treachery, guile, or fraud.

10 Yet it was the willQQQ of the Lord to crush him with pain.RRR
When you make his lifeSSS an offering for sin,TTT
    he shall see his offspring,UUU and shall prolong his days;
through himVVV the willWWW of the Lord shall prosper.XXX

Notes on verse 53:10

QQQ “was the will” = chaphets. Properly, this means inclined towards or bending to. Figuratively, it means to desire, delight in, or be pleased with.
RRR “pain” = chalah. Related to “infirmity” in v53:3. See note GG above.
SSS “life” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
TTT “offering for sin” = asham. From asham (to be guilty, suffer, be punished; to destroy, condemn, be desolate, perish). This is guilt, sin, wrong, or offense. It is also a sin or guilt offering.
UUU “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
VVV “through him” = yad. Literally “in his hand.”
WWW “will” = chephets. Related to “was the will” in v53:10. From chaphets (see note QQQ above). This is pleasure, delight, care, what is valuable, something one has in mind.
XXX “prosper” = tsalach. This is pushing forward in a literal or figurative sense. So it could be to break out, to come mightily, to rush, to go over. Figuratively, it could mean to prosper.

11     Out of hisYYY anguishZZZ he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.AAAA
    The righteous one,BBBB my servant, shall make many righteous,CCCC
    and he shall bearDDDD their iniquities.

Notes on verse 53:11

YYY “his” = nephesh. Literally “his soul.” Same as “life” in v53:10.
ZZZ “anguish” = amal. From amal (to work – hard labor). This is trouble, toil, labor as well as misery, sorrow, or iniquity. It is word that wearies through effort so hence worry – can refer to body or mind.
AAAA “knowledge” = daat. Related to “acquainted” in v53:3. From yada (see note FF above). This is knowledge, unawares, cunning, wittingly.
BBBB “righteous one” = tsaddiq. Related to “make…righteous” in v53:11. From the same as tsedeq (see note CCCC below). This is just, righteous, innocent, blameless, or righteous one.
CCCC “make…righteous” = tsadeq. From tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is being just or righteousness. It refers to right in a moral or legal sense. So, it can be doing justice, clearing oneself, or turning to righteousness.
DDDD “bear” = sabal. Same as “carried” in v53:4.

12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;EEEE
because he poured outFFFF himselfGGGG to death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors;HHHH
yet he boreIIII the sinJJJJ of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Notes on verse 53:12

EEEE “strong” = atsum. From atsom (to be many or mighty; could also refer to breaking bones). This is mighty or mighty one. It means powerful, which implies large numbers.
FFFF “poured out” = arah. 15x in OT. This is being or making someone naked or bare, to be defenseless, empty, poured out, spread, uncover. This can be to demolish, pour out, to empty, or to leave destitute.
GGGG “himself” = nephesh. Literally “his soul.” Same as “life” in v53:10.
HHHH “transgressors” = pasha. Related to “transgressions” in v53:5. See note PP above.
IIII “bore” = nasa. Same as “lifted up” in v52:13.
JJJJ “sin” = chet. From chata (to miss, sin, bear blame, to forfeit, lack). This is sin, fault, or punishment of sin.

Image Credit: “Christ, Man of Sorrows” by Luis de Morales, 1566.

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