Isaiah 53:4-12

Isaiah 53:4-12
Ordinary B47


SurelyA he has borneB our infirmitiesC
    and carriedD our diseases;E

Notes on verse 4a

A “surely” = aken. 18x in OT. From kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is surely, truly, nevertheless.
B “borne” = nasa. This is 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.
C “infirmities” = 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.
D “carried” = sabal. 9x in OT. This is carry a heavy load, do strong labor, be a burden. Can also specially mean to be pregnant.
E “diseases” = 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.

yet we accountedF him stricken,G
    struck downH by God,I and afflicted.J

Notes on verse 4b

F “accounted” = 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.
G “stricken” = naga. This is touch, reach, arrive, come near, strike. This is touching for any reason including sexual or violent.
H “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.
I “God” = Elohim.
J “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.

But he was woundedK for our transgressions,L
    crushedM for our iniquities;N

Notes on verse 5a

K “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. Also, to eat something as a common thing.
L “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.
M “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.
N “iniquities” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.

upon him was the punishmentO that made us whole,P
    and by his bruisesQ we are healed.R

Notes on verse 5b

O “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.
P “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).
Q “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.
R “healed” = rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole.

All we like sheepS have gone astray;T
    we have allU turnedV to our own way,W
and the LordX has laidY on him
    the iniquity of us all.

Notes on verse 6

S “sheep” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
T “gone astray” = taah. This is to wander, deceive, seduce, vacillate. It is to stray in a literal or figurative sense.
U “all” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
V “turned” = panah. This is to turn, regard, appear, look, prepare.
W “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.
X “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.
Y “laid” = paga. This is to meet or happen, whether unintentionally or of violence. It can also be plead, spare, reach, or intercede.

He was oppressed,Z and he was afflicted,
    yet he did not openAA his mouth;BB
like a lambCC that is ledDD to the slaughter,EE

Notes on verse 7a

Z “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.
AA “open” = patach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.
BB “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CC “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.
DD “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.
EE “slaughter” = tebach. 10x in OT. From tabach (to slaughter or butcher; of animals or people). This is something slaughtered so it could be meat, butchery, or the place where the slaughter took place.

    and like a sheepFF that beforeGG its shearersHH is silent,II
    so he did not open his mouth.

Notes on verse 7b

FF “sheep” = rachel. 4x in OT. This is a ewe or a sheep. The root of this word might mean to journey. This is where the name “Rachel” comes from.
GG “before” = paneh. Literally, “before the face of.” Related to “turned” in v6. From panah (see note V above). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
HH “shearers” = gazaz. 15x in OT. This is to cut off, shave, shear sheep. figuratively, it can mean to conquer an enemy.
II “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.

By a perversionJJ of justiceKK he was taken away.LL
    Who could have imaginedMM his future?NN

Notes on verse 8a

JJ “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.
KK “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.
LL “taken away” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
MM “imagined” = siach. From siach (musing, meditation, communication, babbling, prayer, contemplation). This is to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter.
NN “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.

For he was cut offOO from the landPP of the living,QQ
    strickenRR for the transgression of my people.SS

Notes on verse 8b

OO “cut off” = gazar. 13x in OT. This is to cut or cut down. Used figuratively, it can mean to divide, exclude, decree, or destroy.
PP “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
QQ “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.
RR “stricken” = nega. Related to “stricken” in v4. From naga (see note G above). This is a blow or stroke, wound, sore, mark plague. It can refer to someone with leprosy or to dress.
SS “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

9 They madeTT his graveUU with the wickedVV
    and his tombWW with the rich,XX
although he had doneYY no violence,ZZ
    and there was no deceitAAA in his mouth.

Notes on verse 9

TT “made” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
UU “grave” = qeber. From qabar (to bury). This is a place where one is buried such as a grave or tomb.
VV “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.
WW “tomb” = mavet. 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.
XX “rich” = ashir. From ashar (to be rich, gain, accumulate). This is rich in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be noble or a rich person.
YY “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
ZZ “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.
AAA “deceit” = mirmah. From ramah (to betray, deceive, beguile). This is deceit, treachery, guile, or fraud

10 Yet it was the willBBB of the Lord to crush him with pain.CCC
When you makeDDD his lifeEEE an offering for sin,FFF

Notes on verse 10a

BBB “was the will” = chaphets. Properly, this means inclined towards or bending to. Figuratively, it means to desire, delight in, or be pleased with.
CCC “pain” = chalah. Related to “infirmities” in v4. See note C above.
DDD “make” = sum. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
EEE “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.
FFF “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.

    he shall seeGGG his offspring,HHH and shall prolongIII his days;JJJ

Notes on verse 10b

GGG “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
HHH “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.
III “prolong” = arak. This is to continue, lengthen prolong, delay, or endure. It is being long or causing something to be long in a literal or figurative sense.
JJJ “days” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.

through himKKK the willLLL of the Lord shall prosper.MMM

Notes on verse 10c

KKK “through him” = yad. Literally, “in his hand.” This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
LLL “will” = chephets. Related to “was the will” in v10. From chaphets (see note BBB above). This is a delight, care, or pleasure. It is what you desire or what is acceptable. It can also be used concretely for a precious thing or something that one is thinking about.
MMM “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 hisNNN anguishOOO he shall see light;
he shall find satisfactionPPP through his knowledge.QQQ

Notes on verse 11a

NNN “his” = nephesh. Literally, “his soul.” Same as “life” in v10. See note EEE above.
OOO “anguish” = amal. From amal (to work – hard labor). This is trouble, toil, labor as well as misery, sorrow, or iniquity. It is work that wearies through effort so hence worry – can refer to body or mind.
PPP “find satisfaction” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
QQQ “knowledge” = daat. From yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is knowledge, unawares, cunning, wittingly.

    The righteous one,RRR my servant,SSS shall make manyTTT righteous,UUU
    and he shall bearVVV their iniquities.

Notes on verse 11b

RRR “righteous one” = tsaddiq. Related to “make…righteous” in v11. From tsedeq (see note UUU below). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.
SSS “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.
TTT “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
UUU “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.
VVV “bear” = sabal. Same as “carried” in v4. See note D above.

12 ThereforeWWW I will allot him a portionXXX with the great,YYY
    and he shall divideZZZ the spoilAAAA with the strong;BBBB

Notes on verse 12a

WWW “therefore” = ken. Related to “surely” in v4. Perhaps from kun (see note A above). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XXX “allot…a portion” = chalaq. This is to be smooth in a figurative sense. So, it can refer to the stones that were part of casting lots – hence, apportion, share, distribute. Figuratively, it can also mean to flatter.
YYY “great” = rab. Same as “many” in v11. See note TTT above.
ZZZ “divide” = chalaq. Same as “allot…a portion” in v12. See note XXX above.
AAAA “spoil” = shalal. From shalal (to plunder, loot, capture). This is spoil, prey, or plunder.
BBBB “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.

because he poured outCCCC himselfDDDD to death,EEEE
    and was numberedFFFF with the transgressors;GGG
yet he boreHHHH the sinIIII of many,
    and made intercessionJJJJ for the transgressors.

Notes on verse 12b

CCCC “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.
DDDD “himself” = nephesh. Same as “life” in v10. See note EEE above.
EEEE “death” = mavet. Same as “tomb” in v9. See note WW above.
FFFF “numbered” = manah. To weigh out, reckon, count, number, set, tell. By implication, it is allotting or providing something officially.
GGGG “transgressors” = pasha. Related to “transgressions” in v5. See note L above.
HHHH “bore” = nasa. Same as ‘borne” in v4. See note B above.
IIII “sin” = chet. From chata (to miss, sin, bear blame, to forfeit, lack). This is sin, fault, or punishment of sin.
JJJ “made intercession” = paga. Same as “laid” in v6. See note Y above.

Image credit: “‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ — Marcel Proust” by Alessandro Corsoni, 2012.

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