Isaiah describes the work of the Servant and how his work will be received by the Lord, by the nations and by Israel.
- 52:13-15 – God exalts his Servant, granting him great success among the nations.
- 53:1-3 – Israel rejects the Servant because he did not have the credentials she sought.
- 53:4-6 – The Servant suffers our death for us.
- 53:7-9 – Israel executes the Servant while the Servant remains silent.
- 53:10-12 – God rewards the Servant and grants him eternal glory.
The Exaltation of the Servant (52:13-15)
- The Servant will be exalted to the right hand of the Father.
- 52:15 – Thus he will “sprinkle/startle”: The Septuagint has “startle” while the Hebrew Masoretic text has “sprinkle”. From my reading, most older translators chose “startle” while newer translations use “sprinkle”. The word in question has two meanings: 1) “to sprinkle” when used of sprinkling blood ceremonially. 2) “to spring up, leap”. Here it is in the hiphil meaning ‘he shall cause to leap,’ i.e. in surprise or to startle.
- I prefer the translation “startle” because of the “just as they were appalled (vs14), so he will startle (vs15)” comparison. Just as many were appalled by the extent of his suffering, so the many will be startled/shocked when they learn that he suffered for them.
- “For what had not been told them they will see” – those who did not have the law and the prophets will see and understand.
The Rejection of the Servant (53:1-3)
- 53:1 contrasts with 52:15. Those without the law and the prophets see and understand, while those to whom the law and the prophets were given did not believe.
- “Tender shoot” – like a sucker shoot on a plant, he did not fit their qualifications for a king or for the Messiah.
- “root out of parched ground” – Like a plant that springs up where there is no water, he showed no promise.
- He had no outward beauty and nothing to attract attention.
- Consequently, the nation of Israel judged him to have no value and despised him.
The Servant Suffers our death (53:4-6)
- Note the contrasting pronouns of “he” and “our”.
- The Servant suffers and gives his life for our sins according to the LORD’s will.
- His death was misunderstood and unappreciated.
- But our inability to recognize the atonement did not hinder its success.
- The Servant’s accomplishment is the work of the LORD.