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Isaiah 53: Set Free and Made Righteous by the Lamb of God, Part 2

by Karl Kemp  
2/01/2018 / Bible Studies


Here in Part 2 of this paper we will discuss Isa. 53:1-3 and then 53:4-6.

4. ISAIAH 53:1-3. Who has believed our message ["report" (KJV; NKJV)]? [I agree with the widespread viewpoint that the message/report was given to the people of God who are speaking here, not that they gave the message/report. As I mentioned, the speaker(s) here are the repentant sons of Israel who now have accepted the message/report of the gospel of new-covenant salvation in the Lord Jesus, but it is easy for us Christians to see ourselves included here.] And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed [cf. John 12:38; Rom. 10:16]? [[The idea here is that we are/were dependent on God's revealing His Son and the truth of the gospel to us, centering in the hard-to-believe plan of salvation that included the all-important incarnation and Sacrifice of the Son of God. The message/report is hard-to-believe, for one thing, because of the unexpected Gigantic, totally unexpected price that was paid to save us. Also, His rejection by many, especially the religious leaders of Israel, and His crucifixion made it look like He was rejected by God too and that He was weak and defeated. He didn't look like a King and He did not overthrow the hated Romans at His first coming. I should also mention that most people do not think of themselves as being spiritually dead and lost, seriously lost, and in desperate need of the Savior.

The "arm of the LORD" refers to the work of God that made our salvation possible. That same work of God also caused the overthrow of the devil and all who follow him; his ultimate overthrow will be fully manifested at the end of the millennial kingdom, when he is thrown into the lake of fire.]] (2) For He [God's Servant, the Lord Jesus, the incarnate Son of God] grew up before Him [before God the Father] like a tender shoot [cf. Isa. 11:1, 10], And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. [As He grew up and lived before men (especially referring to the years before He was anointed to begin His ministry), He didn't look like a King who would be able to set Israel or anybody free from the authority and power of the world, which centered in the Roman Empire at that time, or from the much greater enemies of Satan, spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons. Appearances can be deceiving!] (3) He was despised [cf. Psalm 22:6; Isa. 49:7; and note that this word is used later in this verse] and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows [The margin of the NASB has "Or, pains." Because of the use of this word in verse 4, I prefer pains (the same Hebrew word is used in both verses; see under verse 4)] and acquainted with grief [The margin of the NASB has "Or, sickness." Because of the use of this word (in the plural) in verse 4, I strongly prefer sickness (the same Hebrew word is used in both verses; see under verse 4)]; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised and we did not esteem Him. [It seems that this verse is prophesying, at least for the most part, about the Lamb of God at the time He was going through His all-important atoning death, and verses 4-12 help confirm this interpretation.]

5. ISAIAH 53:4-6. (These verses are super-important in that they, especially when they are coupled with 53:11, prophesy of the super-full salvation that comes to us through the all-important atoning death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God.) Surely our griefs [sicknesses] He Himself bore [[(This double bracket under the first line of Isa. 53:4 goes on for nine paragraphs before we come to the second line of this verse.) It is very important to translate sicknesses here instead of "griefs." The margin of the NASB has "Or, sickness[es]." The NIV translates "infirmities." The plural of the Hebrew noun choli is used here. The basic meaning of this Hebrew noun is "sickness," as will be confirmed by what follows: The BDB Hebrew Lexicon gives "sickness" as the basic meaning of choli. Out of the twenty-four uses of choli in the Old Testament, the KJV translates this noun as "sickness(es)" or "disease" nineteen times, "is sick" one time, and "grief(s)" four times. The NASB translates choli as follows: affliction [1]; disease [2]; illness [3]; sick [1]; sickness(es) [15]; and grief(s) [2]. The only two places that the NASB translates choli as "grief(s)" is Isa. 53:3 and 4. Also see the comments regarding Matt. 8:14-17 that we will discuss below, still under Isa. 53:4. (Some important cross-references that use choli are Deut. 7:15; 28:59, 61; and 2 Chron. 16:12; 21:15, 18, and 19. Choli was derived from the Hebrew verb chalah, which is used in Isa. 53:10, "putting Him to grief," and in the margin, "literally, He made Him sick.")

It is also very important to understand that sicknesses is being used in 53:4 in the fullest possible sense. Sicknesses is a far more comprehensive term than "griefs," and when it is used in the fullest possible sense, as it is here, it includes "griefs" and a whole lot more. It is significant that choli is sometimes used in a figurative (non-literal) sense in the Old Testament:

It is used in Isa. 1:5, which speaks of the condition of the nation of Judah after it had been chastened by God. The worst chastening, however, was yet to come. Isaiah 1:5 says: "Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick [choli], and the whole heart is faint." (Read with Isa. 1:4-9.) Jeremiah 10:19 says: "Woe is me, because of my injury! My wound is incurable. But I said, 'Truly this is a sickness [choli], And I must bear it." These words speak of the condition of Judah in the days of the Babylonian invasions and exiles. (Read with Jer. 10:17-22.) Hosea 5:13 also uses choli in a figurative sense.  

Choli includes physical sickness and mental and emotional sickness, including grief, and financial sickness, but (and this is super important; it is the heart of the gospel of new-covenant salvation) the Lamb of God also bore our spiritual sickness that traces back to the rebellion of Adam and fall of mankind. (This is confirmed by Isa. 53:11; 1 Pet. 2:24 and many other passages, especially passages in the New Testament. I'll quote and discuss Isa. 53:11 and 1 Pet. 2:24 as we continue.) The Lord Jesus bore our spiritual sicknesses, which included our being guilty and being spiritually dead and in bondage to sin and demons, when He bore all of our sins (iniquities, transgressions), very much including the rebellion of Adam, with the guilt AND THE PENALTIES. The old-covenant sacrifices were effective to do what they were designed to do, but they were not designed to deal with the rebellion of Adam with its penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons that affected all of his offspring (see Rom. 5:12-21).

5.1 MORE ON HOW THE LAMB OF GOD BORE OUR SICKNESSES. We cannot adequately understand the all-important Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, including how He bore our sicknesses (or understand the sacrifices offered under the old covenant) until we understand the meaning of the Hebrew words for sin (chet; this is one of the Hebrew words used for sin in the Old Testament), transgression (pesha), and iniquity (awon). All three of these Hebrew words are used in Isaiah 53. The words mean sin (iniquity, transgression), guilt, AND PUNISHMENT, PENALTY FOR SIN, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION. This is different than our English words, which do not include the idea of punishment, penalty for sin.

Chapter 1 of my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin deals with the meaning of the Hebrew noun pesha. Chapter 2 deals with the meaning of awon and chapter 3 with the meaning of chet. A primary purpose of those three chapters is to show that these Hebrew words, unlike our English words, include the idea of punishment, penalty for sin (iniquity, transgression). The Lamb of God bore our sicknesses when He bore the punishment, penalty for our sins, iniquities, and transgressions. Under the old covenant sickness was considered to be a punishment/penalty for sin. (See chapter 4 of my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin.) And Isaiah chapter 53, a super-important prophetic chapter, was written in the context of the old covenant that was established on the Law that God gave through Moses.

I'll give some information that deals with the meaning of the Hebrew noun awon (some spell it avon), which is used 230 times in the Old Testament, and is used three times in Isaiah 53, in verses 5, 6, and 11. (See chapter 2 of my book for more information on awon.) The NASB translates awon as follows: blame (1), guilt (21), guilty (1), iniquities (46), iniquity (143), punishment (12), punishment for the iniquity (3), punishment for their iniquity (3). (I took these numbers from the Hebrew Dictionary in the back of the Updated Edition of the Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible for the NASB [Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998]. A concordance like this is one of the most helpful Bible study tools available.) The KJV has fault (2), iniquity (218), mischief (1), punishment (6), punishment of iniquity (4), sin (1). The NIV, which is typical for the NIV, translates awon many different ways. I won't list all of them, but it only translates iniquity(ies) 22 times, compared to 218 for the KJV and 189 for the NASB; the NIV has sin(s) 108 times compared to 1 for KJV and 0 for the NASB. The NIV has punishment (9), consequences of sin (3), punished (1), punishment for sins (1).

I believe it is very important to understand that many Christian scholars (including Bible translators) have not recognized the extent to which the three Hebrew nouns for sin that we are discussing are used with a strong emphasis on punishment, penalty for sin. I believe this is very relevant for the translation and interpretation of the meaning of these words in Isaiah 53. It is quite significant that the BDB Hebrew Lexicon lists 63 or 64 verses under the heading "Consequences of, or punishment for, iniquity." (Compare this with the translations of the NASB, KJV, and NIV given in the preceding paragraph.) And I believe we should add a verse or two to the verses BDB listed under this heading. As we will discuss, I don't believe we can adequately translate or interpret several verses of key importance in Isaiah 53 without this insight on the meaning of awon, pesha, and chet. It is significant that BDB lists Isa. 53:6 and 11 under this heading ("Consequences of, or punishment for, iniquity"), but the NASB, KJV, and NIV translate iniquity(ies). BDB lists Isa. 53:5 under "iniquities," but I believe it fits better under the heading "Consequences of, or punishment for, iniquity" along with 53:6 and 11. As I mentioned, it makes a very big difference whether we translate "iniquity" or "punishment for iniquity" in Isaiah 53, and in many other verses.

I have observed over the years that very often where the NASB and KJV translate iniquity(ies) it could just as well have been translated sin(s). The fact that NIV only translated awon as iniquity(ies) 22 times helps confirm what I have observed over the years. In other words, the word awon, whether we translate it "iniquity(ies)," or not, is very often used interchangeably with the Hebrew words for sin. We shouldn't expect to always, or very often, find a specialized meaning when awon is used. For example, many times I have read or heard it said that iniquity relates to generational curses. I'll quote my Webster's Dictionary on the meaning of "iniquity," which will also help confirm what I have said here: "1. Lack of righteousness or justice; wickedness 2. Plural (iniquities) a wicked, unjust, or unrighteous act." (Now we come to the second line of Isa. 53:4)]] And our sorrows [pains] He carried [The NASB has "Or, pains" instead of "sorrows" in the margin. The BDB Hebrew Lexicon gives "pain" as the basic meaning of this Hebrew noun (makob; pronounced makov). The range of meaning of makob covers physical pain, mental pain, sorrow, etc. In this context I would translate pains and understand this word in the fullest possible sense. As with bear choli in the first line of 53:4, so here, the Lamb of God bore our pains when He bore/carried our awon, pesha, and chet. Our pains were part of the punishment, penalty, chastisement that He bore for us, as our substitute.] Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. [[(This double bracket continues for four paragraphs before we come to Isa. 53:5.) The Lamb of God was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted when He bore the punishment, penalty for our sins (iniquities, transgressions) in His all-important atoning death.         

The Amplified Bible is helpful on Isa. 53:4 (The brackets are included in their translation): "Surely He has borne our griefs - sickness, weakness and distress - and carried our sorrows and pain [of punishment]. Yet we ignorantly considered Him stricken, smitten and afflicted by God [as If with leprosy (My comment: What Jesus went through was a LOT MORE INTENSE than being struck with leprosy.) [Matt. 8:17]."

I'll quote MATTHEW 8:14-17 (These verses are an important cross-reference for 53:4-5): When Jesus came into Peter's home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. (15) He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him [Luke 4:39, referring to the same incident says: "He rebuked the fever, and it left her." This is one way to pray for healing. For one thing, a demon could have been behind the fever.]. (16) When evening came [Luke 4:31, 38 show that Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law on a Sabbath. They waited until the Sabbath was over (when evening came) to carry the sick to Jesus, etc.] they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. (17) This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 'HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.' " Matthew 8:17 loosely quotes from Isa. 53:4. These verses in Matthew help demonstrate that choli means a lot more that "grief," and that healing, very much including being delivered from demon spirits, is included in the atonement. (See below under Isa. 53:5: "we are healed.")

Although the healings mentioned in Matt. 8:14-16 took place before the all-important atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, these healings did, in a very real sense, flow out of His atoning death. I believe we can even say that the first stages of salvation, which the believers who lived in the days of the Old Testament experienced, flowed out of His atoning death. Before the fall of man, God the Father had already planned to send His Son to die for us that He might save all believers. This plan was always a major factor in God's dealings with His people (cf., e.g., Gen. 3:15; Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Rom. 3:25; 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; Rev. 13:8; 17:8). We can probably say that the old-covenant sacrifices were effective, to the extent they were effective, because of the yet-to-come, ultimate Sacrifice of the Son of God.]] (Isaiah 53:5) He was pierced through for [by] our transgressions [plural of pesha]. [[(This double bracket continues for two paragraphs.) I believe a translation like the following better communicates the intended meaning: He was pierced through [unto death] by our transgressions with the guilt and the penalties, or just He was pierced through [unto death] by the penalties for our transgressions. ("By" is a reasonable way to translate the Hebrew preposition "min." See the BDB Hebrew Lexicon under "min." The translation "by" for "min" is much more important in the second line of 53:5; see there. The NASB translates "min" as "by" with the word "oppression" in the first line of 53:8, and it is used with the word "judgment" there too.) There is an emphasis here on the Lamb of God bearing the punishment, penalties for our sins, but we don't want to lose sight of the fact that He was bearing our sins with the guilt and the punishment, penalties.

Although a different Hebrew verb for "pierce" is used in Psalm 22:16 and Zech. 12:10, these verses are important cross-references that deal with the atoning death of the Lord Jesus. PSALM 22:16: "For dogs have surrounded me, A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet." Psalm 22:18 goes on to prophesy of dividing His garments and casting lots for them (see Matt. 27:25; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24). And Psalm 22:1 has those awesome words, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" (See Matt. 27:46 and Mark 15:34.) ZECHARIAH 12:10 prophesies of the salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel, at the time they will repent and submit to the Lord Jesus: "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn." (See Zech. 12:10-13:1. Zechariah chapters 12-14 are briefly discussed in chapter 15 of my book The Mid-Week Rapture.]] He was crushed [unto death] for [by] our iniquities [plural of awon] [[(This double bracket continues for four paragraphs.) I believe the following translations better communicate the intended meaning: He was crushed [unto death] by our iniquities with the guilt and the penalties, or just, He was crushed [unto death] by the penalties for our iniquities.

I somewhat favor the longer suggested translation. We want to make sure that we don't lose sight of the fact that the Lamb of God was bearing and taking away our iniquities (sins) with the guilt AND THE PENALTIES. Though there is an emphasis on His bearing and taking away the penalties, He was not just bearing and taking away the penalties.

"By" is a good way to translate the Hebrew preposition "min" when we recognize the strong emphasis on the penalty for sin/iniquity in 53:4-6 and throughout this chapter. The Lamb of God bore our awon (plural) here in 53:5, and he was crushed unto death by them. (Isaiah 53:11 speaks of the Lamb bearing our awon (plural); 53:6 speaks of our awon falling on Him; and 53:12 speaks of His bearing our chet.) The wages of sin is death. The Hebrew verb translated "He was crushed" is also used in 53:10.

I'll quote part of a paragraph by Edward J. Young as he comments on the first two lines of Isa. 53:5 (Book of Isaiah, Vol. 3 [Eerdmans, 1972], page 348). "When the servant bore the guilt of our sins, we are saying that he bore the punishment that was due to us because of those sins, and that is to say that he was our substitute. His punishment was vicarious [taking the place of another]. [Young has a footnote: "At the same time, if we merely assert that the servant bore the punishment of our sins, we have not done justice to the scriptural teaching. We must insist that in their fullness he bore our sins. ...."] Because we had transgressed, he was pierced to death; and being pierced and crushed was the punishment that he bore in our stead."]]; The chastening ["punishment" (NIV)] for our well-being fell upon Him [[(This double bracket goes on for two paragraphs.) These words fit the familiar pattern of Isaiah chapter 53. The Lamb of God took our place; He took the chastening, punishment/penalty, for our sins. Through Him and His atoning death, believers receive well being, peace [Hebrew shalom]. I believe we should understand shalom in the fullest possible sense here. The BDB Hebrew Lexicon has seven sub-headings under shalom. I'll list the first six subheadings (the seventh doesn't add anything new) to give the reader a feel for the breadth of the meaning of this word in the Old Testament. Everything listed here is part of our inheritance in Christ Jesus: (1) completeness in number; (2) safety, soundness in body...is safe, secure; (3) welfare, health, prosperity; (4) peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment; (5) peace, friendship: (a) human relations (b) peace with God; (6) peace from war.

During this age believers are enabled to have peace with God (which is infinitely important), peace with self (which is super-important), and to a significant extent peace with others (which is quite important). WE ARE BORN AGAIN AND SET FREE FROM SLAVERY/BONDAGE TO SIN AND DEMONS. (See under Isa. 53:11 below.) We can begin to receive the benefits provided in the atonement, including healing for the whole person (spirit, soul, and body), but some key aspects of our salvation are reserved for the future, including glorification, dwelling fully in the presence of God and reigning with Him and being totally separated from the devil and his hosts and all sources of temptation. It is important to see that all of the shalom of this age and of the eternal age to come has been given to us through the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God. Of course we needed His resurrection too, and His ascension.]] And by His scourging [[The KJV has "with His stripes"; NKJV "by His stripes; NIV "by his wounds"; ESV "with his wounds." The Hebrew noun translated "scourging" is chaburah. The BDB Hebrew Lexicon gives "stripe/blow" as the basic meaning of chaburah, and referring to its use in Isa. 53:5 says: "of blows (singular collective [noun]) inflicted on suffering servant of Yahweh." I prefer the translation "wounds," but I somewhat prefer the singular "wound" since it is used in the singular in the Hebrew here in 53:5 and in the Greek of 1 Pet. 2:24 (which I will quote and discuss as we continue), which quotes from Isa. 53:5. I don't believe we should limit chaburah here to the literal scourging. The "wound" includes all that He bore for us that killed Him in His all-important atoning death, including the beatings, scourging/stripes, crown of thorns, AND THE CRUCIFIXION. The healing that has been provided for us ("we are healed") came through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus in its entirety, not just through His scourging/stripes.

5.2 Thirty-nine stripes. Some teach that healing has been provided in the atonement because Jesus bore thirty-nine stripes for us. That is a well-intentioned, but unfortunate, teaching. (I already mentioned that healing is in the atonement because the Lamb of God died for us.) Thirty-nine stripes are not mentioned in the Bible, but Deut. 25:2-3 (which is part of the Mosaic Law) limited the number of stripes that could be given to forty, so that "your brother is not degraded in your eyes." However, and this is quite relevant, the Romans, who scourged Jesus, did not keep the Mosaic Law. The person/Person who was buried in the Shroud of Turin had received more than a hundred stripes. I believe that that person/Person probably was the Lord Jesus. For one thing, there weren't many, if any, other people crucified by the Romans who also had a crown of thorns and was pierced with a spear in his side, and quite a few other details fit the shroud being the authentic burial cloth of the Lord Jesus, and we still have to account for that SPECTACULAR IMAGE on the shroud. .

The evidence is quite strong that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of the Lord Jesus. A major problem has been the three radiometric carbon-14 testing labs that dated the material of the shroud some 1,200 years to 1,300 years after the days of Christ. However, many are convinced that the radiometric dating was in error because the one small cloth sample that was taken from the shroud, then split into three parts and given to three testing labs, was taken from a place where some reweaving was done on the shroud with material that was much younger than the original material of the shroud. They are convinced that if the tests are repeated using a sample taken from the original material of the shroud the material will date to the days of Jesus. (See chapter 19 of Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry by Fredrick T. Zugibe, M.D., Ph.D. [M. Evans and Company, Inc., 2005]. I found this book to be quite informative. I don't believe it will affect my faith at all if the shroud is proved authentic, but I trust it would help would stir up some interest in the Lord Jesus in these last days.]] we are healed. [[I believe the words we are healed should be understood in the fullest possible sense. Physical healing and mental and emotional healing are included, but much more important is the spiritual healing. We are healed from spiritual death and from bondage to sin and demon spirits. On this spiritual healing see under Isa. 53:11, which we will discuss as we continue. Also, most of the content of my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin deals with this spiritual healing. However, I recommend reading my more recent book Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin first. For one thing, it is easier to read, having been taken from my radio broadcasts on that topic. Both books are available at amazon.

First Peter 2:24, which "quotes" from the last words of Isa. 53:5, is a very important cross-reference. I'll quote 1 PETER 2:24, 25 (I Peter. 2:25 builds on Isa. 53:6): And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross [It is extremely important to understand that He bore our sins, including the one great transgression of Adam (and Eve), with the guilt and with the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons that came with spiritual death. This emphasis is proven by the apostle Peter's words that follow here in 2:24.], SO THAT WE MIGHT DIE TO SIN AND LIVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS [my emphasis. Peter didn't mention being forgiven or having right standing with God, even though those things are provided. Rather, like the apostle Paul teaches in Romans chapter 6, for example, Peter speaks here of dying to sin (in the ideal, to be totally dead to sin, to stop sinning) and to live in the righteousness of God which is imparted to us, in union with the Lord Jesus in His atoning death, resurrection, and resurrection life, as we walk in the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis (as we are commanded to do in Gal. 5:16, for example), all of this by grace through faith for the glory of God and for our good.]; for by His wounds [The Greek of 1 Pet. 2:24 has the singular collective noun for wound, as does the Hebrew of Isa. 53:6.] you were healed. [[(This double bracket continues for three paragraphs.) As we have discussed, the wounds that killed the Lamb of God purchased a very full salvation for us. Thank You Father! Thank You Lord Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit! We are healed from all the sicknesses He bore for us in His all-important atoning death (see under Isa. 53:4), with the emphasis on our being born again and being set free from bondage to sin and demons and enabled to walk in the righteousness and holiness of God by grace through faith. It is also quite significant that healing from physical, mental, emotional, etc. sicknesses is included in the atonement. This isn't surprising: Physical, mental, emotional, etc. healing was provided in old-covenant salvation. (See chapters 1-4 of my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin. Chapter 5 of that book is titled, "A Study to Show that Healing and Health Are Included in the New-Covenant Atonement.")

Sin, Satan, and spiritual death have been dethroned through the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God. That is, they have no more legal authority over believers, but we still must resist them throughout this age by grace through faith. We will not see the full manifestation of the healing wrought at Mount Calvary until we see the new heaven and new earth with its New Jerusalem of Revelation chapters 21 and 22. The overthrowing of physical death that was accomplished through the atoning death of the Lamb of God will be manifested for believers when those who will have died before He returns will be resurrected at the time of His return. Those of us who will still be alive when He returns won't ever die physically, which sounds good to me. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will have access to God's New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27). The title "Lamb" used in Rev. 21:27 points to the all-important atoning death of the Lord Jesus.

I'll quote a paragraph from what Kenneth E, Jones says under Isa. 53:5 ("Isaiah" in Wesleyan Bible Commentary, Vol. 3 [Hendrickson Publishers, 1986 reprint], page 139): "The expressions of verse 5 have to do primarily with the forgiveness of sin and the healing of the soul. The Hebrew word rafa (healed) is used more often in figurative senses than of the healing of physical diseases ([Isaiah] 6:10; 19:22; 30:26; Jer. 6:14; 8:11; 33:6; Hos. 6:1; 11:3). Yet there is such a close connection between sin and sickness that the verse can be applied to both physical and spiritual healing (Matt. 8:17; 1 Pet. 2:24; cf. Mark 2:5-11). It is clear from the parallelism of the passage that the primary reference is to the forgiveness of sins and spiritual healing. This thought is continued in verse 6, where the stubborn sinfulness of man is described; and it is stated that because of our sinfulness, 'Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all' [ASV]. All have sinned (Rom. 3:23), so all need this redemption."] (Isaiah 53:6) All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way [Cf. 1 Pet. 2:25. These words picture the condition of fallen mankind in unbelief and prideful rebellion against God (doing their own thing) and in desperate need of the Shepherd/Savior. They are, in a preliminary sense, bearing the penalty for their sin (and Adam's sin; cf. Rom. 5:12-21), but the greater penalty is yet to come, starting with the day of judgment.]; But the LORD [Yahweh] has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him ["has laid on Him/him the iniquity of us all" (NKJV, NIV, ESV; the KJV "hath laid...")]. [The words has caused...to fall are a translation of the Hebrew verb paga. (The hiphil stem of this verb is used here.) The BDB Hebrew Lexicon gives the meaning of this verb, as it is used here, as "cause to light upon."

I don't believe there is any substantial difference between our awon falling on the Lamb of God here in verse 6; the Lamb being crushed by our awon (plural) in verse 5; the Lamb bearing our awon (plural) in verse 11, or the Lamb bearing our chet in verse 12. So too, part of that which fell upon Him was our choli (plural; sicknesses) and makob (plural; pains) of verse 4.

I cannot be satisfied with the translation iniquity for awon in verses 5, 6, or 11. Something like the following is required here in verse 6: "But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all with the guilt and the penalties to fall on Him." And it must be understood that there is an emphasis on the PENALTIES in all three of these verses that use awon. So too for the use of chet in verse 12. Chet is translated "sin" in verse 12 by the NASB, NIV, ESV, KJV, and NKJV. We will discuss verse 12 as we continue.

Commentators on Isaiah 53:6. F. Delitzsch (Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. 7, page 322) says (in part): "But awon is used to denote not only the transgression itself, but also the guilt incurred thereby, and the punishment to which it gives rise. All this great multitude of sins, and mass of guilt, and weight of punishment, came upon the Servant of Jehovah [Yahweh] according to the appointment of the God of salvation, who is gracious in holiness."

E. J. Young (Book of Isaiah, Vol. 3, page 350) says (in part): "the guilt that belonged to us God caused to strike him, i.e. he as our substitute bore the punishment that the guilt of our sins required."

D. A. Kidner ("Isaiah," New Bible Commentary: Revised [Eerdmans, 1970], page 618) says (in part): "[Isaiah 53:6] is perhaps the most penetrating of all descriptions of sin and atonement, uncovering the fecklessness which is second nature to us, and the self-will which isolates us from God and man alike [I'm not sure how Kidner meant this, and we need to face reality, but "fecklessness" should not be "second nature to us" as born- again Christians, nor should we be manifesting "self-will." Rather than thinking and speaking of ourselves this way, we should appropriate God's sanctifying grace by faith that will enable us to think right and live right, in accordance with God's will, even though we must wage warfare against the world, the flesh (the old man who still wants to life), and the devil and his hosts.]; but also the divine initiative which transferred our punishment to the one substitute. The metaphor whereby iniquity is laid on him is clarified by, e.g. Gen. 4:13; Lev. 5:1, 17 (where one pays one's own penalty [where the one who sinned bears the sin(s) with the guilt and the penalty(ies)]) and by e.g. Lev. 10:17; 16:22 ((where the liability falls on another [These verses deal with the sins with the guilt and the penalties being put on sacrificial animals on the Day of Atonement. Those sacrifices were effective to accomplish their assigned purposes (and not just for the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement), but they could not bear or take away the sin of Adam with the penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons. They could not even atone for the sins of the people of Israel that were committed with a high hand (fully willful and defiant). By strong contrast, the one Sacrifice of the Lamb of God has fully solved the spiritual death, bondage to sin and demons problem for all who submit to the gospel of new-covenant salvation by faith and walk in accordance with that covenant by grace through faith on a continuous basis.]))." THIS IS GOOD NEWS, VERY GOOD NEWS!

Copyright © by Karl Kemp

http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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