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Isaiah 53: Set Free and Made Righteous by the Lamb of God, Part 5

by Karl Kemp  
2/05/2018 / Bible Studies

8.6 SOME COMMENTATORS ON THE MEANING OF THIS HEBREW VERB IN ISAIAH 53:11. I'll quote a few sentences from Ross. E. Price, who is a Nazarene (Beacon Bible Commentary, Vol. 4 [Beacon Hill Press, 1966], page 227). "Thus by His wise submission to His Father's will He imparts to many His own righteousness. ... Justify many means 'make the masses righteous.' ... It is through Him that they attain that new quality of life on a higher plane."

F. Delitzsch, AD1813-1890 (Commentary on the Old Testament by Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. 7 [Eerdmans reprint, 1976], pages 337-338). "...He, the righteous One, will help 'the many'...TO A RIGHT STATE OF LIFE AND CONDUCT [my emphasis here and later in this paragraph], and one that should be well pleasing to God. The primary reference is to the righteousness of faith, which is the consequence of justification on the ground of His atoning work, when this is believingly appropriated; but the expression also includes that RIGHTEOUSNESS OF LIFE, WHICH SPRINGS BY AN INWARD NECESSITY OUT OF THOSE SANCTIFYING POWERS, THAT ARE BOUND UP WITH THE ATONING WORK WHICH WE HAVE MADE OUR OWN (see Dan. 9:24). ...." I appreciate what Delitzsch said here, but I don't agree that "the primary reference is to the righteousness of faith," by which he means being forgiven and having a strictly legal, right standing, but I very much appreciate the fact that He includes that "righteousness of life, which springs by an inward necessity out of those sanctifying powers, that are bound up with the atoning work which we have made our own." Actually being made righteous (with the "righteousness of life," God's imparted righteousness) is at the heart of what new-covenant salvation is all about. God hates sin and He paid this infinite price to set us free from being spiritually dead and in bondage to sin and demons. However, I don't want to minimize the importance of forgiveness. 

David Baron, AD1855-1927 (The Servant of Jehovah; An Exposition of Isaiah LIII [53], second edition [Morgan & Scott, 1922]. I'll quote part of what Baron says on pages 127-134 under Isa. 53:11. He, like F. Delitzsch, makes some very helpful comments, but like Delitzsch (he quotes a little from Delitzsch on these pages), he assumes, wrongly I believe, that the primary idea here is forgiveness and a declaration of legal righteousness; however, significantly, he, like Delitzsch, includes "righteousness of life." 

I'll quote part of what Baron says on pages 129-130: " 'By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many,' or, to give a more literal rendering of the words in the order in which they stand in the Hebrew, 'By His knowledge shall make righteous (or, bring righteousness) the Righteous One (My Servant) many.' " He goes on to say that he prefers the view "by the knowledge of Him on the part of others" instead of "by His knowledge." "The kind of 'knowledge' expressed in the word is not only that which has reference to understanding with the mind, but a practical, experiential knowledge [He has a footnote: "...(Hebrew) yada stands in the Bible for experimental knowledge."] - a spiritual heart acquaintance with Him, a personal appropriation by a living faith of His redeeming work for sinners - such a 'knowledge,' for instance, as is implied in the words of Christ, 'This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou didst send,' or, in the prayer of the Apostle [Paul (Phil. 3:10)], 'That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection.' " 

I'll also quote part of what Baron says on pages 132-133. Regarding the Hebrew verb yatsdiq of Isa. 53:11, he says it " be rendered 'shall cause, or bring righteousness.' ... The [Hebrew] rabbim ("many"), to whom He thus brings righteousness, or constitutes righteous, is the mass of mankind, or - all - not only in Israel, but amongst the nations also - who shall respond to His call, and by a living faith enter into an acquaintance with Him. ... is almost certain that [this passage] was in the mind of the Apostle Paul when writing Romans 5:12-21, which is an inspired unfolding and application of the same doctrine of substitution which is set forth in this great Old Testament prophecy. After writing of the consequence [or, penalty] of Adam's transgression to the whole of mankind, he [Paul] says: 'But not as the trespass, so also is the free gift. For if by the trespass of the one the many be dead, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to many. ... For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One shall the made righteous.' [[(This double bracket goes on for two paragraphs.) As I discuss in some detail in both of my holiness books, I don't believe there is any way that the "obedience of the One" [(Rom. 5:19), which refers especially to the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God] can be limited to providing forgiveness, bearing and taking away the guilt of Adam's transgression, and declaring us righteous, or imputing Christ's righteousness to us in a strictly legal sense. As we have discussed in this paper, the Lamb of God also bore the penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons that resulted from Adam's transgression, so we could become obedient, righteous with the imparted righteousness of God. 

For one very important thing, what the apostle said in Rom. 5:6, 8, and 10 demonstrates that our having been justified by faith of 5:1 includes our no longer being helpless and ungodly (Rom. 5:6; Paul said "while we were still helpless at the right time Christ died for the ungodly"); our no longer being sinners (Rom. 5:8; Paul said "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"; in the ideal we would never sin again); and our no longer being enemies of God, but being reconciled to Him (5:10; "For while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son...." We would not be reconciled to God by any reasonable definition of reconciliation if we were forgiven but still hostile toward Him in our hearts and actions (cf. Rom. 8:5-8).]] To repeat, it is the righteousness of faith which is the consequence of justification on the ground of the atoning work of the Messiah which is set forth in this passage [[What Baron goes on the say demonstrates that he, in a way comparable to Delitzsch, understands the primary meaning of "righteousness of [by] faith" here in the limited sense of being declared righteous in a forgiveness, strictly legal righteousness sense. I believe this is a serious (though widely accepted) misunderstanding regarding what the apostle Paul meant by "righteousness of [by] faith" and what Isa. 53:11 is saying. However, I'm thankful that Baron didn't stop there; he recognized that more must be said.]], yet those are not altogether wrong who maintain that it includes also that 'righteousness of life which springs by an inward necessity out of those sanctifying powers that are bound up with the atoning work which we have made our own.' [In a footnote he shows that he is quoting from Delitzsch.] For though this is not the ground of our acceptance before God [[It would be reasonable to say that we are accepted before God through forgiveness and being declared righteous in a legal sense, but we must understand that God doesn't offer forgiveness apart from repentance and a transformed heart and life. So too, we cannot maintain a relationship with God, or be ready to stand before Him on judgment day, if we do not live for Him from our hearts by His grace through faith. Of course we will be forgiven if we should sin, when we repent, but it must be understood that being a Christian requires us to live for God from our hearts, by God's enabling grace through faith, which involves a lot more than sin, get forgiven; sin, get forgiven.... For one thing, born-again Christians can lose their salvation. (See my paper Once Saved, Always Saved? on my internet site [Google to Karl Kemp Teaching]).]], it is important to remember that the doctrine of justification [He is taking justification in the narrow sense of being forgiven and declared righteous in a legal sense.] does not stand alone in the Bible, and that God does not constitute any one righteous to whom He does not also impart the power to be righteous. [And God does not give us the option to not appropriate the "power (grace) to be righteous" in our daily lives. That's part of the salvation package that God offers us, and we are not given the option to reject the parts of the package that we may not like.] We are justified that we may also be sanctified and glorified, and the outward seal of the true followers of Christ is that they 'depart from iniquity.' And 'walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.' ...."       

Robert B. Chisholm mentions several times the option that this Hebrew verb in Isa. 53:11 may refer "to the transformation of the sinners, rather than simply their acquittal [their being declared righteous]..." (Chapter 8, "Forgiveness and Salvation in Isaiah 53," in The Gospel According to Isaiah 53 by Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser [Kregel, 2012], page 203). 


8.7 SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMENTATORS WHO TAKE THE MAJORITY VIEW (BUT I BELIEVE WRONG VIEW) OF THE MEANING OF "JUSTIFY" "MAKE RIGHTEOUS" IN ISAIAH 53:11. I am not disrespecting these Christian scholars. After all they are presenting the majority viewpoint of our day, but I believe the majority view is wrong (which does happen rather often), and that THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. The fact that many Christians limit the meaning of "justify" to a narrow legal righteousness that doesn't include God's actually making us righteous in our hearts and lives doesn't mean that these Christians necessarily deny that Christians are called and enabled to live with the victory over sin by God's grace. (But it is true that a large number of Christians who take what I am sure is the wrong view on the meaning of this verb in Isa. 53:11 do deny that Christians can live with the victory over sin.) I believe that they are misunderstanding one of the most important words that God uses in His Word to call us to live in the imparted righteousness of God with the victory over sin. And the problem isn't limited to the verb often translated "justify" in some form. The way we define "righteous" and "righteousness" is equally important.  

Edward J. Young (Book of Isaiah, Vol. 3 [Eerdmans, 1972], pages 357-358). (I have a lot of respect for E. J. Young, but I have to strongly disagree with him here.) I'll quote quite a bit from Young here. He translates "will justify." "The verb has reference to forensic justification [that deals with God declaring us righteous in a strictly legal sense that does not include His actually making us righteous] and not to the condition of the person justified. It does not refer to a justitia infusa [which would include God's actually infusing or imparting His righteousness to believers in justification]. [[(This double bracket continues for two paragraphs.) Young has a footnote here: "At this point Delitzsch reads too much into the text. The emphasis is on bearing iniquities." The view of Delitzsch is included in the preceding section of this paper. As I mentioned there, I agree with Delitzsch, except for the fact that he subordinates this imparting (infusing) of God's righteousness to what he called the "righteousness of faith" in what this verb means. I should point out that God's imparted righteousness comes "by grace by faith" as much as His forgiveness and right standing come by grace by faith. 

Young mentioned that "the emphasis is on bearing iniquities." The emphasis is on bearing awon (plural), which includes bearing iniquities, guilt, AND PENALTIES FOR INIQUITIES, and as I discuss in some detail in this paper, the Lamb of God bore our iniquities with the guilt AND THE PENALTIES, WITH SOME EMPHASIS ON THE PENALTIES, INCLUDING THE MAJOR PENALTIES OF SPIRITUAL DEATH AND BONDAGE TO SIN AND DEMONS. Under Isa. 53:4-6 Young speaks of the Lamb of God bearing the consequences, punishment for our sins, but he does not include that concept here where there is a desperate need to include it.]] The qualitative distinction between the one [Christ] and the many stands out sharply. The one possesses righteousness [Yes, He always was righteous in every way, including His every thought, motive, spoken word, and action, both before and after His incarnation.], the many [possess] iniquities. Nevertheless, there is a glorious interchange, and it is this fact that determines the connotation of the verb yatsdiq (he will justify). The servant bears the iniquities of the many that he may expiate them [make atonement for them; bear the punishment for them], and they in turn receive his righteousness. He pronounces them to be just. [Or, He imputes His righteousness to them in a legal sense and pronounces them to be righteous, BUT HE DOES SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! By bearing our iniquities (sins) back to Adam with the guilt and the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons, He earned the right to make us righteous with His imparted righteousness. And God hates sin!] If the verb is not taken as forensic [strictly legal, with no impartation of righteousness] and it is held that it refers to iustitia infusa ["imparted/infused righteousness"], it would follow that the servant, in bearing the iniquities of the many, is himself infused with these iniquities and himself become sinful. [[I totally disagree that these things "would follow." Our sins caused a temporary, but drastic disruption of the fellowship between God the Father and the Son of God (see Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34), but our sins were not infused into His Person, and He certainly did not "become sinful" in any way. God is the one who ordained atoning sacrifices, first in the Old Testament, and then with the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God that was planned before the world was created, and He certainly did not require His Son to actually become sinful, and everything the Son said and did throughout His all-important atoning death confirmed that He did not become sinful. By God's definition that wasn't required. (I realize that Young doesn't believe that He became sinful in any way.) However, since the Lamb was bearing our sins with the guilt and the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons, we are set free from these penalties. But it is clear that we must appropriate these things on a continuous basis by grace through faith. We cannot do this, of course, if we don't believe that God has made these things available to us and called us to appropriate them by faith. (I believe the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that we must cooperate with God's grace on a continuous basis, which doesn't detract from the fact that we are saved one-hundred percent by grace.) This is a primary problem we have among Christians in our day.]]

[Now quoting the next paragraph from Young, page 358] When the servant bears the iniquities of the many and has been punished for the guilt of these iniquities [at least He bore our awon (plural) with the guilt and with the penalties], the act of bearing the iniquities in itself has not changed the character of those whose iniquities are borne. [Again, I totally disagree. God hates sin and He sent His Son to die for us to dethrone sin and make us righteous, righteous in our hearts and daily lives. Young has a footnote: "We must maintain the distinction between justification and sanctification. [The two word groups are not identical in meaning (but "justification," when it is used in the full sense, as it is in Isa. 53:11 and very often in the New Testament and sanctification/holiness, when used in the full sense in which these words are typically used throughout the New Testament), but both word groups include the transformation to righteous and holy living with the victory over sin and demons.] When the iniquities are borne, i.e. when the guilt those iniquities involve are punished, the servant may declare that the many stand in right relationship with God. Their iniquities will no longer be able to rise up and accuse them for the guilt of those iniquities has been punished. [It's true that our past sins have been forgiven, but we cannot put too much emphasis there. The sin problem has really been solved by the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God, which involves a lot more than being forgiven. In the ideal, we won't have any future sins, even though it is true that we can be forgiven for any future sins when we repent. In the ideal we won't have any future sins. God's born-again children are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin. Since He bore our spiritual death, we can, and we must, be born again. And since He bore our bondage to sin and demons, we can, and we are required (THIS IS GOOD NEWS!) to live with the victory over sin and demons. I believe it is of key importance to see that Isaiah chapter 53 is prophesying of this full salvation and not just a strictly legal righteousness before God.] Thus they are justified. They are declared to be righteous, for they have received the righteousness of the servant [They have received a lot more than forgiveness and a strictly legal, right standing with God through the Sacrifice of the Servant; they are actually made righteous by the imparted righteousness of God, as they walk in line with the gospel of new-covenant salvation by grace through faith. For one thing, as I have mentioned, when God declares us righteous He is, by those very words, declaring the defeat of our former enemies of sin, spiritual death, the old man, and Satan and the evil angels and demons. (They are required to be in the courtroom when God declares us righteous and their overthrow.) They have no more legitimate authority over born-again Christians. Let's make sure we appropriate everything that has been bought and paid for at a very high price, for the glory of God, for our good, and for the good of those we can be a blessing to.], and they are received and accepted by God Himself. [We are not going to have much of a relationship with God to the extent we are still hostile to Him in our hearts and actions.] Of them God says that they no longer have iniquities [The fact that our past sins/iniquities have been totally forgiven and we are accepted by God, is going to prove quite unsatisfactory if we are still sinning against Him (cf. Rom. 8:8-9).], but they do have the righteousness of the servant [Young just means a legal, imputed righteousness; he is not including the all-important imparted righteousness of God that we so desperately need that has been bought and paid for in the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God.] This can only be a forensic justification." I have a lot of respect for this commentator (E. J. Young), and he is giving the majority view of our day, but I totally disagree with him. This one error suffices to significantly distort the gospel.             

A. R. Fausset ("Isaiah" in Commentary on Old and New Testaments by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Vol. 2 [Eerdmans, 1984 reprint (Fausset AD1821-1910)], page 732). "justify many - make many to be treated or accounted as if righteous, forensically, on the ground of His meritorious suffering and righteousness, not their righteousness. The Hiphil, or causative [of the Hebrew verb] means makes righteous in the eyes of the law, forensically, not referring to inherent moral improvement, but imputed righteousness [legal, not actual righteousness]."

H. C. Leupold (Exposition of Isaiah, Vol. 2 [Baker Book House, 1968, 1971], page 391, under Isa. 53:11; Leupold is a Lutheran. "...ascribes to him [to Christ] the work of 'making many to be accounted righteous.' In other words what he achieves is justification by faith. This then is briefly and simply redefined: 'He, namely, will take their guilt upon himself,' and again, an echo of vicarious atonement." He took a lot more that the guilt of our sin upon himself. 

John L. Mackay (Study on Isaiah, Vol. 2 [EP Books, 2009], page 363). "...he is in a position to extend that relationship to others, to 'make the many to be accounted as righteous.' " We cannot have the relationship with the Father that Christ has while we continue to sin against Him. I should also mention (and I believe Mackay would agree), I don't believe we can ever have the same relationship that the eternal Son of God has with the Father, but we are called to have a super-glorious relationship with the Father through new-covenant salvation, and especially after we are glorified, but we don't become deity with the Father, Son, and Spirit. 

David F. Payne ("Isaiah" in New Layman's Bible Commentary [Zondervan, 1979], page 808). "...many indeed shall be accounted righteous."  

Edward E. Hindson ("Isaiah" in Liberty Bible Commentary [Old-Time Gospel Hour, 1982], pages 1393-1994). "On the basis of His personal righteousness (tsaddiq) He will justify (yatsdiq) those for whom he shall bear their iniquities. Thus, there is no justification without the provision of the Righteous One who must bear our sins if we are to be forgiven our sins." But He didn't just bear the guilt of our sins so we could be forgiven. You can argue with my percentages, but from my point of view, forgiveness, as important as it is, is about ten percent of what we receive through the atoning death (and resurrection) of the Righteous One. I believe most serious Christians will agree that God hates sin!  

Harry Bultema (Commentary on Isaiah [Kregel, 1981, originally published in Dutch in 1923], pages 530-531). "He will justify many, i.e., absolve them of guilt and punishment and give them a child's right, an inheritance right to eternal life." 

C. H. Spurgeon ("The Suffering Christ Satisfied"; Sermon #3465 that deals with Isa. 53:11; preached March 29, 1888, published 1915; taken from the internet, quotes taken from page 5 of my printed copy; Spurgeon was from England, a Baptist, a Calvinistic Baptist.) If you trust Christ you will be justified, "that is God will treat you as if you were perfectly just and look upon you as if you never did any wrong in your life! And he will bless you and take you to heaven as if you had been innocent from your mother's breast. 'But am I not to do something?' Nothing. 'But am I not to feel something?' Nothing. The doing and the feeling will come afterwards - the way to be justified is by knowing [by knowing and accepting the basic truths of the gospel, knowing Christ, trusting Him, believing Him]."

"I care not if he has been in sin up till the last tic of the clock - if he comes and casts upon what Christ has done, with a simple, hearty, earnest faith - he may come in, for his sins, which are many are all forgiven him. 'Will he go and do as he did before?' Not if his sins are forgiven him, for he will love God and he will so love God that he will hate the things that he once loved. ... And he will begin now, once and for all, to walk in the ways of holiness, serving God whom once he despised. Yes, yes - it is by knowing Christ that men are justified, and only by this!" This sounds good, but how often does it happen this way? 

I can appreciate much that Spurgeon says here, and I don't doubt that this will work for some people, those who fully trust Christ to enable them "to walk in the ways of holiness, serving God...." However, I am sure that he is missing a lot with his definition of justify, and every error hurts, and I believe this is a big error. Spurgeon would agree that our faith must be based on what the Bible actually teaches, very much including what the individual words mean (by God's definition). For one thing, we must know and have faith that God has called us to be righteous and holy (to live righteous and holy lives), and we must cooperate with His grace by faith. God doesn't make us holy apart from our cooperating with His grace by faith; we must "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12); we must wage warfare against the world, the flesh (the old man that wants to continue in sin), and the devil and his evil angels and demons. Yes, God's grace is sufficient, but we must appropriate His grace by faith. We don't all automatically love God as we should when we are born again or have a compelling desire to walk in the ways of holiness. And it is clear to me, though Spurgeon and many disagree, that born-again Christians can lose their salvation. (See my Once Saved, Always Saved? on my internet site; Google to Karl Kemp Teaching.) 

John Gill (under Isa. 53:11 in Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible; taken from the Bible Hub on the internet). John Gill (AD1697-1771) was a Calvinistic Baptist from England like Spurgeon, but he was a hundred years before Spurgeon. They both preached at Metropolitan Tabernacle in London for many years. Some call it a Reformed Baptist church. I'll quote part of what he said on the meaning of justify under Isa. 53:11. "...he justifies his people; that is, acquits and absolves them, pronounces them righteous, and frees them from condemnation and death; he is the procuring and meritorious cause of their justification; his righteousness is the matter of it; in him, as their head, are they justified, and by him the sentence is pronounced: for this is to be understood not of making men holy and righteous inherently, that is sanctification; nor of teaching men doctrinally the way and method of justifying men, which is no other than ministers do; but it is a forensic act, a pronouncing and declaring men righteous, as opposed to condemnation...."


9. A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF FOUR CLOSELY RELATED HEBREW WORDS, THE ADJECTIVE TSADDIQ, THE VERB TSADEQ, TSADOQ, AND THE TWO NOUNS TSEDEQ AND TSEDAQAH, USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON. The adjective and verb are used in Isa. 53:11, and this is the only use of these four words in Isaiah chapter 53 (52:13-53:12), but all four of these words are closely related, sharing the same three-consonant root (ts, which is one letter in Hebrew, d, and q). It will be helpful to study all four of these words together. MY PRIMARY PURPOSE FOR THIS STUDY IS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT NONE OF THESE WORDS HARDLY EVER, IF EVER (I HAVEN'T FOUND ANY CLEAR EXAMPLES) FIT THE WIDESPREAD, BUT I'M SURE IS WRONG, IDEA THAT BEING JUSTIFIED/BEING MADE RIGHTEOUS, OR BEING RIGHTEOUS, OR HAVING RIGHTEOUSNESS RESULTS FROM BEING FORGIVEN, WHETHER WITH OR WITHOUT A SACRIFICIAL OFFERING. Righteous people in the Old Testament needed to be forgiven on occasion, but they did not become righteous through being forgiven - it took more than forgiveness to make them righteous. 

This study will demonstrate that the four Old Testament words almost always, if not always, deal with actual righteousness, not limited to the idea of a narrow, being forgiven, strictly legal, righteousness that enables a person to have a right standing with God and be accepted by Him. However, the New Testament makes it clear that the "righteousness" that was available before the all-important atoning death of the Lord Jesus and the outpouring of the Righteous, Holy Spirit of life, which made available the new birth and the indwelling of the Righteous, Holy Spirit, was a limited, relative righteousness, but a real righteousness that dealt with what a person had in their heart and how they lived (their works), not a strictly legal righteousness that came through being forgiven. The new covenant, which is based on the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God and the outpoured Righteous, Holy Spirit of God, enables believers to partake of, and to walk in, the imparted righteousness of God, by grace through faith. As we discuss throughout this study, it took the new covenant in the shed blood of the Lamb to set us free from spiritual death, sin, and Satan and the demons and to crucify the old man.  

As I mentioned, I haven't found even one example in the Old Testament where people became righteous, had righteousness, etc. through being forgiven. Out of the many hundreds of uses of these words in the Old Testament it is possible that there could be a few places where these words are used that way, but if so they would be very exceptional uses, and, as I mentioned, I haven't been able to find any such uses. Righteous people are the people who live before God from their hearts, in accordance with His will (based on His Word) and by His enabling grace - they have a healthy fear of God. Some limited enabling grace was available in the days of the Old Testament. Righteous judges, righteous laws, etc. are righteous because they conform to God's standard, to His definition of righteous, righteousness. Righteous judges justify people (declare them to be righteous) because they are righteous in the matter under consideration.

Under the old covenant God's enabling grace was quite limited in comparison with the new covenant. That's why the new covenant that is established on the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God and the outpoured Righteous, Holy Spirit was needed to set us free from spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons. God could not allow sin to continue forever! He hates sin! Sin destroys things, including divine order, and sin hurts people.

When we find out who "the Righteous One" of Isa. 53:11 is (starting with His being the eternal Son of God through whom all beings and things were created and who condescended to become the God-man to save us, including His super-difficult all-important atoning death) and we learn of God's new-covenant plan of salvation, and the fact that God hates sin, it is inconceivable to me that Isa. 53:11 prophesies only that we can be forgiven and have a right standing with God while we continue to sin against Him.     

This study (I considered every use of these Hebrew words in the Old Testament in this study) using the BDB Hebrew Lexicon just deals with the Old Testament, but this use carries over to the New Testament in a big way, but there is a little room for exceptions in the New Testament. Romans chapter 4 uses these words in a different, far lesser way because of the special subject matter of that chapter. Romans chapter 4 was briefly discussed above. A follow-up paper deals with the meaning of the Greek words (the adjective dikaios, the noun dikaiosune, and the verb dikaioo) that are comparable in meaning with the Hebrew words that we are studying in this paper. Romans chapter 4 will be discussed in that paper. It is appropriate to include forgiveness in what the words righteous, righteousness, justify, make righteous, etc. mean in the New Testament when in a context referring to new-covenant salvation, but almost always (Romans chapter 4 and in a lesser sense, Gal. 3:6 are exceptions) the words include, and emphasize, being set free from spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons and being made righteous in the heart and life through God's saving work through the Lord Jesus and the outpoured, indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life (He overpowers spiritual death and imparts the life of God).  

I'm including all of the headings and subheading that BDB has under these four Hebrew words, but I am not including all of the verses they list (and I am not including all of the details they include), but I am making every effort to accurately give their definition(s) for the Hebrew words we are discussing. And I'm making every effort to list every verse that could possibly fit the idea of a narrow, forgiven, strictly legal use of these words. Like I mentioned, I haven't found even one clear example of that usage out of many hundred uses of these words. It is amazing to me that that view could be so widely accepted by so many Christians. 

We will start a rather detailed study of the Hebrew adjective tsaddiq in Part 6 of this paper. This adjective is translated "the Righteous One" in Isa. 53:11.

Copyright © by Karl Kemp 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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