Sivut kuvina


conceive to be, on the whole, more exact than the common English version, is as follows:

1. "Who hath believed our report; and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been manifested?

2. For he groweth up in their sight like a tender sucker, and like a root from a thirsty soil: he hath no form, nor any beauty, that we should regard him: nor is his countenance such, that we should desire him.

3. Despised, nor accounted in the number of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: as one that hideth his face from us:7 he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4. Surely our infirmities he hath borne, and our sorrows he hath carried them ;8 yet we thought him judicially stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5. But he was wounded for our transgressions; was smitten for our iniquities: the chastisement by which our peace is effected was laid upon him; and by his bruises (or stripes9) we are healed.

6. All we like sheep have strayed; we have turned aside, every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath

1 Lowth reads the Hebrew of this passage lJOQ TJS "PODODT and explains the expressions as relating to the custom usual amongst ancient Hebrew mourners of covering their heads, and of concealing the lower part of their faces: II Sam. xv, 30; Ezek. xxiv, 17.

8 Hebrew text-D^OD lyQKDEn K&tt K1H X^T\ pK. The common English version is, in this instance, preferable to that of Lowth; {or the passage obviously contains a reference to the preceding verse, which describes the Messiah as "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief"—" Surely (adds the prophet) he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Although these expressions, when taken in connection with the context, are evidently descriptive of the vicarious sufferings of Christ for sinners, they have a subordinate application to the circumstance of his relieving the people, by his miracles, from their bodily and mental diseases, as appears from Matt. viii, 17. Nor is such a double interpretation in the least degree inconsistent with the genius of ancient Hebrew prophecy, which is often fraught with several coincident and analogous significations. The verb J^C^J is best understood as signifying, in se suttulit, portavit; and though, in this use, it is more properly descriptive of the bearing of those sorrows which were the penalty of our sin, than of curing diseases, it is by no means inapplicable to the latter subject. The idea seems to be, oneri nostro suos humeros supposuitita nos liberavit.

9 Heb. rn-on


made to light (or to meet) upon him1 the iniquity of us all.

7. It was exacted, and he was made answerable;2 and he opened not his mouth: as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb; so he opened not his mouth.

8. By an oppressive judgment he was taken off; and his manner of life, who would declare ?3 for he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was smitten to death.

9. And his grave was appointed with the wicked, and with the rich man was his tomb.4 Although he had done no wrong, neither was there any guile in his mouth; (10) yet it pleased Jehovah to crush him with affliction. If (or when) his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice (or a trespass-offering)5 he shall see a seed which shall prolong their days, and the gracious purpose of Jehovah shall prosper in his hands.

1 1]3 U^JSn literally incurrere vel irruere fecit in eum. 2 Heb. n3J/3 frOni IL'22- Lowth's version of this passage is at once very literal, and entirely accordant with the context. {£OJ is exegit, veluti a debitore pecuniam, vel a reo pcenam; and in the Niphal, or passive voice, (as in this passage) it may, of course, be properly rendered, "exactum est." PUI/ signifies either afflixit or respondit; and when in the passive form, it is still capable (as appears from Ezek. xiv, 4. 7) of the latter sense. "It was exacted—and he answered, or was made answerable." Vitringa renders the passage, "exigebatur et ipse afflictus est.''

"Heb. nmtt''1 ^D mi nX Eng. Ver.—" Who shall declare his generation 1" The word TMm in this difficult passage, is of uncertain signification. If it is capable of being rendered, "manner of life," (which is somewhat doubtful) the passage may contain a reference (as Lowth supposes) to the Jewish forensic practice of instituting a public inquiry respecting the character of a criminal, before sentence of condemnation was passed upon him: see Lowth's note in loc.

* Heb. VIT)Q3 Eng. Ver.—" in his death," Lowth, after Schindler, Drusius, and others, regards the 3 M radical; in which case VJT1X23 literally signifies excelsa sua—a phrase which may denote a tomb, tumulus, or mortumentum; or the reference may be to the high places which the Israelites were accustomed to select for the purpose of burial. So the tomb of Joseph was on Mount Calvary: see Lowth's note in loc. ^ x

S Heb. lJ£/22 'Dti/iH D^ttTJ DN "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin." K. V. or "when his soul shall make an offering for sin." The latter appears the preferable mode of rendering the passage; but the Hebrew admits of either sense—"the verb Q^JfJl being either the second person governed by "thou" understood, or the third person feminine, governed by t£^J


11. Of the travail of his soul, he shall see the fruit, and be satisfied: by the knowledge of him shall ray righteous servant justify many; for the punishment of their iniquities shall he bear.

12. Therefore will I distribute to him the many for his portion; and the mighty people shall he share for his spoil, because he poured out his soul unto death: and was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin "of many; and made intercession for the transgressors."

While some of the Jews (for example, the Targumist and Kimchi) have attempted to explain this extraordinary prophecy as relating to the people of Israel, (an explanation of which a candid view of the text mnst at once show the absurdity) others of them have plainly confessed that it was written concerning the Messiah.6 But whatsoever may be the opinion of the Jew, this is a subject on which the Christian cannot hesitate. In applying this prediction to the true Messiah of Israel, he is amply justified, first, by its astonishing appositeness to the life and death of Jesus, and to many of the circumstances with which they were attended. If the question is asked, Who was he who, in his low estate, arose like a root out of a dry ground; who was destitute of any worldly glory and splendour; who was not believed in by the Jews; was despised, rejected, smitten, bruised, and persecuted; who was absolutely free from any wrong or guile, and yet was crushed with affliction; who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and opened not his mouth; died with the wicked; was buried with the rich; and afterwards became the spiritual Lord of a

"See Vilringa, in Esaiam, vol. ii, p. 658; Gill on Isa. liii, 6; Martini Pug. Fid. pars III, diss. I, cap. x.


great people, and saw of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied ? — the whole history of the New Testament plainly answers—Jesus. And, secondly, for such an application of this prophecy, we have ample authority in the writings of the apostles and evangelists, who in their doctrine respecting the atoning efficacy of the death of Christ, appear to have often alluded to it, and have occasionally cited its contents as directly prophetical of Christ. Thus, when the Ethiopian, who was reading one of the most remarkable passages of this memorable prediction, inquired of Philip, of whom the prophet spake: we are informed that "Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus f Acts viii, 34, 35; comp. John xii, 38; Matt. viii, 17; Mark ix, 12; I Pet. ii, 22—25; see also Rom. iv, 25; I Cor. xv, 3.

If, then, it is allowed that this prophecy describes our blessed Saviour, it follows that the doctrine of his vicarious sufferings—the doctrine that he atoned for the sins of his people—is established on a foundation which can never be shaken; for nothing surely can be more full and explicit, nothing less liable to mistake or perversion—than the reiterated terms in which that doctrine is here promulgated. Christ was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; but the sorrows which he bore, and the griefs to which he submitted, were ours. Christ was bruised, wounded, scourged, and slain; yet, all this suffering unto death he underwent for our transgressions—for our iniquity. The Lord hath made to meet upon him the iniquities of us all. We all have gone astray—he was perfectly innocent; but, for the penalty which our sins demanded, and which the holiness of God exacted, he was


made answerable. The sentence of death was recorded against us; but he died in our stead; for he offered up his life a propitiatory sacrifice, and by the knowledge of himself he justifies many; the chastisement was his: the peace is ours: he suffered, and we are released: "by his stripes we are healed."

The same doctrine is probably alluded to, though briefly and somewhat obscurely, by the prophet Daniel, who, in his celebrated prediction respecting the seventy weeks, has made mention of the precise time when "the Messiah" should be cut off, but not for himself:"1 ix, 26. Again, the saving efficacy of the blood of the new covenant—that is to say, the blood of the Messiah—is powerfully described in one of the prophecies of Zechariah, addressed to the people or church of God, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy

king cometh unto thee, &c As for thee, also,

by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water:8 turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope!" ix, 9—12.

On opening the volume of the New Testament, we find, in the history of the sufferings and crucifixion of the spotless Jesus, a key to the types of patriarchal and Mosaic worship, as well as to the marked and singular contents of these ancient prophecies; and,

7 T? TX1 n^tfD HID1' I» rendering the verb JT)3^ as passive, our translators are supported, not only by the Masoretic points, but by the Syriac, Vulgate, and other ancient versions. The terms *y) t^ are of doubtful interpretation, but are clearly capable of the sense here given to them—" not for himself:" and that sense is in perfect harmony with other passages of Scripture: comp. John xviii, 14, &c.

8 The common English version of this passage is very literal and exact; the He

brew text being as follows: TTD8 VUlW 11V12 D"73 HK DJ

■Q ff>B p« TOD

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