11. Isaiah Chapters 49 to 52, The Suffering Servant
Throughout the book of Isaiah, God identifies Himself with several titles, including Redeemer, Savior, Holy One, King of Jacob, and Mighty One. Each of these titles reveals aspects of God and His plan of redemption. The book of Isaiah reveals more then any Old Testament details of how God would redeem fallen humanity. Through these titles the two natures, his humanity and deity are in clear view. For example, to be “Redeemer” requires God to be a “kinsman” a “son of man” to be the “Mighty One” requires that the Messiah be “almighty God”. The term Redeemer is linked to Redemption, while the term Savior is linked to salvation. God is called both Redeemer and Savior in Isaiah, demonstrating this dual nature.
Along with the two natures (fully man and fully God) are related to the First and Second coming of the Messiah. In the First coming he comes as Redeemer, the “son of man” in the Second he comes as the Mighty One, “God Almighty”, who comes in glory and power. The revelation and plan of God’s redemption can be traced throughout Isaiah.
One title used through Isaiah and the rest of the Old Testament in one form or another is the “Arm of the Lord”. The term “outstretched arm” is used 17-times and identifies the Lord as leading Israel out of the Egypt.
6 "Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the Lord; I will bring you
out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their
bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great
God interacts with Israel through His
“Arm”, but the term identifies the Arm as God later as the
“Suffering Servant” Messiah. This same Servant is the one who intervenes,
because no man is able to do so (Isaiah 59:16). When we trace the revelation
of the “Arm” of the Lord we find He is both the Redeemer and the Lord
Himself revealed in the “Suffering Servant” of
Isaiah Chapter 49
The Servant the Light to the Gentiles
Everybody in the world has unique qualifies that distinguishes you from everybody else. For example, our birth date, the place we were born, what we do, what we look like separate us from each other. So when we describe a 23-year old man from Macedonia, who conquered the Persian Empire in 333 B.C, most people familiar with history know this is Alexander the Great. Only one person fits the qualifiers in the sentence.
In Isaiah chapter 49, only one person fits the qualifiers of the servant described in the chapter. Though the Servant is called Israel, the Servant is also credited with “to Jacob (Israel) back”, “restore the preserved ones of Israel” and as a “light to the Gentiles”. Though called Israel, the focus on the Servant is an individual, who is the model “Israel”, who fulfills the call of the nation. He is Himself the savior of the nation. The aspects of the Servant are beyond the scope of the nation
The knowledge of the God of Israel,
to the Gentile nations is not the work of the nation of Israel, but of Jesus
Christ. Jesus fulfills the role of Israel as a “Light to the nations”, to
when he is mentioned by name in Hebrew when in
1 "Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The Lord has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me."
3 "And He said to me, 'You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be glorified.'
4 Then I said, 'I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, And my work with my God.' "
5 "And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, So that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, And My God shall be My strength),
6 Indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.' "
7 Thus says the Lord, The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, To Him whom man despises, To Him whom the nation abhors, To the Servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the Lord who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; And He has chosen You."
8 Thus says the Lord: "In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That You may say to the prisoners, 'Go forth,' To those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' "They shall feed along the roads, And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
10 They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
11 I will make each of My mountains a road, And My highways shall be elevated.
12 Surely these shall come from afar; Look! Those from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim."
13 Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.
Coastlands: The Coastland represent the farthest point, the word in Hebrew is “iy” translated Isles or shore region. The message is to all people Jew and Gentile, regarding the “Servant”, the subject of this chapter.
The Lord has called Me: Through the prophet Isaiah, the Servant is talking to the nations, to the “peoples from afar”. The servant is bringing “salvation” to the ends of the earth (vs.6).
My servant: The “servant” is called Israel by name, but the scope of His ministry is beyond the nation, since the nation is itself dependent on the servant. The servant is the “Suffering Servant”, the kings of the earth are of him (vs.7). The same kings of the earth are humbled before the servant, who was humiliated.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at
Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had
not heard they shall consider.
Light to the Gentiles: The Gentiles mean the nations, the non-Israelites. Salvation and the knowledge of the “True” God was ministry of Israel. Israel was the chosen nation of God to deliver His knowledge to the nations. This individual, the Servant fulfills the mission of the nation.
Salvation...ends of the earth: literally “My Yeshuah” to the ends of the earth.
His servant: The Servant who serves the purpose of God, continues His message to the world. He was formed by God Himself in the womb. The Holy Spirit, fashioned the physical body of the Messiah from the womb. The glory of the Servant is also noted here.
Servant of rulers: In verse 7, we see the two aspects of the “Suffering Servant”. He is “despised” by man and nation “abhors” him. This servant will later be exalted because the Lord has chosen “You”.
The message is the “Servant”, started in verse 7, from the Lord, to the
“Servant of rulers”. The servant will be the “covenant” to the nations the
purpose being restoration. The mission of the Messiah is restoration. This
covenant is the “New Covenant” of
31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah
32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, F23 says the Lord.
33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after
those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on
their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
God will remember Zion
In verses 14 through 26, the message is to Zion (Israel). The promise of restoration takes place when the nation comes to salvation. Only when Israel knows the despised and abhorred servant (vs.7), will they be restored and revived as the ministry of the Servant promises, when Jacob (Israel) is brought back. In the end “all flesh” will understand who the Savior and Redeemer of Jacob (Israel) is.
14 But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
17 Your sons shall make haste; Your destroyers and those who laid you waste Shall go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes, look around and see; All these gather together and come to you. As I live," says the Lord, "You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament, And bind them on you as a bride does.
19 "For your waste and desolate places, And the land of your destruction, Will even now be too small for the inhabitants; And those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children you will have, After you have lost the others, Will say again in your ears, 'The place is too small for me; Give me a place where I may dwell.'
21 Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has begotten these for me, Since I have lost my children and am desolate, A captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; But these, where were they?' "
22 Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, And set up My standard for the peoples; They shall bring your sons in their arms, And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, And their queens your nursing mothers; They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, And lick up the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord, For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me."
24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, Or the captives of the righteous be delivered?
25 But thus says the Lord: "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, And the prey of the terrible be delivered; For I will contend with him who contends with you, And I will save your children.
26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know That I, the Lord, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."
Isaiah Chapter 50
The Servant Israel’s Hope
The message of Isaiah continues from 49, the Servant is talking to Israel (vs.10). Israel is the disobedient nation or wife being addressed in verse 1. The question is why was Israel put away? the answer is given, “your iniquities....sold yourselves”. Israel’s sin was the reason she was put away. Now the Servant comes to restore the nation, but the Servant is abhorred and despised (Isaiah 49:7).
There is violence done to the servant, he is:
· Struck in the back
· His bread is pulled out
· He is publicly shamed
· His face is spit upon
Before his rejection, we are told the Servant delivered the message of the Lord. The Lord had given Him “the tongue of the learned”.
1 Thus says the Lord: "Where is the certificate of your mother's divorce, Whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.
2 Why, when I came, was there no man? Why, when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish stink because there is no water, And die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, And I make sackcloth their covering."
4 "The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
5 The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.
6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
7 "For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.
8 He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me.
9 Surely the Lord God will help Me; Who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up.
10 "Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord And rely upon his God.
11 Look, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled-This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.
Your mother’s divorce: The mother being Israel, the children of Israel being the offspring of Israel the mother. God pictures Israel as His wife, in the book of Hosea, Israel is pictured as the adulterous wife looking for lovers.
Your iniquities: The sins of the nations, which caused God to bring judgment of Assyria and Babylon. They turned to the gods of the lands, Babylon, Baals, etc,. They also turned to Egypt for help rather then the Lord.
No man: The Servant was not expected by the nation, he was rejected. He came to “redeem”, but the nation despised Him.
given Me: His message was from the Lord. The nation thought they were rejecting an individual, when they were in fact rejecting the message from the Lord.
My ear: Though the Servant was among fallen humanity, His ear heard directly from the Lord.
My cheeks: This is the “Suffering” the servant would endure, His beard would be pulled out at the face, he was abused by men.
My face: His face was spit upon and he was publicly humiliated.
His Servant: There are two directions, those who obey the voice of the “His Servant” and those who walk in darkness.
Isaiah Chapter 51
Israel will trust the Arm of the Lord
The message in chapter 51 is the Righteous, those who seek the Lord. Also
contained within the message is the connection to the “Suffering Servant” of
10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And
all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been
1 "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him."
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
4 "Listen to Me, My people; And give ear to Me, O My nation: For law will proceed from Me, And I will make My justice rest As a light of the peoples.
5 My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait upon Me, And on My arm they will trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.
7 "Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation."
9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, And wounded the serpent?
10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the depths of the sea a road For the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
12 "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid Of a man who will die, And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
13 And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day Because of the fury of the oppressor, When he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed, That he should not die in the pit, And that his bread should not fail.
15 But I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared-The Lord of hosts is His name.
16 And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, 'You are My people.' "
17 Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord The cup of His fury; You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, And drained it out.
18 There is no one to guide her Among all the sons she has brought forth; Nor is there any who takes her by the hand Among all the sons she has brought up.
19 These two things have come to you; Who will be sorry for you?-Desolation and destruction, famine and sword-By whom will I comfort you?
20 Your sons have fainted, They lie at the head of all the streets, Like an antelope in a net; They are full of the fury of the Lord, The rebuke of your God.
21 Therefore please hear this, you afflicted, And drunk but not with wine.
22 Thus says your Lord, The Lord and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: "See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it.
23 But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, Who have said to you, 'Lie down, that we may walk over you.' And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over."
Listen to Me
The Lord will comfort Zion
The Law will proceed from Me
Coastlands will wait upon Me
My Arm...they will trust
O arm of the Lord
Ransomed of the Lord
You are my people
Isaiah Chapter 52
Here is the message of the coming redemption of the “Suffering Servant”. In chapter 51, the message was to the saved, “those who follow after righteousness”. The message continues here, to the city of the saved, Jerusalem. Jerusalem is told to prepare to put on her beautiful garments. Salvation is coming to her, he salvation will be without money. This is because the “Arm” of the Lord, will suffer and pay for the sins of the saved who will dwell there.
1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!
3 For thus says the Lord: "You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed without money."
4 For thus says the Lord God: "My people went down at first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5 Now therefore, what have I here," says the Lord, "That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them Make them wail," says the Lord, "And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
6 Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: 'Behold, it is I.' "
7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.
11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.
redeemed without money
My people shall know My Name
proclaims salvation: h[wXy Yshuw`ah
His holy arm
All the ends of the Earth
Salvation of our God h[wXy Yshuw`ah
astonished at you
Isaiah Chapter 53
This is the Servant Messiah
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.