12. Isaiah Chapters 53 to 58, The Suffering Servant

The Suffering Servant


One of the main purposes of Isaiah is to identify the Messiah of Israel and reveal His plan for the redemption of fallen humanity.  The two pictures of the “Suffering Servant” and “Conquering King” are two portraits of the same person, revealed at two different times.  At Messiah’s  “First Coming”, he came as the “Suffering Servant” to pay for sins and redeem mankind from their sins.  At Messiah’s “Second Coming”, he will come to establish His “Eternal Kingdom” for the Redeemed.  Within the book of Isaiah is a mosaic of these two portraits of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.

      In Isaiah 53 to 59 we see details of “salvation” and “redemption” brought to humanity by the “Suffering Servant”, the Arm of the Lord.  The death of the Arm of the Lord is for “the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6), this includes both Jew and Gentile.  The Kingdom of God is not only for Israel and Jews but for all the chapters of Isaiah reveal.  God calls everyone to salvation with the words, “"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters” (Is. 55:1).  The salvation comes through Israel, as the nations come to acknowledge the role Zion (Jerusalem) plays in the plan of redemption.  The Gentiles and the foreigners are invited to partake in “Salvation” God promises them a place in His Kingdom.


6 "Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants-Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant

7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."

8 The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, "Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him."   Isaiah 56:6-8


When Jesus came to Jerusalem and was rejected by Israel, the plan of salvation was offered to the nations through the ministry of the church.  The events today are fulfilling the words of Isaiah revealed 2700-years ago, as the Gospel(Good News) of “Salvation” is offered to the nations (Gentiles) through the church.  The “Salvation” is the sacrifice of the “Arm of The Lord” (Isaiah 51:9, 52:10, 53:1, 59:16), who dies in the place of the lost. The Gospel is news of this made available “without money and price” (Isaiah 55:1).

            The next phase of Isaiah’s revelation of the Arm of the Lord is the Second Coming, when Israel turns to the one rejected at the “First Coming”.  This involves the nations and the witness of Israel, as the nations of the earth come to oppose and persecute Israel (Isaiah 34), Israel finds itself with no other hope but to look to the Messiah Jesus Christ as their only salvation.  Once Israel turns to Jesus, the nation will receive the blessing of salvation offered.



The Suffering Servant


 Isaiah 53 reveals the purpose of the humiliation and marring of the image of the “Servant” (Isaiah 52:14).  Before He is exalted, the Servant, the Arm of the Lord, first pays for the sins of humanity.  The salvation offered is for all humanity as the death of the Servant becomes the Lord’s sacrifice for sin.


Isaiah 53

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 grief’s 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.


Who has believed our report?

Arm of the Lord

No form

we see

He is despised

we did not

Our grief’s

We esteemed

For Our

Iniquity of us all

He was

Pleased the Lord

My righteous servant

bear their iniquities




Isaiah 54: Promises made to Jerusalem


 The Arm of the Lord is the visible revealing of God’s person in the human realm.  Isaiah asks the question, “Who has believed our report?” (Is. 53:1).  The redeemed have believed the report.  Those who accept the provision of God’s salvation, receive the redemption.  The redeemed one day will dwell with the Lord in the Kingdom of God.  This kingdom will be headquartered in Jerusalem, the capital of the saints who will dwell in the presence of God.

      The city of Jerusalem has suffered when Israel rebelled against God, its people were killed by both the Babylonians and the Romans, twice the city and the Temple of God were destroyed.  Yet in the day of salvation, Jerusalem will receive the redeemed, both Jew and Gentile who will dwell there.  Isaiah 54, looks forward to the day of Redemption when the saved will in the cities midst.

       Isaiah 54, foreshadows the promises of Revelation 21 and 22, when the “New Jerusalem” appears and is called the “Bride of Christ”, in verse 5 the cities “Maker” (God) is called “Your Husband”.  The coming foundation walls of the “New Jerusalem” are described as 12-types of jewels.  Here in Isaiah 54:12, the was are described as being made of “Precious stones”, reflecting the picture in Revelation 21:17-20




16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,  Revelation 21:16-19


Isaiah 54

1 "Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman," says the Lord.

2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.

3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.

4 "Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

5 For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

6 For the Lord has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your God.

7 "For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you.

8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you," Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

9 "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

11 "O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires.

12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones.

13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.

14 In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

15 Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

16 "Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy.

17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the Lord.

Sing, O barren

Enlarge...your tent

Your descendents ... nations

Your Maker...husband

a mere moment I have forsaken you

My kindness shall not depart from you

your stones with colorful

All your children shall be taught by the Lord

In righteousness you shall be established

the heritage of the servants of the Lord



Isaiah 55: The offer of salvation


The offer of the Righteous Servant of Isaiah 53 is made available to the thirsty of the earth, “Ho! Everyone”.  The offer of salvation through the work of the servant is a free gift, the offer is made “without money and without price” (vs. 1).  Money is the translation of human work, people work and acquire money through self-effort, this allows them to purchase “things” at a price.  This offer requires no “self effort” (work) and is free “without price”. The Servant Himself, does the work and pays the price by His death, “the iniquity of us all”(Isaiah 53:6).  The “everlasting covenant” is the eternal relationship of salvation, the result of the Righteous Servant, who dies for our transgressions.




Isaiah 55

1 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.

2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you-The sure mercies of David.

4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, A leader and commander for the people.

5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, And nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the Lord your God, And the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you."

6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.

9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,

11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 "For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the Lord for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."


Ho Everyone


No Money

Come to Me

Everlasting Covenant

My Word



Isaiah 56: Salvation for the Jew and Gentiles


The “Salvation” of Lord in Isaiah 56 is literally Yeshuah which is the literal transliteration for the Hebrew word “salvation”.  Therefore in verse one we can read, “For My Yeshauah (salvation) is about to come”.  The salvation being offered refers to the earlier revelations of the “righteous servant” (Is. 53:11), who bears the sins of many. In this chapter, the focus is salvation to those who might feel excluded, the foreigner and the eunuchs.  From Isaiah’s perspective, 700 B.C. the “First Coming” of Salvation (Yeshuah) is future, yet Isaiah looks beyond the First Coming toward the Second Coming when all the redeemed will be gathered to the Lord, “within My walls a place and a name” (vs. 5).  Within the walls, these excluded groups receive “everlasting names” implying they are part of the everlasting covenant. 



Isaiah 56

1 Thus says the Lord: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed.

2 Blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil."

3 Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the Lord Speak, saying, "The Lord has utterly separated me from His people"; Nor let the eunuch say, "Here I am, a dry tree."

4 For thus says the Lord: "To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,

5 Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.

6 "Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants-Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant

7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."

8 The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, "Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him."

9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, All you beasts in the forest.

10 His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.

12 "Come," one says, "I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant."


Thus says the Lord

My Salvation

Be revealed

Blessed is

Do not let....foreigner...eunuch

I will give

My Holy Mountain

all nations



Isaiah 57: The Two Destinies


 For all of humanity there are two final eternities, either with the Lord or without the Lord.  The promise of salvation, begs the question, “salvation from what?”  What are we being saved from?  The answer is from an eternal judgment, away from God.  This chapter presents the two eternities, those who are “Righteous” (vs. 1) and those who are “sons of the sorceress” (vs. 3).  Verses 3 through 13 describe the life of the lost, their idolatry and child sacrifice.    Then in verse 13, it contrasts the life of those who “”puts his trust in Me” (vs. 13), these are promised to “inherit My holy mountain” (vs.13). 

   When reading about the sins of the land in 2700-years ago, we can see the same sins today.  Then they killed they new born child outside of the womb, slaying children in valleys or under rocks, today we do it in the womb or partially outside of the womb. 



Isaiah 57

1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil.

2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness.

3 "But come here, You sons of the sorceress, You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!

4 Whom do you ridicule? Against whom do you make a wide mouth And stick out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, Offspring of falsehood,

5 Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree, Slaying the children in the valleys, Under the clefts of the rocks?

6 Among the smooth stones of the stream Is your portion; They, they, are your lot! Even to them you have poured a drink offering, You have offered a grain offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

7 "On a lofty and high mountain You have set your bed; Even there you went up To offer sacrifice.

8 Also behind the doors and their posts You have set up your remembrance; For you have uncovered yourself to those other than Me, And have gone up to them; You have enlarged your bed And made a covenant with them; You have loved their bed, Where you saw their nudity.

9 You went to the king with ointment, And increased your perfumes; You sent your messengers far off, And even descended to Sheol.

10 You are wearied in the length of your way; Yet you did not say, 'There is no hope.' You have found the life of your hand; Therefore you were not grieved.

11 "And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, That you have lied And not remembered Me, Nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old That you do not fear Me?

12 I will declare your righteousness And your works, For they will not profit you.

13 When you cry out, Let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, A breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, And shall inherit My holy mountain."

14 And one shall say, "Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people."

15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

16 For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls which I have made.

17 For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.

18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.

19 "I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near," Says the Lord, "And I will heal him."

20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21 "There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked."


The righteous perishes

sons of the sorceress

Slaying the children in the valleys

But he who puts his trust in Me

But the wicked are like the troubled sea



Isaiah 58: Fasting that pleases God


After the fall in the Garden of Eden, we see the two children of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel come before the Lord.  They come to worship the Lord, offering their sacrifices, Abel’s was accepted but Cain offering was not?  Why is the question many have asked, the answer is later revealed in the actions of Cain as he kills his brother.  Cain was more interested in pleasing himself then God.  He was merely performing action because he thought it might bring him favor, rather then sincerely believing what he was doing.  He later kills Abel, because he thinks it will bring him favor.  Cain was actions were a performance not a relationship, as contrasted to Abel. 

      God wants a sincere relationship, not the performance of religious actions. God instructed Cain, what he needs to do to be accepted, Cain rejected God’s council. This is the message of Isaiah 58,  to perform a true “Fast” is by doing the work of the Lord, “loose the bonds of wickedness....undo heavy burdens....let the oppressed free” (vs.).  This is the standard God requires, this is the standard we cannot meet with our human effort.



Isaiah 58

1 "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God.

3 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?'"In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.

4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.

5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'"If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.

11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,

14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken."




Isaiah 59: The Arm of the Lord brings salvation


 Why are we separated from God?  Is there hope for humanity?  The answer to these questions are provided in Isaiah 59.  In this chapter, God reveals our problem, “Our iniquities have separated” us from God (vs.2).  Our sins have “hidden His face” so we cannot hear our pleas, this is the human condition. Verses 1 to 15 paint on the wall our condition, because of our fallen state.  Verse 10 portrays the state of humanity as the blind feeling the walls, with no eyes, stumbling in darkness.  Apart from God, humanity is lost this is the point.  Even when people try to be righteous, they become the target of the wicked, this puts humanity in a utterly helpless condition.

     God seeing this situation, intervenes Himself, His arm, the Arm of the Lord (Is. 53;1) enters the world as a man, because God saw there was “no man”.  This being the case, he entered our world by putting on “righteousness as breastplate” and helmet of “salvation on His head”  The result being the establishment  of the everlasting “covenant” or redemption. 



Isaiah 59

1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.

2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity.

4 No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.

5 They hatch vipers' eggs and weave the spider's web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.

6 Their webs will not become garments, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And the act of violence is in their hands.

7 Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths.

8 The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

 9 Therefore justice is far from us, Nor does righteousness overtake us; We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness!

10 We grope for the wall like the blind, And we grope as if we had no eyes; We stumble at noonday as at twilight; We are as dead men in desolate places.

11 We all growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We look for justice, but there is none; For salvation, but it is far from us.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And as for our iniquities, we know them:

13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, And departing from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

14 Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.

15 So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice.

16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.

18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; The coastlands He will fully repay.

19 So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

20 "The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the Lord.

21 "As for Me," says the Lord, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the Lord, "from this time and forevermore."






Click to expand Chart below