Part 1: Introduction (Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12)

The following 10 posts come from a paper I wrote for a class at Western Seminary. I studied Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and wrote a bit of a commentary on the text. I hope you enjoy what I found!

The prophet Isaiah lived in Israel from c. 739-686 B.C.[1] He was commissioned by God to prophesy to the people of Judah for two primary reasons: to show the people their sin (and its tragic consequences) and to unveil God’s glorious plan to save people through the work of his coming Servant. In Isaiah 40-66 (and with increased clarity in 52:13-53:12) the Servant of the Lord is identified as one who will bring justice to God’s people in the power of the Spirit, shine as a light to the nations, teach wisdom, and bear the sins of many through his painful death.

In the next few posts, with a new post shared each day, I will explain Isaiah 52:13-53:12 by considering context of this passage in the Testament and book, making observations about the passage, interpreting the verses, one section at a time, and suggesting possible applications for readers today. I will approach the passage with the New Testament in mind, seeking to see how this passage points to Jesus Christ as the suffering servant. I believe, as do Young and Machen, “If there is any one passage in the Old Testament which seems to the Christian heart to be a prophecy of the redeeming work of Christ, it is that matchless fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.”[2] A concluding post will identify this passage’s place in the context of the whole Bible.

All verses are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

[1] MacArthur, John. “The MacArthur study Bible: New King James Version. electronic ed.” Nashville, Tenn.: Word Pub (1997).

[2] Young, Edward J. “Isaiah 53.” (1952). Preface.

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