Isaiah 53:10-12

Sunday Morning Bible Study

April 23, 2000


We are finishing one of those most amazing passages in the Bible. The passage started in 52:13, as Isaiah began to describe the Suffering Servant. We’ve seen an incredible description of a Messiah, a deliverer, who would be despised and rejected by His own people. We’ve seen a picture of a Messiah who would be punished by God for our sins, paying the price for our sins in order to make us right before God.

:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him;

pleasedchaphets – to delight in, take pleasure in, desire, be pleased with

Isa 53:10 (NIV) Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer

bruisedaka' – to crush, be crushed

Isa 53:5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities

As painful as the cross was, it was God’s plan for Jesus. In the garden, before He was arrested,

(Luke 22:41-42 KJV) And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, {42} Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Was God "willing" to remove the cup of suffering from Jesus? No.

Jesus was willing to do whatever the Father wanted. He said,

Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.


Sometimes God’s will for our life involves suffering.

Something inside of us wants to scream when we hear this, but it’s true. We think that suffering is unusual, but the early church understood this. Paul and Barnabas made this a part of their ministry’s message:

(Acts 14:21-22 NLT) After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned again to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, {22} where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.

Paul wrote to the Philippians –

(Phil 1:29 KJV) For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Why suffering?

Suffering purifies our faith and makes us grow in endurance and strength of character.

(James 1:2-4 NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. {3} For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. {4} So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

I think this is a little of what the process called "pruning" is all about. Jesus said,

(John 15:1-2 NLT) "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. {2} He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.

Merrill Tenney notes in his commentary:

Viticulture... consists mainly of pruning. In pruning a vine, two principles are generally observed: first, all dead wood must be ruthlessly removed; and second, the live wood must be cut back drastically. Dead wood harbors insects and disease and may cause the vine to rot, to say nothing of being unproductive and unsightly. Live wood must be trimmed back in order to prevent such heavy growth that the life of the vine goes into the wood rather than into fruit. The vineyards in the early spring look like a collection of barren, bleeding stumps; but in the fall they are filled with luxuriant purple grapes. As the farmer wields the pruning knife on his vines, so God cuts dead wood out from among His saints, and often cuts back the living wood so far that His method seems cruel. Nevertheless, from those who have suffered the most there often comes the greatest fruitfulness.

-- Merrill C. Tenney, John: The Gospel of Belief (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1948), pp.227-28

Hang in there. God knows what He’s doing.

:10 he hath put him to grief:

put him to griefchalah – to be or become weak, be or become sick, be or become diseased, be or become grieved, be or become sorry; (Hiphil) to make sore; to make sick; to show signs of sickness, become sick; to grieve

A related form found in:

(Isa 53:3 KJV) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

(Isa 53:4 KJV) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

:10 when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,

soulnephesh – soul, self, life

The "soul" of a sacrifice was represented by its blood.

(Lev 17:11 KJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

lifenephesh, the same word as "soul" here.

A priest would present a sacrifice by draining the blood from the animal and pouring it out. The blood would represent the "life" of the animal.

an offering for sin'asham –compensation (for offense); trespass or sin offering

There were several variations of the "sin offering", but one in particular had to do with atoning for the sins of the nation as a whole.

(Lev 4:13-21 KJV) And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; {14} When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation. {15} And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.

The laying on of hands was a way of showing that this bull now represented the people. It was as if the sins of the people were being laid upon the bull.

{16} And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation: {17} And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the veil.

This didn’t happen with all the sin offerings. In this case the idea was that the blood was taken inside the tabernacle and sprinkled in God’s presence. The holy of holies was a symbol of God’s throne room, and here the blood would be sprinkled as if in the presence of God.

{18} And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the LORD, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation,

The blood was put on the little golden altar of incense located inside the tabernacle, which was the tool by which God’s people offered up prayers through the burning of incense.

and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Here’s the main idea we wanted to look at. The blood, the "life" of the animal is completely poured out ("all the blood") as an offering on the bronze altar that was used for sacrifice. The animal gives its entire life, not just a blood donation.

{19} And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar. {20} And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. {21} And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering for the congregation.

Again, this is different than most of the sin offerings in that in this case, the rest of the animal (except for the fat) was taken outside the camp and consumed entirely in flames.

Jesus too was taken "outside the camp" in that He was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem.

:10 he shall see his seed,

shall seera'ah – to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider

seedzera` – seed, offspring

Who is His seed? Jesus didn’t have literal, physical children. But He would have spiritual children. Us.

(John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

:10 he shall prolong his days

prolong'arak – to be long, prolong; (Hiphil) to prolong (days); to make long (tent cords); to grow long, continue long

The New American Standard makes this part of a conditional phrase –

(Isa 53:10 NASB) …If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days

There is a problem here. How could God "prolong his days" if the Messiah was to be killed as a sin offering?

There’s only one way. Through a resurrection. Charles Ryrie says, "To prolong his days after being made an offering would necessitate bodily resurrection."

Jesus was raised from the dead, never to die again.

Ro 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

The resurrection of the Messiah was prophesied in other places as well.

David (1000 BC) wrote,

(Psa 16:10 KJV) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Hosea (750 BC) wrote,

Ho 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

:10 and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

pleasurechephets – delight, pleasure; desire, longing; the good pleasure; that in which one takes delight. This is a form of the word chaphets, "to delight in, take pleasure in" found at the beginning of the verse.

shall prospertsalach – to advance, prosper, make progress, succeed, be profitable

What was the "pleasure of the LORD"? It was "to bruise him" (Isa 53:10).

Did God’s "pleasure" prosper in Jesus? Was it a "good" thing for Jesus to suffer? Absolutely. It’s what saved us.

:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:

travail`amal – toil, trouble, labor, as a woman in labor.

soulnephesh – soul, self, life

shall be satisfiedsaba` – to be satisfied, be sated, be fulfilled

God would see the suffering of Jesus and be "satisfied" that the requirements that our sins be paid for would be "satisfied".


Jesus’ death was enough.

On the cross, Jesus cried, "It is finished" (Joh 19:30). Jesus death for me was "enough" for God.

I don’t need to "add" to what Jesus has done for me.


Some people grow up feeling like they were never able to please their parents. Even as adults, there’s something going on in the back of their minds saying, "If Mom could see you now, she wouldn’t be happy" … or, "Dad wouldn’t like this!"

Sometimes this mentality can carry over into our relationship with God.

There is only ONE THING that can satisfy God. Only the death of Jesus.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t want to live our lives in a manner that pleases God. But now it is only out of gratitude that we try to live pleasing to God. We don’t need to be worried about whether God is happy with us. He is. Because of Jesus.

:11 by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many

knowledgeda`ath – knowledge; perception; discernment, understanding. The idea is that it is by the knowledge of Jesus that a person is "justified".

righteoustsaddiyq – just, lawful, righteous. A form of tsadaq, "to justify".

justifytsadaq – (Hiphil) to do or bring justice (in administering law); to declare righteous; to justify, save; to make righteous

manyrab – much, many, great

he shall bearcabal – to bear, bear a load, drag oneself along

iniquities`avon – perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity


Salvation comes from knowing Jesus.

Having a relationship with God and living forever with Him in heaven requires that we meet His entrance standards. His standard is "righteousness".

We are unable to meet that standard on our own, because we are sinners. "Sin" is the opposite of "righteousness".

God could just let us all go to hell, but He would rather that we spend eternity with Him, so He sent Jesus to die on a cross, in our place, paying the penalty for our sins, taking the penalty of our sins on Himself, so that we could then be declared "righteous".

If you want a piece of this "righteousness", this ticket to know God, then you need a "knowledge" of Jesus.

:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great …

divide him a portionchalaq – to divide, share, plunder. The language is that of describing a conquering king dividing up the treasures from conquest.

the greatrab – much, many, great. The same word that was used in verse 11, "justify the many", and vs.12, "he bare the sin of many".

dividechalaq – to divide, share, plunder, allot, apportion, assign. Same word as "divide him a portion".

spoilshalal – prey, plunder, spoil, booty

strong`atsuwm – mighty, vast, numerous

Perhaps it is talking about how God would glorify Jesus after having raised Him from the dead:

(Phil 2:9-11 KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: {10} That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; {11} And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There may be another idea present here as well.

One scholar (Hengstenberg, quoted by JFB) translates this as , "I will give Him the mighty for a portion"; as does the Greek translation, the Septuagint.

Because this word "great" is the same word translated "many" in verse 11, "shall my righteous servant justify many", could it be that these same people, "the many" (or, "the great"), that the Servant justifies now become the "reward" of the Servant?

:12 because he hath poured out his soul unto death:

poured out`arah – to be bare, uncover, leave destitute, empty, pour out

soulnephesh – soul, self, life

In the sin offering, the blood (or the "life") was "poured out" at the bottom of the altar (Lev. 4:18)

:12 and he was numbered with the transgressors;

numberedmanah – to count, reckon, number, assign, tell, appoint, prepare; (Niphal) to be counted, be numbered; to be reckoned, be assigned

transgressorspasha` – to rebel, transgress, revolt

Again, this was fulfilled as Jesus was crucified between two thieves (Mark 15:27-28)

(Mark 15:27-28 KJV) And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. {28} And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

:12 and he bare the sin of many,

barenasa' – to lift, bear up, carry, take

sinchet' – sin; guilt for sin; punishment for sin

manyrab – much, many, great

:12 and made intercession for the transgressors.

made intercessionpaga` – entreat, make intercession


Jesus is praying for you.

He prayed from the cross.

Lu 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

He continues to pray for us in heaven. Though Satan is the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10), who constantly accuses us before God, Jesus is constantly taking our defense, pleading our cause.

1Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

(Heb 7:25 KJV) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

(Heb 9:24 KJV) For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

You don’t need to worry about Jesus taking a "day off". You won’t be surprised when you die to find that you end up in hell because you just happened to die on Jesus’ day off.


If you have a chronic health condition, you understand how important it is to see your regular doctor when you’re ill. He’s the one who has seen you through all your treatments and knows just what you need prescribed. What a bummer to get sick and call for an appointment only to find out that the doctor is on vacation, or having a day off.

Jesus is never "off". He’s always there for you.