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53 Indeed, who would ever believe it?
    Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?[a]
    Who has witnessed the awesome power and plan of the Eternal in action?[b]
Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from rock-hard ground.
He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—
    he had no physical beauty to attract our attention.
So he was despised and forsaken by men,
    this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.
As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;
    he was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.
Yet it was our suffering he carried,
    our pain[c] and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.
We just figured that God had rejected him,
    that God was the reason he hurt so badly.
But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.
    Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him.
He endured the breaking that made us whole.
    The injuries he suffered became our healing.
We all have wandered off, like shepherdless sheep,
    scattered by our aimless striving and endless pursuits;
The Eternal One laid on him, this silent sufferer,
    the sins of us all.

And in the face of such oppression and suffering—silence.
    Not a word of protest, not a finger raised to stop it.
Like a sheep to a shearing, like a lamb to be slaughtered,
    he went—oh so quietly, oh so willingly.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away.
    From this generation, who was there to complain?
Who was there to cry “Foul”?
    He was, after all, cut off from the land of the living,
Smacked and struck, not on his account,
    because of how my people (my people!)
Disregarded the lines between right and wrong.
    They snuffed out his life.[d]
And when he was dead, he was buried with the disgraced
    in borrowed space (among the rich),
Even though he did no wrong by word or deed.[e]

It is hard to understand why God would crush His innocent Servant. But it is in His suffering for sin that God deals decisively with sin and its harmful effects.

10 Yet the Eternal One planned to crush him all along,
    to bring him to grief, this innocent servant of God.
When he puts his life in sin’s dark place, in the pit of wrongdoing,
    this servant of God will see his children and have his days prolonged.
For in His servant’s hand, the Eternal’s deepest desire will come to pass and flourish.
11 As a result of the trials and troubles that wrack his soul,
    God’s servant will see light and be content
Because He knows, really understands, what it’s about; as God says,
    “My just servant will justify countless others by taking on their punishment and bearing it away.
12 Because he exposed his very self—
    laid bare his soul to the vicious grasping of death—
And was counted among the worst, I will count him among the best.
    I will allot this one, My servant, a share in all that is of any value,
Because he took on himself the sin of many
    and acted on behalf of those who broke My law.”

53 Who has believed our message(A)
    and to whom has the arm(B) of the Lord been revealed?(C)
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,(D)
    and like a root(E) out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance(F) that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering,(G) and familiar with pain.(H)
Like one from whom people hide(I) their faces
    he was despised,(J) and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,(K)
yet we considered him punished by God,(L)
    stricken by him, and afflicted.(M)
But he was pierced(N) for our transgressions,(O)
    he was crushed(P) for our iniquities;
the punishment(Q) that brought us peace(R) was on him,
    and by his wounds(S) we are healed.(T)
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,(U)
    each of us has turned to our own way;(V)
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity(W) of us all.

He was oppressed(X) and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;(Y)
he was led like a lamb(Z) to the slaughter,(AA)
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment(AB) he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;(AC)
    for the transgression(AD) of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,(AE)
    and with the rich(AF) in his death,
though he had done no violence,(AG)
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.(AH)

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will(AI) to crush(AJ) him and cause him to suffer,(AK)
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,(AL)
he will see his offspring(AM) and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper(AN) in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,(AO)
    he will see the light(AP) of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant(AQ) will justify(AR) many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.(AS)
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g](AT)
    and he will divide the spoils(AU) with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,(AV)
    and was numbered with the transgressors.(AW)
For he bore(AX) the sin of many,(AY)
    and made intercession(AZ) for the transgressors.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest
  2. Isaiah 53:8 Or generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living, / that he was punished for the transgression of my people?
  3. Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make
  4. Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life.
  5. Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11 He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied
  6. Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him
  7. Isaiah 53:12 Or many
  8. Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous

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