“Behold, my servant [Targ. adds “the Messiah”] will accomplish his purpose;
he will be high and lifted up, and very exalted.
Just as many were appalled over you–
his appearance was a disfigurement from the human
and his form from that of humanity–
so he will startle many nations…
He was despised, a rejection of people,
a man of pain, one who knows sickness
and like a hiding of face from him,
he was despised, and we did not pay attention to him.
But surely it was our sickness he carried,
our pains he bore.
But we considered him stricken,
smitten of God and afflicted.
But he was pierced through for our rebellion,
crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment for our peace was on him,
and his welts made healing for us
All of us, like sheep we go astray,
each one to his own way we have turned;
but the Lord has caused to fall on him
the inquity of us all.
From NICOT, Isaiah, by Prof. John Oswalt, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary.
“High and lifted up are used in combination four times in this book (and no where else in the OT). In the other three places (66:1; 33:10; 57:15) they describe God….The same point may be made concerning exalted….only God can be lifted up. Is it here than being said that the nation of Israel [the explanation of some for ‘servant’] will be exalted to the place of God? Is it a prophet of Israel? In each case the answer must be no. This is the Messiah or no one.”
53:7 …Like a sheep…
“the only extended metaphor in this poem involves sheep, the primary animals of sacrifice.”
“the Servant will be exalted to highest heaven…because it was all in order to carry the sin of the world away to permit God’s children to come home to him….redemption.”
“The text must still be read through the eyes of faith, but with that faith the mystery is no longer about how it is possible for sinful humans to have a healthy and whole relationship with God. The only mystery is how God could love us like that.”