WHAT IS THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF THE PASSAGE
ISAIAH 52:13 TO 53:12?
In Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 it is written the
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall
be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so
marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall
shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see;
and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the
arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we
shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 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.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our
sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was
bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and
with 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 hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he
opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep
before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who
shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the
rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put
him to grief: when thou shalt 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 of the travail of his soul, and shall
be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he
shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the
great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured
out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he
bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
In this passage, God speaks about His servant.
In order to know who is this servant of God to whom He
refers, we need to read the previous chapters of the book of the prophet
It is written in Isaiah 41:8-9:
8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants
of Abraham my friend,
9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its
farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected
And it is written in Isaiah 44:21-22:
21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my
servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be
forgotten of me.
22 I have blotted
out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return
unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
And in Isaiah 49:1-3 it is written:
49 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people,
from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother
hath he made mention of my name.
2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the
shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver
hath he hid me;
3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in
whom I will be glorified.
Therefore, we see that the person to whom God, in the
book of Isaiah, calls “my servant” is the people of Israel, the nation of
Israel, the State of Israel, considered as a whole, throughout the centuries,
from its origin until the end of time.
In Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12, we see that God refers at
the same time to His servant, the people of Israel, and to the individual
Israelites (or Jews), and says that, due to the sins committed by the
individual Israelites (or Jews), His servant, the people of Israel (or the
nation of Israel, or the State of Israel) suffered very much, to the point of
even to die, when losing its territory, when the Israelites (or Jews) were
expelled from the Land of Israel, by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, in the
centuries VII and VI AEC, and later by the Romans in the centuries I and II
In this passage, God spoke in figurative language, and
made a personification of the people, nation and State of Israel as if it were
a man, whom He refers to as “my servant”, and said that in the end of time His
servant, the people (nation and State) of Israel, will be very much exalted,
and that His servant, the people (nation and State) of Israel, will first
suffer very much, to the point of even to die when losing its territory, and
said that these sufferings of the people (nation and State) of Israel will
occur as punishment for the sins committed by the individual Israelites (or
Jews), and that these sufferings and death of the people (nation and State) of
Israel will serve as atonement for the sins of the individual Israelites (or
Jews), and also said that in the end of time the State of Israel will resurge
and will be very much exalted, and will divide the spoil with the powerful
ones, and will see seed, and will prolong days, and the will of God in its hand
This personification of the people (nation and State)
of Israel, as if he were a man, is found in many passages of the Holy
Scriptures, as, for example, in Isaiah 42:19, where God refers to the people of
Israel as His servant, and says that he is blind and deaf, and in Daniel 7:13,
where God refers to the people (nation and State) of Israel as a son of man, and
in Daniel 7:27 God clarifies that the son of man who appears in the vision is
the people of the saints of the most High, that is, the people of Israel.
The Christians say that the passage Isaiah 52:13 to
53:12 refers to the Messiah, but this is not truth, because it refers to the
people (nation and State) of Israel, as demonstrated above.
Yahveh bless you.
João Paulo Fernandes Pontes (Hebrew name: Yochanan Ben
Published in August 4, 2014.
Updated in August 31, 2014.