Isaiah 52:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

New Living Translation
See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted.

English Standard Version
Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.

New American Standard Bible
Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.

King James Bible
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
See, My Servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.

International Standard Version
"Look! My servant will prosper, and he will be exalted and lifted up, and will be very high.

NET Bible
"Look, my servant will succeed! He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted--

New Heart English Bible
Look, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My servant will be successful. He will be respected, praised, and highly honored.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold, My servant shall prosper, He shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

New American Standard 1977
Behold, My servant will prosper,
            He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, my slave shall be prospered; he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

American King James Version
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

American Standard Version
Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold my servant shall understand, he shall be exalted, and extolled, and shall be exceeding high.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and be lifted up, and be very high.

English Revised Version
Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

World English Bible
Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, My servant doth act wisely, He is high, and hath been lifted up, And hath been very high.
Study Bible
The Servant Exalted
12But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. 13Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men.…
Cross References
Philippians 2:9
Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the name above all names,

Isaiah 42:1
"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

Isaiah 49:1
Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.

Isaiah 53:11
As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53:12
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

Isaiah 57:15
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Jeremiah 23:5
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

my servant

Isaiah 11:2,3 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom …

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; …

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to …

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: …

Ezekiel 34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, …

Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you, and your fellows that sit …

Philippians 2:7,8 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a …

deal prudently. or, prosper

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when …

Joshua 1:7,8 Only be you strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do …

Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David …

he shall

Isaiah 9:6,7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government …

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to …

Psalm 2:6-9 Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion…

Psalm 110:1,2 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make …

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me …

John 3:31 He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is …

John 5:22,23 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son…

Ephesians 1:20-23 Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and …

Philippians 2:9-11 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is …

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his …

Revelation 5:6-13 And I beheld, and, see, in the middle of the throne and of the four …

(13) Behold, my servant . . .--There is absolutely no connection between Isaiah 52:12-13, absolutely no break between the close of Isa Iii. and the opening of Isaiah 53. The whole must be treated as an entirely distinct section (all the more striking, from its contrast to the triumphant tone of what precedes it), and finds its only adequate explanation in the thought of a new revelation made to the prophet's mind. That may have had, like other revelations, a starting-point in the prophet's own experience. He had seen partially good kings, like Uzziah and Jotham; one who almost realised his ideal of what a king should be, in Hezekiah. None of these had redeemed or regenerated the people. So far as that work had been done at all, it had been through prophets who spake the word of the Lord and were mocked and persecuted because they spake it. Something like a law was dawning upon his mind, and that law was the power of a vicarious suffering, the might of martyrdom in life and death. Did it not follow from this that that ideal must be wrought out on a yet wider scale in the great work of restoration to which he was looking forward? The Servant of the Lord, in all the concentric developments of the thought which the word implied, the nation, the prophetic kernel of the nation, the individual Servant identifying himself with both, must himself also be made perfect through suffering and conquer through apparent failure. Granting that such a law exists, it will be no wonder that we should find examples of its working both before and after the great fulfilment, in Isaiah himself, in Jeremiah, in the exiles of the captivity, in the heroes of the Maccabean struggle, in the saints and martyrs of the Church of Christ. It remains true that the Christ alone fulfils the idea of the perfect sufferer, as He alone fulfils that of the perfect King. Measuring Isaiah from a purely human stand-point, and by the standard of other poets, this manifold symbolism of "the Servant," will hardly seem strange to the student of literature who remembers the many aspects presented by the Beatrice of Dante, the St. George and Gloriana of Spenser, the Piers Plowman of Langland.

Shall deal prudently.--The words imply, as in Joshua 1:8; Jeremiah 10:21, the idea of prospering. The same verb is used of the "righteous branch" in Jeremiah 23:5, and is there so translated.

Shall be exalted.--It is noteworthy that the phrase impressed itself, through the LXX., on the mind of the Christ in reference to His crucifixion (John 3:14; John 8:28; John 12:32), on that of the Apostles in reference to His ascension (Acts 2:33; Philippians 2:9). (Comp. Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 89:27.)

Verses 13-15. - PRELUDE TO THE "GREAT PASSIONAL." It is generally allowed by modern commentators that this passage is more closely connected with what follows it than with what precedes. Some would detach it altogether from ch. 52. and attach it to ch. 53. But this is not necessary. The passage has a completeness in itself. It is a connecting link. The exaltation of Israel, the collective "Servant of the Lord" (Isaiah 44:1, 21), brings to the prophet's mind the exaltation of the individual "Servant" (Isaiah 42:1-7; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 49:1-12), through which alone the full exaltation of Israel is possible. He is bound to complete his account of the individual "Servant" by telling of his exaltation, and of the road which led to it. This is done in ch. 53, in what has been called the "Great Passional." But the "Great Pas-signal" needs a "prelude," an "introduction," if only as indicative' of its greatness. And this prelude we have here, in these three verses, which briefly note

(1) the fact of the exaltation;

(2) the depth of the humiliation preceding it; and

(3) the far-extending blessedness which shall result to the world from both. Verse 13. - My Servant shall deal prudently; rather, shall deal wisely; i.e. shall so act throughout his mission as to secure it the most complete success. "Wisdom is justified of her children," and of none so entirely justified as of him "in whom were all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid away" (Colossians 2:3). Exalted and extolled; or, high and lifted up - the same expressions as are used of the Almighty in Isaiah 6:1 and Isaiah 57:15. Even there, however, seems to the prophet rot enough; so he adds, "and exalted exceedingly" (comp. Isaiah 53:10-12 and Philippians 2:6-9). Behold, my servant shall deal prudently,.... Here properly a new chapter should begin, these three last verses treating of the same person and subject as the following chapter; even of Christ, his person, offices, humiliation, and exaltation, and the effects and fruits thereof; for of him undoubtedly the whole is to be understood. The Jews say it is a difficult prophecy; and so it is to them, being contrary to their notions and schemes, or otherwise it is plain and easy, respecting the Messiah; but rather than he should be thought to be meant, the modern ones have invented a variety of interpretations. Some apply this prophecy to Abraham; others to Moses; others to Ezra; others to Zerubbabel; and others to any righteous person: the more principal and prevailing opinions among them are, that it is to be understood either of the whole body of the people of Israel in captivity, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi; or of King Josiah, slain by Pharaohnecho, as Abarbinel; or of Jeremiah, as Saadiah Gaon; all which are weak and impertinent, and, as they disagree with each other, show the perplexity they are under (r). The Targum interprets it of the Messiah; and so did the ancient Rabbins, as Aben Ezra and Alshech confess; and several parts of the prophecy are applied to him, both by ancient and modern ones, as will be seen in the exposition of it. Christ, as man and Mediator, is the servant of God, of his choosing and calling, sending, bringing forth, and supporting; see Isaiah 42:1, from whom he had both his work and his wages: the principal part of his service lay in working out the redemption and salvation of his people, in which he willingly and cheerfully engaged, and which he diligently and faithfully performed; in which he showed a regard to his Father's will, love to his people, and great condescension, as well as wisdom; for, as it is here promised he would, so he did deal "prudently": as in his infancy, when he disputed with the doctors in the temple, so throughout the whole of his public life, in preaching the Gospel, in answering the questions of his enemies, and in his behaviour at his apprehension, arraignment, condemnation, and crucifixion: or "he shall cause to understand (s)"; make others wise and prudent; he caused them to understand his Father's mind and will, the Scriptures, and the Gospel in them; he made men wise unto salvation, and instructed in those things which belong to their peace; and he still does by his spirit, through the ministry of the word: or "he shall prosper" (t); the pleasure of the Lord prospered in his hands; he rode forth prosperously, destroying his and our enemies was very successful in working out salvation, as he is in his advocacy and intercession for his people, and in the ministration of his Gospel; and is the author of all prosperity in his churches, and to particular believers. The Targum is,

"behold, my servant the Messiah shall prosper;''

and so another Jewish writer says (u), that the section which begins with these words is concerning the Messiah:

he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high; as he has been exalted by his Father, by raising him from the dead, and giving him glory; by placing him at his own right hand, and giving him all power in heaven and in earth; by committing all judgment into his hands, that all men may honour him as they do the Father: and he is "extolled" by his people, in his person and offices, by giving him the glory of their salvation, in their hearts, thoughts, and affections, with their mouths and lips; and so he is in his house and ordinances, by his ministers and churches: and is made "very high"; higher than the kings of the earth; higher than the angels of heaven; higher than the heavens themselves. The Jews (w) say of the Messiah, in reference to these words, that he is exalted above Abraham, extolled above Moses, and made higher than the ministering angels; and in another ancient book (x) of theirs it is said, the kingdom of Israel shall be exalted in the days of the Messiah, as it is written,

he shall be exalted and extolled, &c.

(r) See my book of the Prophecies of the Old Testament, &c. fulfilled in Jesus, p. 160, &c. (s) "erudict, sive intelligere faciet", Morus. (t) "Prosperabitur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Calvin. So Ben Melech interprets it by "he shall prosper." "Feliciter agit", Cocceius; "prospere aget", Vitringa. (u) Baal Hatturim in Leviticus 16.14. (w) Tanchuma apud Yalkut in loc. (x) Pesikta apud Kettoreth Hassammim in Targum in Numb. fol. 27. 2.13. Here the fifty-third chapter ought to begin, and the fifty-second chapter end with Isa 52:12. This section, from here to end of the fifty-third chapter settles the controversy with the Jews, if Messiah be the person meant; and with infidels, if written by Isaiah, or at any time before Christ. The correspondence with the life and death of Jesus Christ is so minute, that it could not have resulted from conjecture or accident. An impostor could not have shaped the course of events so as to have made his character and life appear to be a fulfilment of it. The writing is, moreover, declaredly prophetic. The quotations of it in the New Testament show: (1) that it was, before the time of Jesus, a recognized part of the Old Testament; (2) that it refers to Messiah (Mt 8:17; Mr 15:28; Lu 22:37; Joh 12:38; Ac 8:28-35; Ro 10:16; 1Pe 2:21-25). The indirect allusions to it still more clearly prove the Messianic interpretation; so universal was that interpretation, that it is simply referred to in connection with the atoning virtue of His death, without being formally quoted (Mr 9:12; Ro 4:25; 1Co 15:3; 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 1:19; 2:21-25; 1Jo 3:5). The genuineness of the passage is certain; for the Jews would not have forged it, since it is opposed to their notion of Messiah, as a triumphant temporal prince. The Christians could not have forged it; for the Jews, the enemies of Christianity, are "our librarians" [Paley]. The Jews try to evade its force by the figment of two Messiahs, one a suffering Messiah (Ben Joseph), the other a triumphant Messiah (Ben David). Hillel maintained that Messiah has already come in the person of Hezekiah. Buxtorf states that many of the modern Rabbins believe that He has been come a good while, but will not manifest Himself because of the sins of the Jews. But the ancient Jews, as the Chaldee paraphrast, Jonathan, refer it to Messiah; so the Medrasch Tauchuma (a commentary on the Pentateuch); also Rabbi Moses Haddarschan (see Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament). Some explain it of the Jewish people, either in the Babylonish exile, or in their present sufferings and dispersion. Others, the pious portion of the nation taken collectively, whose sufferings made a vicarious satisfaction for the ungodly. Others, Isaiah, or Jeremiah [Gesenius], the prophets collectively. But an individual is plainly described: he suffers voluntarily, innocently, patiently, and as the efficient cause of the righteousness of His people, which holds good of none other but Messiah (Isa 53:4-6, 9, 11; contrast Jer 20:7; 15:10-21; Ps 137:8, 9). Isa 53:9 can hold good of none other. The objection that the sufferings (Isa 53:1-10) referred to are represented as past, the glorification alone as future (Isa 52:13-15; 53:11, 12) arises from not seeing that the prophet takes his stand in the midst of the scenes which he describes as future. The greater nearness of the first advent, and the interval between it and the second, are implied by the use of the past tense as to the first, the future as to the second.

Behold—awakening attention to the striking picture of Messiah that follows (compare Joh 19:5, 14).

my servant—Messiah (Isa 42:1).

deal prudently—rather, "prosper" [Gesenius] as the parallel clause favors (Isa 53:10). Or, uniting both meanings, "shall reign well" [Hengstenberg]. This verse sets forth in the beginning the ultimate issue of His sufferings, the description of which follows: the conclusion (Isa 53:12) corresponds; the section (Isa 52:13; 53:12) begins as it ends with His final glory.

extolled—elevated (Mr 16:19; Eph 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22).52:13-15 Here begins that wonderful, minute, and faithful description of the office, character, and glory of the Messiah, which has struck conviction to many of the most hardened unbelievers. Christ is Wisdom itself; in the work of our redemption there appeared the wisdom of God in a mystery. Those that saw him, said, Surely never man looked so miserable: never was sorrow like unto his sorrow. But God highly exalted him. That shall be discovered by the gospel of Christ, which could never be told in any other way. And Christ having once shed his blood for sinners, its power still continues. May all opposers see the wisdom of ceasing from their opposition, and be made partakers of the blood of sprinkling, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost; obeying him, and praising his salvation.
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