Isaiah 53:5
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.
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(5) He was wounded . . .—Bruised. Both words refer to the death which crowned the sufferings of the Servant. That also was vicarious.

The chastisement of our peacei.e., the punishment which leads to peace, that word including, as elsewhere, every form of blessing. (Comp. the “reproof of life” in Proverbs 15:31.) In Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:8-9, we have the thought which is the complement of this, that the chastisement was also an essential condition of the perfection of the sufferer.

With his stripes we are healed.—The words stretch wide and deep. Perhaps the most touching application is St. Peter’s use of them as a thought of comfort for the slaves who were scourged as He, their Lord, had been (1Peter 2:24).

53:4-9 In these verses is an account of the sufferings of Christ; also of the design of his sufferings. It was for our sins, and in our stead, that our Lord Jesus suffered. We have all sinned, and have come short of the glory of God. Sinners have their beloved sin, their own evil way, of which they are fond. Our sins deserve all griefs and sorrows, even the most severe. We are saved from the ruin, to which by sin we become liable, by laying our sins on Christ. This atonement was to be made for our sins. And this is the only way of salvation. Our sins were the thorns in Christ's head, the nails in his hands and feet, the spear in his side. He was delivered to death for our offences. By his sufferings he purchased for us the Spirit and grace of God, to mortify our corruptions, which are the distempers of our souls. We may well endure our lighter sufferings, if He has taught us to esteem all things but loss for him, and to love him who has first loved us.But he was wounded - Margin, 'Tormented.' Jerome and the Septuagint also render this, 'He was wounded.' Junius and Tremellius, 'He was affected with grief.' The Chaldee has given a singular paraphrase of it, showing how confused was the view of the whole passage in the mind of that interpreter. 'And he shall build the house of the sanctuary which was defiled on account of our sins, and which was delivered on account of our iniquities. And in his doctrine, peace shall be multiplied to us. And when we obey his words, our sins shall be remitted to us.' The Syriac renders it in a remarkable manner, 'He is slain on account of our sins,' thus showing that it was a common belief that the Messiah would be violently put to death. The word rendered 'wounded' (מחלל mecholâl), is a Pual participle, from חלל châlal, to bore through, to perforate, to pierce; hence, to wound 1 Samuel 31:3; 1 Chronicles 10:3; Ezekiel 28:9. There is probably the idea of painful piercing, and it refers to some infliction of positive wounds on the body, and not to mere mental sorrows, or to general humiliation. The obvious idea would be that there would be some act of piercing, some penetrating wound that would endanger or take life. Applied to the actual sufferings of the Messiah, it refers undoubtedly to the piercing of his hands, his feet, and his side. The word 'tormented,' in the margin, was added by our translators because the Hebrew word might be regarded as derived from חול chûl, to writhe, to be tormented, to be pained - a word not unfrequently applied to the pains of parturition. But it is probable that it is rather to be regarded as derived from חלל châlal, "to pierce, or to wound."

For our transgressions - The prophet here places himself among the people for whom the Messiah suffered these things, and says that he was not suffering for his own sins, but on account of theirs. The preposition 'for' (מן min) here answers to the Greek διά dia, on account of, and denotes the cause for which he suffered and means, even according to Gesenius (Lex.), here, 'the ground or motive on account of, or because of which anything is done.' Compare Deuteronomy 7:7; Judges 5:11; Esther 5:9; Psalm 68:30; Sol 3:8. It is strikingly parallel to the passage in Romans 4:25 : 'Who was delivered for (διά dia) our offences.' Compare 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24. Here the sense is, that the reason why he thus suffered was, that we were transgressors. All along the prophet keeps up the idea that it was not on account of any sin of which he was guilty that he thus suffered, but it was for the sins of others - an idea which is everywhere exhibited in the New Testament.

He was bruised - The word used here (דכא dâkâ') means properly to be broken to pieces, to be bruised, to be crushed Job 6:9; Psalm 72:4. Applied to mind, it means to break down or crush by calamities and trials; and by the use of the word here, no doubt, the most severe inward and outward sufferings are designated. The Septuagint renders it, Μεμαλάκιστα Memalakista - 'He was rendered languid,' or feeble. The same idea occurs in the Syriac translation. The meaning is, that he was under such a weight of sorrows on account of our sins, that he was, as it were, crushed to the earth. How true this was of the Lord Jesus it is not necessary here to pause to show.

The chastisement of our peace - That is, the chastisement by which our peace is effected or secured was laid upon him; or, he took it upon himself,' and bore it, in order that we might have peace. Each word here is exceedingly important, in order to a proper estimate of the nature of the work performed by the Redeemer. The word 'chastisement' (מוּסר mûsâr), properly denotes the correction, chastisement, or punishment inflicted by parents on their children, designed to amend their faults Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13. It is applied also to the discipline and authority of kings Job 22:18; and to the discipline or correction of God Job 5:17; Hosea 5:2. Sometimes it means admonition or instruction, such as parents give to children, or God to human beings. It is well rendered by the Septuagint by Παιδεία Paideia; by Jerome, Disciplina. The word does not of necessity denote punishment, though it is often used in that sense.

It is properly that which corrects, whether it be by admonition, counsel, punishment, or suffering. Here it cannot properly mean punishment - for there is no punishment where there is no guilt, and the Redeemer had done no sin; but it means that he took upon himself the sufferings which would secure the peace of those for whom he died - those which, if they could have been endured by themselves, would have effected their peace with God. The word peace means evidently their peace with God; reconciliation with their Creator. The work of religion in the soul is often represented as peace; and the Redeemer is spoken of as the great agent by whom that is secured. 'For he is our peace' (Ephesians 2:14-15, Ephesians 2:17; compare Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1; Romans 10:15). The phrase 'upon him,' means that the burden by which the peace of people was effected was laid upon him, and that he bore it. It is parallel with the expressions which speak of his bearing it, carrying it, etc. And the sense of the whole is, that he endured the sorrows, whatever they were, which were needful to secure our peace with God.

And with his stripes - Margin, 'Bruise.' The word used here in Hebrew (חבורה chabbûrâh) means properly stripe, weal, bruise, that is, the mark or print of blows on the skin. Greek Μώλωπι Mōlōpi; Vulgate, Livore. On the meaning of the Hebrew word, see the notes at Isaiah 1:6. It occurs in the following places, and is translated by stripe, and stripes (Exodus 21:25, bis); bruises Isaiah 1:6; hurt Genesis 4:23; blueness Proverbs 20:30; wounds Psalm 38:5; and spots, as of a leopard Jeremiah 13:23. The proper idea is the weal or wound made by bruising; the mark designated by us when we speak of its being 'black and blue.' It is not a flesh wound; it does not draw blood; but the blood and other humors are collected under the skin. The obvious and natural idea conveyed by the word here is, that the individual referred to would be subjected to some treatment that would cause such a weal or stripe; that is, that he would be beaten, or scourged. How literally this was applicable to the Lord Jesus, it is unnecessary to attempt to prove (see Matthew 27:26). It may be remarked here, that this could not be mere conjecture How could Isaiah, seven hundred years before it occurred, conjecture that the Messiah would be scourged and bruised? It is this particularity of prediction, compared with the literal fulfillment, which furnishes the fullest demonstration that the prophet was inspired. In the prediction nothing is vague and general. All is particular and minute, as if he saw what was done, and the description is as minutely accurate as if he was describing what was actually occurring before his eyes.

We are healed - literally, it is healed to us; or healing has happened to us. The healing here referred to, is spiritual healing, or healing from sin. Pardon of sin, and restoration to the favor of God, are not unfrequently represented as an act of healing. The figure is derived from the fact that awakened and convicted sinners are often represented as crushed, broken, bruised by the weight of their transgressions, and the removal of the load of sin is repesented as an act of healing. 'I said, O Lord, be merciful unto me; heal my soul, for I have sinned againt thee' Psalm 41:4. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed' Psalm 6:2. 'Who forgiveth all thine, iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases Psalm 103:3. The idea here is, that the Messiah would be scourged; and that it would be by that scourging that health would be imparted to our souls.

It would be in our place, and in our stead; and it would be designed to have the same effect in recovering us, as though it had been inflicted on ourselves. And will it not do it? Is it not a fact that it has such an effect? Is not a man as likely to be recovered from a course of sin and folly, who sees another suffer in his place what he ought himself to suffer, as though he was punished himself? Is not a wayward and dissipated son quite as likely to be recovered to a course of virtue by seeing the sufferings which his career of vice causes to a father, a mother, or a sister, as though he himself When subjected to severe punishment? When such a son sees that he is bringing down the gray hairs of his father with sorrow to the grave; when he sees that he is breaking the heart of the mother that bore him; when he sees a sister bathed in tears, or in danger of being reduced to poverty or shame by his course, it will be far more likely to reclaim him than would be personal suffering, or the prospect of poverty, want, and an early death. And it is on this principle that the plan of salvation is founded. We shall be more certainly reclaimed by the voluntary sufferings of the innocent in our behalf, than we should be by being personally punished. Punishment would make no atonement, and would bring back no sinner to God. But the suffering of the Redeemer in behalf of mankind is adapted to save the world, and will in fact arrest, reclaim, and redeem all who shall ever enter into heaven.

(Sin is not only a crime for which we were condemned to die, and which Christ purchased for us the pardon of, but it is a disease which tends directly to the death of our souls, and which Christ provided for the cure of. By his stripes, that is, the sufferings he underwent, he purchased for us the Spirit and grace of God, to mortify our corruptions, which are the distempers of our souls; and to put our souls in a good state of health, that they may be fit to serve God, and prepare to enjoy him. And by the doctrine of Christ's cross, and the powerful arguments it furnisheth us with against sin, the dominion of sin is broken in us, and we are fortified against that which feeds the disease - Henry.)

5. wounded—a bodily wound; not mere mental sorrow; literally, "pierced"; minutely appropriate to Messiah, whose hands, feet, and side were pierced (Ps 22:16). The Margin, wrongly, from a Hebrew root, translates, "tormented."

for … for—(Ro 4:25; 2Co 5:21; Heb 9:28; 1Pe 2:24; 3:18)—the cause for which He suffered not His own, but our sins.

bruised—crushing inward and outward suffering (see on [853]Isa 53:10).

chastisement—literally, the correction inflicted by a parent on children for their good (Heb 12:5-8, 10, 11). Not punishment strictly; for this can have place only where there is guilt, which He had not; but He took on Himself the chastisement whereby the peace (reconciliation with our Father; Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14, 15, 17) of the children of God was to be effected (Heb 2:14).

upon him—as a burden; parallel to "hath borne" and "carried."

stripes—minutely prophetical of His being scourged (Mt 27:26; 1Pe 2:24).

healed—spiritually (Ps 41:4; Jer 8:22).

But; but this was a most false and unrighteous sentence.

He was wounded; which word comprehends all his pains and punishments, and his death among and above the rest.

For our transgressions; not by them, which is expressed by another particle, not by the wickedness of the Jews; but for or because of them, as this particle commonly signifies, for the guilt of their sins, which he had voluntarily taken upon himself, and for the expiation of their sins, which was hereby purchased and procured of God for men. Which interpretation is confirmed,

1. By the opposition of this truth to the false opinion mentioned in the foregoing clause, that he was smitten of God for the guilt of his own sins.

2. By the following clause, as we shall see.

3. By the nature of the thing; this being evident from scriptures both from the Old and New Testament, that Christ was not to suffer for his own, but for other men’s sins. See Daniel 9:24,26.

The chastisement of our peace; those punishments by which our peace, i.e. our reconciliation to God, and salvation, or happiness, was to be purchased.

Was upon him; was laid upon him by God’s justice with his own consent.

With his stripes we are healed; by his sufferings we are saved from our sins, and from the dreadful effects thereof.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,.... Not for any sins of his own, but for ours, for our rebellions against God, and transgressions of his law, in order to make atonement and satisfaction for them; these were the procuring and meritorious causes of his sufferings and death, as they were taken upon him by him to answer for them to divine justice, which are meant by his being wounded; for not merely the wounds he received in his hands, feet, and side, made by the nails and spear, are meant, but the whole of his sufferings, and especially his being wounded to death, and which was occasionally by bearing the sins of his people; and hereby he removed the guilt from them, and freed them from the punishment due unto them:

he was bruised for our iniquities; as bread corn is bruised by threshing it, or by its being ground in the mill, as the manna was; or as spice is bruised in a mortar, he being broken and crushed to pieces under the weight of sin, and the punishment of it. The ancient Jews understood this of the Messiah; in one place they say (o),

"chastisements are divided into three parts, one to David and the fathers, one to our generation, and one to the King Messiah; as it is written, "he was wounded for our transgressions; and bruised for our iniquities":''

and in another place (p),

"at that time they shall declare to the Messiah the troubles of Israel in captivity, and the wicked which are among them, that do not mind to know the Lord; he shall lift up his voice, and weep over the wicked among them; as it is said, "he was wounded for our transgressions", &c.''

the chastisement of our peace was upon him; that is, the punishment of our sins was inflicted on him, whereby our peace and reconciliation with God was made by him; for chastisement here does not design the chastisement of a father, and in love, such as the Lord chastises his people with; but an act of vindictive justice, and in wrath, taking vengeance on our sins, of our surety, whereby divine wrath is appeased, justice is satisfied, and peace is made:

and with his stripes we are healed; or "by his stripe" (q), or "bruise": properly the black and blue mark of it, so called from the gathering and settling of the blood where the blow is given. Sin is a disease belonging to all men, a natural, hereditary, nauseous, and incurable one, but by the blood of Christ; forgiving sin is a healing of this disease; and this is to be had, and in no other way, than through the stripes and wounds, the blood and sacrifice, of the Son of God. Christ is a wonderful physician; he heals by taking the sicknesses of his people upon himself, by bearing their sins, and being wounded and bruised for them, and by his enduring blows, and suffering death itself for them. The Targum is,

"when we obey his words, our sins will be forgiven us;''

but forgiveness is not through our obedience, but the blood of Christ.

(o) Mechilta apud Yalkut, par. 2. fol 90. 1.((p) Zohar in Exod. fol. 85. 2. See also Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2. and Zohar in Deut. fol. 117. 3. and R. Moses Hadarsan apud Galatia de Arcan. Cath. Ver. I. 8. c. 15 p. 586. and in I. 6. c. 2. p. 436. (q) "per livorem ejus", Munster; "livore ejus", V. L. Montanus, Vatablus; "tumice ejus", Junius & Tremellius; "vibico ejus", Cocceius; "vibicibus ejus" Vitringa.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the {h} chastisement for our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

(h) He was chastised for our reconciliation, 1Co 15:3.

5. In Isaiah 53:4 the people confess that the Servant was their substitute in his endurance of pains and sicknesses; here they penetrate more deeply into the meaning of his sufferings, perceiving the connexion between his passion and their own sin. The connexion is twofold; in the first place the Servant’s suffering was the penalty due to the people’s transgressions, and in the second place it was the remedy by which they were restored to spiritual health.

But he was pierced because of our rebellions,

Crushed because of our iniquities.

The strong verbs “pierced” (see ch. Isaiah 51:9) and “crushed” (Job 6:9) are probably metaphors expressing the fatal ravages of leprosy.

the chastisement of our peace] i.e. the chastisement needful to procure peace or well-being for us. “Chastisement” is pain inflicted for moral ends and with remedial intent (Proverbs 3:11 f. &c.). Cheyne’s assertion that the notion of punishment is the primary one in this word is not borne out by O.T. usage.

with his stripes] lit. weals (see ch. Isaiah 1:6).

That the people themselves had suffered for their sins is not excluded, but is apparently implied in the last words (“we are healed”), and is expressly said in other parts of the book (ch. Isaiah 40:2, Isaiah 42:24 f. &c.). What the verse teaches is that the people could not be healed by their own suffering; it was only through the Servant’s voluntary submission to the divine chastisement (Isaiah 53:7), and his bearing it in an extraordinary degree, that an atonement was effected between Jehovah and Israel (see on ch. Isaiah 40:2).

Verse 5. - But he was wounded for our transgressions. This verse contains four asseverations of the great truth that all Christ's sufferings were for us, and constituted the atonement for our sins. The form is varied, but the truth is one. Christ was "wounded" or "pierced"

(1) by the thorns;

(2) by the nails; and

(3) by the spear of the soldier.

The wounds inflicted by the nails caused his death, He was bruised; or, crushed (comp. Isaiah 3:15; Isaiah 19:10; Isaiah 57:15. Psalm 72:4). "No stronger expression could be found in Hebrew to denote severity of suffering - suffering unto death" (Urwick). The chastisement of our peace was upon him; i.e. "the chastisement which brought us peace," which put a stop to the enmity between fallen man and an offended God - which made them once more at one (comp. Ephesians 2:15-17, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off;" Colossians 1:20, "Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself"). With his stripes we are healed; rather, we were healed (comp. 1 Peter 2:24, "By whose stripes ye were healed"). Besides the blows inflicted on him with the hand (Matthew 26:27) and with the reed (Matthew 27:30), our Lord was judicially scourged (Matthew 27:26). Such scourging would leave the "stripe-marks" which are here spoken of. Isaiah 53:5In Isaiah 53:5, והוּא, as contrasted with ואנחנוּ, continues the true state of the case as contrasted with their false judgment. "Whereas He was pierced for our sins, bruised for our iniquities: the punishment was laid upon Him for our peace; and through His stripes we were healed." The question is, whether Isaiah 53:5 describes what He was during His life, or what He was in His death. The words decide in favour of the latter. For although châlâl is applied to a person mortally wounded but not yet dead (Jeremiah 51:52; Psalm 69:27), and châlal to a heart wounded to death (Psalm 109:22); the pure passives used here, which denote a calamity inflicted by violence from without, more especially mechōlâl, which is not the participle polal of chı̄l (made to twist one's self with pain), but the participle poal of châl (pierced, transfossus, the passive of mechōlēl, Isaiah 51:9), and the substantive clauses, which express a fact that has become complete in all its circumstances, can hardly be understood in any other way than as denoting, that "the servant of God" floated before the mind of the speaker in all the sufferings of death, just as was the case with Zechariah in Zechariah 12:10. There were no stronger expressions to be found in the language, to denote a violent and painful death. As min, with the passive, does not answer to the Greek ὑπό, but to ἀπό, the meaning is not that it was our sins and iniquities that had pierced Him through like swords, and crushed Him like heavy burdens, but that He was pierced and crushed on account of our sins and iniquities. It was not His own sins and iniquities, but ours, which He had taken upon Himself, that He might make atonement for them in our stead, that were the cause of His having to suffer so cruel and painful a death.

The ultimate cause is not mentioned; but עליו שׁלומנוּ מוּסר which follows points to it. His suffering was a mūsâr, which is an indirect affirmation that it was God who had inflicted it upon Him, for who else could the yōsēr (meyassēr) be? We have rendered mūsâr "punishment;" and there was no other word in the language for this idea; for though נקם and פּקדּה (to which Hofmann refers) have indeed the idea of punishment associated with them, the former signifies ἐκδίκησις, the latter ἐπίσκεψις, whereas mūsâr not only denotes παιδεία, as the chastisement of love (Proverbs 3:11), but also as the infliction of punishment ( equals τιμωρία κόλασις, Proverbs 7:22; Jeremiah 30:14), just as David, when he prayed that God might not punish him in His anger and hot displeasure (Psalm 6:2), could not find a more suitable expression for punishment, regarded as the execution of judgment, than יסּר (הוכיח). The word itself, which follows the form of mūsâd (Isaiah 28:16), signifies primarily being chastised (from yâsar equals vâsar, constringere, coercere), and included from the very outset the idea of practical chastisement, which then passed over into that of admonition in words, of warning by example, and of chastity as a moral quality. In the case before us, in which the reference is to a sufferer, and to a mūsâr resting upon him, this can only mean actual chastisement. If the expression had been עליו מוּסרנוּ, it would merely mean that God had caused Him, who had taken upon Himself our sins and iniquities and thus made Himself representatively or vicariously guilty, to endure the chastisement which those sins deserved. but it is שׁלומנוּ מוּסר. The connection of the words is the same as that of חיּים תּוכחת in Proverbs 15:31. As the latter signifies "reproof leading to life," so the former signifies "the chastisement which leads to our peace." It is true that the suffix belongs to the one idea, that that has grown up through this combination of the words, like berı̄th shelōmı̄, "my peace-covenant" (Isaiah 54:10); but what else could our "peace-chastisement" be, than the chastisement that brings us peace, or puts us into a state of salvation? This is the idea involved in Stier's rendering, "restoring chastisement," and Hofmann's, "the chastisement wholesome for us." The difference in the exposition simply lies in the view entertained of the mūsâr, in which neither of these commentators will allow that there is any idea of a visitation of justice here. But according to our interpretation, the genitive שׁלומנו, which defines the mūsâr so far as its object and results are concerned, clearly shows that this manifestation of the justice of God, this satisfaction procured by His holiness, had His love for its foundation and end. It was our peace, or, what is more in accordance with the full idea of the word, our general well-being, our blessedness, which these sufferings arrived at and secured (the synonyms of shâlōm are tōbh and yeshū‛âh, Isaiah 52:7). In what follows, "and by His stripes (chăbhūrâh equals chabbūrâh, Isaiah 1:6) we have been healed," shâlōm is defined as a condition of salvation brought about by healing. "Venustissimum ὀξύμωρον," exclaims Vitringa here. He means the same as Jerome when he says, suo vulnere vulnera nostra curavit. The stripes and weals that were inflicted upon Him have made us sound and well (the lxx keeps the collective singular, and renders it very aptly τῷ μώλωπι αὐτοῦ; cf., 1 Peter 2:24). We were sick unto death because of our sins; but He, the sinless one, took upon Himself a suffering unto death, which was, as it were, the concentration and essence of the woes that we had deserved; and this voluntary endurance, this submission to the justice of the Holy One, in accordance with the counsels of divine love, became the source of our healing.

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