53:1-3 No where in all the Old Testament is it so plainly and fully prophesied, that Christ ought to suffer, and then to enter into his glory, as in this chapter. But to this day few discern, or will acknowledge, that Divine power which goes with the word. The authentic and most important report of salvation for sinners, through the Son of God, is disregarded. The low condition he submitted to, and his appearance in the world, were not agreeable to the ideas the Jews had formed of the Messiah. It was expected that he should come in pomp; instead of that, he grew up as a plant, silently, and insensibly. He had nothing of the glory which one might have thought to meet with him. His whole life was not only humble as to outward condition, but also sorrowful. Being made sin for us, he underwent the sentence sin had exposed us to. Carnal hearts see nothing in the Lord Jesus to desire an interest in him. Alas! by how many is he still despised in his people, and rejected as to his doctrine and authority!
Isa 53:1-12. Man's Unbelief: Messiah's Vicarious Sufferings, and Final Triumph for Man.
The speaker, according to Horsley, personates the repenting Jews in the latter ages of the world coming over to the faith of the Redeemer; the whole is their penitent confession. This view suits the context (Isa 52:7-9), which is not to be fully realized until Israel is restored. However, primarily, it is the abrupt exclamation of the prophet: "Who hath believed our report," that of Isaiah and the other prophets, as to Messiah? The infidel's objection from the unbelief of the Jews is anticipated and hereby answered: that unbelief and the cause of it (Messiah's humiliation, whereas they looked for One coming to reign) were foreseen and foretold.
1. report—literally, "the thing heard," referring to which sense Paul says, "So, then, faith cometh by hearing" (Ro 10:16, 17).
arm—power (Isa 40:10); exercised in miracles and in saving men (Ro 1:16; 1Co 1:18). The prophet, as if present during Messiah's ministry on earth, is deeply moved to see how few believed on Him (Isa 49:4; Mr 6:6; 9:19; Ac 1:15). Two reasons are given why all ought to have believed: (1) The "report" of the "ancient prophets." (2) "The arm of Jehovah" exhibited in Messiah while on earth. In Horsley's view, this will be the penitent confession of the Jews, "How few of our nation, in Messiah's days, believed in Him!"