Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?…
Isaiah 53:— By some it has been supposed, in ancient times and in modern, that the prophet was referring to the sufferings of the nation of Israel — either of Israel as a whole or of the righteous section of the nation — and to the benefits that would accrue from those sufferings to the surrounding peoples, some of whom were contemptuous of Israel, all of whom may be described as ignorant of God. But to defend that opinion it is necessary to paraphrase and interpret some of the statements in a way that no sound rules of exposition will allow. Even Jewish historians are wont to represent the sufferings of their people as the consequence of sin, whereas these verses speak repeatedly of sufferings that are vicarious. St. Paul says in one place that the fall of the Jews "is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles;" but he is so far from meaning that the Jews suffered in the stead of the Gentiles, that he proceeds at once to argue by implication: If the world has been blessed notwithstanding the unfaithfulness of the Jew, how much more would it have been blessed if Israel had been true? It is quite possible that the great figure of the Servant of Jehovah, standing in the front of all these verses, was designed to have more than a single interpretation, to be reverently approached from many sides, to be full of appeals to the patriotism and to the piety of the Israelite; but at the same time it is no mere abstract conception, but the figure of a living and separated Person, "more perfect than human believer ever was, uniting in himself more richly than any other messenger, of God everything that was necessary for the salvation of man, and finally accomplishing what no mere prophet" ever attempted. And some of the authorities of the synagogue even might be quoted in favour of the almost universal Christian opinion, that the Man of Sorrows of this chapter despised, and yet triumphant, is no other than the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world, who over-trod the lowest levels of human pain and misery, and who hereafter will sit enthroned, on His head many crowns, and in His heart the satisfaction of assured and unlimited victory.
(R.W. Moss, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?