Verses of Isaiah 52


Isaiah 52:13 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

13. my servant shall deal prudently ] A more appropriate rendering is that of R.V. marg. my servant shall prosper, i.e. his career shall be crowned with complete success. The primary idea of the verb used is no doubt “wisdom” (not mere shrewdness, however, rather “insight,” see Gen 3:6; Isa 44:18), but it also includes the success which is the normal result of wise action, and sometimes this secondary idea almost supplants the original meaning (Jos 1:7 f.; 1Sa 18:5; 1Sa 18:14 f. etc.). This sense seems to be required here by the parallelism with the next line, for there is nothing in the whole prophecy to justify us in regarding the Servant’s elevation as the effect of his wisdom. The verse is “a simple prediction of the exaltation awaiting the Servant, in contrast with his past sorrows and abasement” (Davidson).

he shall be exalted and extolled ] or “high and lifted up.” The same combination used of Jehovah in ch. Isa 57:15; of His throne in Isa 6:1.

14, 15 must be read as a single compound sentence. The protasis is the first line of Isa 52:14 (“According as many were astonied at thee”); the corresponding apodosis follows in Isa 52:15 (“so shall he sprinkle &c.”), the intervening clauses being a parenthesis suggested by the word “astonied.”

as many were astonied at thee ] The word “astonied” expresses the blank amazement, mingled with horror, excited in the minds of beholders by the spectacle of the Servant’s unparalleled sufferings (cf. 1Ki 9:8; Jer 2:12; Jer 18:16). It is natural to suppose that the “many” here referred to are the same as the “many nations” who witness the Servant’s subsequent exaltation ( Isa 52:15), but the point is not to be pressed, and on the hypothesis that the Servant is an individual Israelite, the spectators of the Servant’s abasement could hardly be the nations of the world. Instead of “thee” the Targ. and Pesh. seem to have read “him,” thus avoiding an embarrassing change of person. The LXX., on the other hand, preserve the 2nd pers. throughout Isa 52:14. The change of person may no doubt be explained as caused by the parenthesis, but it is awkward nevertheless, and almost misleading, and many commentators prefer to alter the text in accordance with the Targ.

his visage was so marred, &c.] Render:

so marred from that of man was his aspect,

and his form from that of the sons of men

The sentence is inserted parenthetically to explain the repugnance felt by all who beheld the Servant in his former abject condition. The meaning is that he was so disfigured by disease (see ch. Isa 53:3) as to be no longer human in appearance. The word for “marred” is pointed as a noun (not found elsewhere): “a marred object.” A participle ( moshḥâth) would read more naturally after the adverb “so,” although the punctuators must have had some reason for avoiding the more obvious form.

13 15. Jehovah utters a brief but pregnant announcement of the brilliant destiny in store for His Servant. Known to many in his misfortunes as an object of aversion and contempt, he shall suddenly be revealed in his true dignity; and the unexpected transformation will startle the whole world into astonishment and reverence. The verses form a prelude to ch. 53, being a summary of what is there described in detail; and they indicate what is the main idea of the whole passage, viz. the unexampled contrast between the present (and past) degradation and the future glory of Jehovah’s Servant.

Ch. Isa 52:13 to Isa 53:12. The Servant’s Sacrifice and His Reward

This is the last and greatest, as well as the most difficult, of the four delineations of the Servant of Jehovah, and in several respects occupies a place apart. In the previous passages the Servant has been described as the ideal prophet or teacher, conscious of a world-wide mission in the service of God, which he prosecutes amid discouragement and persecution with inflexible purpose and the unfaltering assurance of ultimate success. There has been no hint that his activity was interrupted by death. Here the presentation is quite different. The conception of the Prophet is all but displaced by that of the Man of Sorrows, the meek and patient martyr, the sin-bearer. The passage is partly retrospective and partly prophetic. In so far as it is a retrospect there is no allusion to the prophetic activity of the servant; it is only after he has been raised from the dead that he is to assume the function of the great religious guide and authority of the world. But the most striking feature of the passage is the unparalleled sufferings of the Servant, and the effect they produce on the minds of his contemporaries. The tragedy of which they have been spectators makes an impression far more profound and convincing than any direct teaching could have done, compelling them to recognise the mission of the Servant, and at the same time producing penitence and confession of their own sin. The whole conception here given of the Servant of the Lord makes the prophecy the most remarkable anticipation in the Old Testament of the “sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”

The passage may be divided into three parts:

(1) An introduction, briefly stating the import of all that follows, the coming exaltation of the Servant in contrast to his past abasement (Isa 52:13-15).

(2) A historical review of the Servant’s career, as he had appeared to his contemporaries in the days of his humiliation (Isa 53:1-9).

(3) An announcement of the glorious future and the astonishing success in store for him as the reward of his obedience unto death ( Isa 52:10-12).

The middle section may be further subdivided into three strophes, yielding an arrangement (recognised by most commentators) of the whole in five strophes of three verses each.

Verses of Isaiah 52


Consult other comments:

Isaiah 52:13 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 52:13 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Isaiah 52:13 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Isaiah 52:13 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Isaiah 52:13 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Isaiah 52:13 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Isaiah 52:13 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Isaiah 52:13 - Expositors Bible Commentary

Isaiah 52:13 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Isaiah 52:13 - Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Isaiah 52:13 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Isaiah 52:13 - Geneva Bible Notes

Isaiah 52:13 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Isaiah 52:13 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Isaiah 52:13 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Isaiah 52:13 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Isaiah 52:13 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Isaiah 52:13 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

Isaiah 52:13 - An Exposition on the Whole Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 52:13 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Isaiah 52:13 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Isaiah 52:13 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Isaiah 52:13 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

Isaiah 52:13 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Isaiah 52:13 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Isaiah 52:13 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

Isaiah 52:13 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges