Isaiah 52:13-53:12

This is the fourth of the ‘Servant’ passages, which portray with such marvelous accuracy the mission, character, and redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Introduction and Analysis.) Today’s portion falls into three parts: (1) an introductory summary, announcing the Servant’s exaltation after extreme suffering, and the effect of this on surrounding nations and kings (52:13-15; (2) the story of his life and suffering even to death, told by his now penitent fellow countrymen (53:1-9); and (3) the glorious issue, both for himself and others, of his sufferings and redemptive work (53:10-12).

  1. How is God’s Servant the Lord Jesus Christ depicted in 52:13-15? Notice the depth of his suffering, his exaltation, and the effect of this on the nations. Cf. 49:7; John 19:1-5; Eph. 1:20, 21.
  2. Work out in detail the many close parallels between 53:1-9 and the actual life of the Lord Jesus, as, for example:
    (a) the form of his manifestation to the world;
    (b) the reception accorded him;
    (c) his sufferings and the meaning of them;
    (d) his behavior when arrested;
    (e) the manner of his death and of his burial.
  3. Who are the ‘offspring’ spoken of in 53:10, and what benefits are shown in this whole passage to have been procured for them by the Servant’s substitutionary death? Cf. Heb. 2:10. Do you belong to this number?


  1. 53:1. The nations had not heard (52:15); but Israel, hearing, had not believed.
  2. 53:8. ‘Who can speak of his descendants?’. RSV ‘Considered’: or possibly ‘complained’, in the sense of making an appeal against the sentence. All were indifferent and even scornful. Cf. Matt. 27:39-41.
  3. 53:11. ‘By his knowledge’ many mean ‘by means of his knowledge’ or ‘by the knowledge of him’ (on the part of others.) Cf. John 17:3.