Isaiah 53 – The Suffering Servant

In chapters 46 -53, the prophet Isaiah introduces four “Servant” songs.  The fourth, the Suffering Servant begun in chapter 52:13-15, continues here in chapter 53.  It is considered one of the most important prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament.   Twelve verses that foretell the most important event in mankind’s history!  The people are expecting that the Messiah as king will lead them to  military  and political greatness – possibly becoming a great world power.  Isaiah says that when he arrives, they won’t even get it.  The “Arm of the Lord” in verse one refers to God’s power in action.   This verse is referred to in John 12:37-38, and John goes on in 39-41 to quote Isaiah 6:10, elaborating on their blindness, and the hardness of their hearts.  Verses 2-3 show that he will be an outwardly unimpressive man from humble beginnings, rather than a majestically handsome ruler from the elite.  The  “dry ground” of verse two refers to the fallen kingdom of David.

The heart of the song is verses 4-6, as he bore the sins of the world though he was himself innocent – pierced for our transgressions (also see Matthew 8:17).  The event of the crucifixion of Jesus could not be better summed up by these verses.  Notice the words “pierced, crushed, chastisement, wounds.”   Isaiah stresses how much God punished the rejected servant for the sins of all.   Verses 7-8, led like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep that before its shearers is silent – innocent, yet submissive.

The prophecy of verse 9 (“And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth”) is fulfilled in Matthew 27:57-60.  Verses 10-12 make it plain that it was the will of God to crush Him; and the result is not regret, but a sense of triumph and accomplishment.  The crux of verse 10 – “he shall see his offspring” (the new Israel); “he shall prolong his days” (the resurrection); “the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand” (God’s plans are carried out).

Isaiah points ahead to the greatest act of love ever done for man!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Isaiah 11 – The Righteous Reign of the Branch

Isaiah 1:1 tells us that this prophet prophesied “in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah”.  His call to ministry came about 740 BC – “in the year that King Uzziah died” (Isaiah 6:1). He lived at least until 681 BC, as he writes of the death of Sennacherib in Isaiah 37:37-38.

English: Isaiah; illustration from a Bible car...

English: Isaiah; illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 11 is a very short, but very important chapter in the message of God’s plan for salvation.  Isaiah opens the chapter right away in verse 1 with the promise of the coming of the Messiah.  The reference to  being from the “stump of Jesse” – a greater David is prophesied (Ezekiel 37:24-25), a better king to serve (Hosea 3:5).   Much imagery and evocative language follows, stressing that nothing will stand in the way of God’s plan (see verses 11-16).  Paul refers to these verses, speaking about Jesus in Romans 15:8-13 – saying that “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 20 – Hezekiah and the Babylonian Envoys

As is sometimes the case with the scriptures, part of chapter 20 occurs chronologically before chapter 19.  This chapter starts in verses 1-19 at about 713 BC – about twelve years before Sennacherib’s invasion 15 years before Hezekiah’s death (verse 6).  Hezekiah had become sick, and Isaiah has told him to set his house in order, as he was about to die.  Hezekiah’s tearful prayer in verses 2-3 is heard by the Lord, and He sends Isaiah back to let him know that he has been given 15 more years, and will be healed.   It is here also, that He promises to deliver Hezekiah and the city out of the hands of the Assyrians.  2 Kings 18:2 tells us that Hezekiah was 25 when he took the throne, and that he reigned 29 years – so we can deduce that he was only 39 at this time.  His beautiful, grateful psalm to the Lord is recorded in Isaiah 38.

Hezekiah's Tunnel נקבת השילוח

Hezekiah’s Tunnel נקבת השילוח (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The king of Babylon, Merodach-baladan, heard of Hezekiah’s sickness, and sent envoys with gifts (verse 12).  Verse 13 records Hezekiah’s pride at work, as he shows those envoys all the wealth in his house.  It is then that Isaiah informs him that Babylon will carry all of it away, and his sons will become eunuchs in their palace.  Hezekiah’s complacency at that news is both baffling and troubling, but a man who had just been miraculously healed would probably have a unique view about the will of God.

Side note:

Verse 20 refers to the tunnel that Hezekiah had cut, diverting water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, which laid within the city walls.  An inscription was cut into the conduit wall and is known as the Siloam Tunnel Inscription, commemorating that construction.  Ferrell Jenkins has several great photos and information about Hezekiah’s tunnel at this link to his Biblical Studies Info Page.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 19 – Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall

Hezekiah sends Eliakim and Shebna to the prophet Isaiah, and he says to tell Hezekiah that the Lord will cause Sennacherib to hear a rumor and return to his own land.  He further says that the Lord will make him fall by the sword there (verse 7).    Sennacherib again sends messengers to Hezekiah – this time more blatantly mocking and blaspheming the Lord.  Hezekiah’s prayer in verses 14-19 are an appeal to God not to let this blasphemer defeat them.

English: Angel smites the Assyrians

English: Angel smites the Assyrians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah’s next response in verse 20-34 in great detail predict the wrath of the Lord toward the prideful Sennacherib, declaring that he will neither come into the city, nor shoot a single arrow there.  Sennacherib and his army had been used as the “rod” of God for exacting His punishment on the people of Israel for their apostasy.  But the Assyrian king had compared himself to a god because of his vanity.  Verse 35 tells us that the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 of the Assyrians in one night; and Sennacherib did in fact return to his land – where two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with a sword.  His other son, Esarhaddon then took the throne.

Assyrian records of Esarhaddon, who reigned from 680-669 BC, state that he had to fight his brothers for the throne after the murder of Sannacherib – after which they fled to another country.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.