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Isaiah 53:10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Yet it was the will of Jehovah to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes a guilt offering,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.
Edward D. Andrews writes,
Clearly, it would have greatly pained God, who is the embodiment of compassion and empathy, to see his son be crushed and suffer torture and execution as a blasphemer at the hands of the Roman government and the Jewish religious leaders. The sense in which God was pleased was seeing Jesus being willing to offer himself up as a ransom regardless of the suffering, knowing what his death would achieve.—Proverbs 27:11; Isaiah 63:9.
Albert Barnes writes,
Yet it was the will of Jehovah to crush him. In this verse, the prediction respecting the final glory and triumph of the Messiah commences. The design of the whole prophecy is to state that in consequence of his great sufferings, he would be exalted to the highest honor (see Isaiah 52:13). The sense of this verse is, ‘he was subjected to these sufferings, not on account of any sins of his, but because, under the circumstances of the case, his sufferings would be pleasing to Jehovah. He saw they were necessary, and he was willing that he should be subjected to them. He has laid upon him heavy sufferings. And when he has brought a sin-offering, he shall see a numerous posterity, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper through him.’ The Lord was ‘pleased’ with his sufferings, not because he has delight in the sufferings of innocence; not because the sufferer was in any sense guilty or ill-deserving; and not because he was at any time displeased or dissatisfied with what the Mediator did or taught. But it was—1. Because the Messiah had voluntarily submitted himself to those sorrows which were necessary to show the evil of sin; and in view of the great object to be gained, the eternal redemption of his people, he was pleased that he would subject himself to so great sorrows to save them. He was pleased with the end in view and with all that was necessary in order that the end might be secured. 2. Because these sufferings would tend to illustrate the Divine perfections and show the justice and mercy of God. The gift of a Savior, such as he was, evinced boundless benevolence; his sufferings on behalf of the guilty showed the holiness of his nature and law, and all demonstrated that he was at the same time disposed to save, and yet resolved that no one should be saved by dishonoring his law, or without expiation for the evil which had been done by sin. 3. Because these sorrows would result in the pardon and recovery of an innumerable multitude of lost sinners, and in their eternal happiness and salvation. The whole work was one of benevolence, and Jehovah was pleased with it as a work of pure and disinterested love.
To bruise him. bruised. The word here used (דָּכָא daka) means properly to be broken to pieces, to be bruised, to be crushed (Job 6:9; Ps. 72:4). Applied to mind, it means to break down or crush by calamities and trials; and by the use of the word here, no doubt, the most severe inward and outward sufferings are designated. The LXX. render it, Μεμαλάκισται—‘He was rendered languid,’ or feeble. The same idea occurs in the Syriac translation. The meaning is that he was under such a weight of sorrows on account of our sins that he was, as it were, crushed to the earth. How true this was of the Lord Jesus it is not necessary here to pause to show. The Hebrew word here (דָּכָא daka) is the infinitive of Piel. ‘To bruise him, or his being bruised, was pleasing to Jehovah;’ that is, it was acceptable to him that he should be crushed by his many sorrows. It does not of necessity imply that there was any positive and direct agency on the part of Jehovah in bruising him, but only that the fact of his being thus crushed and bruised was acceptable to him.
He has put him to grief. This word, ‘hath grieved him,’ is the same which in another form occurs in ver. 4. It means that it was by the agency, and in accordance with the design of Jehovah, that he was subjected to these great sorrows.
When his soul makes a guilt offering. Marg. ‘His soul shall make.’ According to the translation in the text, the speaker is the prophet, and it contains an address to Jehovah, and Jehovah is himself introduced as speaking in ver. 11. According to the margin, Jehovah himself speaks, and the idea is that his soul should make an offering for sin. The Hebrew will bear either. Jerome renders it, ‘If he shall lay down his life for sin.’ The LXX. render it in the plural, ‘If you shall give [an offering] for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived posterity.’ Lowth renders it, ‘If his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice.’ Rosenmüller renders it, ‘If his soul, i.e., he himself, shall place his soul as an expiation for sin.’ Noyes renders it, ‘But since he gave himself a sacrifice for sin.’ It seems to me that the margin is the correct rendering and that it is to be regarded as in the third person. Thus the whole passage will be connected, and it will be regarded as the assurance of Jehovah himself, that when his life should be made a sacrifice for sin, he would see a great multitude who should be saved as the result of his sufferings and death.
His soul. The word here rendered ‘soul’ (נֶפֶשׁ nephesh) means properly breath, spirit, the life, the vital principle (Gen. 1:20–30; 9:4; Lev. 17:11; Deut. 12:23). It sometimes denotes the rational soul, regarded as the seat of affections and emotions of various kinds (Gen. 34:3; Ps. 86:4; Isa. 15:4; 42:1; Cant. 1:7; 3:1–4). It is here equivalent to himself—when he himself is made a sin-offering or sacrifice for sin.
Soul: (Heb. נֶפֶשׁ nephesh; Gr. ψυχή psuchē) The Hebrew word nephesh and the Greek word psyche basically refer to (1) people, (2) animals, or (3) the life that a person or animal has. (Gen. 1:20; 2:7; Num. 31:28; 1 Pet. 3:20) The Bible author’s use of both nephesh and psyche, in connection with earthly creatures, humans or animals, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal. A soul breathes. (Gen. 2:7) A soul is a living creature that sins (Lev. 5:1) works (Lev. 22:30) can be kidnapped (Deut. 24:7), can be annoyed (Judges 16:16), tormented from the troubles of this imperfect life (Job 19:2), weeps because of grief (Ps 119:28), become troubled because of distress (John 12:27), become fearful (Ac 2:43), as well souls being in subjection to the government. (Rom. 13:1) The Bible speaks of the life that the creature has (Ex. 4:16; Josh. 9:24; 2 Ki 7:7; Prov. 12:10; Matt. 20:28; Phil. 2:30) The human soul = body [dust of the ground] + active life force (“spirit”) [Hebrew, ruach] within the trillions of human cells which make up the human body + breath of life [Hebrew, neshamah] that sustains the life force from God. In other words, the “soul” is we, everything that we are, so the soul or the human can die. – Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.
In other words, when we breathe our last breath, our cells begin to die. Death is the ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell. When our heart stops beating, our blood is no longer circulating, carrying nourishment and oxygen (by breathing) to the trillions of cells in our body; we are what is termed clinically dead. However, somatic death has yet to occur, meaning we can be revived, after many minutes of being clinically dead, if the heart and lungs can be restarted again, which gives the cells the oxygen they need.
After about three minutes of clinical death, the brain cells begin to die, meaning the chances of reviving the person is less likely as each second passes. We know that it is vital that the breathing and blood flow be maintained for the life force (ruach chaiyim) in the cells. Nevertheless, it is not the lack of breathing or the failure of the heart beating alone, but rather the active life force (“spirit”) [Hebrew, ruach] within the trillions of human cells which make up the human body + breath of life [Hebrew, neshamah] that sustains the life force from God.
An offering for sin (guilt offering) (אָשָׁם). This word properly means blame, guilt which one contracts by transgression (Gen. 26:10; Jer. 51:5); also a sacrifice for guilt; a sin-offering; an expiatory sacrifice. It is often rendered ‘trespass-offering’ Lev. 5:19; 7:5; 14:21; 19:21; 1 Sam. 6:3, 8, 17). It is rendered ‘guiltiness’ (Gen. 26:10); ‘sin’ (Prov. 14:9); ‘trespass’ (Num. 5:8). The idea here is, clearly, that he would be made an offering or a sacrifice for sin; that by which guilt would be expiated and atonement made. In accordance with this, Paul says (2 Cor. 5:21) that God ‘made him to be sin for us’ (ἁμαρτίαν), i.e., a sin-offering; and he is called ἱλασμὸς and ἱλαστήριον, a propitiatory sacrifice for sins (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). The idea is, that he was himself innocent and that he gave up his soul or life in order to make an expiation for sin—as the innocent animal in sacrifice was offered to God as an acknowledgment of guilt. There could be no more explicit declaration that he who is referred to here did not die as a martyr merely but that his death had the high purpose of making expiation for the sins of men. Assuredly this is not language that can be used of any martyr. In what sense could it be said of Ignatius or Cranmer that their souls or lives were made an offering (אָשָׁם or ἱλκσμὸς) for sin? Such language is never applied to martyrs in the Bible; it is never applied to them in the common discourses of men.
Guilt offerings (אָשָׁם asham) were offerings because of personal sins, because of the guilt brought on by any kind of sin. They were for personal sins that the person had gotten because of guilt, and they were a little different from the other sin offerings in that they seem to have served the purpose of satisfying or restoring a right. The right that was restored was either with God or a right with the nation of Israel that had been violated. It restored one so that they had good will. The guilt offering was to appease God on the right that had been broken, restore a person, or recover specific covenant rights for the wrongdoer because he was repentant. This guilt offering of the repentant person enabled him to gain deliverance from the punishment that would have resulted from his sin. (Compare Isaiah 53:10) The modern-day guilt offering equivalent for the Christian would be a deep feeling of guilt over wrongdoing and to repent of his ways by going to God in deep heartfelt prayer, followed by going to God’s Word, seeking the wisdom not to repeat the sin again. If the Christian’s relationship with God has grown strained over repeated sin to the point where he is unsure if God hears his prayers, the wrongdoer should then go to the pastor. God will hear the prayers of a righteous man, and the pastor can walk the repentant one through the Scriptures to find a way to overcome the sin’s hold on this wrongdoer. – Le 7:37; 19:22; Isa 53:10.
He shall see his seed (offspring). His posterity; his descendants. The language here is taken from that which was regarded as the highest blessing among the Hebrews. With them, the length of days and a numerous posterity were regarded as the highest favors and usually as the clearest proofs of Divine love. ‘Children’s children are the crown of old men’ (Prov. 17:6). See Ps. 127:5; 128:6: “May you see the sons of your sons. Peace be upon Israel.” So one of the highest blessings which could be promised to Abraham was that he would be made the father of many nations (Gen. 12:2; 17:5, 6). In accordance with this, the Messiah is promised that he shall see numerous spiritual posterity. A similar declaration occurs in Ps. 22:30, which is usually applied to the Messiah. ‘Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of Jehovah to the coming generation’ The natural relation between father and son is often transferred to spiritual subjects. Thus the name father is frequently given to the prophets or teachers, and the name sons to disciples or learners. In accordance with this, the idea is here that the Messiah would sustain this relationship and that there would be multitudes who would sustain to him the relation of spiritual children. There may be an emphasis on the word ‘see’—he shall see his posterity, for it was regarded as a blessing not only to have posterity but to be permitted to live and see them. Hence the joy of the aged Jacob in being permitted to see the children of Joseph (Gen. 48:11): “And Israel said to Joseph, ‘I had not thought to see your face, and look, God has let me see your offspring also.’”
He shall prolong his days. His life shall be long. This also is language taken from the view entertained among the Hebrews that long life was a blessing and proof of the Divine favor. Thus, in 1 Kings 3:14, God says to Solomon, “And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” (see Deut. 25:15; Ps. 21:4; 91:16; Prov. 3:2). The meaning here is, that the Messiah, though he should be put to death, would yet see great multitudes who should be his spiritual children. Though he should die, he would live again, and his days should be lengthened out. It is fulfilled in the reign of the Redeemer on earth and his eternal existence and glory in heaven.
The will of Jehovah. That is, that which shall please Jehovah; the work which he desires and appoints.
Shall prosper (see Isaiah 52:13, where the same word occurs). Shall deal prudently. Marg. ‘Prosper.’ The word שָׂכַל sâkhāl, is used in a twofold signification. It means either to act wisely or to be prosperous. In this latter sense, it is used in Josh. 1:7, 8; 2 Kings 18:7; Jer. 10:21; Prov. 17:8. It is not easy to determine what is the meaning here. Jerome renders it, Intelligent—‘Shall be wise or prudent.’ The LXX. render it, Συνήσει ὁ παῖς μοῦ—‘My servant shall be intelligent.’ The Chaldee renders it, ‘Behold my servant the Messiah shall prosper’ (יַצְלַח). The Syriac retains the Hebrew word. Jun. and Tremell. render it, ‘Shall prosper;’ Castellio, ‘Shall be wise.’ Lowth renders it, ‘Shall prosper,’ and in this Gesenius and Noyes concur. Hengstenberg proposes to unite the two meanings and to render it, ‘He shall reign well,’ as indicative of the prosperous and wise government of the Messiah. It seems to me that the parallelism requires us to understand this not of his personal wisdom and prudence but of the success of his enterprise. This verse contains a summary statement of what would occur under the Messiah. The general proposition is that he would be ultimately successful, and to this, the prophet comes (Isa. 53:12). He here sees him in affliction, humble, rejected, and despised. But he says that this was not always to be. He would be ultimately exalted. It is on this that he fixes the eye, and it is this which cheers and sustains the prophet in the contemplation of the sufferings of the Messiah.
In his hand. Under his government and direction. Religion will be promoted and extended through him. The reward of all his sufferings in making an offering for sin would be that multitudes would be converted and saved, that his reign would be permanent and that the work which Jehovah designed and desired would prosper under his administration.
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Isaiah, vol. 2 (London: Blackie & Son, 1851), 279–281.
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