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The Cartoon Old Testament Online Book - Part 3
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Isaiah 53

Suffering Servant

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper. 11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Silence of the Lambs

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Musings

This passage is excerpted from the fourth and last servant song in Isaiah (the full passage is 52:13-53:12). Its original context is most likely in reference to Israel being the servant suffering for the salvation of all of the nations. Isaiah 40 suggested Israel had indeed suffered more than was necessary for just their own transgressions (a double-portion), which might be what was necessary to move from redeemed (or restored) to redeemer (or example) to the other nations. Christianity often uses this passage as a parallel to Jesus as the suffering servant and messiah. Paul also uses it (Isaiah 52:15) in Romans 15:21 as part of the justification for his mission to the Gentiles.


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