Is Isaiah 53 'The Suffering Servant' a prophecy about Jesus?

Is Isaiah chapter 53 the clearest prophecy about Jesus' atoning sacrifice?


thanks everyone for sharing there was so many good answers

15 Answers

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    I do love this question, I have answered it a couple of times on here but I would love to share my answer again, thanks for asking.

    Great question, I see Jesus Christ so plainly in this chapter. This is a prophecy of Jesus Christ.

    Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

    " And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed "? Jesus is called the arm of the Lord in other places in the Bible too, we know that Jesus sits at the right hand of God ( Mark 16:19;Luke 22:69; Rom.8:34 ) We can see in the New Testament when this verse was fulfilled:

    John 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

    38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

    Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

    3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

    We see how it says the " He ( Jesus ) shall grow up before Him ( The Father ) as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: " The words " grow up " shows that the Lord would be born, and from a child grow before the Lord. These other verses describe so much about Jesus, His heart, the things that He endured, how He was treated by people.

    Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

    5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

    6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

    We see the purpose of Christ coming, it was to pay the debt for our sins, He bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows. How much Jesus loves us! He took our place, the punishment that we deserve He took on Himself, He suffered for us, so that we could go free.

    1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

    25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

    This shows how Jesus would be brought to be put to death, and even though He was oppressed and afflicted He didn't speak, so much so that Pilate marveled.

    Mark 15:3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.

    4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

    5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.

    We can also see from Acts that this scripture is speaking of Jesus:

    Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

    31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

    32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

    33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

    Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

    9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

    This shows that Jesus would die, " for He was cut off out of the land of the living: " and it was us that He died. By saying, " He made His grave with the wicked, " it was speaking of how He was crucified with the wicked, ( the criminals who had done wrong ) " and with the rich in His death " it was speaking of the tomb that Jesus was laid in. After the Lord's death a rich man that believed in Jesus gave the tomb that he had carved out.

    Matthew 27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

    58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

    59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

    60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

    That ninth verse not only shows how Jesus was killed among the wicked, and how He was buried in a rich man's tomb, but also that Jesus had done no wrong, or anything worthy of death, " because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. " Jesus was and is perfect, without sin.

    Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

    We see that it was God's plan for Christ to die for us, it was because God loves us so much and He desires for us to be with Him. In this verse it says, " when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. " by saying, " He shall see " and " He shall prolong His days " we see about the resurrection of Jesus, He was not left dead, but God raised Him up from the dead. If someone died their days could not be prolonged unless they were alive again, and by prolonged that doesn't mean for a short time, Jesus lives for ever!

    " And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand " It speaks to me how Jesus Christ reigns, the authority that Christ has.

    Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

    Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

    12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Jesus made an offering for our sin, He laid down His own life for us, so that we could have eternal life. This is the only sacrifice for sin that God accepts, nothing else can take our sins away, only the blood of Jesus.

    Hebrews 9: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    In the twelfth verse I see more of how the Lord Jesus Christ reigns:

    Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

    9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

    11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Thank you for asking this question, it has been a blessing to me.

    There is still so much more that could be said about this, this is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.

    with all sincerity in Christ,


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  • Bonnie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Thinking Isaiah 53 refers to Jesus is a common mistake. Chapters 40-55 of Isaiah were written by Second Isaiah i.e. after southern kingdom was destroyed in 586 BCE and the surviving Israelites had been taken into captivity. Like all the prophets, he was writing for his own time, not future generations. He was trying to explain to the nation of Israel why they suffered and why they should yet have hope. Here's why that interpretation is correct: 1) There is no use of the word “messiah” in the passage at all. Moreover, the Jewish idea of a messiah was not someone who suffered, but rather a mighty leader. Therefore it is clear that the “servant” who has suffered is not meant to be any type of messiah. 2) The servant is crushed, the opposite of stretched or crucified, which is what happened to Jesus. 3) Most fundamentally, the author specifically identifies the “servant” as the nation of Israel in 41:8 and 49:3. The sufferings of the servant are said to be in the past, not in the future. This is consistent with the timing of the writing, i.e. after the destruction of the nation of Israel has occurred and the captivity is underway. The suffering of Jesus, by contrast, occurs in the future.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The suffering servant is Israel (the Jewish people). We have been tortured and persecuted because of our unwavering believe in G-d.

    Israel has been persecuted on and off for 2000 years!

    Slavery in Egypt, Babylonian Exile, the Roman occupation, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Pogroms, the Holocaust, etc.

    I think these examples speak for themselves.


    To djmantx: O.k. you got me on that one.

    But how do you explain the fact that G-d himself said that he was not a human.

    Numbers 23: 19

    G-d is not a man, that He should lie; Neither the son of a man, that He should repent.

    Since you believe that Jesus is god then why would G-d say that he was not a man nor the son of a man?

    Jesus is not G-d. Jesus was just a man.

    Also the messiah is to be a normal human being and he is not supposed to become G-d. The messiah worships G-d and he's supposed to fulfill all the prophecies not just a select few.

    Also in the original Hebrew Isaiah 53:8 says:

    By opression and judgment he was taken away, And with his generation who did reason?

    It says nothing about prison at all that was added or mistranslated by Christians so they could sneak Jesus in the "old testament" to make their claims seem plausible.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, Jesus is that suffering servant. v. 8 talks of the reason why Jesus came in the first place and that was to die for the transgressions of the people of Israel and to bring them back to the Father. He came to His own and His own received Him not.John 1:11. Matt. 10:10 talks about going to the lost sheep of Israel first.

    Thanks Butterfly and God Bless. :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    No of course not. Isaiah is from the Jewish scriptures, the Tanakh. There is nothing in the Tanakh about Jesus. They were written thousands of years BEFORE Jesus was even born. Jesus does not feature in Judaism. So why on earth would he appear in the Tanakh? That's about as logical as me claiming Mohammed is mentioned in the 'new testament'!

    If you read the WHOLE of Isaiah, without the page breaks that the Church added when it created the 'old testament', you will see that the suffering servant is ISRAEL. It is named as ISRAEL over, and over and over and over:

    saiah 41:8, "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, seed of Abraham my friend"

    Isaiah 44:1 "But hear, now, O Jacob My servant, Israel whom I have chosen!"

    Isaiah 44:21 "Remember these things, O Jacob for you, O Israel, are My servant"

    Isaiah 49:3 "And he said to me, "You are My servant, Israel in whom I glory.""

    - Because Isaiah identifies the servant previously as Israel we know that references to the servant (such as those found in Isaiah 52 & 53) are not references to Jesus.


    And even if Christianity tries to ignore what the original Hebrew says, it STILL can't be about Jesus:

    Isaiah 52:14 states, “So marred was his appearance, unlike that of a man, his form, beyond human semblance”

    -Even though Jesus was whipped and crucified, his form was not marred beyond human semblance. He still resembled a human being, and his form was still like that of a man. Jesus doesn't fit.

    Isaiah 53:4 states, “Yet it was our sickness that he was bearing, our suffering that he endured, we accounted him plagued, smitten and affected by God.”

    Isaiah 53:3 contains, “A man of suffering, familiar with disease.”

    Isaiah 53:10 states, “But the Lord chose to crush him by disease”

    -Now, these passages tell us that the suffering servant being described was not only familiar with disease, but also afflicted with it, and crushed by it. It may be argued that Jesus was familiar with disease; however, he was not crushed by disease.

    And no, disease does not mean sin or any other metaphorical interpretation. The historical context confirms this, early Jewish sources confirm this - it refers to leprosy.

    "The Rabbis said: His name is 'the leper scholar,' as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted." (Sanh. 98b)

    Jesus was no leper. He wasn't smitten, afflicted, plagued, crushed by disease. Jesus doesn't fit.

    Isaiah 53:10 also states, “That, if he made himself an offering for guilt, he might see offspring and have long life”

    -Jesus made a guilt offering? This is recorded nowhere. He had offspring? The gospels don't mention this, rather Christian tradition teaches that he had no wife or children. He had a long life? He lived to his mid-30s. Jesus just doesn't fit.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First, the Bible says that mankind has a problem, and that problem is called sin. Sin is any action or attitude that falls short of God's perfect standard. Every one of us has the problem of sin (Romans 3:23). And the Bible teaches us that there is a consequence to sin - sin separates us from a holy God (Habakkuk 1:13). In fact, the Bible tells us that end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that there is nothing that we ourselves can do to solve the problem of sin.

    Second, the Bible says that there is a solution to the problem of sin, and that solution is the person of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). The Bible tells us that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus, His only Son, to die in our place (John 3:16). Jesus paid the penalty of your sin so that you would not have to be forever separated from God (I John 4:10). The Bible also tells us that Jesus is the only solution for our sin problem (John 14:6).

    Third, the Bible demands a decision. It is not enough to just know about Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for you. You must choose to put your trust in Christ, to receive this free gift of salvation that God offers (John 1:12).

    All of us have the problem of sin. There is only one solution to the problem - the person of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for us. Every one of us must decide...

    What will you do with Jesus Christ?

    You must make a decision. What are your options? There are only three possible answers to this question:

    1. To say yes, to accept God's free gift of salvation by putting your trust in Jesus Christ.

    2. To say no, to reject God's offer of salvation. The Bible says that those who make this choice will spend eternity separated from God in a place called Hell.

    3. To say maybe, to try to put off the decision to a more convenient time. The Bible does say that God is patient, wanting everyone to come to the point of accepting His gift of salvation (II Peter 3:9). But none of us is promised that we will be here tomorrow, and because of this "x-factor" of death, trying to put off our decision by saying maybe automatically puts us in the "no" category.

    So, in reality, there are only two answers to the question, "What will you do with Jesus Christ?" To accept His free gift of salvation or to reject that gift.

    Let me ask you, "What have you done with Jesus Christ?" If you have never accepted God's offer of eternal life, I can think of no better time than right now (II Corinthians 6:2). If you would like to say yes to Christ, you can do it right now, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Join me in our prayer room to talk to Him and invite Him into your life.

    The invitation is open - you can accept the gift of salvation and get rid of the sin in your life. It doesn't matter what you're doing or what you've done. The offer is open to everyone.

    If you've come this far, you probably realize you're about to make the most important decision of your life.

    Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." He also said, "whoever comes to me I will never drive away."

    So if you ask Him, you will be accepted.

    The way believers talk to the Lord is through prayer. Your prayer should be your own, from your own heart to His. If you're not in the habit of praying, though, you may need an example.

    An example of such a prayer may go something like this:

    Father in Heaven,

    I know that I am a sinner

    and need forgiveness.

    I believe that Your Son Jesus

    died in my place,

    to pay the penalty for my sin,

    and rose again for my salvation.

    I want to turn from my sinful ways,

    so I now ask you,

    Lord Jesus, to come

    into my life as my Savior

    and my Lord.

    In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    The Bible says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." So if you have asked Him into your life, and believe He died to save you, you are a Christian, bound for Heaven.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes perhaps but the prophesy of Abraham's sacrifice was also a clear prophesy about atonement as was Jonah.

    Edit to Chedvah. Isa. 53: 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

    So Isreal is cut off from the land of the living for the transgressions of God's people? Is Israel cut of from the land of the living? for the transgressions of Israel?

    Please share with us how this makes sense.

    Is Israel atoneng for it's sin by death for it's salvation from death?

    Edit again. You are correct in Numbers God definitely said he is not a man that he would lie.

    Two points in that God is literally not a man neither was Christ born at the time of Numbers.

    God is without a doubt greater than a man.

    God is more than simply the Father but in whole is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


    Isa. 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.

    Again he was cut off from the land of the living for the transgression of God's people.

    Friend, You make some good points but understanding is greater than a man and truth is by revelation of God which is through the spirit.

    God is indeed greater than a man and the Son indeed became flesh for the salvation of the world.

    The Son was in submission to the Father as we should put our flesh in submission to the spirit.

    God Bless.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well the one in the book that Luther took out of the Bible is quite similar.

    Book of Wisdom Chapter 2

    Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.


    He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD.


    To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us,


    Because his life is not like other men's, and different are his ways.


    He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father.


    Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him.


    For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes.


    With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.


    Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him."


    These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them,


    And they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls' reward.


    For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.


    But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    No, the Tanakh does not make any prophesies about Jesus. Any references to Jesus in the Old Testament were put in there after the fact, which means they're not prophesies.

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  • upsman
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Anyone who is honest would have to admit that Isaiah 53 sure does sound like Jesus. Isaiah 53:4 says "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted". He bore our griefs and sorrows on the cross and yet most of the people there didn't understand it. They just thought He was another common criminal. Isaiah 53:5 says "But He was pierced through for our transgressions (sins), He was crushed for our iniquities (sins); the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed". This is talking about the scourging of Jesus for our sins and for our spiritual healing. Isaiah 53:6 says "All of us like sheep have gone astray (we've all sinned), each of us has turned to his own way (we've sinned willfully); but the LORD has caused the iniquity (sins) of us all to fall on Him". I don't know how that verse could be any more clear. Isaiah 53:7 says "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth". In other words,when Jesus was being tried in the Jewish and Roman courts, he would not complain. That fulfills Luke 23:8,9. Isaiah 53:8 says "By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living (killed), for the transgression (sins) of my people to whom the stroke was due?” In other words, He died paying the price of the penalty of sin that was due us. Isaiah 53:9 says "His grave was assigned with wicked men (in other words, He was crucified as a common thief and He should have been buried as a common thief but He wasn't), Yet He was with a rich man in His death (He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethia, a rich Pharasee), Because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.” In other words, He was crucified between 2 thieves and yet He was buried in a rich mans tomb. Isaiah 53:10 says "But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand". In other words, He was a guilt offering which, in the Old Testament, was an offering (lamb slaughtered) for someone’s sins. Isaiah 53:11 says "As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities (sins)". In other words, through His sacrifice on the cross many will be declared justified and righteous by God. Isaiah 53:12 says "Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded (prayed) for the transgressors". In other words, He bore the sins of the world and prayed for the very people who crucified Him. What was one of the very last things He said on the cross---"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". The amazing thing about Isaiah 53 is that it was written 700 years before Christ was born. Is Isaiah chapter 53 the clearest prophecy about Jesus' atoning sacrifice?

    It certainly is one of the clearest but there are many others. Micah 5:2 says "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity." That's talking about the birthplace of the Messiah, also written 700 years before He was born. Isaiah 7:14 says "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (which means God with us).” That's talking about the virgin birth of the Messiah. Zechariah 9:9 (520 years before Christ was born) says "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey". That's about Jesus' official declaration that He was the Messiah on the original Palm Sunday (a week before He was crucified). Zechariah 11:12 (520 years before Christ) says "And I said to them, if it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind! So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages". In other words, Christs was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Zechariah 11:13 says "Then the LORD said to me, throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD". I could go on and on.

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