53:10 Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill,
once restitution is made, 1
he will see descendants and enjoy long life, 2
and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.
Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’
Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, 4
you oppress your workers. 5
rather than doing anything you please on my holy day. 8
You must look forward to the Sabbath 9
and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. 10
You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities,
and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. 11
1 tn The meaning of this line is uncertain. It reads literally, “if you/she makes, a reparation offering, his life.” The verb תָּשִׂים (tasim) could be second masculine singular,in which case it would have to be addressed to the servant or to God. However, the servant is only addressed once in this servant song (see 52:14a), and God either speaks or is spoken about in this servant song; he is never addressed. Furthermore, the idea of God himself making a reparation offering is odd. If the verb is taken as third feminine singular, then the feminine noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) at the end of the line is the likely subject. In this case one can take the suffixed form of the noun as equivalent to a pronoun and translate, “if he [literally, “his life”] makes a reparation offering.”
sn What constitutes the servant’s reparation offering? Some might think his suffering, but the preceding context views this as past, while the verb here is imperfect in form. The offering appears to be something the servant does after his suffering has been completed. Perhaps the background of the language can be found in the Levitical code, where a healed leper would offer a reparation offering as part of the ritual to achieve ceremonial cleanliness (see Lev 14). The servant was pictured earlier in the song as being severely ill. This illness (a metaphor for the effects of the people’s sin) separated him from God. However, here we discover the separation is not final; once reparation is made, so to speak, he will again experience the Lord’s favor.
2 sn The idiomatic and stereotypical language emphasizes the servant’s restoration to divine favor. Having numerous descendants and living a long life are standard signs of divine blessing. See Job 42:13-16.
3 tn The words “they lament” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
4 tn Heb “you find pleasure”; NASB “you find your desire.”
5 tn Or perhaps, “debtors.” See HALOT 865 s.v. * עָצֵב.
7 tn Heb “if you turn from the Sabbath your feet.”
8 tn Heb “[from] doing your desires on my holy day.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa supplies the preposition מִן (min) on “doing.”
9 tn Heb “and call the Sabbath a pleasure”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “a delight.”
11 tn Heb “and you honor it [by refraining] from accomplishing your ways, from finding your desire and speaking a word.” It is unlikely that the last phrase (“speaking a word”) is a prohibition against talking on the Sabbath; instead it probably refers to making transactions or plans (see Hos 10:4). Some see here a reference to idle talk (cf. 2 Sam 19:30).