one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
people hid their faces from him; 2
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. 3
53:4 But he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain; 4
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. 5
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well; 7
because of his wounds we have been healed. 8
53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep;
each of us had strayed off on his own path,
but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him. 9
1 tn Heb “lacking of men.” If the genitive is taken as specifying (“lacking with respect to men”), then the idea is that he lacked company because he was rejected by people. Another option is to take the genitive as indicating genus or larger class (i.e., “one lacking among men”). In this case one could translate, “he was a transient” (cf. the use of חָדֵל [khadel] in Ps 39:5 HT [39:4 ET]).
2 tn Heb “like a hiding of the face from him,” i.e., “like one before whom the face is hidden” (see BDB 712 s.v. מַסְתֵּר).
3 sn The servant is likened to a seriously ill person who is shunned by others because of his horrible disease.
5 tn The words “for something he had done” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The group now realizes he suffered because of his identification with them, not simply because he was a special target of divine anger.
6 tn The preposition מִן (min) has a causal sense (translated “because of”) here and in the following clause.
7 tn Heb “the punishment of our peace [was] on him.” שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) is here a genitive of result, i.e., “punishment that resulted in our peace.”
8 sn Continuing to utilize the imagery of physical illness, the group acknowledges that the servant’s willingness to carry their illnesses (v. 4) resulted in their being healed. Healing is a metaphor for forgiveness here.
9 tn Elsewhere the Hiphil of פָגַע (paga’) means “to intercede verbally” (Jer 15:11; 36:25) or “to intervene militarily” (Isa 59:16), but neither nuance fits here. Apparently here the Hiphil is the causative of the normal Qal meaning, “encounter, meet, touch.” The Qal sometimes refers to a hostile encounter or attack; when used in this way the object is normally introduced by the preposition -בְּ (bet, see Josh 2:16; Judg 8:21; 15:12, etc.). Here the causative Hiphil has a double object – the Lord makes “sin” attack “him” (note that the object attacked is introduced by the preposition -בְּ. In their sin the group was like sheep who had wandered from God’s path. They were vulnerable to attack; the guilt of their sin was ready to attack and destroy them. But then the servant stepped in and took the full force of the attack.