Chapter 52, Verse 13 opens a section of scripture that is so radical, so amazing, and so prophetically pointing to the Messiah, that it has been called “the fifth gospel” of the Bible. In reality, chapter 53 should have begun at this spot. The chapters and verses that we use today were added to the scriptures in the 16th century, and they weren't always divided up in a clear fashion.
The first believers, all Jewish, had no written New Testament yet. Therefore, it was the Hebrew scriptures - the Tanakh - that the believers would search. The noble Berean Jews of Acts 17:11 faithfully searched these scriptures daily in order to solidify their faith. How stunning this section must have been to them!
Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
Who is being spoken of here? Who is My (God’s) servant?
Anyway, back to the verse. It begins by calling attention to His second coming, when He shall be highly exalted and extolled. He will not be a baby in a manger anymore, and He will no longer be the servant who suffers. He will be worshipped!
The Hewbrew scriptures put forth two very different pictures of the Messiah. In fact, ancient rabbis taught that there were two messiahs, and eventually some taught that possibly there was one messiah that came twice. Of course, neither idea is not taught anymore in the Jewish world.
The two clear pictures of the Messiah in the Hebrew scriptures are this:
- Messiah, Son of Joseph – the Suffering Servant
- Messiah, Son of Daviid – the Reigning King
Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men
The next verse tells us what this Servant will do:
So shall He sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.
The Hebrew word for sprinkle, nazah, is actually a legal term dealing with the sprinkling of blood or oil for cleansing. It is used 24 times in the Hebrew scriptures, and 22 of those times (13 times in Leviticus alone), it is in the context of being sprinkled with blood for purification and holiness.
- He will be exalted
- He will be severely suffer
- He will sprinkle the whole world.
How exciting is this? This is a prophecy of salvation being poured out to the nations; and the nations, who didn’t know anything but idols, will stand in awe of Him. This prophecy was written over 500 years before this actually began to happen.
Stay tuned as we continue to walk through this very exciting portion of scripture!
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