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manner of life, who would declare ?* for he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was smitten to death.
9. And his grave was appointed with the wicked, and with the rich man was his tomb. Although he had done no wrong, neither was there any guile in his mouth; (10) yet it pleased Jehovah to crush him with affliction. If (or when) his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice (or a trespass-offering) he shall see a seed which shall prolong their days, and the gracious purpose of Jehovah shall prosper in his hands.
11. Of the travail of his soul he shall see the fruit, and be satisfied by the knowledge of him shall my righteous servant justify many; for the punishment of their iniquities shall he bear.
12. Therefore will I distribute to him the many for his portion; and the mighty people shall he share for his spoil, because he poured out his soul unto death: and was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many; and made intercession for the transgressors."
While some of the Jews (for example, the Targumist and Kimchi) have attempted to explain this extraordinary prophecy as relating to the people of Israel, (an explanation of which a candid view of the text must at once show the absurdity) others of them have plainly confessed that it was written concerning the Messiah. But, whatsoever may be the opin
* Heb. nn Eng. Ver. "Who shall declare his generation?" The word in this difficult passage, is of uncertain signification. If it is capable of being rendered, “manner of life," (which is somewhat doubtful) the passage may contain a reference (as Lowth supposes) to the Jewish forensic practice of instituting a public inquiry respecting the character of a criminal, before sentence of condemnation was passed upon him: see Lowth's note in loc.
+ Heb. na Eng. Ver.-" in his death." Lowth, after Schindler, Drusius, and others, regards the as radical; in which case a literally signiges excelsa sua—a phrase which may denote a tomb, tumulus, or monumentum; or the reference may be to the high places which the Israelites were accustomed to select for the purpose of burial. So the tomb of Joseph was on Mount Calvary: see Lowth's note in loc,
Heb. D DUN own on "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin." E. V. or "When his soul shall make an offering for sin." The latter appears the preferable mode of rendering the passage'; but the Hebrew admits of either sense-" the verb pon being either the second person governed by "thou” understood, or the third person feminine, governed by DJ.
See Vitringa, in Esaiam, vol. ii, p. 658; Gill on Isa. liii, 6; Martini Pug. Fid. pars III, diss. I, cap. x.
ion of the Jew, this is a subject on which the Christian cannot hesitate. In applying this prediction to the true Messiah of Israel, he is amply justified, first, by its astonishing appositeness to the life and death of Jesus, and to many of the circumstances with which they were attended. If the question is asked, Who was he who, in his low estate, arose like a root out of a dry ground; who was destitute of any worldly glory and splendor; who was not believed in by the Jews; was despised, rejected, smitten, bruised, and persecuted; who was absolutely free from any wrong or guile, and yet was crushed with affliction; who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and opened not his mouth; died with the wicked; was buried with the rich; and afterwards became the spiritual Lord of a great people, and saw of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied?—the whole history of the New Testament plainly answers-Jesus. And, secondly, for such an application of this prophecy, we have ample authority in the writings of the apostles and evangelists, who, in their doctrine respecting the atoning efficacy of the death of Christ, appear to have often alluded to it, and have occasionally cited its contents as directly prophetical of Christ. Thus, when the Ethiopian, who was reading one of the most remarkable passages of this memorable prediction, inquired of Philip, of whom the prophet spake we are informed that "Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus: Acts viii, 34, 35: comp. John xii, 38: Matt. viii, 17: Mark ix, 12: 1 Pet. ii, 22-25: see also Rom. iv, 25: 1 Cor. xv, 3.
If, then, it is allowed that this prophecy describes our blessed Saviour, it follows that the doctrine of his vicarious sufferings-the doctrine that he atoned for the sins of his peopleis established on a foundation which can never be shaken; for nothing surely can be more full and explicit, nothing less liable to mistake or perversion-than the reiterated terms in which that doctrine is here promulgated. Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; but the sorrows which he bore, and the griefs to which he submitted, were ours. Christ was bruised, wounded, scourged, and slain; yet, all this suffering unto death he underwent for our transgressions-for our iniquity. The Lord hath made to meet upon him the iniquities of us all. We all have gone astray-he was perfectly innocent; but, for the penalty which our sins demanded, and which the holiness of God exacted, he was made answerable. The sentence of death was recorded against us; but he died in our stead; for he offered up his life a propitiatory sacrifice, and by the knowledge of himself he justifies many; the chastise
ment was his: the peace is ours: he suffered, and we are released: "by his stripes we are healed.
The same doctrine is probably alluded to, though briefly and somewhat obscurely, by the prophet Daniel, who, in his celebrated prediction respecting the seventy weeks, has made mention of the precise time when the Messiah should "be cut off, but not for himself:"* ix, 26. Again, the saving efficacy of the blood of the new covenant-that is to say, the blood of the Messiah-is powerfully described in one of the prophecies of Zechariah, addressed to the people or church of God, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem behold thy king cometh unto thee, &c. .... As for thee, also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water :† turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope!" ix, 9-12.
On opening the volume of the New Testament, we find, in the history of the sufferings and crucifixion of the spotless Jesus, a key to the types of patriarchal and Mosaic worship, as well as to the marked and singular contents of these ancient prophecies; and, in the doctrines of our Lord himself and his apostles, we are supplied with clear and abundant evidence that the death of Christ was sacrificial-that by it an atonement was made for the sins of men.
The earliest testimony, on this subject, recorded in the New Testament, is that of John the Baptist, who proved his understanding of the typical nature of ancient Jewish ceremony when he pointed out Jesus to the people, saying, "Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world:" John i, 29: comp. ver. 36. The title here given to Jesus has an obvious relation to the fact, that he was foreordained to be, like the lamb of the passover, or the lamb of the daily burntoffering in the temple, a sacrifice for sin; and it is probably on this principle alone that he is also described as taking away (or as taking up, in order to bear on himself,‡) the sins of the world.
In rendering the verb n as passive, our translators are supported, not only by the Masoretic points, but by the Syriac, Vulgate, and other ancient versions. The terms are of doubtful interpretation, but are clearly capable of the sense here given to them-"not for himself:" and that sense is in perfect harmony with other passages of Scripture: comp. John xviii, 14, &c.
+ The common English version of this passage is very literal and exact; the Hebrew text being as follows:
יכרת משיח ואין לו *
נס את בדס בריתך שלחתי אסיריך מבור אין מיס בו 8
# John i, 29. Ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου.
In his own conversations with his disciples, our blessed Lord has not only presented himself to our attention in the general character of the Saviour of lost mankind; (Matt. xviii, 11; John iii, 17, &c. ;) but, in the more definite one of the vicarious sufferer, who was to give his life for his friends, for the multitude of believers, and for the world at large. "This is my commandment," said he to his disciples, "that ye love one another as I have loved you ;" and then, in evident allusion to his approaching sacrifice of himself, he added, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends:" John xv, 12, 13. "I am the good Shepherd," he cried, on another occasion: "the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep;" (John x, 11 ;) and still more comprehensive was his language, when he spake of himself as the bread of life" I am the living bread which came down from heaven if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world :" vi, 51.
When Jesus said to Nicodemus, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life," he evidently alluded, first, to his crucifixion, and, secondly, to that salvation which is procured "through faith in his blood;" (see John iii, 14, 15; comp. xii, 32, 33 ;) but there are two other passages, in his discourses, which state, in terms yet more significant and decisive, the Christian doctrine of atonement. The first is recorded in Matt. xx, 28, where we find Jesus presenting himself to his disciples as an example of disinterestedness and humility, and declaring that "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY :" comp. Mark x, 45. These remarkable expressions very simply, yet forcibly, convey the doctrine, that the death of Christ was to be sacrificial-that he was to give up his own life as a sacrifice, in order to ransom or redeem " many" from that eternal death to which they are exposed. And no less plain were the terms
The participle aïgav may signify either qui aufert, or qui in se suscipit. The latter sense seems most accordant with the evidently sacrificial import of the passage. So the Syriac Peschito renders aigav, by a verb signifying portavit-gestavit. The verb algo has the same sense in Matt. xi, 29, where our Saviour says, "Take my yoke upon you"ägare Tòv Zugóv Mou—and in xxvii, 32, where it is applied to the taking up and bearing of the cross. Schleusner understands aïgov as here denoting auferens, but paraphrases the whole passage as follows: "Hic est agnus divinus, qui culpas et scelera mortalium expiat:" in voc. No. 7. Bb
in which our Lord called the attention of his followers to the same doctrine, when, at his last paschal supper with them, he took bread and brake it, and said, "This is my body which is given for you;" (Luke xxii, 19;) or, "which is broken for you;" (1 Cor. xi, 24;) and afterwards handed them the cup, saying, "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament (or covenant) which is shed for many, for the remission of sins!" Matt. xxvi, 27, 28.
The mysteries of the kingdom of God, which were communicated to the apostles by their divine Master, “in darkness,” they were to speak in the light;" and that which they heard "in the ear," they were to preach " upon the house tops :" Matt. x, 27. No wonder, therefore, that those letters to the churches, which were given forth by the apostles after Jesus had died, and at a period when so plenary an illumination had been bestowed upon them through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, should abound still more than the recorded discourses of our Lord himself, in the declarations of the doctrinal part of Christianity, and especially of the atoning virtue of the Redeemer's death.
Having premised this general remark, I may now offer to the reader's attention a selection of apostolic testimonies on this great subject. We may begin with Peter, who, in his first general Epistle, addresses the early Christian converts as persons who were "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:" i, 2. This apostle was well aware of the divine efficacy of the sprinkling of that blood by faith on the heart. Accordingly, we soon afterwards find him exhorting his brethren, as follows: "Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear; forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot :" i. 17 -19. In the two following passages, he incites the believers to a patient bearing of injury and persecution, by holding up to their view the highest of examples-by insisting, in strong terms, on the meritorious and vicarious sufferings of Christ himself. "For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth... who, his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness by whose stripes ye were healed:" ii, 21-24.