Isa 53.1-12 is a prophecy about the Messiah, his human stature, his sufferings as Messiah ben Joseph and the glory he will have. It begins with a complaint about the small number who believed the report about him, but it ends with how he will prosper his cause and redeem many.
v 1…Who has believed (Hebrew (“aman” which is related to “amen”) our report (who puts faith in what is heard from us)? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed (exhibited in the Messiah in the future, that Israel should recognize him)?
v 2…For he (Messiah) shall grow up before him (Yehovah) like a tender shoot (under a dead stump), and like a root out of parched ground (the house of David will be in a low state-Isa 11.1). He has no form (attractiveness) or majesty (kingly majesty) that we should look upon him (nothing about him looked “kingly”); nor appearance that we should be attracted to him.
v 3…He was despised (past tense; or a “Nazarene” according to Matt 2.23; John 1.46; Isa 49.7. The idea is nothing good came out of Nazareth because it was despised) and forsaken (rejected by men), a man of sorrows (pains) and acquainted with grief (he was aware of all of it-Heb 2.19, 4.15); and like one from whom men hide their face (an abhorrence of him; having an aversion to), he was despised, and we did not esteem him (this is repeated to show just how despised he will be).
v 4…Surely our griefs (diseases) he himself bore (Hebrew “nasa” meaning to be “lifted up.” He lifted their loads and healed all who were sick; he cared for them like the high priest-Exo 28.38; Isa 53,12; Matt 8.16-17. It can also mean “forgive” relieve from guilt), and our sorrows (pains) he carried (Hebrew “sabal”-Isa 53.12), yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted (this was how he was seen by others, but not by Yehovah-Eph 5.1-2. The book “Messiah Texts” by Rapael Patai talks about a “Leper Messiah” and so does the Talmud in Sanhedrin 98b).
v 5…But he was pierced (to wound) through for our transgressions (willful rebellion), he was crushed (beat to pieces; but the context is also spiritual. He was burdened by sin-Isa 1.13-15, 43.24) for our iniquities (intentional due to a weakness), the chastening for our well-being (shalom) fell upon him, and by his bruises we are healed-Psa 129.3;1 Pet 2.24).
v 6…All of us like sheep have gone astray (the elect is compared to sheep, but not in a good way here); each of us haas turned to his own way (of foolishness and stupidity). But the Lord (Yehovah) has caused the inquity of all of us to encounter (meet, fall upon) him.
v 7…He was oppressed and afflicted (by unbelief and murmuring), yet he did not open his mouth (against his oppressors; this was the justice of God. More on that in verse 12); like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth.
v 8…He was taken from prison and from judgment (injustice was done to him by man-Acts 8.32-33) and as for his generation (who should have considered this but didn’t), who considered that he was cut off (Dan 9.26) out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people (Israel-Dan 9.26) to whom the stroke was due (he was innocent but Israel wasn’t).
v 9…His grave was assigned to be with wicked men (in death with two thieves), yet with the rich he was in death (at the expense of Joseph of Arimathea; the word “death’ here is plural meaning intensity, a violent death), although he had done no violence (violent crimes), nor was there any deceit in his mouth (no false doctrine).
v 10…But the Lord was pleased (because it was his will) to crush (bruise) him, putting him to grief (made weak-Heb 9.14; Luke 22.42); if he would render himself (his soul) as a guilt offering (Korban Asham), he will see his offspring (“zera” meaning his spiritual seed-Psa 22.30-31; Isa 66.7-9-figurative for “followers.” These people who believe after Yeshua returns are referred to in Ezek 46.16-18 as the “inheritance of the Prince”), he will prolong his days (by resurrection) and the good pleasure of the Lord (his purpose) will prosper (be successful) in his hand.
v 11…As a result of the anguish of his soul, he will see (the results) and be satisfied; by his knowledge (“da’at” or the knowledge of God in Torah facts) the righteous one, my servant (the Messiah-52.13), will justify many, as he will bear (“sabal” meaning to carry or forgive figuratively) their iniquities (of the many-v 12).
v 12…Therefore, I will allot him a portion with the great (great ones of the earth will do homage to him), and he will divide the booty with the strong (they will enjoy the spoil); because he poured out his soul (to be stripped of every last ounce of life) to death, and was numbered with the transgressors (of the Torah; to be seen with the transgressors; punished like a criminal between two thieves); yet he himself bore (nasa) the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors (as seen in Luke 23.34. So, let’s look as how he “bore” the sins of many on the cross. Nasa in Hebrew means “to lift away” but it can also mean “forgive” in a spiritual sense, as in Maark 7.8; Ezo 34.6-7; Psa 25.16-18, 38.1-5, 85.2. He loved us and cared for us-John 13.34, 15.12. Yeshua shed his blood for the remission of sin in Matt 26.28. In his suffering comes healing and salvation. He “bore” our sin or forgives it, and he “took up” our sicknesses. He did this before the cross in Matt 8.16-17 during his ministry. Yehovah was burdened by our sin in Isa 1.13-15, 43.24, 63.9-10. Yehovah understands the suffering caused by sin in Isa 63.9; Heb 4.13-15. He wants to relieve sinners of guilt, and we should “bear” each other’s “burden” as well, as seen in Gal.6.2-5. He also bore our sin in his heart. He was a perfect korban in Rom 4.25, 5.4. He gave what we could not, a perfect life. He “bore” in his flesh and in his heart our sins. Yeshua showed how much God loved us. Yeshua suffered not because he was punished by God, that is the impression his persecutors wanted. Yeshua allowed himself to be taken because it was for our own good, to heal us of sin by offering his perfect life. He was deprived of justice in 1 Pet 2.13; Acts 3.14-15, 5.30, 8.32-33. Yeshua’s resurrection refuted their unjust verdict and man’s justice, and God overruled it by Yeshua’s resurrection, and brought peace. He was a lamb without blemish, and he was not made guilty of our sin, that would not be just as in Prov 17.15 and 1 Pet 3.18. He bore our sin and transferred the debt to be paid, and the payment, to himself).