The Servant Songs of Isaiah

Concluding our studies in Isaiah chapter 53, verse 12, the life work as well as the death work of the Christ, the Messiah is presented. He instructed the disciples, Matthew 5-7, and justified many through His wisdom or knowledge.1

Therefore will I divide: (achaleq – imperfect continuous tense of chillegb') I give, I distribute by lot. ‘The imperfect tense may have reference to habitual or customary action either in the present or in the past’.2 God is distributing or giving Him a portion. In this song, both past and present tenses are used prophetically.

him a portion with: in, or from among, the great: (harabbin) greatness in multitude and might; many. This may refer to the Gentiles, see 49. 7; 52. 15. A portion from the great multitudes will be given to Christ.

God loves Israel. His heart is with Israel. He anticipates the day when, no longer as a few scattered individuals, but as a collective nation, Israel turns back to the Lord in truth. In that day Israel will belong to God. More – through them the entire world will turn to God. The souls and hearts of men will be the victory that God receives. Because God’s heart is so invested in Israel’s success, the land will be as God’s particular possession when Israel occupies it. God will share in Israel’s joy.

and He will divide: (yechaleq – imperfect tense of the same verb as above) ‘He divides’ the spoil with the strong: The word ‘strong’ is plural and could be translated ‘strong ones’. There are various ways of understanding who these strong ones may be:

(a) More accurately, the words read, ‘The strong he apportions as spoils’ or ‘He will divide the mighty as spoils’. The Messiah as Leader will share in the time of world dominion for Israel when the peoples are given as an inheritance and the ends of the earth are given for a possession, Ps. 2. 8. This was partially fulfilled during the times of Kings David and Solomon. However, the ultimate fulfilment will be during the Messiah’s reign on the earth.

(b)The strong ones may refer to all believers. They are strong because they are indwelt and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, Eph. 3. 16. These strong ones receive by lot the inheritance from the Lord Jesus Christ. They are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Him, Eph. 1. 3, they receive His inheritance with Him, Eph. 1. 11, and spoils from Him. (See Ephesians chapter 4 verse 8, and Colossians chapter 2 verse 15). The Lord Jesus stripped His spiritual enemies, and gave spiritual gifts unto men, Eph. 4. 11.

(c)The strong ones may be those mentioned in Psalm 110 verse 3. These are volunteers who will stand up against the enemies of Christ when He comes in power to rule out of Zion. Strong ones will surround Him and fight the Beast along with Him. The Lord Jesus will divide the spoils of war among these loyal followers.

because: We are given at least four reasons for the rewards that the Servant is about to enjoy.

[1]He poured out: (oroh) stripped or emptied; poured out clean, even to the very last drop or remnant, His soul unto death: This answers to Philippians chapter 2 verses 7-8. He emptied Himself, giving all that He had, including His reputation. His life was voluntarily poured out totally at the cross. See John 10. 17, 18.

[2]and He was numbered: (monoh) allotted, appointed, counted with the transgressors: Is there a reward for being declared guilty when one is innocent? 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 20, ‘For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God’. This was part of the Servant’s sufferings.

[3]and He bore: (nasa) as verse 4 – to lift and remove. The word in scripture is especially used of sin, Lev. 22. 9; to bear away or take away (sin), Lev. 10. 17; Gen. 4. 17 margin.

the sin: (khete’) to miss the mark, of many

[4]and made intercession: (yapheniya’ imperfect tense, as above) was making entreaty; was interposing

for the transgressors: (poushaia) as verse 4. Those who revolt, rebel, and refuse subjection or allegiance to rightful authority. The Servant of Jehovah, our Messiah, was making intercession for them!

Engulfed in excruciating sorrows, the Suffering Servant on the cross expressed a perfect example of this intercession: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’, Luke 23. 34.

We can but worship.



For examples, see John chapters 3 and 4 during His life. He bore the iniquities of sinners in His death.


C. L. Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, pg. 142.


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