Isaiah 53 - Part IV
The following verse from the KJ is not a good translation: Isaiah 53:9: And he made (h5414) his grave with (h854) the wicked (h7563), and with (h854) (the) rich in his death; because (h5921) he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. The word because makes the reason that he made his grave with the wicked was that he had done no violence, which does not make sense. Here is the same verse from the NIV: He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
The proper meaning for the Hebrew word natan (h5414) is to give, and used with great latitude (assign, to set, put, make, etc.). The Hebrew word ‘et (h854) is properly nearness, and hence with, by, at, among, etc. Christ was given, or assigned a grave among the wicked by church leaders, but he was not buried among them. Believers buried him with the rich. To better understand what is meant, look at the incident when Judas covenanted to betray Jesus.
Matthew 26:14-15: 14. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15. And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. When Judas realized that he had made a mistake, he went back to the chief priests to return the 30 pieces of silver and attempted to stop the crucifixion. Here is the result:
Matthew 27:1-7: 1. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2. And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4. Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
A stranger, in this context, would be a Jew, but a non-resident of the city. He might be from another country and died while visiting the city on business or to attend one of the feasts (cf Genesis 17:8, 12). Jesus was from Nazareth, and therefore a place was provided to bury him along with the two thieves, who were likely Jews too, as by law, no Roman citizen could be crucified.
A rich man, Joseph of Arimathaea, provided a tomb in which Jesus was laid in his death. So, Jesus was given/assigned a place of burial with the wicked, but was never buried there. Instead his grave was made with the rich, and as a resident of Jerusalem. A better rendering of Isaiah 53:9 would be: He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and (was laid) with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Consider this verse metaphorically as applying to mankind’s relationship and to what Jesus portrayed by his sacrifice. Wicked (h7563) is the abstract meaning given the Hebrew word ra^sha^? (h7563) where the ancient Hebrew root (ra^sha? h7561) means to depart, to leave a correct path. In scripture, the mind of man is depicted as a pit, or grave, which is a hole in the earth. From the parable of the sower, earth represents the mind where the seed of the word is planted (Luke 8:11). Psalms 5:9: For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre (h6913), (or, grave) they flatter with their tongue. Psalms 30:2-3: 2. O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and you have healed me. 3. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from the grave (h7585): you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. The dead literally reside in the grave, and those in spiritual darkness figuratively reside in a grave. Just as God’s wisdom and understanding are as infinitely high as the heavens (Isaiah 55:7-9), man’s wickedness is like a bottomless pit (Psalms 73:22; Revelation 9:1; 11:7). Without God, there is no depth to man’s the wickedness.
Although Jesus had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth, the majority of the Jews viewed him as a false teacher because he said that he was the Son of God (Matthew 26:63-65). In this sense Jesus was figuratively assigned, by men, to a grave, or a way of thinking of a person who had left a correct path, or the way of righteousness. The Jews looked at Jesus as an ordinary sinner (Jn 9:24) who taught error and broke the law according to their way of understanding it. What has man done today? While Jesus may be referred to as the Son of God, there are at least five different views of him. When anyone initially accepts Jesus as their Savior, he is viewed through the eyes of man (from the grave/earth), until such time they are able to see the Son through the eyes of God (from the heavens).
What does it mean figuratively, that he was buried with the rich? Proverbs 14:18, 24: 18. ...the prudent are crowned with knowledge. ....24. The crown of the wise is their riches. Wealth is a symbol of spiritual riches, or knowledge we receive from Christ. Paul stated: Ephesians 3:8: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. The source of all spiritual riches is the Father, the riches with which Jesus came away from the cross, and the riches we are to receive via Jesus Christ. Then, will we become a light to the world, and like a city set on a hill that cannot be hid (Mt 5:14). Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Phlippeans 2:5).
Hebrews 5:8-9: 8.Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9. And being made perfect (or, complete), he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Amen.
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