King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 53

The person. (1-3) sufferings. (4-9) humiliation, and exaltation of Christ, are minutely described; with the blessings to mankind from his death. (10-12)

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The person

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.


4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

humiliation, and exaltation of Christ, are minutely described; with the blessings to mankind from his death

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Revealed. Who could have believed such things? The apostles complain how few were converted. Jo. xii. 38. Rom. x. 16. C. — These would not submit, though the gospel was not against reason. W.

Ver. 2. Plant. Hebrew also, “suckling child.” Sept. &c. — Ground. The blessed Virgin. C. — Was. Sept. “he had no appearance nor beauty. But his appearance was abject and deficient above all men; a,” &c. — That we. Lit. “and we have desired him.” Notwithstanding his abject condition, He was the desired of all nations, and by his wounds we are healed. H. — Some assert that the person of Christ was not beautiful, while others think that his wounds prevented it from being discerned. Salmeron would supply a negation from the first number: “We have not desired him.”

Ver. 3. Not. The whole life of Christ was spent in the midst of poverty, and contradictions. Heb. iv. 15. He has thus taught us to despise ourselves.

Ver. 4. Sorrows. Healing them by his own afflictions. Mat. viii. 15. Sickness is an effect of sin, which Jesus came to destroy. 1 Pet. ii. 24 — Leper, who was bound to have his face covered. v. 3. Lev. xiii. 45. — God. Payva (Def. Trin. iv.) assures us that many Jews were converted by the perusal of this chapter, and particularly of this verse, which may be rendered “as a God wounded and afflicted.” C.

Ver. 5. Healed. He inculcates this important truth repeatedly. Christ nailed the hand-writing that was against us to the cross. Col. ii. 14. H.

Ver. 6. Astray. We belong to his fold. C. xl. 11. Jo. x. 11. Lu. xv. 4.— Laid. Sept. “abandoned him to our sins,” as to so many executioners; (C.) “and he, because he had been abused, opened,” &c. H.

Ver. 7. Will. The pagans were very attentive that the victim should not make much resistance. Macrob. iii. 5.

Ver. 8. Judgment, or by an unjust and cruel judgment. H. — Heb. “from prison and judgment.” C. — Sept. “in humiliation, (H.) or humility, his judgment was taken away,” or rescinded, by his glorious resurrection. S. Philip follows this version in explaining this passage to the eunuch. Acts viii. 33. — Generation, from his eternal Father or from the Virgin, his incarnation, life, resurrection, or posterity in the Church. All these may be meant, and are inexplicable. C.

Ver. 9. Death. Heb. “and he made his grave with the wicked men, and with the rich man, in his death.” H. — Grave and death seem to be transposed; and we might better read, “He was taken up with wicked men in his death, and with a rich man was his sepulchre.” This indeed is only a conjecture, but well grounded in the context. See Jos. xxiv. 19. Kennicott. — Sept. “and I will give the wicked for his grave, and the rich men for his death.” H. — The rich man may denote the small number of Jews who embraced the faith. C. — They esteemed themselves rich, and were highly favoured by God; yet they were blinded, (H.) and given up to the Romans, in punishment of their deicide. Mat. xxvii. 25. The Church is gathered both from Jews and Gentiles. v. 10. C. S. Jer. — “He will send to hell the wicked,” (Chal.) who slew him. M. — Christ was buried where malefactors were generally, yet honourably, in the tomb of Joseph. W. Mat. xxvii. 57.

Ver. 10. Bruise. Sept. “to cleanse him from the wound.” H. — God was pleased that he should satisfy fro our crimes. — Hand. Christ has died for all, and established a Church which shall not perish.

Ver. 12. Many. Even to the ends of the earth. Ps. ii. 8. — Strong. Demons, Jews, &c. Heb. “with the strong” apostles. — Wicked thieves. Barabbas, &c. — Transgressors. His executioners. The gospel could not speak plainer. C.