And to whom has the arm of the
– Which, if any, people recognize the reality behind the change of fortune?Isaiah 53:3
a man of suffering
– The underlying assumption in Isaiah 53:3 isthat servant is despised since he deserved punishment because of sin.
Thisis the “dominate (though not the only) biblical perspective on suffering;namely those who obey God will be blessed and those who don’t will becursed.”
Examples can be found in Proverbs 3:33; Leviticus 26; Isaiah5:24-25. A more contemporary example that shows this same idea is Han-del’s
.Suffering is also tied to being chosen and to being favored.
Texts thatillustrate this point are: Deuteronomy 8:5; Proverbs 3:12. Thus one mustread Isaiah while holding these two ideas in mind at the same time.
he has borne our inﬁrmities
– Verses 53:4-5 seem to say that the ser-vant suffering in our place is for both our health (salvation) and our sins.
Jewish thought is that suffering shows both a “moral superiority” and avirtue found in “rabbinic, medieval, and modern form” of Judaism.
How-ever, this is not simple cause and effect.
It might be the case that God’schosen suffer for others.
In the post Holocaust world, many Jewish thinkers reject the connectionbetween suffering and sin while retaining the bond between suffering andbeing chosen.
he was wounded for our transgressions
– Suffering cannot be sep-arated from the communities that experience it (Jewish/Christian) and itsproper interpretation depends on their hermeneutics.