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Isaiah 53:6

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray
Here the prophet represents all the elect of God, whether Jews or Gentiles; whom he compares to "sheep", not for their good qualities, but for their foolishness and stupidity; and particularly for their being subject to go astray from the shepherd, and the fold, and from their good pastures, and who never return of themselves, until they are looked up, and brought back by the shepherd, or owner of them; so the people of God, in a state of nature, are like the silly sheep, they go astray from God, are alienated from the life of him, deviate from the rule of his word, err from the right way, and go into crooked paths, which lead to destruction; and never return of themselves, of their own will, and by their own power, until they are returned, by powerful and efficacious grace, unto the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls; see ( 1 Peter 2:25 ) where the apostle has a manifest respect to this passage: we have turned everyone to his own way;
and that is an evil one, a dark and slippery one, a crooked one, the end of it is ruin; yet this is a way of a man's own choosing and approving, and in which he delights; and it may not only intend the way of wickedness in general, common to all men in a state of nature, but a particular way of sinning, peculiar to each; some are addicted to one sin, and some to another, and have their own way of committing the same sin; men turn their faces from God, and their backs upon him, and look to their own way, and set their faces towards it, and their hearts on it; and which seems right and pleasing to them, yet the end of it are the ways of death; and so bent are men on these ways, though so destructive, that nothing but omnipotent grace can turn them out of them, and to the Lord; and which is done in consequence of what follows: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;
that is, God the Father, against whom we have sinned, from whom we have turned, and whose justice must be satisfied; he has laid on Christ, his own Son, the sins of all his elect ones; which are as it were collected together, and made one bundle and burden of, and therefore expressed in the singular number, "iniquity", and laid on Christ, and were bore by him, even all the sins of all God's elect; a heavy burden this! which none but the mighty God could bear; this was typified by laying of hands, and laying of sins upon the sacrifice, and putting the iniquities of Israel upon the head of the scapegoat, by whom they were bore, and carried away. The words may be rendered, "he made to meet upon him the iniquity of us all" F18; the elect of God, as they live in every part of the world, their sins are represented as coming from all quarters, east, west, north, and south; and as meeting in Christ, as they did, when he suffered as their representative on the cross: or "he made to rush, or fall upon him the iniquity of us all" {s}; our sins, like a large and mighty army, beset him around, and fell upon him in a hostile manner, and were the cause of his death; by which means the law and justice of God had full satisfaction, and our recovery from ruin and destruction is procured, which otherwise must have been the consequence of turning to our own ways; so the ancient Jews understood this of the Messiah. R. Cahana F20 on these words, "binding his ass's colt to the choice vine", ( Genesis 49:11 ) says,

``as the ass bears burdens, and the garments of travellers, so the King Messiah will bear upon him the sins of the whole world; as it is said, "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all",'' ( Isaiah 53:6 ) .

FOOTNOTES:

F18 (wnlk Nwe ta wb eygph) "fecit occarrere in eum iniquitatem omnium hostrum", Montanus; "occurrere fecit ei, vel irruere fecit in ilium", Vatablus.
F19 "Incurrere fecit in eum", Cocceius, Vitringa, Forerius; "irruere fecit in ilium", Vatablus; sic Syr. "fecit ut incurreret iniquitas", Piscator.
F20 Apud Galatin. de Cathol. Ver. I. 10. c. 6. p. 663, and Siphre in ib. l. 8. c. 20. p. 599.
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