Isaiah 53:12

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.

Isaiah 53:12 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 53:12

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great
The great ones of the earth, the kings and princes of the earth: these are the words of God the Father, promising Christ that he shall have as great a part or portion assigned him as any of the mighty monarchs of the world, nay, one much more large and ample; that he would make him higher than the kings of the earth, and give him a name above every name in this world, or that to come; and all this in consequence of his sufferings, and as a reward of them; see ( Philippians 2:8 Philippians 2:9 ) and whereas the Lord's people are his portion, and with which Christ is well pleased, and greatly delighted, ( Deuteronomy 32:9 ) ( Psalms 16:6 ) , they may be intended here, at least as a part of the portion which Christ has assigned him. For the words may be rendered F5, "therefore will I divide, assign, or give many to him": so the Vulgate Latin version; and which is favoured by the Targum,

``therefore will I divide to him the prey of many people;''

and by the Septuagint version, therefore he shall inherit many, or possess many as his inheritance; so the Arabic version. The elect of God were given to Christ, previous to his sufferings and death, in the everlasting council of peace and covenant of grace, to be redeemed and saved by him; and they are given to him, in consequence of them, to believe in him, to be subject to him, and serve him; and so it denotes a great multitude of persons, both among Jews and Gentiles, that should be converted to Christ, embrace him, profess his Gospel, and submit to his ordinances; and which has been true in fact, and took place quickly after his resurrection and ascension.

And he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
or "the strong as a spoil"; that is, he shall spoil principalities and powers, destroy Satan and his angels, and make an entire conquest of all his mighty and powerful enemies. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render the words, "he shall divide the spoil of the strong"; of Satan and his principalities; those they make a spoil of he shall take out of their hands, and possess them as his own. The best comment on this version is ( Luke 11:22 ) . Or rather the words may be rendered, "he shall have or possess for a spoil or prey very many" F6; for the word for "strong" has the signification of a multitude; and so the sense is the same as before, that a great multitude of souls should be taken by Christ, as a prey out of the hands of the mighty, and become his subjects; and so his kingdom would be very large, and he have great honour and glory, which is the thing promised as a reward of his sufferings. Some understand, by the "great" and "strong", the apostles of Christ, to whom he divided the gifts he received when he led captivity captive; to some apostles, some prophets ( Ephesians 4:10 Ephesians 4:11 ) , and others the soldiers, among whom his garments were parted; but they are senses foreign from the text.

Because he hath poured out his soul unto death;
as water is poured out, ( Psalms 22:14 ) or rather as the wine was poured out in the libations or drink offerings; for Christ's soul was made an offering for sin, as before; and it may be said with respect to his blood, in which is the life, that was shed or poured out for the remission of sin; of which he was emptied,

and made bare,
as the word F7 signifies, when his hands, feet, and side, were pierced. The phrase denotes the voluntariness of Christ's death, that he freely and willingly laid down his life for his people.

And he was numbered with the transgressors;
he never was guilty of any one transgression of the law; he indeed appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was calumniated and traduced as a sinner, and a friend of the worst of them; he was ranked among them, and charged as one of them, yet falsely; though, having all the sins of his people upon him, he was treated, even by the justice and law of God, as if he had been the transgressor, and suffered as if he had been one; of which his being crucified between two thieves was a symbolical representation, and whereby this Scripture was fulfilled, ( Mark 15:28 ) .

and he bore the sin on many;
everyone of their sins, even the sins of all those whose iniquity was laid on him, of the many chosen in him, and justified by him; (See Gill on Isaiah 53:11) where this is given as the reason for their justification; and here repeated as if done, to show the certainty of it; to raise the attention of it, as being a matter of great importance; see ( 1 Peter 2:24 ) .

And made intercession for the transgressors;
as he did upon the cross, even for those that were the instruments of his death, ( Luke 23:34 ) and as he now does, in heaven, for all those sinners for whom he died; not merely in a petitionary way, but by presenting himself, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; pleading the merits of these, and calling for, in a way of justice and legal demand, all those blessings which were stipulated in an everlasting covenant between him and his Father, to be given to his people, in consequence of his sufferings and death; see ( Romans 8:33 Romans 8:34 ) ( Hebrews 7:25 ) ( 9:24 ) ( 1 John 2:1 1 John 2:2 ) .


F5 (Mybrb wl qlxa Nkl) "ideo dispertiam ei plurimos", V. L. "propterea ipsi attribuam (vel addicam) permultos", Bootius, Animadv. I. 4. c. 12. sect. 20. p. 251. "idcirco dispertiam ei sortem, multitudinem Gentium", Vitringa.
F6 (llv qlxy Mymwue ta) "et plurimos (seu innumeros) habebit loco praedae, vel plurimi obtingent ipsi pro praeda", Bootius, ibid.
F7 (wvpn twml hreh) "denudavit morti animam suam", Forerius.

Isaiah 53:12 In-Context

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.
The King James Version is in the public domain.