Isaiah 50:6

6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

Isaiah 50:6 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 50:6

I gave my back to the smiters
To Pontius Pilate, and those he ordered to scourge him, ( Matthew 27:26 ) and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair;
of the beard; which, is painful, so a great indignity and affront. The Septuagint renders it, "and my cheeks to blows"; (eiv rapismata) , a word used by the evangelists when they speak of Christ being smitten and stricken with the palms of men's hands, and seem to refer to this passage, ( Mark 14:65 ) ( John 18:22 ) ( Micah 5:1 ) : I hid not my face from shame and spitting;
or from shameful spitting; they spit in his face, and exposed him to shame, and which was a shameful usage of him, and yet he took it patiently, ( Matthew 26:67 ) , these are all instances of great shame and reproach; as what is more reproachful among us, or more exposes a man, than to be stripped of his clothes, receive lashes on his bare back, and that in public? in which ignominious manner Christ was used: or what reckoned more scandalous, than for a man to have his beard plucked by a mob? which used to be done by rude and wanton boys, to such as were accounted idiots, and little better than brutes F24; and nothing is more affronting than to spit in a man's face. So Job was used, which he mentions as a great indignity done to him, ( Job 30:10 ) . With some people, and in some countries, particular places, that were mean and despicable, were appointed for that use particularly to spit in. Hence Aristippus the philosopher, being shown a fine room in a house, beautifully and richly paved, spat in the face of the owner of it; at which he being angry, and resenting it, the philosopher replied, that he had not a fitter place to spit in F25.


F24 "------------barbam tibi vellunt Lascivi pueri", Horace. "Idcirco stolidam praebet tibi vellere barbara Jupiter?" Persius, Satyr. 2.
F25 Laertius in Vita Aristippi.

Isaiah 50:6 In-Context

4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.