Isaiah 53:11

11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53:11 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 53:11

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be
"The travail of his soul" is the toil and labour he endured, in working out the salvation of his people; his obedience and death, his sorrows and sufferings; particularly those birth throes of his soul, under a sense of divine wrath, for the allusion is to women in travail; and all the agonies and pains of death which he went through. Now the fruit of all this he sees with inexpressible pleasure, and which gives him an infinite satisfaction; namely, the complete redemption of all the chosen ones, and the glory of the divine perfections displayed therein, as well as his own glory, which follows upon it; particularly this will be true of him as man and Mediator, when he shall have all his children with him in glory; see ( Hebrews 12:2 ) . The words are by some rendered, "seeing himself or his soul freed from trouble, he shall be satisfied" F3; so he saw it, and found it, when he rose from the dead, and was justified in the Spirit; ascended to his God and Father, was set down at his right hand, and was made glad with his countenance, enjoying to the full eternal glory and happiness with him: and by others this, "after the travail F4 of his soul, he shall see [a seed], and shall be satisfied"; as a woman, after her travail and sharp pains are over, having brought forth a son, looks upon it with joy and pleasure, and is satisfied, and forgets her former pain and anguish; so Christ, after all his sorrows and sufferings, sees a large number of souls regenerated, sanctified, justified, and brought to heaven, in consequence of them, which is a most pleasing and satisfactory sight unto him,

By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
Christ is the servant of the Lord; (See Gill on Isaiah 53:1), (See Gill on Isaiah 49:3), (See Gill on Isaiah 52:13). He is said to be "righteous", because of the holiness of his nature, and the righteousness of his life as a man; and because of his faithful discharge of his work and office as Mediator; and because he is the author and bringer in of an everlasting righteousness, by which he justifies his people; that is, acquits and absolves them, pronounces them righteous, and frees them from condemnation and death; he is the procuring and meritorious cause of their justification; his righteousness is the matter of it; in him, as their Head, are they justified, and by him the sentence is pronounced: for this is to be understood not of making men holy and righteous inherently, that is sanctification; nor of a teaching men doctrinally the way and method of justifying men, which is no other than ministers do; but it is a forensic act, a pronouncing and declaring men righteous, as opposed to condemnation: and they are many who are so justified; the many who were ordained to eternal life; the many whose sins Christ bore, and gave his life a ransom for; the many sons that are brought by him to glory. This shows that they are not a few, which serves to magnify the grace of God, exalt the satisfaction and righteousness of Christ, and encourage distressed sinners to look to him for justification of life; and yet they are not all men, for all men have not faith, nor are they saved; though all Christ's spiritual seed and offspring shall be justified, and shall glory: and this is "by" or "through his knowledge"; the knowledge of him, of Christ, which is no other than faith in him, by which a man sees and knows him, and believes in him, as the Lord his righteousness; and this agrees with the New Testament doctrine of justification by faith; which is no other than the manifestation, knowledge, sense, and perception of it by faith.

For he shall bear their iniquities;
this is the reason of Christ's justifying many, the ground and foundation of it; he undertook to satisfy for their sins; these, as before observed, were laid on him; being laid on him, he bore them, the whole of them, and all the punishment due to them; whereby he made satisfaction for them, and bore them away, so as they are to be seen no more; and upon this justification proceeds.


F3 (ebvy hary wvpn lmem) "exemptum a molestia se ipsum (vel animam suam, Jun.); videns, satiabitur", Junius & Tremellius.
F4 "Post laborem", Forerius.

Isaiah 53:11 In-Context

9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Q Mss: MT lacks [light]
  • [b]. Or [and he shall find satisfaction. Through his knowledge, the righteous one]
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.