Abstract

The despised servant of the Lord in Isa 53:3 was the despised "slave of rulers" in 49:7, who was identified as "Israel" in 49:3. The Lord promised to liberate his people from these rulers (52:3–5). The rulers included "the magnates" mentioned in 53:11b and 12a and the king of the unnamed Mesopotamian "people" mentioned in v. 8. That king spoke (53:1–11a) "to the magnates" (v. 11b). The slave was unjustly beaten (50:6–9), oppressed (53:7a), and exploited (v. 7b). The king wanted payment to release the slave to work for the Lord (v. 10), but the Lord, who had already said that the rulers would get nothing (52:3), declared that the "innocent" slave should get a share with the magnates and potentates "under whom he exhausted himself to death" (53:11b–12b).

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