Isaiah 53 does not say the servant will rise from the dead.

Isaiah 53 does not say the servant will rise from the dead.

If, as we have demonstrated, Isaiah 53 speaks of the servant’s death, then it must be accepted that the text speaks just as clearly of his continued activities after his death. Thus, there is only one possible explanation: The servant rises from the dead!

According to Hebrew University Professor David Flusser,

Although no Jewish interpretation of this passage, which would explain that the Servant will be the prophet or the Messiah who will be killed, is preserved, such an interpretation could have existed. If an interpretation of Isa. 53 in this vein ever existed in Judaism, this would have been important for the concept that the prophet will again come to life. Though the Servant “was pierced for our transgressions, tortured for our iniquities” (v. 5), he “shall enjoy long life and see his children’s children” (v. 10). So Isa. 53 could be understood not only as speaking about the death of the Servant (see also v. 8 and 9), but implicitly also about his resurrection.154

Professor Flusser has raised an important point: The text clearly speaks of the continued ministry of the servant of the Lord, and since his death is also clearly foretold, his resurrection is also implied.

As we observed previously (see above, 4.13), Isaiah 53 uses almost every possible description to communicate to us that the servant would die, saying explicitly that he would be cut off from the land of the living (v. 8) and making reference to his grave and his violent death (v. 9). Yet in verse 10 we read, “he will see his offspring and prolong his days.” How does someone die and yet prolong his days? There is only one way: resurrection! It is written that the servant of the Lord would be offered up as a guilt offering (v. 10) and pour out his life unto death (v. 12), yet the Lord says of him, “I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong” (v. 12). This can only happen if he is raised from the dead.

Such an interpretation is self-evident, providing the most natural and obvious reading of the text. The wonderful truth is that Yeshua did indeed die and rise from the dead, paying for our sins, bearing our transgressions, and carrying our pains. By his wounds we can be healed (Isa. 53:5). And because he is risen, death can no longer touch him. “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25).



154 David Flusser, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988), 423.

[1]Brown, M. L. (2003). Answering Jewish objections to Jesus, Volume 3: Messianic prophecy objections (76). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.