More on Isaiah 53:9 -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 06:4 (Autumn 1977)
Article: More on Isaiah 53:9
Author: Anonymous

More on Isaiah 53:9

In his article “With the Rich in His Death” in our Spring issue (pages 56–59), Dr. Allan MacRae gave revealing insight into the meaning of the Hebrew text of Isaiah 53:9. When properly translated, he concluded, it is seen to be an exact prediction of the circumstances of Christ’s burial some 700 years later. Dr. MacRae’s translation of the passage is as follows: “His grave was assigned with wicked men, but he was with a rich man in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”

Dr. MacRae mentioned in passing the Dead Sea scroll text of Isaiah 53:9 (page 58). Another scholar, W. Boyd Barrick, has recently examined this Dead Sea scroll text and suggests a translation which would make the passage an even more precise prediction of Christ’s burial.

The Dead Sea scroll text of Isaiah 53:9 has a slightly different spelling for the Hebrew word which is translated “in his death” in our Old Testament. In his study of the Dead Sea scroll version, Barrick brings together evidence which indicates that the word should be rendered “his body.” Fitting this into Dr. MacRae’s translation results in: “His grave was assigned with wicked men, but his body was with a rich man.”

This interpretation of the text would indicate that Christ was not only with a rich man “in His death,” but that His body (after death) was with a rich man. In the context of the verse, this would mean that Christ was buried by a rich man, which is exactly what took place some 700 years later as recorded in Matthew 27:57–60.

(“The Rich Man From Arimathea (Matthew 27:57–60) and 1QISAa” by W. Boyd Barrick, in the June 1977 issue (Vol. 96, No. 2) of the Journal of Biblical Literature.)

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