Category Archives: Bible Bites [Exegesis]

This category includes all posts that are primarily about exegesis (biblical interpretation), except for posts already included in the Church Chat category.

“With a rich man in his death” — Holy Saturday thoughts

(Old Facebook Post)

Today is the day we remember Christ was in the grave. Have you ever considered that there, too, he was unexpectedly exalted? The NASB brings this out in its translation of Isaiah 53:9:

“His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.”

The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary Buy on Amazon J. Alec Motyer comments:

“Since the Servant was condemned as a criminal, the natural expectation was that he would be brought to a criminal’s grave but, on the contrary, following a superb/real/violent death [suggested by the fact that in Hebrew the word “death” in this verse is actually plural] he was found ‘with a rich man.’ The enigma of 52:13-15 (how could such suffering lead to such exaltation?) and of 53:1-3 (how could one so plainly human be “the arm of the Lord”?) is, therefore, compounded: how could a condemned man receive a rich man’s burial? …Like the other enigmas of this Song, this too is written so that when the turn of events provides the explanation [that is, when Jesus was actually buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s grave] we shall know for certain that we stand in the presence of the Servant of the Lord.” (The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary, J. Alec Motyer, IVP Academic, 1993, page 436).


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“Many” New Testament allusions to Isaiah 53

(Old Facebook Post)

Isaiah 53 is a rich gospel feast. It is quoted very frequently by the New Testament writers. Following are two of the more subtle references, made by Christ himself.

Jesus said:

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:28 ESV)

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:27-28 ESV)

Isaiah wrote:

As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
so shall he sprinkle many nations;

…by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
(Is 52:14-15; 53:11-12 ESV)


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The frustration and joy of John the Baptist

(Old Facebook Post)

I love John the Baptist’s frustrated/joyful response to those who rejected Jesus:

“A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. [Pulls out his hair and rolls his eyes.] You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bride, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. [Wow! Here’s a key to joy!] He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:27-30 ESV)


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