Isaiah 53:3

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He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not. (ASV)


Isaiah 53 is frequently re-interpreted by Christians as a prophetic reference to Jesus, and this belief has influenced the translation here in most Christian Bibles. The word translated here as "grief", Hebrew choliy, actually means "disease" almost everywhere else in the Bible: indeed, it is never translated as "grief" anywhere else outside Isaiah 53-4, except two instances in Jeremiah (and in both of those cases the word is associated with "wounds" in a metaphorical sense). Compare with Deuteronomy 7:15 or Deuteronomy 28:61. The (pre-Christian) Greek Septuagint has "plague" here. Jewish translations of Isaiah use "diseased". But disease isn't one of the trials that Jesus supposedly suffered, hence the distortion of the text.

A similar dodgy translation appears a few verses later, in Isaiah 53:10. --Robert Stevens 03:32, 8 Sep 2006 (CDT)



Edit this section to note miscellaneous facts.


The following has been moved from Con to Neutral:

The issue being raised concerns the translation of the Hebrew text and no complaint of error is being suggested (other than in the translation).

The verse can be translated, "...acquainted with disease..." without detracting from the meaning of the passage.

On this verse, Keil & Delitzsch state in their Commentary on the Old Testament--

"And He was also choliy..., that is to say, not one known through His sickness (according to Deut 1:13,15), which is hardly sufficient to express the genitive construction; nor an acquaintance of disease..., which would be expressed [otherwise]; who was placed in a state to make the acquaintance of disease. The deponent not, that He had by nature a sickly body, falling out of one disease into another; but that the wrath instigated by sin, and the zeal of self-sacrifice (Ps 69:10), burnt like the fire of a fever in His soul and body, so that even if He had not died a violent death, He would have succumbed to the force of the powers of destruction that were innate in humanity in consequence of sin, and of His own self-consuming conflict with them."


Reason for move = Con has provided no reasonably basis to dispute the Pro claim of Translation error. Con's attempted Defense has no required qualities of Defense:

1) Not original (copied)

2) Not simple

3) Not clear

4) Not reasonable

--JoeWallack 11:12, 25 Jan 2008 (CST)

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