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Suffering Servant Suffers From Chapter Break

Too often our studies of scriptures are bound by verse and chapter breaks, as if the original authors of the scriptures placed these breaks there themselves. We know they did not, yet often we study the scriptures being bound by the chapter breaks. Isaiah 53 contains one of the worst chapter breaks, in my opinion. Most people typically begin their reading of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. But this is not the beginning of the description of the suffering servant. Isaiah 52:13 is the beginning of Isaiah’s prophecy about the servant who will redeem the people through suffering.

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you– his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind–
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. (Isaiah 52:13-15; ESV)

If the 53rd chapter break of Isaiah would have been placed at verse 13 of chapter 52, we would have been reading all of the information about what the Redeemer would do to save us from our sins. When reading the prophecy, do not neglect the beginning of Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 52 and read through Isaiah 53. Don’t be bound by chapter and verse divisions.

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