Interpreting the 'Servant Song' of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Essay

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Introduction: In this essay we shall undertake the above assignment title in the following way. Firstly; we shall look briefly at some exegetical issues, which may affect, the actual translation of the text. Secondly we shall endeavour to examine the differing opinions of interpretation concerning the passage and the identity of the servant in particular, interacting and engaging with both the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the prospective views. Thirdly; a brief conclusion will be given.
In this essay, the arguments with regards date and authorship of Isaiah, will not be dealt with, as the subject is vast and the above title does not expressly demand it.

Exegetical issues: The purpose of this section will be to study some
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The next significant exegetical issue we shall examine is found in 53:3 and concerns the phrase 'a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; ' (ESV) Alternative reading;
'A man of suffering, familiar with disease.' (JPS TNK) The Hebrew word under consideration is ylixo+

The basic meaning of this root is “to be(come) sick” or “faint.” The verb is used fifty-nine times. Due to the nature of the verb there is seldom any difference in translating with the auxiliary “be” or “become.” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) Page 286

In the disputed translation above, the sense given by the TNK seems to have a greater weight of evidence on it's side, those who think of the servant as an historical leprous prophet or teacher of the law (Duhm) could gain support for their thesis from this text.
The next phrase we shall look at could also have a bearing on the above interpretation of the servants identity, the phrase is found in 53:4 'We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.' (ESV emphasis mine) or alternatively 'We accounted him plagued, Smitten and afflicted by God.(TNK emphasis mine) The relevant Hebrew word in this phrase is נָגַע 'The essential meaning

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