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Isaiah 53 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

What God’s Servant Did for Us

53 Has anyone believed us
or seen the mighty power
    of the Lord in action?
Like a young plant or a root
    that sprouts in dry ground,
the servant grew up
    obeying the Lord.
He wasn’t some handsome king.
Nothing about the way he looked
    made him attractive to us.
He was hated and rejected;
his life was filled with sorrow
    and terrible suffering.
No one wanted to look at him.
We despised him and said,
    “He is a nobody!”

He suffered and endured
    great pain for us,
but we thought his suffering
    was punishment from God.
He was wounded and crushed
    because of our sins;
by taking our punishment,
    he made us completely well.
All of us were like sheep
    that had wandered off.
We had each gone our own way,
but the Lord gave him
    the punishment we deserved.

He was painfully abused,
    but he did not complain.
He was silent like a lamb
    being led to the butcher,
as quiet as a sheep
    having its wool cut off.

He was condemned to death
    without a fair trial.
Who could have imagined
    what would happen to him?
His life was taken away
because of the sinful things
    my people[a] had done.
He wasn’t dishonest or violent,
but he was buried in a tomb
    of cruel and rich people.[b]

10 The Lord decided his servant
    would suffer as a sacrifice
to take away the sin
    and guilt of others.
Now the servant will live
    to see his own descendants.[c]
He did everything
    the Lord had planned.

11 By suffering, the servant
will learn the true meaning
    of obeying the Lord.
Although he is innocent,
he will take the punishment
    for the sins of others,
so that many of them
    will no longer be guilty.
12 The Lord will reward him
with honor and power
    for sacrificing his life.
Others thought he was a sinner,
but he suffered for our sins
    and asked God to forgive us.


  1. 53.8 my people: Or “his people.”
  2. 53.9 but he. . . people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 53.10 The Lord. . . descendants: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Isaiah 53 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

53 Who has believed what we have heard?[a]
And who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to?
He grew up before Him like a young plant
and like a root out of dry ground.
He didn’t have an impressive form
or majesty that we should look at Him,
no appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;[b]
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him
for[c] the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
He was taken away because of oppression and judgment;
and who considered His fate?[d]
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
He was struck because of my people’s rebellion.
They[e] made His grave with the wicked
and with a rich man at His death,
although He had done no violence
and had not spoken deceitfully.

10 Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him severely.[f]
When[g] You make Him a restitution offering,
He will see His seed, He will prolong His days,
and by His hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.
11 He will see it[h] out of His anguish,
and He will be satisfied with His knowledge.
My righteous Servant will justify many,
and He will carry their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him[i] the many as a portion,
and He will receive[j] the mighty as spoil,
because He submitted Himself to death,
and was counted among the rebels;
yet He bore the sin of many
and interceded for the rebels.


  1. Isaiah 53:1 Or believed our report
  2. Isaiah 53:3 Lit And like a hiding of faces from Him
  3. Isaiah 53:6 Or has placed on Him; lit with
  4. Isaiah 53:8 Or and as for His generation, who considered [Him]?
  5. Isaiah 53:9 DSS; MT reads He
  6. Isaiah 53:10 Or Him; He made Him sick.
  7. Isaiah 53:10 Or If
  8. Isaiah 53:11 DSS, LXX read see light
  9. Isaiah 53:12 Or Him with
  10. Isaiah 53:12 Or receive with
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