As we celebrate the Pascha of our Lord, consider Isaiah’s words in the fifty-third chapter. Because in this chapter, Isaiah points to the resurrection of the Lord. Here is a translation of Isaiah 53:10–12 from an early Greek translation of the Hebrew text (i.e., the Septuagint or the LXX):
The Lord desires to cleanse him from a blow. If you give a sin-offering, your soul will see long-lived offspring. And the Lord desires to take (him) away from the pain from his soul, to show him light and to shape his understanding, to justify a well serving just one for many; he himself even bears their sins. Because of this, he will inherit many (people), and he will divide the spoils among the strong, in place of whom [or because] his soul is given over to death; and he is reckoned among the lawless. He will bear the sins of many although he was handed over because of their sins.
Here is the Greek text:
καὶ κύριος βούλεται καθαρίσαι αὐτὸν τῆς πληγῆς· ἐὰν δῶτε περὶ ἁμαρτίας, ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν ὄψεται σπέρμα μακρόβιον· καὶ βούλεται κύριος ἀφελεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ πόνου τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ, δεῖξαι αὐτῷ φῶς καὶ πλάσαι τῇ συνέσει, δικαιῶσαι δίκαιον εὖ δουλεύοντα πολλοῖς, καὶ τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν αὐτὸς ἀνοίσει. διὰ τοῦτο αὐτὸς κληρονομήσει πολλούς καὶ τῶν ἰσχυρῶν μεριεῖ σκῦλα, ἀνθʼ ὧν παρεδόθη εἰς θάνατον ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἀνόμοις ἐλογίσθη· καὶ αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκε καὶ διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν παρεδόθη.
Note: δεῖξαι αὐτῷ φῶς καὶ πλάσαι τῇ συνέσει (to show him light and to shape his understanding). Note also the readings of 1Q Isaiah a, 1Q Isaiah b, & 4Q58:
1Q Isaiah a: יראה אור
1Q Isaiah b: יראה אור
4Q58: יראה או֯[ר ]
Each of the Hebrew readings says, “he will see light,” agreeing with LXX Isaiah 53:11 against MT 53:11, which reads יִרְאֶ֣ה יִשְׂבָּ֔ע (he will see and be satisfied).*
In these ancient witnesses, they include the symbolism of light, which indicates new life or resurrection. During Pascha, we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord symbolically indicated by his seeing the light.
Have a happy Resurrection Sunday. The morning of Good Friday is past, and the joy of Resurrection Sunday is here.
*Note: the reading in 4Q58 has inverted square brackets, which is not what the original source presents; but I am leaving it as is because formatting Hebrew characters is especially annoying
George Zhou says
Nerd level over 9000.
I did not see this resurrection reference in Isaiah though, thanks for teaching me 🙂