“As many were astonied at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men: So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider" (Isaiah 52:14,15).
The English of the King James Version is often more picturesque and precise than the diluted English of the present age. The adjective “astonied” in the above passage has now become “astonished,” a word much weaker than it had in its original meaning of “like a stone,” or “petrified.” The picture Isaiah seeks to convey is exceedingly graphic. The person being described is so disfigured that those who see Him are petrified with horror. They are hearing and seeing an event indescribable and unprecedented in all of history.
The Hebrew word translated “visage” is ordinarily used to describe a beautiful countenance, but now that countenance had been “marred” (literally “made into corruption”) more than any man had ever experienced. His “form” had been so deformed that He no longer even looked human.
But who is this? “Behold, my servant” (v.13). The sinless Son of man has been so beaten and tortured that He no longer even looked like a man. In fact, He has become corruption itself, the very incarnation of evil and death. and He is suffering for it in full and appropriate measure.
Why? It is because “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). The verb “laid on” connotes a crushing, shattering pummeling.
This terrible scene, however, is prefaced in verse 13 by a summary of its triumphant outcome where we see that, after shedding His blood as an offering for sin, He shall be lifted up to heaven, and finally seated at the right hand of God! HMM