Was Jesus “stricken by his enemies”?

Isaiah 53:4 says that the suffering servant was considered “stricken” by his enemies. Does this describe Jesus in any way? Read on to find out..

Answer:

In verse 4 the Gentile nations exclaim, concerning the servant, “we considered him stricken [by God].” The verb appears again in verse 8. This does not describe Jesus in any way whatsoever.

The verb, nagua, “stricken,” is commonly used in the Jewish Scriptures for being stricken with leprosy (for example, 2 Kings 5:27, 15:5; Job 19:21; Leviticus 13:3, 9, 20; Numbers 12:10). Jesus was not stricken physically with leprosy!

Yet, even metaphorically, nagua cannot be applied to Jesus who was not generally shunned as a loathsome pariah. The respectively supportive, indifferent, or hostile audiences he confronts in the Gospels show a variety of responses to his message. Those who apparently despise Jesus are numerically represented in insignificant numbers. They exist, but no more so than one may expect in reaction to any extremely controversial figure. Consideration must also be given to the fact that the great majority of contemporary Jews never heard of Jesus. The application to Jesus of nagua, that is, stricken metaphorically in the manner of one who has leprosy and treated as such by fellow human beings, is unwarranted

© Gerald Sigal