The arm of the Lord (Jn 12:38-12:38)

“This was to fulfill

The word spoken

By the prophet Isaiah.


Who has believed

Our message?

To whom

Has the arm

Of the Lord

Been revealed?’”

ἵνα ὁ λόγος Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν Κύριε, τίς ἐπίστευσεν τῇ ἀκοῇ ἡμῶν; καὶ ὁ βραχίων Κυρίου τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη;

Then John uniquely indicated that this incredulity was to fulfill (πληρωθῇ) the words (ἵνα ὁ λόγος) spoken by the prophet Isaiah (Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου).  He had said or asked (ὃν εἶπεν) Yahweh, the Lord (Κύριε) who had believed (τίς ἐπίστευσεν) their joint message or report (τῇ ἀκοῇ ἡμῶν)?  Who had believed after the arm of the Lord (καὶ ὁ βραχίων Κυρίου) had been revealed (τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη)?  This was a reference to DeuteroIsaiah, chapter 53:1 about the Suffering Servant mentioned earlier in verse 32.  Second Isaiah asked who believed in Yahweh and himself, since their message had been rejected.  Has the arm of Yahweh been revealed?  This Suffering Servant grew up like a plant or a root from dry earth, not moist soil.  This servant was not particularly good looking, not really desirable, and not majestic.  In fact, he was despised and rejected by others.  He seems to be suffering from some sickness or infirmity.  People hid their faces from him as if he was a leper.  Most people did not think much of him.  Who then is this Suffering Servant?  Is it Israel, Isaiah, or as some Christians project it to be Jesus Christ?  Certainly, the concept of rejection was clear in this original text and its citation here in John.  How much have you suffered?

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