Matthew 8:17

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet,.... In Isaiah 53:4 "He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows", here rendered,

Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses: very agreeable to the Hebrew text, awh, "he himself", not another; avn, "took up", upon himself voluntarily, freely, as a man lifts up a burden, and takes it on his shoulders; wnylx, "our infirmities", diseases, sicknesses, whether of body or soul, Mlbo wnybakmw, "and bare", or carried, as a man does a burden upon his back, "our sicknesses", or diseases, which occasion pain and sorrow. And that these words are spoken of the Messiah, the Jews themselves own; for among the names they give to the Messiah, "a leper" is one; which they prove from this passage {u}.

"The Rabbins say, "a leper" of the house of Rabbi is his name; as it is said, "surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted". Says R. Nachman, if he is of the living, he is as I am, as it is said, Jeremiah 30:21 Says Rab, if of the living, he is as our Rabbi, the holy.''

Upon which last clause the gloss is,

"If the Messiah is of them that are alive, our Rabbi the holy is he, "because Myawlxt lbwod he bears infirmities".''

Elsewhere {w} they say,

"There is one temple that is called the temple of the sons of afflictions; and when the Messiah comes into that temple, and reads all the afflictions, all the griefs, and all the chastisements of Israel, which come upon them, then all of them shall come upon him: and if there was any that would lighten them off of Israel, and take them upon himself, there is no son of man that can bear the chastisements of Israel, because of the punishments of the law; as it is said, "surely he hath borne our griefs", &c.''

And in another ancient book {x} of their's, God is represented saying to the Messiah,

"Nyrwvy lwbot, "wilt thou bear chastisements", in order to remove their iniquities? (the iniquities of the children of God,) as it is written, "surely he hath borne our griefs": he replied, "I will bear them with joy".''

Hence it is manifest, that according to the mind of the ancient Jews, this passage belongs to the Messiah, and is rightly applied to him by the evangelist. But the difficulty is, how it had its accomplishment in Christ's healing the bodily diseases of men; since Isaiah speaks not of his actions and miracles, but of his sufferings and death; and not of bearing the diseases of the body, as it should seem, but of the diseases of the mind, of sins, as the Apostle Peter interprets it, 1 Peter 2:24. To remove which, let it be observed, that though the prophet chiefly designs to point out Christ taking upon him, and bearing the sins of his people, in order to make satisfaction for them, and to save them from them; yet so likewise, as to include his bearing, by way of sympathy, and taking away by his power, the bodily diseases of men, which arise from sin; and which was not only an emblem of his bearing and taking away sin, but a proof of his power and ability to do it: for since he could do the one, it was plain he could do the other.

{u} T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 98. 2.
{w} Zohar in Exod. fol. 85. 2.
{x} Pesikta in Abkath Rochel, l. 1. par. 2. p. 309. Ed. Huls.