Monday, April 20, 2009

Bruised For Our Sins

For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. Jeremiah 30:12-13

In English, the term bruise usually refers to a contusion with no break in the skin surface, identifiable by discoloration. Sometimes the term is used metaphorically to speak of hurt feelings or spirit.

Whereas in modern parlance a bruise is viewed as a minor injury and is almost a positive image (e.g., “he escaped with only a few bruises”), in the Bible the image is stark and powerful, with connotations of serious and repeated injury that is virtually a death blow. No single biblical term names the image; instead a number of words encompass the semantic idea of bruise, all of them denoting injury, pain and wound.

(ed. Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinios, 1998, pg 127)

Now we can read Isaiah 53:5 and Genesis 3:15 with greater appreciation.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

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