Q. My husband and I have been reading your articles on healing. Our question has to do with whether it is always God’s will to heal? God’s promise in Isaiah seems to speak of our iniquities and not our infirmities. (King James version) We prayed for a friend’s healing according to the promise of His Word, but feel our faith would be unwavering if we could base it on the literal translation of a word meaning infirmities.
A. In the King James Isaiah 53:4 reads as follows
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
The NIV translates the same verse this way.
Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted.
The Hebrew word translated griefs in the KJV and infirmities in the NIV appears 24 times in the Bible. 20 of those times it’s translated sick, sickness, or disease. It comes from a root that pertains to physical ailment. The word translated sorrow means physical or mental pain.
In Isaiah 53:5 we’re told that by His stripes (NIV wounds) we are healed. The Hebrew word translated healed is rapha and is part of one of God’s names, Jehovah Rapha, (I am the Lord who heals you, Exodus 15:26) It means to heal or make healthful.
The clearest interpretation of Isaiah 53 is that the Lord gave His life so that we could be forgiven for our sins (transgressions, iniquities) and was beaten so we could be healed from our physical ailments (infirmities, griefs, sorrows) .