King James Version
The Servant of the Lord
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
Song of Praise to
10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.
Israel Blind and
18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD's servant?
20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.
21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.
22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.1
The Messiah would have these characteristics: He would be a servant, He would have God's Spirit, and He would open the door for the Gentiles to be saved.2
2 The Messiah would not shout in the streets to gather people together. Jesus, in fact, typically preached outside cities. When He was in a city, He usually taught in homes, synagogues, or the Temple.2
3 The Messiah would not come to judge at first. The bruised reed and smoldering wick represent people injured and suppressed by their sins. Instead of killing them off, He would try to bring them back to health. However, there would be a day when He will condemn those who have not responded to Him.2
4 This appears to refer to the Messiah's death. Although some translations use the word "discouraged," the Hebrew word means crushed, bruised, and oppressed. In other words, He would suffer the same way as the reed and wick in the previous verse. Yet, that will not be the end, because the whole world (even the distant coastlands or islands) would wait in expectation of the fulfillment of His words.2
5 This interesting verse speaks of God's creation. The first phrase speaks of God stretching out the heavens. This would indicate that the universe is bounded. This should not be surprising because only God is infinite. The second phrase speaks of the physical earth being "hammered out" and "stamped," similar to what a metal worker does. The third phrase reiterates the Genesis account of God giving His own breath to humanity. The overall idea is this: since God has done all these great things, He will send the Messiah as He has promised.2
6 The Messiah would be known for His righteousness and for being led by God. He would be given as the fulfillment of the Promise and the Law of the Old Testament. However, His ministry would go beyond Israel as a saving light for the Gentiles as well. This would have been a provocative statement since the Israelites felt that God would save only them.2
7 While the Messiah would prove to be able to heal the physically blind, His purpose was to help the spiritually blind to see. One part of His mission was to tell people that God exists and cares about them. Another part of His mission was to free people from the prison of, and ultimate punishment for, sin.2
8 The Messiah will share God's glory, but no other person, creature, or thing deserves the honor, respect, and praise that is due God.2
9 God will fulfill the Old Covenant and begin a New Covenant with the coming of the Messiah. The First Covenant was characterized by faith expressed in obeying the Law. The Second Covenant would be characterized by faith in the Messiah.2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
2. Marsh Bible Commentary: Isaiah 42 -
3. Matthew Henry Complete
Commentary on the Whole Bible
Servant Songs of Isaiah -
Messiah Revealed: Fulfilled
Messianic Prophecies from Isaiah 42-48