42 See my servant,[a] whom I uphold; my Chosen One in whom I delight. I have put my Spirit upon him; he will reveal justice to the nations of the world. 2 He will be gentle—he will not shout nor quarrel in the streets. 3 He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged. 4 He won’t be satisfied[b] until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth, nor until even distant lands beyond the seas have put their trust in him.
5 The Lord God who created the heavens and stretched them out, who created the earth and everything in it, who gives life and breath and spirit to everyone in all the world, he is the one who says to his Servant, the Messiah[c]: 6 “I the Lord have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them.[d] You shall also be a light to guide the nations unto me. 7 You will open the eyes of the blind and release those who sit in prison darkness and despair. 8 I am the Lord! That is my name, and I will not give my glory to anyone else; I will not share my praise with carved idols. 9 Everything I prophesied came true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.”
10 Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praises, all you who live in earth’s remotest corners! Sing, O sea! Sing, all you who live in distant lands beyond the sea! 11 Join in the chorus, you desert cities—Kedar and Sela! And you, too, dwellers in the mountaintops. 12 Let the western coastlands glorify the Lord and sing his mighty power.
13 The Lord will be a mighty warrior, full of fury toward his foes. He will give a great shout and prevail. 14 Long has he been silent; he has restrained himself. But now he will give full vent to his wrath; he will groan and cry like a woman delivering her child. 15 He will level the mountains and hills and blight their greenery. He will dry up the rivers and pools. 16 He will bring blind Israel along a path they have not seen before. He will make the darkness bright before them and smooth and straighten out the road ahead. He will not forsake them. 17 But those who trust in idols and call them gods will be greatly disappointed; they will be turned away.
18 Oh, how blind and deaf you are toward God! Why won’t you listen? Why won’t you see? 19 Who in all the world is as blind as my own people,[e] who are designed to be my messengers of truth? Who is so blind as my “dedicated one,” the “servant of the Lord”? 20 You see and understand what is right but won’t heed nor do it; you hear, but you won’t listen.
21 The Lord has magnified his law and made it truly glorious. Through it he had planned to show the world that he is righteous. 22 But what a sight his people are—these who were to demonstrate to all the world the glory of his law;[f] for they are robbed, enslaved, imprisoned, trapped, fair game for all, with no one to protect them. 23 Won’t even one of you apply these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you up ahead? 24 Who let Israel be robbed and hurt? Did not the Lord? It is the Lord they sinned against, for they would not go where he sent them nor listen to his laws. 25 That is why God poured out such fury and wrath on his people and destroyed them in battle. Yet, though set on fire and burned, they will not understand the reason why—that it is God, wanting them to repent.[g]
- Isaiah 42:1 See my servant. Not Cyrus, as in ch. 41, but Christ.
- Isaiah 42:4 He won’t be satisfied, literally, “He will not burn dimly or be bruised.”
- Isaiah 42:5 to his Servant, the Messiah, implied.
- Isaiah 42:6 I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them, or “you will be my covenant with all the people.”
- Isaiah 42:19 as my own people, literally, “as my servant.”
- Isaiah 42:22 these who were to demonstrate to all the world the glory of his law, implied in previous verse.
- Isaiah 42:25 wanting them to repent, implied.
New International Version
The Servant of the Lord
42 “Here is my servant,(A) whom I uphold,
my chosen one(B) in whom I delight;(C)
I will put my Spirit(D) on him,
and he will bring justice(E) to the nations.(F)
2 He will not shout or cry out,(G)
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed(H) he will not break,(I)
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.(J)
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;(K)
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice(L) on earth.
In his teaching(M) the islands(N) will put their hope.”(O)
5 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens,(P) who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth(Q) with all that springs from it,(R)
who gives breath(S) to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called(T) you in righteousness;(U)
I will take hold of your hand.(V)
I will keep(W) you and will make you
to be a covenant(X) for the people
and a light(Y) for the Gentiles,(Z)
7 to open eyes that are blind,(AA)
to free(AB) captives from prison(AC)
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.(AD)
8 “I am the Lord;(AE) that is my name!(AF)
I will not yield my glory to another(AG)
or my praise to idols.(AH)
9 See, the former things(AI) have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce(AJ) them to you.”
Song of Praise to the Lord
10 Sing(AK) to the Lord a new song,(AL)
his praise(AM) from the ends of the earth,(AN)
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,(AO)
you islands,(AP) and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness(AQ) and its towns raise their voices;
let the settlements where Kedar(AR) lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela(AS) sing for joy;
let them shout from the mountaintops.(AT)
12 Let them give glory(AU) to the Lord
and proclaim his praise(AV) in the islands.(AW)
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,(AX)
like a warrior(AY) he will stir up his zeal;(AZ)
with a shout(BA) he will raise the battle cry
and will triumph over his enemies.(BB)
14 “For a long time I have kept silent,(BC)
I have been quiet and held myself back.(BD)
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
I cry out, I gasp and pant.(BE)
15 I will lay waste(BF) the mountains(BG) and hills
and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
and dry up(BH) the pools.
16 I will lead(BI) the blind(BJ) by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light(BK) before them
and make the rough places smooth.(BL)
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake(BM) them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’(BN)
will be turned back in utter shame.(BO)
Israel Blind and Deaf
18 “Hear, you deaf;(BP)
look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind(BQ) but my servant,(BR)
and deaf like the messenger(BS) I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant(BT) with me,
blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
your ears are open, but you do not listen.”(BU)
21 It pleased the Lord
for the sake(BV) of his righteousness
to make his law(BW) great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered(BX) and looted,
all of them trapped in pits(BY)
or hidden away in prisons.(BZ)
They have become plunder,
with no one to rescue them;(CA)
they have been made loot,
with no one to say, “Send them back.”
23 Which of you will listen to this
or pay close attention(CB) in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
and Israel to the plunderers?(CC)
Was it not the Lord,(CD)
against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow(CE) his ways;
they did not obey his law.(CF)
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,(CG)
the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames,(CH) yet they did not understand;(CI)
it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.(CJ)