New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Servant of the Lord
1 Here is my servant[a] whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased.
Upon him I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations.(A)
2 He will not cry out, nor shout,
nor make his voice heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed[b] he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench.
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow dim or be bruised
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands[c] will wait for his teaching.
- 42:1–4 Servant: three other passages have been popularly called “servant of the Lord” poems: 49:1–7; 50:4–11; 52:13–53:12. Whether the servant is an individual or a collectivity is not clear (e.g., contrast 49:3 with 49:5). More important is the description of the mission of the servant. In the early Church and throughout Christian tradition, these poems have been applied to Christ; cf. Mt 12:18–21.
- 42:3 Bruised reed…: images to express the gentle manner of the servant’s mission.
- 42:4 Coastlands: for Israel, the world to the west: the islands and coastal nations of the Mediterranean.