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God’s Promise concerning His Servant

42 “Behold, My [a]Servant, whom I [b]uphold;
My Chosen One in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.(A)

“He will not call out or shout aloud,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.

“A broken reed He will not break [off]
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish [He will not harm those who are weak and suffering];
He will faithfully bring forth justice.(B)

“He will not be disheartened or crushed [in spirit];
[He will persevere] until He has established justice on the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”(C)

This is what God the Lord says,

He who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its produce,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk on it,

“I am the Lord, I have called You (the Messiah) in righteousness [for a righteous purpose],
I will also take You by the hand and keep watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people [Israel],
As a light to the nations (Gentiles),

To open the eyes of the blind,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who sit in darkness from the prison.(D)

“I am the Lord, that is My Name;
My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved idols.

“Indeed, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”

Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His praise from the end of the earth!
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
You islands and coastlands, and those who inhabit them [sing His praise]!
Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices,
The villages where Kedar lives.
Let the inhabitants of [c]Sela shout for joy,
Let them shout joyfully from the tops of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord
And declare His praise in the islands and coastlands.
The Lord will go forth like a warrior,
He will stir up His zeal like a man of war;
He will shout out, yes, He will raise a war cry.
He will prevail [mightily] against His enemies.

The Blindness of the People

“I [the Lord] have been silent for a long time,
I have been still and restrained Myself.
Now I will moan like a woman in labor,
I will both gasp and pant.
“I will lay waste the mountains and hills
And wither all their vegetation;
I will turn the rivers into coastlands
And dry up the ponds.
“I will lead the blind by a way they do not know;
I will guide them in paths that they do not know.
I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These things I will do [for them],
And I will not leave them abandoned or undone.”
Those who trust in carved idols will be turned back,
And utterly put to shame,
Who say to cast images,
“You are our gods.”

Hear, you deaf!
And look, you blind, that you may see.
Who is blind but My servant [Israel],
Or deaf like My messenger whom I send?
Who is blind like the one who is at peace with Me [in a covenant relationship],
Or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
You have seen many things, but you do not observe them;
Your ears are open, but no one hears.
The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the law great and prove to be glorious.
But this is a people despoiled and plundered;
All of them are trapped in holes,
Or are hidden away in prisons.
They have become a prey with no one to rescue them,
And a spoil, with no one to say, “Give them back!”(E)

Who among you will listen to this?
Who will listen and pay attention in the time to come?
Who gave up Jacob [the kingdom of Judah] for spoil, and [the kingdom of] Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the Lord, He against whom we [of Judah] have sinned,
And in whose ways they [of Israel] were unwilling to walk,
And whose law and teaching they did not obey?
Therefore He poured out on Israel the heat of His anger
And the fierceness of battle;
And engulfed him in fire,
Yet he did not recognize [the lesson of repentance which the Assyrian conquest was intended to teach];
It burned him, but he did not take it to heart.


  1. Isaiah 42:1 This is the first of the famous prophecies concerning the Servant of the Lord, the Messiah (Is 42:1-7; 49:1-9a; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12).
  2. Isaiah 42:1 Or hold fast.
  3. Isaiah 42:11 Gr Petra (rock). Sela was probably the Edomite capital at this time. Carved into great walls of rose-colored rock it was later controlled by the Nabateans.

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