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Isaiah 42 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord’s Servant

42 Here is my servant!

    I have made him strong.
He is my chosen one;
    I am pleased with him.
I have given him my Spirit,
and he will bring justice
    to the nations.
He won’t shout or yell
    or call out in the streets.
He won’t break off a bent reed
    or put out a dying flame,
but he will make sure
    that justice is done.
He won’t quit or give up
until he brings justice
    everywhere on earth,
and people in foreign nations
    long for his teaching.

I am the Lord God.
I created the heavens
    like an open tent above.
I made the earth and everything
    that grows on it.
I am the source of life
for all who live on this earth,
    so listen to what I say.
I chose you to bring justice,
    and I am here at your side.
I selected and sent you[a]
    to bring light
and my promise of hope
    to the nations.
You will give sight
    to the blind;
you will set prisoners free
    from dark dungeons.

My name is the Lord!
I won’t let idols or humans
    share my glory and praise.
Everything has happened
    just as I said it would;
now I will announce
    what will happen next.

Sing Praises to the Lord

10 Tell the whole world to sing
    a new song to the Lord!
Tell those who sail the ocean
and those who live far away
    to join in the praise.
11 Tell the tribes of the desert
and everyone in the mountains[b]
    to celebrate and sing.
12 Let them announce
    his praises everywhere.
13 The Lord is marching out
    like an angry soldier,
shouting with all his might
    while attacking his enemies.

The Lord Will Help His People

14 For a long time, I, the Lord,
    have held my temper;
now I will scream and groan
    like a woman giving birth.
15 I will destroy the mountains
    and what grows on them;
I will dry up rivers and ponds.

16 I will lead the blind on roads
    they have never known;
I will guide them on paths
    they have never traveled.
Their road is dark and rough,
    but I will give light
to keep them from stumbling.
    This is my solemn promise.

17 Everyone who worships idols
as though they were gods
    will be terribly ashamed.

God’s People Won’t Obey

18 You people are deaf and blind,
but the Lord commands you
    to listen and to see.
19 No one is as blind or deaf
as his messenger,
    his chosen servant,
20 who sees and hears so much,
    but pays no attention.

21 The Lord always does right,
and so he wanted his Law
    to be greatly praised.[c]
22 But his people were trapped
and imprisoned in holes
    with no one to rescue them.
All they owned had been taken,
and no one was willing
    to give it back.
23 Why won’t his people
    ever learn to listen?

24 Israel sinned and refused
to obey the Lord
    or follow his instructions.
So the Lord let them be robbed
    of everything they owned.
25 He was furious with them
and punished their nation
    with the fires of war.
Still they paid no attention.
    They didn’t even care
when they were surrounded
    and scorched by flames.

Footnotes:

  1. 42.6 I selected. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 42.11 desert. . . mountains: The Hebrew text includes the place names of Kedar in the desert and Sela in the mountains.
  3. 42.21 greatly praised: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.

Isaiah 42 New International Version (NIV)

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.”

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
    you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
    let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
    and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
    like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,
    I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
    I cry out, I gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills
    and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
    and dry up the pools.
16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
    who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
    will be turned back in utter shame.

Israel Blind and Deaf

18 “Hear, you deaf;
    look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind but my servant,
    and deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant 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.”
21 It pleased the Lord
    for the sake of his righteousness
    to make his law great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and looted,
    all of them trapped in pits
    or hidden away in prisons.
They have become plunder,
    with no one to rescue them;
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 in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
    and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the Lord,
    against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow his ways;
    they did not obey his law.
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,
    the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand;
    it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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