Isaiah 42 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
The Lord’s Special Servant
42 “Here is my servant,
the one I support.
He is the one I have chosen,
and I am very pleased with him.
I have filled him with my Spirit,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry out or shout
or try to make himself heard in the streets.
3 He will not break even a crushed reed.
He will not put out even the weakest flame.
He will bring true justice.
4 He will not grow weak or give up
until he has brought justice to the world.
And people in faraway places will hope to receive his teachings.”
The Lord Is Ruler and Maker of the World
5 The Lord, the true God, said these things. (He created the sky and spread it out over the earth. He formed the earth and everything it produced. He breathes life into all the people on earth. He gives a spirit to everyone who walks on the earth.)
6 “I, the Lord, was right to call you.
I will hold your hand and protect you.
You will be the sign of my agreement with the people.
You will be a light for the other nations.
7 You will make the blind able to see.
You will free those who are held as captives.
You will lead those who live in darkness out of their prison.
8 “I am Yahweh.
That is my name.
I will not give my glory to another.
I will not let statues take the praise that should be mine.
9 In the past, I told you what would happen,
and it happened!
Now I am telling you something new,
and I am telling you now, before it happens.”
A Song of Praise to the Lord
10 Sing a new song to the Lord;
praise him everywhere on earth—
all you who sail on the seas,
everything in the sea,
and all you people in faraway places!
11 Deserts and cities, villages of Kedar,
praise the Lord!
People living in Sela, sing for joy!
Sing from the top of your mountain.
12 Give glory to the Lord.
Praise him, all you people in faraway lands!
13 The Lord will go out like a strong soldier.
Like a man going into battle, he will be full of excitement.
He will shout with a loud cry,
and he will defeat his enemies.
God Is Very Patient
14 “For a long time I have said nothing.
I have controlled myself and kept quiet.
But now I will cry out like a woman giving birth.
My breathing is getting faster and louder.
15 I will destroy the hills and mountains.
I will dry up all the plants that grow there.
I will change rivers to dry land
and dry up pools of water.
16 Then I will lead the blind along a path they never knew
to places where they have never been before.
I will change darkness into light for them.
I will make the rough ground smooth.
I will do these things for them;
I will not abandon my people.
17 But some of them have left me.
They say to their gold statues, ‘You are my gods.’
They trust their false gods,
but they will be disappointed and shamed.
Israel Refused to Listen to God
18 “Deaf people, listen to me!
Blind people, look and see!
19 In all the world, no one is more blind than my servant.
No one is more deaf than my messenger.
No one is more blind than my chosen people,
the servant of the Lord.
20 My people see what they should do,
but they do not obey me.
They can hear with their ears,
but they refuse to listen to me.”
21 The Lord wants them to do what is right.
He wants them to honor his wonderful teachings.
22 But look at his people.
Others have defeated them and have stolen from them.
The young men are afraid.
They are locked in prisons.
People have taken advantage of them,
and there is no one to protect them.
Others take their money,
and there is no one to say, “Give it back!”
23 Will any of you pay attention to this warning? Will you ever learn to listen? 24 Who let Jacob be defeated? Who let others take what belonged to Israel? The Lord allowed them to do this. We sinned against him, so he let people take away our wealth. The people did not want to live the way he wanted. They refused to listen to his teaching. 25 So he poured out his anger on them and brought wars against them. It was as if there were fires all around them, but they didn’t know what was happening. It was as if they were burning, but they didn’t try to understand.