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Isaiah 42Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Servant, a Light to the Nations

42 [a]Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him,
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not fail[b] or be discouraged[c]
    till he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread forth the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
    I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
    a light to the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to graven images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
    I tell you of them.”

A Hymn of Praise

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise from the end of the earth!
Let the sea roar[d] and all that fills it,
    the coastlands and their inhabitants.
11 Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
    the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy,
    let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord,
    and declare his praise in the coastlands.
13 The Lord goes forth like a mighty man,
    like a man of war he stirs up his fury;
he cries out, he shouts aloud,
    he shows himself mighty against his foes.

14 For a long time I have held my peace,
    I have kept still and restrained myself;
now I will cry out like a woman in travail,
    I will gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste mountains and hills,
    and dry up all their herbage;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
    and dry up the pools.
16 And I will lead the blind
    in a way that they know not,
in paths that they have not known
    I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
    the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
    and I will not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame,
    who trust in graven images,
who say to molten images,
    “You are our gods.”

18 Hear, you deaf;
    and look, you blind, that you may see!
19 Who is blind but my servant,
    or deaf as my messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as my dedicated one,
    or blind as the servant of the Lord?
20 He sees[e] many things, but does not observe them;
    his ears are open, but he does not hear.

Israel’s Disobedience

21 The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
    to magnify his law and make it glorious.
22 But this is a people robbed and plundered,
    they are all of them trapped in holes
    and hidden in prisons;
they have become a prey with none to rescue,
    a spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
23 Who among you will give ear to this,
    will attend and listen for the time to come?
24 Who gave up Jacob to the spoiler,
    and Israel to the robbers?
Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned,
    in whose ways they would not walk,
    and whose law they would not obey?
25 So he poured upon him the heat of his anger
    and the might of battle;
it set him on fire round about, but he did not understand;
    it burned him, but he did not take it to heart.


  1. 42.1-4 The “Servant of Yahweh” is here introduced. This and three other prophecies (49.1-6; 50.4-9; 52.13– 53.12) depict the Messiah in a new light, giving details of his meekness and suffering.
  2. Isaiah 42:4 Or burn dimly
  3. Isaiah 42:4 Or bruised
  4. Isaiah 42:10 Cn Compare Ps 96.11; 98.7: Heb Those who go down to the sea
  5. Isaiah 42:20 Heb you see
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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