Isaiah 42:1-4

The Lord's Chosen Servant

1 1Behold 2my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, 3in whom my soul delights; 4I have put my Spirit upon him; 5he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;
3 6a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; 7he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged[a] till he has established justice in the earth; and 8the coastlands wait for his law.

Isaiah 42:1-4 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter begins with a prophecy concerning the Messiah, under the character of the servant of the Lord, and his elect, whom he supported, and was well pleased with; whose work is pointed at, and for which he was well qualified with the Spirit without measure, Isa 42:1 and is described by his humility and meekness, Isa 42:2, by his tenderness to weak and ignorant persons, Isa 42:3 and by his courage and resolution, Isa 42:4 then follow his call to his work, and the several parts of it, introduced with setting forth the greatness of God that called him, as the Creator of the heavens and of the earth, and of men upon it, Isa 42:5-7, whose name is Jehovah, and whose glory is incommunicable to a creature, and whose knowledge reaches to future things, which are predicted by him, Isa 42:8,9, and then Gentiles are called upon to praise the Lord, and give glory to him, partly for the above promises concerning the Messiah, Isa 42:10-12, and partly for the destruction of his enemies, Isa 42:13-15, and also for his gracious regard to such who had been blind and ignorant, Isa 42:16, the confusion of idolaters is prophesied of, and an exhortation is given them to make use of the means of light and knowledge, Isa 42:17,18, and the blindness, ignorance, and stupidity of the Jews, are exposed, though there was a remnant among them with whom the Lord was well pleased, for the sake of the righteousness of his Son, Isa 42:19-21, but as for the body of the people, they were to be given up to the spoilers and robbers for their sins and disobedience, and be the butt of the divine wrath and vengeance, Isa 42:22-24.

Cross References 8

  • 1. Cited Matthew 12:18-20
  • 2. Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 52:13; Isaiah 53:11; [ver. 19; Ezekiel 34:24; Zechariah 3:8; Acts 3:26; Acts 4:27; Philippians 2:7]
  • 3. Matthew 3:17
  • 4. Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 61:1
  • 5. [Isaiah 2:4]
  • 6. [Isaiah 57:15]
  • 7. Psalms 9:8
  • 8. Isaiah 60:9; Genesis 10:5; [Isaiah 2:3; Matthew 12:21]

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.