Isaiah 42

The Servant of the LORD

1 “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.
2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5 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:
6 “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,
7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8 “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
9 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 LORDand 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 LORDfor 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.

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Isaiah 42 Commentary

Chapter 42

The character and coming of Christ. (1-4) The blessings of his kingdom. (5-12) The prevalence of true religion. (13-17) Unbelief and blindness reproved. (18-25)

Verses 1-4 This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, ( Matthew 12:17 ) . Let our souls rely on him, and rejoice in him; then, for his sake, the Father will be well-pleased with us. The Holy Spirit not only came, but rested upon him, and without measure. He patiently bore the contradiction of sinners. His kingdom is spiritual; he was not to appear with earthly honours. He is tender of those oppressed with doubts and fears, as a bruised reed; those who are as smoking flax, as the wick of a lamp newly lighted, which is ready to go out again. He will not despise them, nor lay upon them more work or more suffering than they can bear. By a long course of miracles and his resurrection, he fully showed the truth of his holy religion. By the power of his gospel and grace he fixes principles in the minds of men, which tend to make them wise and just. The most distant nations wait for his law, wait for his gospel, and shall welcome it. If we would make our calling and election sure, and have the Father delight over us for good, we must behold, hear, believe in, and obey Christ.

Verses 5-12 The work of redemption brings back man to the obedience he owes to God as his Maker. Christ is the light of the world. And by his grace he opens the understandings Satan has blinded, and sets at liberty from the bondage of sin. The Lord has supported his church. And now he makes new promises, which shall as certainly be fulfilled as the old ones were. When the Gentiles are brought into the church, he is glorified in them and by them. Let us give to God those things which are his, taking heed that we do not serve the creature more than the Creator.

Verses 13-17 The Lord will appear in his power and glory. He shall cry, in the preaching of his word. He shall cry aloud in the gospel woes, which must be preached with gospel blessings, to awaken a sleeping world. He shall conquer by the power of his Spirit. And those that contradict and blaspheme his gospel, he shall put to silence and shame; and that which hinders its progress shall be taken out of the way. To those who by nature were blind, God will show the way to life and happiness by Jesus Christ. They are weak in knowledge, but He will make darkness light. They are weak in duty, but their way shall be plain. Those whom God brings into the right way, he will guide in it. This passage is a prophecy, and is also applicable to every believer; for the Lord will never leave nor forsake them.

Verses 18-25 Observe the call given to this people, and the character given of them. Multitudes are ruined for want of observing that which they cannot but see; they perish, not through ignorance, but carelessness. The Lord is well-pleased in the making known his own righteousness. For their sins they were spoiled of all their possessions. This fully came to pass in the destruction of the Jewish nation. There is no resisting, nor escaping God's anger. See the mischief sin makes; it provokes God to anger. And those not humbled by lesser judgments, must expect greater. Alas! how many professed Christians are blind as the benighted heathen! While the Lord is well-pleased in saving sinners through the righteousness of Christ he will also glorify his justice, by punishing all proud despisers. Seeing God has poured out his wrath on his once-favoured people, because of their sins, let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should be found to come short of it.

Cross References 88

  • 1. S Isaiah 20:3; S Matthew 20:28
  • 2. S Isaiah 14:1; Isaiah 43:10; Luke 9:35; Luke 23:35; 1 Peter 2:4,6
  • 3. Matthew 3:17
  • 4. S Isaiah 11:2; S Isaiah 44:3; Matthew 3:16-17; S John 3:34
  • 5. S Isaiah 9:7
  • 6. S Genesis 49:10
  • 7. Proverbs 8:1-4
  • 8. S Isaiah 36:6
  • 9. S Job 30:24
  • 10. S Job 13:25
  • 11. Psalms 72:2; Psalms 96:13
  • 12. S Isaiah 2:4
  • 13. ver 21; Exodus 34:29; Isaiah 51:4
  • 14. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 15. S Genesis 49:10; Matthew 12:18-21*
  • 16. S Genesis 1:6; Psalms 102:25; Isaiah 48:13
  • 17. S Genesis 1:1
  • 18. Psalms 24:2; Acts 17:24
  • 19. S Genesis 2:7; Acts 17:25
  • 20. Exodus 31:2; S Judges 4:10; Isaiah 41:9-10; Isaiah 43:1
  • 21. Isaiah 45:24; Jeremiah 23:6; Daniel 9:7
  • 22. Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 45:1
  • 23. Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 27:3
  • 24. Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 54:10; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 61:8; Jeremiah 31:31; Jeremiah 32:40; Malachi 3:1; S Luke 22:20
  • 25. S Isaiah 9:2
  • 26. S Isaiah 26:18; S Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47
  • 27. S Psalms 146:8; S Isaiah 32:3; Matthew 11:5; Isaiah 35:5
  • 28. Isaiah 49:9; Isaiah 61:1; Isaiah 51:14; Isaiah 52:2; Zechariah 2:7
  • 29. S Psalms 66:11; S Isaiah 24:22; Isaiah 48:20; Zechariah 9:11; S Luke 4:19; 2 Timothy 2:26; Hebrews 2:14-15
  • 30. S Psalms 107:10,14; Acts 26:18
  • 31. Psalms 81:10; Isa 43:3,11,15; Isaiah 46:9; Isaiah 49:23
  • 32. S Exodus 3:15; S Exodus 6:3
  • 33. Isaiah 48:11
  • 34. S Exodus 8:10; S Exodus 20:4
  • 35. S Isaiah 41:22
  • 36. S Isaiah 40:21; Ezekiel 2:4
  • 37. S Exodus 15:1
  • 38. S Psalms 96:1; Psalms 33:3; Psalms 40:3; Psalms 98:1
  • 39. 1 Kings 10:9; Isaiah 60:6
  • 40. S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Psalms 48:10; Psalms 65:5; Isaiah 49:6
  • 41. S 1 Chronicles 16:32; Psalms 96:11
  • 42. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 43. S Isaiah 32:16
  • 44. S Genesis 25:13; Isaiah 60:7
  • 45. S Judges 1:36
  • 46. Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15
  • 47. S 1 Chronicles 16:24; S Isaiah 24:15
  • 48. S Psalms 26:7; S Psalms 66:2; 1 Peter 2:9
  • 49. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 50. S Isaiah 9:6
  • 51. S Exodus 14:14
  • 52. S Isaiah 26:11
  • 53. S Joshua 6:5; Jeremiah 25:30; Hosea 11:10; Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2; Amos 3:4,8
  • 54. Isaiah 66:14
  • 55. S Esther 4:14; S Psalms 50:21
  • 56. S Genesis 43:31; Luke 18:7; 2 Peter 3:9
  • 57. Jeremiah 4:31
  • 58. Ezekiel 38:20
  • 59. S Psalms 107:33
  • 60. S Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 50:2; Nahum 1:4-6
  • 61. S Isaiah 29:24; Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 57:18; Isaiah 58:11; Jeremiah 31:8-9; Luke 1:78-79
  • 62. S Isaiah 32:3
  • 63. S Psalms 18:28; Isaiah 58:8,10; S Acts 26:18
  • 64. S Isaiah 26:7; Luke 3:5
  • 65. S Deuteronomy 4:31; Hebrews 13:5
  • 66. S Exodus 32:4
  • 67. S Psalms 97:7; S Isaiah 1:29; Isaiah 44:11; Isaiah 45:16
  • 68. S Isaiah 35:5
  • 69. Isaiah 43:8; Ezekiel 12:2
  • 70. Isaiah 41:8-9
  • 71. Isaiah 44:26; Haggai 1:13
  • 72. Isaiah 26:3
  • 73. Isaiah 6:9-10; Isaiah 43:8; Jeremiah 5:21; Jeremiah 6:10
  • 74. Isaiah 43:25
  • 75. S ver 4; 2 Corinthians 3:7
  • 76. S Judges 6:4; S 2 Kings 24:13
  • 77. S Isaiah 24:18
  • 78. S Psalms 66:11; S Isaiah 24:22
  • 79. S Isaiah 5:29
  • 80. Deuteronomy 32:29; Psalms 81:13; Isaiah 47:7; Isaiah 48:18; Isaiah 57:11
  • 81. S 2 Kings 17:6; Isaiah 43:28; Isaiah 47:6
  • 82. Isaiah 10:5-6
  • 83. S Isaiah 30:15
  • 84. S Joshua 1:7; S Psalms 119:136; Isaiah 5:24; Jeremiah 44:10
  • 85. S 2 Kings 22:13; S Job 40:11; S Isaiah 51:17; S Ezekiel 7:19
  • 86. 2 Kings 25:9; Isaiah 66:15; Jeremiah 4:4; Jeremiah 21:12; Lamentations 2:3; Nahum 1:6
  • 87. S Isaiah 1:3
  • 88. Isaiah 29:13; Isaiah 47:7; Isaiah 57:1,11; Hosea 7:9

Chapter Summary


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.

Isaiah 42 Commentaries

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