Isaiah 42:1

1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:1 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 42:1

Behold my servant, whom I uphold
The Targum is,

``behold my servant the Messiah;''
and Kimchi on the place says, this is the King Messiah; and so Abarbinel F6 interprets it of him, and other Jewish writers, and which is right; for the prophet speaks not of himself, as Aben Ezra thinks; nor of Cyrus, as Saadiah Gaon; nor of the people of Israel, as Jarchi; but of Christ, as it is applied, ( Matthew 12:17 Matthew 12:18 ) who is spoken of under the character of a "servant", as he is; not as a divine Person, for as such he is the Son of God; but as man, and in his office as Mediator; a servant of the Lord, not of angels, or men, but of his divine Father; who chose him, called and sent him, and assigned him his work; which was principally the redemption of his people, and which he diligently, faithfully, and fully performed; in which he was "upheld" as man and Mediator by his Father, not only in his being as man, but was strengthened and helped in his mediatorial service so that he did not sink under the mighty weight of the sins of his people, or of the wrath of God: or, "whom I lean upon" F7; as a master on his servant, so Kimchi; he relied on him to do the work he undertook; he trusted him with his own glory, and the salvation of his people. This prophecy is ushered in with a "behold"; exciting attention to what is said concerning Christ, as of the greatest importance; directing the eye of faith to him for righteousness and salvation; and as expressive of admiration at him, that he who was the Son of God should become a servant, and undertake the salvation of men: mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth:
this character of "elect" may respect the choice of the human nature to the grace of union with the Son of God; which was chosen out from among the people, and separated from them for that purpose; and was preordained to be the Lamb slain for the redemption of man, and appointed to glory; and likewise the choice of Christ to office, to be the Mediator between God and man; to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the Lord's people; to be the Head of the church, and to be the foundation and the corner stone of that spiritual building; and to be the Judge of quick and dead: and with him, as such, was the Lord "well pleased, or delighted"; with his person; as the Son of God; and with all his chosen, as considered in him; with what he did as his servant; with the righteousness he wrought out; with the sacrifice he offered up; and with his sufferings and death, through which peace and reconciliation were made with God for sinners: I have put my Spirit upon him;
my Holy Spirit, as the Targum; not on him as a divine Person, as such he needed him not; but as man, with which he was filled without measure at his incarnation, and which rested upon him, and qualified him for his work and office, as Prophet, Priest, and King: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles;
the Gospel, the produce of divine wisdom; the Gospel of God, whose judgment is according to truth; the rule of human judgment in things spiritual and saving, and by which Christ judges and rules in the hearts of his people; this he brought forth out of his Father's bosom, out of his own heart, and published it in person to the Jews, and by his apostles to the converted by it, became subject to his rule and government. Gentiles, who being converted by it, became subject to his rule and government.

F6 Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 9. col. 1. 2. Chizzuk Emunah, p. 299.
F7 (wb Kmta) "qui innitar", Munster, "innitar ei, vel illi", Pagninus, Calvin; "in eo", Montanus.

Isaiah 42:1 In-Context

1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law."
5 Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.