Isaiah 42:1-9

1 Here is 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.
2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 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,
7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

Isaiah 42:1-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 42

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 42:1-9 In-Context

1 Here is 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.
2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 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,
7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
10 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.
11 Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the tops 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 soldier, like a warrior he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, 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.