Isaiah 42:1-17

Introduction
Isaiah 42:1-17: This passage is the first of four “servant songs” in Isaiah. In this passage, the servant is described as one who God chose to bring justice to the nations (Isaiah 42:1). Light provides an image of God’s truth, justice and saving power.

Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth.

He will not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set justice in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law.

Thus saith God Jehovah, he that created the heavens, and stretched them forth; he that spread abroad the earth and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.

I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Sing unto Jehovah a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth; ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein, the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

Let them give glory unto Jehovah, and declare his praise in the islands.

Jehovah will go forth as a mighty man; he will stir up his zeal like a man of war: he will cry, yea, he will shout aloud; he will do mightily against his enemies.

I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry out like a travailing woman; I will gasp and pant together.

I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and will dry up the pools.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; in paths that they know not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things will I do, and I will not forsake them.

They shall be turned back, they shall be utterly put to shame, that trust in graven images, that say unto molten images, Ye are our gods.

Reflect
Reread 42:1-7. Some scholars think that the servant referenced in this passage must be an important royal or religious figure in Israel’s history, like King Josiah, Jeremiah, or even Isaiah. Others think it might be a reference to the people of Israel. Still others believe that the passage predicts the life and death of the messiah. What do you think?

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