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Isaiah 42:1-4

Context
The Lord Commissions His Special Servant

42:1 1 “Here is my servant whom I support,

my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.

I have placed my spirit on him;

he will make just decrees 2  for the nations. 3 

42:2 He will not cry out or shout;

he will not publicize himself in the streets. 4 

42:3 A crushed reed he will not break,

a dim wick he will not extinguish; 5 

he will faithfully make just decrees. 6 

42:4 He will not grow dim or be crushed 7 

before establishing justice on the earth;

the coastlands 8  will wait in anticipation for his decrees.” 9 

Isaiah 42:10-12

Context

42:10 Sing to the Lord a brand new song!

Praise him 10  from the horizon of the earth,

you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, 11 

you coastlands 12  and those who live there!

42:11 Let the desert and its cities shout out,

the towns where the nomads of Kedar live!

Let the residents of Sela shout joyfully;

let them shout loudly from the mountaintops.

42:12 Let them give the Lord the honor he deserves; 13 

let them praise his deeds in the coastlands. 14 

1 sn Verses 1-7 contain the first of Isaiah’s “servant songs,” which describe the ministry of a special, ideal servant who accomplishes God’s purposes for Israel and the nations. This song depicts the servant as a just king who brings justice to the earth and relief for the oppressed. The other songs appear in 49:1-13; 50:4-11; and 52:13-53:12.

2 tn Heb “he will bring out justice” (cf. ASV, NASB, NRSV).

3 sn Like the ideal king portrayed in Isa 11:1-9, the servant is energized by the divine spirit and establishes justice on the earth.

4 tn Heb “he will not cause his voice to be heard in the street.”

5 sn The “crushed reed” and “dim wick” symbolize the weak and oppressed who are on the verge of extinction.

6 tn Heb “faithfully he will bring out justice” (cf. NASB, NRSV).

7 tn For rhetorical effect the terms used to describe the “crushed (רָצַץ, ratsats) reed” and “dim (כָּהָה, kahah) wick” in v. 3 are repeated here.

8 tn Or “islands” (NIV); NLT “distant lands beyond the sea.”

9 tn Or “his law” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV) or “his instruction” (NLT).

10 tn Heb “his praise.” The phrase stands parallel to “new song” in the previous line.

11 tn Heb “and its fullness”; NASB, NIV “and all that is in it.”

12 tn Or “islands” (NASB, NIV); NLT “distant coastlands.”

13 tn Heb “Let them ascribe to the Lord glory.”

14 tn Heb “and his praise in the coastlands [or “islands”] let them declare.”



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