my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.
I have placed my spirit on him;
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
before establishing justice on the earth;
the one who created the sky and stretched it out,
the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it, 11
the one who gives breath to the people on it,
and life to those who live on it: 12
I take hold of your hand.
to release prisoners 19 from dungeons,
those who live in darkness from prisons.
42:8 I am the Lord! That is my name!
I will not share my glory with anyone else,
or the praise due me with idols.
now I announce new events.
Before they begin to occur,
I reveal them to you.” 21
42:10 Sing to the Lord a brand new song!
Praise him 22 from the horizon of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, 23
you coastlands 24 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.
let them praise his deeds in the coastlands. 26
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).
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).
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 “the God.” The definite article here indicates distinctiveness or uniqueness.
11 tn Heb “and its offspring” (so NASB); NIV “all that comes out of it.”
12 tn Heb “and spirit [i.e., “breath”] to the ones walking in it” (NAB, NASB, and NRSV all similar).
14 tn The translation assumes the verb is derived from the root נָצַר (natsar, “protect”). Some prefer to derive it from the root יָצַר (yatsar, “form”).
15 tn Heb “a covenant of people.” A person cannot literally be a covenant; בְּרִית (bÿrit) is probably metonymic here, indicating a covenant mediator. The precise identity of עָם (’am, “people”) is uncertain. In v. 5 עָם refers to mankind, and the following reference to “nations” also favors this. But in 49:8, where the phrase בְּרִית עָם occurs again, Israel seems to be in view.
17 tn Or “the Gentiles” (so KJV, ASV, NIV); the same Hebrew word can be translated “nations” or “Gentiles” depending on the context.
18 sn This does not refer to literal physical healing of the blind. As the next two lines suggest, this refers metonymically to freeing captives from their dark prisons where their eyes have grown unaccustomed to light.
19 sn This does not refer to hardened, dangerous criminals, who would have been executed for their crimes in ancient Near Eastern society. This verse refers to political prisoners or victims of social injustice.
20 tn Heb “the former things, look, they have come.”
21 tn Heb “before they sprout up, I cause you to hear.” The pronoun “you” is plural, referring to the people of Israel. In this verse “the former things” are the Lord’s earlier predictive oracles which have come to pass, while “the new things” are predicted events that have not yet begun to take place. “The former things” are earlier events in Israel’s history which God announced beforehand, such as the Exodus (see 43:16-18). “The new things” are the predictions about the servant (42:1-7). and may also include Cyrus’ conquests (41:25-27).
22 tn Heb “his praise.” The phrase stands parallel to “new song” in the previous line.
23 tn Heb “and its fullness”; NASB, NIV “and all that is in it.”
24 tn Or “islands” (NASB, NIV); NLT “distant coastlands.”
25 tn Heb “Let them ascribe to the Lord glory.”
26 tn Heb “and his praise in the coastlands [or “islands”] let them declare.”