Isaiah 42:1-9

The Lord Commissions His Special Servant

42:1 “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 for the nations.

42:2 He will not cry out or shout;

he will not publicize himself in the streets.

42:3 A crushed reed he will not break,

a dim wick he will not extinguish;

he will faithfully make just decrees.

42:4 He will not grow dim or be crushed

before establishing justice on the earth;

the coastlands will wait in anticipation for his decrees.”

42:5 This is what the true God, the Lord, says –

the one who created the sky and stretched it out,

the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it,

the one who gives breath to the people on it,

and life to those who live on it:

42:6 “I, the Lord, officially commission you;

I take hold of your hand.

I protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people,

and a light to the nations,

42:7 to open blind eyes,

to release prisoners from dungeons,

those who live in darkness from prisons.

The Lord Intervenes

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.

42:9 Look, my earlier predictive oracles have come to pass;

now I announce new events.

Before they begin to occur,

I reveal them to you.”

Isaiah 49:1-7

Ideal Israel Delivers the Exiles

49:1 Listen to me, you coastlands!

Pay attention, you people who live far away!

The Lord summoned me from birth;

he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world.

49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,

he hid me in the hollow of his hand;

he made me like a sharpened arrow,

he hid me in his quiver.

49:3 He said to me, “You are my servant,

Israel, through whom I will reveal my splendor.”

49:4 But I thought, “I have worked in vain;

I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing.”

But the Lord will vindicate me;

my God will reward me.

49:5 So now the Lord says,

the one who formed me from birth to be his servant –

he did this to restore Jacob to himself,

so that Israel might be gathered to him;

and I will be honored in the Lord’s sight,

for my God is my source of strength –

49:6 he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,

to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,

and restore the remnant of Israel?

I will make you a light to the nations,

so you can bring my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”

49:7 This is what the Lord,

the protector of Israel, their Holy One, says

to the one who is despised and rejected by nations,

a servant of rulers:

“Kings will see and rise in respect,

princes will bow down,

because of the faithful Lord,

the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”

Isaiah 50:4-11

The Servant Perseveres

50:4 The sovereign Lord has given me the capacity to be his spokesman,

so that I know how to help the weary.

He wakes me up every morning;

he makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do.

50:5 The sovereign Lord has spoken to me clearly;

I have not rebelled,

I have not turned back.

50:6 I offered my back to those who attacked,

my jaws to those who tore out my beard;

I did not hide my face

from insults and spitting.

50:7 But the sovereign Lord helps me,

so I am not humiliated.

For that reason I am steadfastly resolved;

I know I will not be put to shame.

50:8 The one who vindicates me is close by.

Who dares to argue with me? Let us confront each other!

Who is my accuser? Let him challenge me!

50:9 Look, the sovereign Lord helps me.

Who dares to condemn me?

Look, all of them will wear out like clothes;

a moth will eat away at them.

50:10 Who among you fears the Lord?

Who obeys his servant?

Whoever walks in deep darkness,

without light,

should trust in the name of the Lord

and rely on his God.

50:11 Look, all of you who start a fire

and who equip yourselves with flaming arrows,

walk in the light of the fire you started

and among the flaming arrows you ignited!

This is what you will receive from me:

you will lie down in a place of pain.

Isaiah 52:13--53:12

The Lord Will Vindicate His Servant

52:13 “Look, my servant will succeed!

He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted –

52:14 (just as many were horrified by the sight of you)

he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man;

52:15 his form was so marred he no longer looked human –

so now he will startle many nations.

Kings will be shocked by his exaltation,

for they will witness something unannounced to them,

and they will understand something they had not heard about.

53:1 Who would have believed what we just heard?

When was the Lord’s power revealed through him?

53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God,

like a root out of parched soil;

he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention,

no special appearance that we should want to follow him.

53:3 He was despised and rejected by people,

one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;

people hid their faces from him;

he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.

53:4 But he lifted up our illnesses,

he carried our pain;

even though we thought he was being punished,

attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.

53:5 He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,

crushed because of our sins;

he endured punishment that made us well;

because of his wounds we have been healed.

53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep;

each of us had strayed off on his own path,

but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him.

53:7 He was treated harshly and afflicted,

but he did not even open his mouth.

Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block,

like a sheep silent before her shearers,

he did not even open his mouth.

53:8 He was led away after an unjust trial –

but who even cared?

Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living;

because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded.

53:9 They intended to bury him with criminals,

but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb,

because he had committed no violent deeds,

nor had he spoken deceitfully.

53:10 Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill,

once restitution is made,

he will see descendants and enjoy long life,

and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.

53:11 Having suffered, he will reflect on his work,

he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done.

“My servant will acquit many,

for he carried their sins.

53:12 So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes,

he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful,

because he willingly submitted to death

and was numbered with the rebels,

when he lifted up the sin of many

and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”