World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
42. The Servant of the Lord
1Behold, 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. 2He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. 3A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth. 4He will not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set justice in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law. 5Thus 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: 6I, 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; 7to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. 8I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images. 9Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them. 10Sing 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. 11Let 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. 12Let them give glory unto Jehovah, and declare his praise in the islands. 13Jehovah 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. 14I 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. 15I 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. 16And 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. 17They 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. 18Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I send? who is blind as he that is at peace with me, and blind as Jehovah's servant? 20Thou seest many things, but thou observest not; his ears are open, but he heareth not. 21It pleased Jehovah, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the law, and make it honorable. 22But this is a people robbed and plundered; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison-houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23Who is there among you that will give ear to this? that will hearken and hear for the time to come? 24Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not Jehovah? he against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they would not walk, neither were they obedient unto his law. 25Therefore he poured upon him the fierceness of his anger, and the strength of battle; and it set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
13. Jehovah like a giant. What Isaiah now adds is intended to surmount the temptations of believers. He ascribes to God strength and power, that they may know that they shall find in him a sure defense; for in adversity we are perplexed, because we doubt whether or not God will be able to render us assistance, especially when by delaying he appears in some measure to reject our prayers; and therefore the Prophet loudly extols the power of God, that all may learn to rely and place their confidence in him.
Will go forth. The going forth that is here mentioned must be taken metaphorically; for God seemed to be concealed at the time when he permitted his people to be affiicted and oppressed without any appearance of aid; and therefore the word means “to come forth publicly for the sake of giving assistance.” This is confirmed by what follows.
And as a warrior. When he attributes to God burning indignation, with which he rushes forth “like a warrior” against his enemies, the comparisons are drawn from human feelings, and declare to us the powerful assistance of God, which would not otherwise make a sufficiently powerful impression on our minds. He therefore accommodates himself to our capacity, as we have often said, that we may know how ardently he desires to preserve us, and how much he is distressed by the affliction and oppression of believers, and likewise how terrible is his anger, whenever he girds himself for battle.
We ought always to observe that peculiar season which the Prophet had in his eye, to which these predictions must be applied; for while the enemies were becoming more and more fierce, and were taunting a wretched people, it was the duty of believers to look at something quite different from what they beheld with their eyes, and to believe that God is sufficiently powerful to subdue their enemies, and rescue them out of their hands. Nor was it only during the captivity that it was of importance for them to have their sorrow alleviated by this promise, but almost till the coming of Christ; for they were continually and painfully constrained to encounter severe distresses, as is evident from history.