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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.

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17. They shall be driven back. This enables us to see more clearly to whom the former doctrine relates, for it distinguishes between the worshippers of God and the worshippers of idols. The Lord will be a leader to his own people, but, on the other hand, they who worship idols shall be ashamed As if he had said, that here the Lord gives us a choice, either to be saved by his grace, or to perish miserably; for all that place their hope of salvation in idols shall perish, but they who trust in the word of God are certain of salvation; because, though they often are heavily afflicted, yet he will not allow their hope to be put to shame in the end, but by the result will prove that he did not in vain lay down this distinction.

And say to a molten image, Ye are our gods. It is certain that by these two marks are described all idolaters who place their hope in any one else than in God alone; for, although idolaters do not bow down before their idols, yet, by attaching divinity to them, they offer blasphemy to the only and true God; for the chief part of the worship of God consists in faith and calling upon him, both of which the Prophet here describes. It may be asked, Were they so stupid as to say to an image, “Thou art my god?” for all superstitious persons confessed that God is in heaven, and did not openly ascribe divinity to wood or stone. I reply, all idolaters ascribe to images the power of God, though they acknowledge that he is in heaven; for, when they flee to statues and images, when they make and perform vows to them, they undoubtedly ascribe to them what belongs to God. It is in vain for them, therefore, to cloak their ignorance under plausible excuses, for they reckon wood and stone to be gods, and offer the highest insult to God; and consequently, the Prophet did not employ exaggerated language, or falsely accuse them of being idolaters; for it is plainly testified by their words and speeches, when they call their idols and images gods. Even though they did not utter a word, their madness is openly manifested by their imagining that they cannot reach the hand or the ear of God without bowing down before images to utter their prayers. The object of these statements is, that all may understand that no man will be saved but, he who trusts in God alone.