Isaiah 42 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Isaiah 42)
42:1 Behold a my servant, b whom I uphold; my elect, [in whom] my soul c delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth d judgment to the Gentiles.

(a) That is, Christ, who in respect to his manhood is called here servant. The prophets used to make mention of Christ after they declared any great promise, because he is the foundation on which all the promises are made and ratified.
(b) For I have committed all my power to him, as to a most faithful steward: some read, I will establish him: that is, in his office by giving him the fulness of my Spirit.
(c) Only he is acceptable to me and they that come to me by him: for there is no other means of reconciliation, (Matthew 12:18; Ephesians 4:1)
(d) He will declare himself governor over the Gentiles and call them by his word, and rule them by his Spirit.

42:2 He shall not e cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

(e) His coming will not be with pomp and noise, as earthly princes.

42:3 A f bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking g flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to h truth.

(f) He will not hurt the weak and feeble, but support and comfort them.
(g) Meaning, the wick of a lamp or candle which is almost out, but he will cherish it and snuff it, that it may shine brighter.
(h) Although he favours the weak, yet will he not spare the wicked, but will judge them according to truth and equity.

42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he hath i set judgment in the earth: and the k isles shall wait for his law.

(i) Till he has set all things in good order.
(k) The Gentiles will desire to receive his doctrine.

42:6 I the LORD have called thee in l righteousness, and will hold m thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a n covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

(l) Meaning, to a lawful and just calling.
(m) To assist and guide you.
(n) As him, by whom the promise made to all nations in Abraham will be fulfilled.

42:8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my o glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

(o) I will not permit my glory to be diminished: which I would do if I were not faithful.

42:9 Behold, the former things have p come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

(p) As in time past I have been true in my promises, so will I be in time to come.

42:11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up [their voice], the villages [that] q Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

(q) Meaning, the Arabians, under whom he comprehends all the people of the East.

42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a r mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.

(r) He shows the zeal of the Lord, and his power in the conservation of his Church.

42:14 I have long time held my peace; I have been still, [and] restrained myself: [now] will I cry like a s travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

(s) I will haste to execute my vengeance, which I have so long deferred as a woman that desires to be delivered, when she is in labour.

42:16 And I will bring the t blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do for them, and not forsake them.

(t) That is, my poor people, who are in perplexity and care.

42:19 Who [is] blind, but my u servant? or deaf, as my x messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he that is] y perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant?

(u) That is, Israel, which would have most light because of my Law.
(x) The priest to whom my word is committed, who would not only hear it himself but cause others to hear it.
(y) As the priests and prophets that would be lights to others?

42:22 But this [is] a people z 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, a Restore.

(z) Because they will not acknowledge this blessing from the Lord, who is ready to deliver them, he permits them to be spoiled by their enemies through their own fault and incredulity.
(a) There will be no one to comfort them , or to will the enemy to restore that which he has spoiled.

42:23 Who among you will give ear to this? [who] will hearken and hear for b the time to come?

(b) Meaning, God's wrath.