The Bible – Old Testament
1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, Upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.
2 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
3 Until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, Who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
I am the LORD, this is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.
See, the earlier things have come to pass, new ones I now foretell; Before they spring into being, I announce them to you.
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth: Let the sea and what fills it resound, the coastlands, and those who dwell in them.
4 Let the steppe and its cities cry out, the villages where Kedar dwells; Let the inhabitants of Sela exult, and shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the LORD, and utter his praise in the coastlands.
The LORD goes forth like a hero, like a warrior he stirs up his ardor; He shouts out his battle cry, against his enemies he shows his might:
I have looked away, and kept silence, I have said nothing, holding myself in; But now, I cry out as a woman in labor, gasping and panting.
I will lay waste mountains and hills, all their herbage I will dry up; I will turn the rivers into marshes, and the marshes I will dry up.
I will lead the blind on their journey; by paths unknown I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight. These things I do for them, and I will not forsake them.
They shall be turned back in utter shame who trust in idols; Who say to molten images, “You are our gods.”
5 You who are deaf, listen, you who are blind, look and see!
Who is blind but my servant, or deaf like the messenger I send?
You see many things without taking note; your ears are open, but without hearing.
Though it pleased the LORD in his justice to make his law great and glorious,
6 This is a people despoiled and plundered, all of them trapped in holes, hidden away in prisons. They are taken as booty, with no one to rescue them, as spoil, with no one to demand their return.
Who of you gives ear to this? Who listens and pays heed for the time to come?
7 Who was it that gave Jacob to be plundered, Israel to the despoilers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned? In his ways they refused to walk, his law they disobeyed.
So he poured out wrath upon them, his anger, and the fury of battle; It blazed round about them, yet they did not realize, it burned them, but they took it not to heart.
1 [1-4] Servant: there are three other “Servant-of-the-Lord” oracles, ⇒ 49:1-7; ⇒ 50:4-11; ⇒ 52:13-⇒ 53:12. Many identifications have been proposed, e.g., historical Israel, ideal Israel, an Old Testament historical character before or during the lifetime of the prophet, the prophet himself. The New Testament and Christian tradition, however, have seen a fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus Christ.
2  A reference to the mercy of Christ.
3  Coastlands: the lands of the Mediterranean. In the Old Testament the word often refers to the pagan lands of the west.
4  Kedar: cf footnote to ⇒ Isaiah 21:16. Sela: Petra, the capital of Edom.
5 [18-20] Because of their unbelief, the Lord rebukes his people, whom he calls his servant, his messenger.
6  A people: Israel in exile.
7  Despoilers: the Assyrians and Babylonians.