Isaiah 42

The Lord’s Servant

1 Here is my servant!
      I have made him strong.
   He is my chosen one;
      I am pleased with him.
   I have given him my Spirit,
   and he will bring justice
      to the nations.
2 He won’t shout or yell
      or call out in the streets.
3 He won’t break off a bent reed
      or put out a dying flame,
   but he will make sure
      that justice is done.
4 He won’t quit or give up
   until he brings justice
      everywhere on earth,
   and people in foreign nations
      long for his teaching.

5 I am the Lord God.
   I created the heavens
      like an open tent above.
   I made the earth and everything
      that grows on it.
   I am the source of life
   for all who live on this earth,
      so listen to what I say.
6 I chose you to bring justice,
      and I am here at your side.
   I selected and sent you
      to bring light
   and my promise of hope
      to the nations.
7 You will give sight
      to the blind;
   you will set prisoners free
      from dark dungeons.

8 My name is the Lord!
   I won’t let idols or humans
      share my glory and praise.
9 Everything has happened
      just as I said it would;
   now I will announce
      what will happen next.

Sing Praises to the Lord

10 Tell the whole world to sing
         a new song to the Lord!
      Tell those who sail the ocean
      and those who live far away
         to join in the praise.
11 Tell the tribes of the desert
      and everyone in the mountains
         to celebrate and sing.
12 Let them announce
         his praises everywhere.
13 The Lord is marching out
         like an angry soldier,
      shouting with all his might
         while attacking his enemies.

The Lord Will Help His People

14 For a long time, I, the Lord,
         have held my temper;
      now I will scream and groan
         like a woman giving birth.
15 I will destroy the mountains
         and what grows on them;
     I will dry up rivers and ponds.
16 I will lead the blind on roads
         they have never known;
      I will guide them on paths
         they have never traveled.
      Their road is dark and rough,
         but I will give light
      to keep them from stumbling.
         This is my solemn promise.

17 Everyone who worships idols
     as though they were gods
         will be terribly ashamed.

God’s People Won’t Obey

18 You people are deaf and blind,
      but the Lord commands you
         to listen and to see.
19 No one is as blind or deaf
      as his messenger,
         his chosen servant,
20 who sees and hears so much,
         but pays no attention.

21 The Lord always does right,
      and so he wanted his Law
         to be greatly praised.
22 But his people were trapped
      and imprisoned in holes
         with no one to rescue them.
      All they owned had been taken,
      and no one was willing
         to give it back.
23 Why won’t his people
         ever learn to listen?

24 Israel sinned and refused
      to obey the Lord
         or follow his instructions.
      So the Lord let them be robbed
         of everything they owned.
25 He was furious with them
      and punished their nation
         with the fires of war.
      Still they paid no attention.
         They didn’t even care
      when they were surrounded
         and scorched by flames.

The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary