Isaiah 42 – “God’s Servants”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God chooses a righteous leader, promises to perform miracles, and praises a handicapped servant. The prophet urges the nations to praise God and condemns the people for sinning.

II. Photo
God will punish the land: “I will scorch hills and heights, cause all their green to wither!” (v. 15a)

III. Important Verses
1-2: This is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom I delight. I have put My spirit upon him, He shall teach the true way to the nations. He shall not cry out or shout aloud, Or make his voice heard in the streets.
6: I the LORD, in My grace, have summoned you, And I have grasped you by the hand. I created you, and appointed you A covenant people, a light of nations.
10: Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth — You who sail the sea and you creatures in it, You coastlands and their inhabitants!
13-15: The LORD goes forth like a warrior, Like a fighter He whips up His rage. He yells, He roars aloud, He charges upon His enemies. “I have kept silent far too long, Kept still and restrained Myself; Now I will scream like a woman in labor, I will pant and I will gasp. Hills and heights will I scorch, Cause all their green to wither; I will turn rivers into isles, And dry the marshes up.”
18-20:  Listen, you who are deaf; You blind ones, look up and see! Who is so blind as My servant, So deaf as the messenger I send? Who is so blind as the chosen one, So blind as the servant of the LORD? Seeing many things, he gives no heed; With ears open, he hears nothing.

IV. Outline

1-12. Oracle #1
    1-4. God’s servant will teach justice
    5-7. God personally chose the leader
    8. God is greater than idols
    9. God is a faithful predictor of events
10-12. Imperative: the nations should praise God
13-17. Oracle #2
    13. Introduction: God is a warrior
    14-15. God will take out his aggression on the earth
    16a. God will give sight to the blind
    16b. Assurance
    17. Shamed are those who trust in idols
    18-20. God’s servant is blind and deaf
21-25. Prophetic condemnation
    21. God’s just ways
    22. The people are in dire straits
    23-25. The people were punished for their sins

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).