1Mein Knecht hier, an dem ich halte, mein Erwählter, dem eine Seele gnadet, auf ihn gebe ich meinen Geisthauch, den Weltstämmen führe er Recht hin.2Nicht schreit er, nicht erhebt, nicht läßt auf der Gasse seine Stimme er hören,3ein geknicktes Rohr bricht er nicht, einen glimmenden Docht, den löscht er nicht ab, Recht führt hinaus er in Treuen.4Er selber verglimmt nicht und knickt nicht ein, bis das Recht er setzte auf Erden und seine Weisung die Ozeanküsten erwarten.5So hat der Gottherr, ER, gesprochen, der die Himmel schuf und sie spannte, der die Erde breitete zusamt den aus ihr Gesproßnen, der dem Volk auf ihr Odem gab, Hauch den sie Begehenden:6ICH rief dich an in Bewährung, ich fasse dich an der Hand, ich will dich verwahren, ich will dich begeben zu einem Volksbund, zu einem Weltstämme-Licht,7blinde Augen zu erhellen, aus dem Kerker Gefangne zu führen, aus dem Hafthaus, die in Finsternis sitzen.8ICH BIN DA: das ist mein Name, meinen Ehrenschein gebe ich nicht einem andern, noch den Meißeldocken meinen Lobpreis:9das Frühre, hier, es kam, Neues melde ich an, eh es wächst, lasse ich euch es erhorchen.10Singt IHM einen neuen Gesang, seinen Preis vom Erdrande her, die ihr auf das Meer auslauft und seine Fülle, Küsten zusamt ihren Siedlern!11Anheben sollen die Wüste und ihre Städte, die Gehöfte, die Kedar besiedelt, jubeln die Siedler des Geklüfts, juchheien vom Haupte der Berge,12IHM sollen sie Ehren setzen, seinen Preis an den Küsten vermelden.13ER fährt aus als Held, als Kriegsmann weckt er den Eifer, er schmettert, ja dröhnt, erzeigt sich heldisch an seinen Feinden:14»Von Zeiten her habe ich geschwiegen, ich blieb still, ich bezähmte mich, der Gebärenden gleich will ich stöhnen, schnaufen und schnauben zumal,15öden will ich Berge und Hügel, all ihr Kraut trocknen lassen, Stromland umsetzen zu Küsten, Sümpfe trockne ich aus, -16aber ich gängle Blinde auf einem Weg, den sie nicht kennen, auf Steigen, die sie nicht kennen, bewege ich sie hin, Finster mache ich ihnen zum Licht und das Holperige zur Ebne...« - Dies waren die Reden, die ich nun betätige, die ich nicht lasse.17Zurückweichen müssen, beschämt und sich schämend, die sich mit Gemeißeltem sichern, die zum Gußbilde sprechen: Ihr seid unsere Götter.18Ihr Tauben, höret, ihr Blinden, blickt auf, um zu sehn:19wer war blind, es sei denn mein Knecht? taub, wie den nun als meinen Boten ich sende? wer war blind wie der nun Gefriedete? blind, wie der nun SEIN Knecht heißt?20Vieles hattest du gesehn, beachtetest doch nichts - hellhörig, erhorchte er doch nichts!21ER begehrte um seiner Wahrhaftigkeit willen, daß die Weisung man vergrößre, verherrliche,22und nun war das ein Volk, geplündert, beraubt, verstrickt in Löchern sie alle, in Hafthäuser waren sie gesteckt, zur Plündrung wurden sie - da war kein Retter, zum Raub - keiner sprach: Erstatte zurück!23Wer bei euch wird diesem ein Ohr leihn, drauf merken, es gehört haben für später:24»Wer gab Jaakob dem Räuber hin, den Plünderern Jissrael? wars nicht ER, an dem wir uns versündigt hatten, in seinen Wegen gehn, nicht war mans gewillt, auf seine Weisung hörte man nicht!25Da goß er über ihn aus die Glut seines Zorns und das Wüten des Kriegs, das umloderte ihn rings und er erkannte noch nicht, es sengte ihn an und er nahms noch nicht zu Herzen.«
Jamieson Fausset Brown Bible Commentary 1
MESSIAH THE ANTITYPE OF CYRUS. (Isa. 42:1-25)
my servant--The law of prophetic suggestion leads Isaiah from Cyrus to the far greater Deliverer, behind whom the former is lost sight of. The express quotation in Matt 12:18
, and the description can apply to Messiah alone (Ps 40:6
; with which compare Exod 21:6
; John 6:38
; Phil 2:7
). Israel, also, in its highest ideal, is called the "servant" of God (Isa 49:3
). But this ideal is realized only in the antitypical Israel, its representative-man and Head, Messiah (compare Matt 2:15
, with Hos 11:1
). "Servant" was the position assumed by the Son of God throughout His humiliation.
elect--chosen by God before the foundation of the world for an atonement (1Pet 1:20
; Rev 13:8
). Redemption was no afterthought to remedy an unforeseen evil (Rom 16:25
; Eph 3:9
, Eph 3:11
; 2Tim 1:9
-10; Titus 1:2
). In Matt 12:18
it is rendered "My beloved"; the only beloved Son, beloved in a sense distinct from all others. Election and the love of God are inseparably joined.
soul--a human phrase applied to God, because of the intended union of humanity with the Divinity: "I Myself."
delighteth--is well pleased with, and accepts, as a propitiation. God could have "delighted" in no created being as a mediator (compare Isa 42:21
; Isa 63:5
; Matt 3:17
spirit upon him-- (Isa 11:2
; Isa 61:1
; Luke 4:18
; John 3:34
judgment--the gospel dispensation, founded on justice, the canon of the divine rule and principle of judgment called "the law" (Isa 2:3
; compare Isa 42:4
; Isa 51:4
; Isa 49:6
). The Gospel has a discriminating judicial effect: saving to penitents; condemnatory to Satan, the enemy (John 12:31
; John 16:11
), and the wilfully impenitent (John 9:39
). Matt 12:18
has, "He shall show," for "He shall bring forth," or "cause to go forth." Christ both produced and announced His "judgment." The Hebrew dwells most on His producing it; Matthew on His announcement of it: the two are joined in Him. 2
Matthew (Matt 12:19
) marks the kind of "cry" as that of altercation by quoting it, "He shall not strive" (Isa 53:7
street--the Septuagint translates "outside." An image from an altercation in a house, loud enough to be heard in the street outside: appropriate of Him who "withdrew Himself" from the public fame created by His miracles to privacy (Matt 12:15
; Isa 34:5
, there, shows another and sterner aspect of His character, which is also implied in the term "judgment"). 3
bruised--"It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isa 53:5
, Isa 53:10
; Gen 3:15
); so He can feel for the bruised. As Isa 42:2
described His unturbulent spirit towards His violent enemies (Matt 12:14
), and His utter freedom from love of notoriety, so Isa 42:3
, His tenderness in cherishing the first spark of grace in the penitent (Isa 40:11
reed--fragile: easily "shaken with the wind" (Matt 11:7
). Those who are at best feeble, and who besides are oppressed by calamity or by the sense of sin.
break--entirely crush or condemn. Compare "bind up the broken-hearted" (Isa 50:4
; Isa 61:1
; Matt 11:28
flax--put for the lamp-wick, formed of flax. The believer is the lamp (so the Greek, Matt 5:15
; John 5:35
): his conscience enlightened by the Holy Ghost is the wick. "Smoking" means "dimly burning," "smouldering," the flame not quite extinct. This expresses the positive side of the penitent's religion; as "bruised reed," the negative. Broken-hearted in himself, but not without some spark of flame: literally, "from above." Christ will supply such a one with grace as with oil. Also, the light of nature smouldering in the Gentiles amidst the hurtful fumes of error. He not only did not quench, but cleared away the mists and superadded the light of revelation. See JEROME, To Algasia, Question 2.
quotes it, "send forth judgment unto victory." Matthew, under the Spirit, gives the virtual sense, but varies the word, in order to bring out a fresh aspect of the same thing. Truth has in itself the elements of victory over all opposing forces. Truth is the victory of Him who is "the truth" (John 14:6
). The gospel judicial sifting ("judgment") of believers and unbelievers, begun already in part (John 3:18
; John 9:39
), will be consummated victoriously in truth only at His second coming; Isa 42:13
, here, and Matt 12:32
, Matt 12:36
, Matt 12:41
, show that there is reference to the judicial aspect of the Gospel, especially finally: besides the mild triumph of Jesus coming in mercy to the penitent now (Isa 42:2
), there shall be finally the judgment on His enemies, when the "truth" shall be perfectly developed. Compare Isa 61:1
, where the two comings are similarly joined (Ps 2:4
, Ps 2:8
; Rev 15:2
, Rev 15:4
; Rev 19:11
). On "judgment," see on Isa 42:1
fail--faint; man in religion may become as the almost expiring flax-wick (Isa 42:3
), but not so He in His purposes of grace.
discouraged--literally, "broken," that is, checked in zeal by discouragements (compare Isa 49:4
). ROSENMULLER not so well translates, "He shall not be too slow on the one hand, nor run too hastily on the other."
judgment--His true religion, the canon of His judgments and righteous reign.
isles . . . wait, &c.--The distant lands beyond sea shall put their trust in His gospel way of salvation. Matt 12:21
virtually gives the sense, with the inspired addition of another aspect of the same thing, "In his name shall the Gentiles trust" (as "wait for" here means, Isa 30:18
). "His law" is not something distinct from Himself, but is indeed Himself, the manifestation of God's character ("name") in Christ, who is the embodiment of the law (Isa 42:21
; Jer 23:6
; Rom 10:4
). "Isles" here, and in Isa 42:12
, may refer to the fact that the populations of which the Church was primarily formed were Gentiles of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. 5
Previously God had spoken of Messiah; now (Isa 42:5
) He speaks to Him. To show to all that He is able to sustain the Messiah in His appointed work, and that all might accept Messiah as commissioned by such a mighty God, He commences by announcing Himself as the Almighty Creator and Preserver of all things.
spread . . . earth-- (Ps 136:6
in righteousness--rather, "for a righteous purpose" [LOWTH]. (See Isa 42:21
). God "set forth" His Son "to be a propitiation (so as) to declare His (God's) righteousness, that God might be just, and (yet) the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3:25
; compare see on Isa 41:2
; Isa 45:13
; Isa 50:8
hold . . . hand--compare as to Israel, the type of Messiah, Hos 11:3
covenant--the medium of the covenant, originally made between God and Abraham (Isa 49:8
). "The mediator of a better covenant" (Heb 8:6
) than the law (see Isa 49:8
; Jer 31:33
; Jer 50:5
). So the abstract "peace," for peace-maker (Mic 5:5
; Eph 2:14
the people--Israel; as Isa 49:8
, compared with Isa 42:6
, proves (Luke 2:32
blind--spiritually (Isa 42:16
, Isa 42:18
; Isa 35:5
; John 9:39
prison-- (Isa 61:1
darkness--opposed to "light" (Isa 42:6
; Eph 5:8
; 1Pet 2:9
God turns from addressing Messiah to the people.
Lord--JEHOVAH: God's distinguishing and incommunicable name, indicating essential being and immutable faithfulness (compare Exod 6:3
; Ps 83:18
; Ps 96:5
; Hos 12:5
my--that is due to Me, and to Me alone. 9
former things--Former predictions of God, which were now fulfilled, are here adduced as proof that they ought to trust in Him alone as God; namely, the predictions as to Israel's restoration from Babylon.
new--namely, predictions as to Messiah, who is to bring all nations to the worship of Jehovah (Isa 42:1
, Isa 42:4
, Isa 42:6
spring forth--The same image from plants just beginning to germinate occurs in Isa 43:19
; Isa 58:8
. Before there is the slightest indication to enable a sagacious observer to infer the coming event, God foretells it. 10
new song--such as has never before been sung, called for by a new manifestation of God's grace, to express which no hymn for former mercies would be appropriate. The new song shall be sung when the Lord shall reign in Jerusalem, and all "nations shall flow unto it" (Isa 2:2
; Isa 26:1
; Rev 5:9
; Rev 14:3
ye that go down to the sea--whose conversion will be the means of diffusing the Gospel to distant lands.
all . . . therein--all the living creatures that fill the sea (Ps 96:11
) [MAURER]. Or, all sailors and voyagers [GESENIUS]. But these were already mentioned in the previous clause: there he called on all who go upon the sea; in this clause all animals in the sea; so in Isa 42:11
, he calls on the inanimate wilderness to lift up its voice. External nature shall be so renovated as to be in unison with the moral renovation. 11
cities--in a region not wholly waste, but mainly so, with an oasis here and there.
Kedar--in Arabia-Deserta (Isa 21:16
; Gen 25:13
). The Kedarenians led a nomadic, wandering life. So Kedar is here put in general for that class of men.
rock--Sela, that is, Petra, the metropolis of Idumea and the Nabathoean Ishmaelites. Or it may refer in general to those in Arabia-Petrća, who had their dwellings cut out of the rock.
the mountains--namely, of Paran, south of Sinai, in Arabic Petrća [VITRINGA]. 12
glory . . . islands-- (Isa 24:15
Jehovah will no longer restrain His wrath: He will go forth as a mighty warrior (Exod 15:3
) to destroy His people's and His enemies, and to deliver Israel (compare Ps 45:3
stir up jealousy--rouse His indignation.
roar--image from the battle cry of a warrior. 14
long time--namely, during the desolation of Israel (Isa 32:14
holden my peace--(Compare Ps 50:21
; Hab 1:2
cry like a travailing woman, &c.--Like a woman in parturition, who, after having restrained her breathing for a time, at last, overcome with labor pain, lets out her voice with a panting sigh; so Jehovah will give full vent to His long pent-up wrath. Translate, instead of "destroy . . . devour"; I will at once breathe hard and pant, namely, giving loose to My wrath. 15
I will destroy all My foes.
mountains--in Palestine usually planted with vines and olives in terraces, up to their tops.
islands--rather, "dry lands." God will destroy His foes, the heathen, and their idols, and "dry up" the fountains of their oracles, their doctrines and institutions, the symbol of which is water, and their schools which promoted idolatry [VITRINGA]. 16
blind--God's people, Israel, in captivity, needing a guide. In the ulterior sense the New Testament Church, which was about to be led and enlightened by the Son of God as its leader and shepherd in the wilderness of the Roman empire, until it should reach a city of habitation. "A way . . . they knew not," refers to the various means ployed by Providence for the establishment of the Church in the world, such as would never have occurred to the mind of mere man. "Blind," they are called, as not having heretofore seen God's ways in ordering His Church.
make darkness light, &c.--implies that the glorious issue would only be known by the event itself [VITRINGA]. The same holds good of the individual believer (Isa 30:21
; Ps 107:7
; compare Hos 2:6
, Hos 2:14
; Eph 5:8
; Heb 13:5
turned back . . . ashamed--disappointed in their trust; the same phrase occurs in Ps 35:4
deaf--namely, to the voice of God.
blind--to your duty and interest; wilfully so (Isa 42:20
). In this they differ from "the blind" (Isa 42:16
). The Jews are referred to. He had said, God would destroy the heathen idolatry; here he remembers that even Israel, His "servant" (Isa 42:19
), from whom better things might have been expected, is tainted with this sin. 19
my servant--namely, Israel. Who of the heathen is so blind? Considering Israel's high privileges, the heathen's blindness was as nothing compared with that of Israelite idolaters.
my messenger . . . sent--Israel was designed by God to be the herald of His truth to other nations.
perfect--furnished with institutions, civil and religious, suited to their perfect well-being. Compare the title, "Jeshurun," the perfect one, applied to Israel (compare Isa 44:2
), as the type of Messiah Or translate, the friend of God, which Israel was by virtue of descent from Abraham, who was so called (Isa 41:8
), [GESENIUS]. The language, "my servant" (compare Isa 42:1
), "messenger" (Mal 3:1
), "perfect" (Rom 10:4
; Heb 2:10
; 1Pet 2:22
), can, in the full antitypical sense, only apply to Christ. So Isa 42:21
plainly refers to Him. "Blind" and "deaf" in His case refer to His endurance of suffering and reproach, as though He neither saw nor heard (Ps 38:13
). Thus there is a transition by contrast from the moral blindness of Israel (Isa 42:18
) to the patient blindness and deafness of Messiah [HORSLEY]. 20
observest--Thou dost not keep them. The "many things" are the many proofs which all along from the first God had given Israel of His goodness and His power (Deut 4:32
; Deut 29:2
; Psa. 78:1-72; Psa. 105:1-45).
he--transition from the second to the third person. "Opening . . . ears," that is, though he (Israel) hath his ears open (see on Isa 6:10
). This language, too (see on Isa 42:19
), applies to Messiah as Jehovah's servant (Isa 50:5
; Ps 40:6
his righteousness--not His people's, but His own; Isa 42:24
shows that they had no righteousness (Isa 45:24
; Isa 59:16
). God is well pleased with His Son ("in whom My soul delighteth," Isa 42:1
), "who fulfils all righteousness" (Matt 3:15
) for them, and with them for His sake (compare Isa 42:6
; Ps 71:16
, Ps 71:19
; Matt 5:17
; Rom 10:3
; Phil 3:9
). Perhaps in God's "righteousness" here is included His faithfulness to His promises given to Israel's forefathers [ROSENMULLER]; because of this He is well pleased with Israel, even though displeased with their sin, which He here reproves; but that promise could only be based on the righteousness of Messiah, the promised seed, which is God's righteousness. 22
holes--caught by their foes in the caverns where they had sought refuge [BARNES]. Or bound in subterranean dungeons [BARNES].
prison-houses--either literal prisons, or their own houses, whence they dare not go forth for fear of the enemy. The connection is: Notwithstanding God's favor to His people for His righteousness' sake (Isa 42:21
), they have fallen into misery (the Babylonish and Romish captivities and their present dispersion), owing to their disregard of the divine law: spiritual imprisonment is included (Isa 42:7
none saith, Restore--There is no deliverer (Isa 63:5
A call that they should be warned by the past judgments of God to obey Him for the time to come. 24
Who--Their calamity was not the work of chance, but God's immediate act for their sins.
Jacob . . . Israel . . . we--change from the third to the first person; Isaiah first speaking to them as a prophet, distinct from them; then identifying himself with them, and acknowledging His share in the nation's sins (compare Josh 5:1
him--Israel (Isa 42:24
strength of battle--violence of war.
it--the battle or war (compare Isa 10:16
knew not--knew not the lesson of repentance which the judgment was intended to teach (Isa 5:13
; Isa 9:13
; Jer 5:3