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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 42

 

 

Verses 1-4

Isaiah 42:1-4. The Mission of Yahweh's Servant (the first of the four so-called "Servant Songs"; see Introd.).—Yahweh bids the nations consider His Servant Israel, whom He sustains and loves. He has equipped him like the prophets with His spirit, so that he may publish the true religion to the nations. The frenzy, however, which often accompanied the utterance of prophecy in the public ways shall not characterise him; he shall be gentle, not crushing the damaged reed, or quenching the feebly-burning wick. Faithfully shall he publish the true religion. He shall not be crushed or grow feeble until he shall have established the true religion universally, and all lands look to him for direction.

Isaiah 42:1. judgement here and in Isaiah 42:3 f. means the whole collection of Yahweh's ordinances and decisions possessed by Israel, i.e., in effect, "the true religion."

Isaiah 42:2. lift up: i.e. "his voice."

Isaiah 42:4. fail, discouraged: render as mg. Probably "till" is to be supplied in thought before the isles.


Verses 5-7

Isaiah 42:5-7. An Exposition of the Theme of Isaiah 42:1-4.—Yahweh the Creator, has called Israel, taken him by the hand, made him a covenant and light to the nations, to bring them forth from their prison-house of glimmering darkness.

Isaiah 42:5. God, the Lord: read, "Yahweh, the (true) God."—Insert "brought forth" before that which.

Isaiah 42:6. in righteousness: i.e. truly, of set purpose.—will hold . . . will keep . . . and give: read, "have held . . . have formed . . . and have given."—covenant of the people: an obscure expression, best interpreted as a parallel to the following clause, "a people embodying a covenant which Yahweh will make with the nations."


Verse 8

Isaiah 42:8 f. The fulfilment of His earlier predictions, the "former things," differentiates Yahweh from the gods of the nations, and guarantees the fulfilment of the prophecies now made.


Verses 10-13

Isaiah 42:10-13. The Whole Earth is Summoned to Praise Yahweh, for He is about to Take the Field against His Foes.—Nations from one end of the earth to the other, the sea, the far lands, the deserts, and all dwellers therein, must swell this pæan. Yahweh will utter a war-cry, and go forth on a triumphant expedition against His foes.

Isaiah 42:10. ye . . . sea: read, "let the sea roar."

Isaiah 42:11. Kedar: the wandering tent-dwellers.—Sela: the rocky fastnesses.

Isaiah 42:13. jealousy: warlike rage.


Verses 14-17

Isaiah 42:14-17. Yahweh has long Restrained Himself: at last He will Crush His Foes and Help His Servants.—Long inactive, Yahweh is now filled with desire to intervene. He will ravage and lay waste the lands of His foes: but His people He will bring carefully and tenderly home, thus overwhelming the idolators with shame.

Isaiah 42:15. islands: read, "parched ground."

Isaiah 42:16. Read, "on the way," and omit the next four words.—forsake: "leave undone."


Verses 18-25

Isaiah 42:18-25. Israel's Piteous Plight, a Punishment from Yahweh.—The prophet bids the people, who have not recognised Yahweh's working in their distresses, look beneath the surface. To all appearance they are captives whom none can deliver. Will none of them see that Yahweh Himself is the author of their misfortune? He has chastised them, though they have not understood the discipline.

Isaiah 42:19. A gloss, identifying the "blind" and "deaf" of Isaiah 42:18; a second gloss (Isaiah 42:19 b) has been added. Both take Yahweh's Servant to be Israel.—at peace with me: difficult; perhaps read, "my devoted one."

Isaiah 42:21. Probably editorial.

Isaiah 42:22. Figurative reference to the restraints of captivity.

Isaiah 42:23. this: i.e. the truths of Isaiah 42:24 f.—for . . . come: however deaf hitherto.

Isaiah 42:24. All after robbers is a pious insertion. Read, "they sinned" (LXX).

Isaiah 42:25. Continues question of Isaiah 42:24. Render, "Who poured . . .?"

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 42:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/isaiah-42.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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