1‘Here is my servant. I take good care of him. I have chosen him. I am very pleased with him. I will put my Spirit on him. He will bring justice to the nations.2He will not shout or cry out. He will not raise his voice in the streets.3He will not break a bent twig. He will not put out a dimly burning flame. He will be faithful and make everything right.4He will not grow weak or lose hope. He will not give up until he brings justice to the earth. The islands will put their hope in his teaching.’5God created the heavens and stretches them out. The LORD spreads out the earth with everything that grows on it. He gives breath to its people. He gives life to those who walk on it. He says to his servant,6‘I, the LORD, have chosen you to do what is right. I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you safe. You will put into effect my covenant with the people of Israel. And you will be a light for the Gentiles.7You will open eyes that can’t see. You will set prisoners free. Those who sit in darkness will come out of their cells.8‘I am the LORD. That is my name! I will not let any other god share my glory. I will not let statues of gods share my praise.9What I said would happen has taken place. Now I announce new things to you. Before they even begin to happen, I announce them to you.’
A song of praise to the Lord
10Sing a new song to the LORD. Sing praise to him from one end of the earth to the other. Sing, you who sail out on the ocean. Sing, all you creatures in it. Sing, you islands. Sing, all you who live there.11Let the desert and its towns raise their voices. Let those who live in the settlements of Kedar be glad. Let the people of Sela sing for joy. Let them shout from the tops of the mountains.12Let them give glory to the LORD. Let them praise him in the islands.13The LORD will march out like a mighty warrior. He will stir up his anger like a soldier getting ready to fight. He will shout the battle cry. And he will win the battle over his enemies.14The LORD says, ‘For a long time I have kept silent. I have been calm and quiet. But now, like a woman having a baby, I cry out. I gasp and pant.15I will completely destroy the mountains and hills. I will dry up everything that grows there. I will turn rivers into dry land. I will dry up the pools.16Israel is blind. So I will lead them along paths they had not known before. I will guide them on roads they are not familiar with. I will turn the darkness into light as they travel. I will make the rough places smooth. Those are the things I will do. I will not desert my people.17Some people trust in statues of gods. They say to them, “You are our gods.” But they will be dishonoured. They will be put to shame.
Israel can’t see or hear
18‘Israel, listen to me! You can hear, but you do not understand. Look to me! You can see, but you do not know what you are seeing.19The people of Israel serve me. But who is more blind than they are? Who is more deaf than the messengers I send? Who is more blind than the one who has promised to be faithful to me? Who is more blind than the servant of the LORD?20Israel, you have seen many things. But you do not pay any attention to me. Your ears are open. But you do not listen to anything I say.’21The LORD wanted his people to see how great and glorious his law is. He wanted to show them that he always does what is right.22Enemies have carried off everything they own. All my people are trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They themselves have become like stolen goods. No one can save them. They have been carried off. And there is no one who will say, ‘Send them back.’23Family of Jacob, who among you will listen to what I’m saying? People of Israel, which one of you will pay close attention in days to come?24Who allowed you to be carried off like stolen goods? Who handed you over to robbers? The LORD did it! We have sinned against him. Israel, you wouldn’t follow his ways. You didn’t obey his law.25So he poured out his great anger on you. He had many of you killed in battle. You were surrounded by flames. But you didn’t realise what was happening. Many of you were destroyed. But you didn’t learn anything from it.
English Standard Version
The Lord’s Chosen Servant
1Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isa 2:4; Isa 11:2; Isa 41:8; Isa 42:19; Isa 43:10; Isa 52:13; Isa 53:11; Isa 61:1; Eze 34:24; Zec 3:8; Mt 3:17; Mt 12:18; Ac 3:26; Ac 4:27; Php 2:7)2He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;3a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. (Ps 9:8; Isa 57:15)4He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. (Ge 10:5; Isa 2:3; Isa 60:9; Mt 12:21)5Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: (Isa 44:24; Isa 45:12; Ac 17:25)6“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, (Isa 41:9; Isa 49:6; Isa 49:8; Lu 2:32)7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. (Isa 35:5; Isa 49:9; Isa 61:1; Lu 1:79; Heb 2:14)8I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Isa 48:11)9Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isa 43:19)
Sing to the Lord a New Song
10Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. (Ps 33:3; Ps 107:23; Isa 42:4)11Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. (Isa 16:1; Isa 21:16)12Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. (Isa 42:4)13The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. (Ps 78:65; Isa 9:7; Isa 40:10; Isa 59:17)14For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. (Isa 13:8)15I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. (Isa 50:2)16And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. (Isa 35:5; Isa 35:8; Isa 40:4)17They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.” (Ps 97:7; Isa 1:29; Isa 44:11; Isa 45:16)
Israel’s Failure to Hear and See
18Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!19Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the Lord?20He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear. (Jer 6:10; Ro 2:21)21The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious.22But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, “Restore!” (Isa 14:17)23Who among you will give ear to this, will attend and listen for the time to come?24Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey?25So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart. (Isa 47:11; Isa 57:1; Isa 57:11; Ho 7:9)