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Isaiah 42 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

The Lord’s Special Servant

42 “Here is my servant,
    the one I support.
He is the one I have chosen,
    and I am very pleased with him.
I have filled him with my Spirit,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not cry out or shout
    or try to make himself heard in the streets.
He will not break even a crushed reed.[a]
    He will not put out even the weakest flame.
    He will bring true justice.
He will not grow weak or give up
    until he has brought justice to the world.
    And people in faraway places will hope to receive his teachings.”

The Lord Is Ruler and Maker of the World

The Lord, the true God, said these things. (He created the sky and spread it out over the earth. He formed the earth and everything it produced. He breathes life into all the people on earth. He gives a spirit to everyone who walks on the earth.)

“I, the Lord, was right to call you.
    I will hold your hand and protect you.
You will be the sign of my agreement with the people.
    You will be a light for the other nations.
You will make the blind able to see.
    You will free those who are held as captives.
    You will lead those who live in darkness out of their prison.

“I am Yahweh.
    That is my name.
I will not give my glory to another.
    I will not let statues take the praise that should be mine.
In the past, I told you what would happen,
    and it happened!
Now I am telling you something new,
    and I am telling you now, before it happens.”

A Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing a new song[b] to the Lord;
    praise him everywhere on earth—
all you who sail on the seas,
    everything in the sea,
    and all you people in faraway places!
11 Deserts and cities, villages of Kedar,
    praise the Lord!
People living in Sela, sing for joy!
    Sing from the top of your mountain.
12 Give glory to the Lord.
    Praise him, all you people in faraway lands!
13 The Lord will go out like a strong soldier.
    Like a man going into battle, he will be full of excitement.
He will shout with a loud cry,
    and he will defeat his enemies.

God Is Very Patient

14 “For a long time I have said nothing.
    I have controlled myself and kept quiet.
But now I will cry out like a woman giving birth.
    My breathing is getting faster and louder.
15 I will destroy the hills and mountains.
    I will dry up all the plants that grow there.
I will change rivers to dry land
    and dry up pools of water.
16 Then I will lead the blind along a path they never knew
    to places where they have never been before.
I will change darkness into light for them.
    I will make the rough ground smooth.
I will do these things for them;
    I will not abandon my people.
17 But some of them have left me.
    They say to their gold statues, ‘You are my gods.’
They trust their false gods,
    but they will be disappointed and shamed.

Israel Refused to Listen to God

18 “Deaf people, listen to me!
    Blind people, look and see!
19 In all the world, no one is more blind than my servant.[c]
    No one is more deaf than my messenger.
No one is more blind than my chosen people,
    the servant of the Lord.
20 My people see what they should do,
    but they do not obey me.
They can hear with their ears,
    but they refuse to listen to me.”
21 The Lord wants them to do what is right.
    He wants them to honor his wonderful teachings.[d]
22 But look at his people.
    Others have defeated them and have stolen from them.
The young men are afraid.
    They are locked in prisons.
People have taken advantage of them,
    and there is no one to protect them.
Others take their money,
    and there is no one to say, “Give it back!”

23 Will any of you pay attention to this warning? Will you ever learn to listen? 24 Who let Jacob be defeated? Who let others take what belonged to Israel? The Lord allowed them to do this. We sinned against him, so he let people take away our wealth. The people did not want to live the way he wanted. They refused to listen to his teaching. 25 So he poured out his anger on them and brought wars against them. It was as if there were fires all around them, but they didn’t know what was happening. It was as if they were burning, but they didn’t try to understand.


  1. Isaiah 42:3 reed A plant that grows near water.
  2. Isaiah 42:10 new song Whenever God did a new and wonderful thing for his people, they would write a new song about it.
  3. Isaiah 42:19 my servant Here, this probably means the people of Israel.
  4. Isaiah 42:21 Or “The Lord will make his teachings very wonderful. He will do this because he is good.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Isaiah 42 New International Version (NIV)

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.”

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
    you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
    let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
    and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
    like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,
    I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
    I cry out, I gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills
    and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
    and dry up the pools.
16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
    who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
    will be turned back in utter shame.

Israel Blind and Deaf

18 “Hear, you deaf;
    look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind but my servant,
    and deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant with me,
    blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
    your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
21 It pleased the Lord
    for the sake of his righteousness
    to make his law great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and looted,
    all of them trapped in pits
    or hidden away in prisons.
They have become plunder,
    with no one to rescue them;
they have been made loot,
    with no one to say, “Send them back.”

23 Which of you will listen to this
    or pay close attention in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
    and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the Lord,
    against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow his ways;
    they did not obey his law.
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,
    the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand;
    it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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