The Servant Songs
from Deutero-Isaiah
(Last revised: 8/4/99)
[1] The Servant's Mission, 42:1-4

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. 
2He will not cry or lift up his voice, 
        or make it heard in the street; 
3a bruised reed he will not break, 
       and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; 
he will faithfully bring forth justice. 
4He will not fail or be discouraged 
        till he has established justice in the earth; 
and the coastlands wait for his law. 

[2] The Servant's Responsibility, 49:1-6

1Listen to me, O coastlands, 
        and hearken, you peoples from afar. 
The LORD called me from the womb, 
        from the body of my mother he named my name.
2He made my mouth like a sharp sword, 
        in the shadow of his hand he hid me; 
he made me a polished arrow, 
        in his quiver he hid me away. 
3And he said to me, "You are my servant, 
        Israel, in whom I will be glorified." 
4But I said, "I have labored in vain, 
       I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; 
yet surely my right is with the LORD, 
       and my recompense with my God." 
5And now the LORD says, 
       who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him, 
        and that Israel might be gathered to him, 
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, 
        and my God has become my strength  
6       he says: 
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
       to raise up the tribes of Jacob
       and to restore the preserved of Israel; 
I will give you as a light to the nations, 
        that my salvation may reach to the end of
                the earth." 

[3] The Servant's Submission, 50:4-11

4The Lord GOD has given me 
        the tongue of those who are taught, 
that I may know how to sustain with a word 
        him that is weary. 
Morning by morning he wakens, 
        he wakens my ear 
        to hear as those who are taught. 
5The Lord GOD has opened my ear, 
        and I was not rebellious, 
        I turned not backward. 
6I gave my back to the smiters, 
        and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I hid not my face 
        from shame and spitting. 
7For the Lord GOD helps me; 
        therefore I have not been confounded; 
therefore I have set my face like a flint, 
        and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 
8       he who vindicates me is near. 
Who will contend with me? 
        Let us stand up together. 
Who is my adversary? 
        Let him come near to me. 
9Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; 
        who will declare me guilty? 
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; 
        the moth will eat them up. 
10Who among you fears the LORD 
        and obeys the voice of his servant, 
who walks in darkness 
        and has no light, 
yet trusts in the name of the LORD 
        and relies upon his God? 
11Behold, all you who kindle a fire, 
        who set brands alight! 
Walk by the light of your fire, 
        and by the brands which you have kindled! 
This shall you have from my hand: 
        you shall lie down in torment. 

[4] The Servant's Trial & Responsibility, 52:13-53:12

13Behold, my servant shall prosper, 
        he shall be exalted and lifted up, 
        and shall be very high. 
14As many were astonished at him  
        his appearance was so marred, beyond
                human semblance, 
        and his form beyond that of the sons of men
                 
15so shall he startle many nations; 
        kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they shall see,
        and that which they have not heard they
                shall understand.
1Who has believed what we have heard? 
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been
                revealed? 
2For he grew up before him like a young plant, 
        and like a root out of dry ground; 
he had no form or comeliness that we should look
                at him, 
        and no beauty that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by men; 
        a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; 
and as one from whom men hide their faces 
        he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
4 Surely he has borne our griefs 
        and carried our sorrows; 
yet we esteemed him stricken, 
        smitten by God, and afflicted. 
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, 
        he was bruised for our iniquities; 
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
        and with his stripes we are healed. 
6All we like sheep have gone astray; 
        we have turned every one to his own way; 
and the LORD has laid on him 
        the iniquity of us all. 
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, 
        yet he opened not his mouth; 
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, 
        and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
        so he opened not his mouth. 
8By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
        and as for his generation, who considered 
that he was cut off out of the land of the living, 
        stricken for the transgression of my people? 
9And they made his grave with the wicked 
        and with a rich man in his death, 
although he had done no violence, 
        and there was no deceit in his mouth. 
10Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; 
        he has put him to grief; 
when he makes himself an offering for sin, 
        he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; 
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; 
11he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul
        and be satisfied; 
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, 
        make many to be accounted righteous; 
        and he shall bear their iniquities. 
12Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, 
        and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; 
because he poured out his soul to death, 
        and was numbered with the transgressors; 
yet he bore the sin of many, 
        and made intercession for the transgressors.