1st Coming - Understand Prophecy - Yamartino
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Chapter 42 of  60

Any reader of these words would have to be struck by Isaiah's reference to the "servant" who would not only "bring forth judgment to the Gentiles" but who would "set judgment in the earth". The "servant"'s greatness is also shown by references to His holding "truth", and the "law", and having divine determination. And that this great One is the servant of the speaker, would seem to indicate that the speaker would have to be none other than God Himself (42:8)

While some of these verses present the greatness and authority of the "servant", the remaining verses speak of other qualities. The images they give are not easily understood, and would no doubt have led to many different interpretations. They may either have been taken by the seeker at their literal meaning, or as symbols of the personality or doings of the servant. I do not feel it is necessary to go into possible interpretations of these images. However, to me it seems clear that to anyone trying to understand them, they would be puzzling, to say the least (42:9)

Fulfillment (42:10)

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him (42:11)

But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; (42:12)

And charged them that they should not make him known: (42:13)

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, (42:14)

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles (42:15)

He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets (42:16)

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory (42:17)

And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (mat 12:14-22) (42:18) see

Commentary (42:19)

Though a prophecy, it is clear that it was not intended to lead one to Christ. It offers no clues that the seeker might have used to find the Christ in his search. There are some details given in the prophecy; some of which have literal, and some symbolic meanings. Understanding the meaning of this prophecy would have been an insurmountable task before its fulfillment. Even after fulfillment, the meaning is subject to varying interpretation (42:20)

Intuitively, from our knowledge of the Savior given us in the New Testament, we understand the meaning of the first verse of Isaiah's prophecy. From the second verse on, however, our intuition fails us (42:21)

What does it mean by "He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street."? And what about the "reed" and the "flax"? The word "reed" is used with various meanings in the New Testament: sometimes literal, sometimes symbolic. There is no use in the New Testament of the word "flax", besides the above mention in Matthew . And which "isles" and which "law" are meant? (42:22)

Of course, it is possible that there are several different interpretations to each verse in this prophecy, each of which are correct. But certainly, it is only after fulfillment that they could have been understood (42:23)

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