Isaiah 42:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.

King James Bible
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

Darby Bible Translation
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment according to truth.

World English Bible
He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a dimly burning wick. He will faithfully bring justice.

Young's Literal Translation
A bruised reed he breaketh not, And dim flax he quencheth not, To truth he bringeth forth judgment.

Isaiah 42:3 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

A bruised reed - The word 'reed' means the cane or calamus which grows up in marshy or wet places (Isaiah 36:6; see the note at Isaiah 43:24). The word, therefore, literally denotes that which is fragile, weak, easily waved by the wind, or broken down; and stands in contrast with a lofty and firm tree (compare Matthew 11:7): 'What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?' The word here, therefore, may be applied to people who are conscious of feebleness and sin; that are moved and broken by calamity; that feel that they have no strength to bear up against the ills of life. The word 'bruised' (רצוּץ râtsûts) means that which is broken or crushed, but not entirely broken off. As used here, it may denote those who are in themselves naturally feeble, and who have been crushed or broken down by a sense of sin, by calamity, or by affliction. We speak familiarly of crushing or breaking down by trials; and the phrase here is intensive and emphatic, denoting those who are at best like a reed - feeble and fragile; and who, in addition to that, have been broken and oppressed by a sense of their sins, or by calamity.

Shall he not break - Shall he not break off. He will not carry on the work of destruction, and entirely crush or break it. And the idea is, that he will not make those already broken down with a sense of sin and with calamity, more wretched. He will not deepen their afflictions, or augment their trials, or multiply their sorrows. The sense is, that he will have an affectionate regard for the broken-hearted, the humble, the penitent, and the afflicted. Luther has well expressed this: 'He does not cast away, nor crush, nor condemn the wounded in conscience, those who are terrified in view of their sins; the weak in faith and practice, but watches over and cherishes them, makes them whole, and affectionately embraces them.' The expression is parallel to that which occurs in Isaiah 61:1, where it is said of the Messiah, 'He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted;' and to the declaration in Isaiah 50:4, where it is said, 'that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.'

The smoking flax - The word used here denotes flax, and then a wick that is made of it. The word rendered 'smoking' (כהה kēhâh) means that which is weak, small, thin, feeble; then that which is just ready to go out, or to be extinguished; and the phrase refers literally to the expiring wick of a lamp, when the oil is almost consumed, and when it shines with a feeble and dying luster. It may denote here the condition of one who is feeble and disheartened, and whose love to God seems almost ready to expire. And the promise that he will not extinguish or quench that, means that he would cherish, feed, and cultivate it; he would supply it with grace, as with oil to cherish the dying flame, and cause it to be enkindled, and to rise with a high and steady brilliancy. The whole passage is descriptive of the Redeemer, who nourishes the most feeble piety in the hearts of his people, and who will not suffer true religion in the soul ever to become wholly extinct. It may seem as if the slightest breath of misfortune or opposition would extinguish it forever; it may be like the dying flame that hangs on the point of the wick, but if there be true religion it will not be extinguished, but will be enkindled to a pure and glowing flame, and it will yet rise high, and burn brightly.

He shall bring forth judgment - (See Isaiah 42:1). The word 'judgment' here evidently denotes the true religion; the laws, institutions, and appointments of God.

Unto truth - Matthew Mat 12:29 renders this, 'unto victory.' The meaning in Isaiah is, that he shall establish his religion according to truth; he shall faithfully announce the true precepts of religion, and secure their ascendency among mankind. It shall overcome all falsehood, and all idolatry, and shall obtain a final triumph in all nations. Thus explained, it is clear that Matthew has retained the general idea of the passage, though he has not quoted it literally.

Isaiah 42:3 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant
"I give thee for a covenant of the people."--ISA. xlii. 6, xlix. 8. "The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in."--MAL. iii. 1. "Jesus was made Surety of a better covenant."--HEB. vii. 22. "The Mediator of the Better Covenant, established upon better promises . . . The Mediator of the New Covenant. . . Ye are come to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant."--HEB. viii. 6, ix. 15, xii. 24. WE have here four titles given to our Lord Jesus in
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants

China Evangelized.
China Evangelized. "The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle."--Isa. xlii. 4. PART I. PART II. PART III. Lift up your heads, ye gates of brass! Ye bars of Iron! yield; And let the King of Glory pass,-- The Cross is in the field. That banner, brighter than the star, That leads the train of night, Shines on their march and guides from far His servants to the fight. A holy war those servants wage; --Mysteriously at strife, The powers of heaven and hell engage For more than death or life.
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

How to Make Use of Christ, as Truth, for Comfort, when Truth is Oppressed and Born Down.
There is another difficulty, wherein believing souls will stand in need of Christ, as the truth, to help them; and that is, when his work is overturned, his cause borne down, truth condemned, and enemies, in their opposition to his work, prospering in all their wicked attempts. This is a very trying dispensation, as we see it was to the holy penman of Psalm lxxiii. for it made him to stagger, so that his feet were almost gone, and his steps had well nigh slipt; yea he was almost repenting of his
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Jesus Heals Multitudes Beside the Sea of Galilee.
^A Matt. XII. 15-21; ^B Mark III. 7-12. ^a 15 And Jesus perceiving it withdrew ^b with his disciples ^a from thence: ^b to the sea [This was the first withdrawal of Jesus for the avowed purpose of self-preservation. After this we find Jesus constantly retiring to avoid the plots of his enemies. The Sea of Galilee, with its boats and its shores touching different jurisdictions, formed a convenient and fairly safe retreat]: ^a and many followed him; ^b and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Matthew 12:20
"A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.

Psalm 54:5
He will recompense the evil to my foes; Destroy them in Your faithfulness.

Psalm 72:2
May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice.

Psalm 72:4
May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor.

Psalm 94:15
For judgment will again be righteous, And all the upright in heart will follow it.

Psalm 96:13
Before the LORD, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in His faithfulness.

Isaiah 9:7
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

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