Vv 1-9: "Mine elect"; many similarities with Isa 41; 49. "Vv
1-7 contain the first of Isaiah's 'servant songs,' which describe the ministry
of a special, ideal servant who accomplishes God's purposes for Israel and the
nations. This song depicts the servant as a just king who brings justice to the
earth and relief for the oppressed. The other songs appear in Isa 49:1-13;
50:4-11; and Isa 52:13--53:12" (NET notes).
I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT ON HIM: Cp Isa 59:21; 61:1,2. True
of Hezekiah also (Isa 38:9-20).
HE WILL BRING JUSTICE TO THE NATIONS: "Mishpat": in one
sense (ie right religion): Isa 56:1; 58:2; 59:6-15; true also of Hezekiah (2Ch
A BRUISED REED... NOT BREAK: The lampstand figure:
Reeds = tubes for oil. Ct Isa 41:15,25.
A SMOLDERING WICK... NOT SNUFF OUT: The patience of
Hezekiah: as in the "little Passover" of 2Ch 30. Or, the preservation of a
"light", ie a dynasty (Psa 132:17; Isa 62:17).
A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT SNUFF OUT: Middle
Easterners used a simple oil lamp to light their homes. It was a small clay
vessel with the front end pinched together to form an opening. A piece of flax,
serving as the wick, was inserted through the small hole until part of it was
submerged in the oil. When the flax was saturated, it could be lighted. It would
then burn with a soft, warm glow. But when the oil in the lamp was consumed, the
flax would dry out. If it was ignited again, it would give off an acrid, dirty
smoke, making the vessel offensive and useless. Now, one might think that the
only thing to do would be to crush and discard the wick. But that would be too
drastic, and it would accomplish nothing. If one simply refilled the lamp, the
wick could burn brightly again.
Occasionally God's people temporarily "run out of oil". They
become like the smoking flax -- they are ill-tempered and offensive, and of no
particular use to anyone. But fellow believers should not abandon them or become
angry and impatient with them. Rather, they should seek to restore them by being
merciful and understanding. By supporting them with prayer and expressions of
concern and practical help and support, they can help them to be filled again
with the oil of God's spirit, His word of hope, and to burn once more with the
soft, warm glow of Christian love.
TO OPEN EYES THAT ARE BLIND: "This does not refer to
literal physical healing of the blind. As the next two lines suggest, this
refers metonymically to freeing captives from their dark prisons where their
eyes have grown unaccustomed to light" (NET notes).
TO FREE CAPTIVES FROM PRISON: "This does not refer to
hardened, dangerous criminals, who would have been executed for their crimes in
ancient Near Eastern society. This v refers to political prisoners or victims of
social injustice" (NET notes).
SPRING INTO BEING: Heb "tsamach": cp the "Branch"
prophecies: Isa 4:2; 61:11; Psa 132:17; Jer 33:15; Zec 3:8; 6:12.
Vv 10-25: Tribulation and deliverance: a new
Vv 10-13: The new song of praise.
LET THE PEOPLE OF SELA SING FOR JOY: "Sela" = the
"rock"! For the rock is our foundation (Luk 6:48), our source of supply (Num
20:8), and our safe hiding place (Exo 33:21,22).
Vv 14-16: Deliverance.
RIVERS... POOLS: Euphrates = Assyria (Isa 8:7,8). Or,
slaves escaping from Egypt via Red Sea.
DARKNESS INTO LIGHT: The pillar of fire in the
Vv 17-25: The tribulation which precedes
YOU ARE OUR GODS: The golden calf.
Words that apply well to Hezekiah's day (when Sennacherib
devastated all of Israel and most of Judah), but not at all to Cyrus'. At the
time of Cyrus the Jews of Babylon were settled and prosperous (WIsa
WHO HANDED JACOB OVER...?: Answer: God did this. Their
trials were brought on them by their God. Will this happen again? -- Zec 14:1,2;
Joe 3:1-6; Deu 28:68.
YET THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND: Israel is compared to
people in a burning house, who do not even know their danger!