Add parallel Print Page Options

A crushed reed he will not break,
a dim wick he will not extinguish;[a]
he will faithfully make just decrees.[b]
He will not grow dim or be crushed[c]
before establishing justice on the earth;
the coastlands[d] will wait in anticipation for his decrees.”[e]
This is what the true God,[f] the Lord, says—
the one who created the sky and stretched it out,
the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it,[g]
the one who gives breath to the people on it,
and life to those who live on it:[h]

Read full chapter


  1. Isaiah 42:3 sn The “crushed reed” and “dim wick” symbolize the weak and oppressed who are on the verge of extinction.
  2. Isaiah 42:3 tn Heb “faithfully he will bring out justice” (cf. NASB, NRSV).
  3. Isaiah 42:4 tn For rhetorical effect the terms used to describe the “crushed (רָצַץ, ratsats) reed” and “dim (כָּהָה, kahah) wick” in v. 3 are repeated here.
  4. Isaiah 42:4 tn Or “islands” (NIV); NLT “distant lands beyond the sea.”
  5. Isaiah 42:4 tn Or “his law” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV) or “his instruction” (NLT).
  6. Isaiah 42:5 tn Heb “the God.” The definite article here indicates distinctiveness or uniqueness.
  7. Isaiah 42:5 tn Heb “and its offspring” (so NASB); NIV “all that comes out of it.”
  8. Isaiah 42:5 tn Heb “and spirit [i.e., “breath”] to the ones walking in it” (NAB, NASB, and NRSV all similar).

Bible Gateway Sponsors