Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
isa 42:1Behold - The prophet having given one eminent instance of God's certain fore - knowledge, in the deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus, now adds another more eminent example of it, by foretelling the coming of the Messiah. This place therefore is expressly interpreted of Christ, Mat 12:18, &c. And to him, and to him only, all the particulars following, truly and evidently belong. Whom - Whom I will enable to do and suffer all those things which belong to his office. Elect - Chosen by me to this great work. Delighteth - Both for himself and for all his people, being fully satisfied with that sacrifice, which he shall offer up to me. Bring forth - Shall publish or shew, as this word is translated, Mat 12:18. Judgment - The law, and will, and counsel of God, concerning man's salvation. Gentiles - Not only to the Jews, but to the Heathen nations.
isa 42:2Cry - In a way of contention, or ostentation. Lift - His voice. Heard - As contentious and vain - glorious persons frequently do.
isa 42:3Break - Christ will not deal rigorously with those that come to him, but he will use all gentleness, cherishing the smallest beginnings of grace, comforting and healing wounded consciences. Quench - That wick of a candle which is almost extinct, he will not quench, but revive and kindle it again. Judgment - The law of God, or the doctrine of the gospel, which he will bring forth, unto, with, or according to truth, that is, truly and faithfully.
isa 42:4'Till - 'Till he has established his law or doctrine, among the nations of the earth. Isles - The countries remote from Judea, shall gladly receive his doctrine.
isa 42:5He - This description of God's infinite power, is seasonably added, to give them assurance of the certain accomplishment of his promises.
isa 42:6Called thee - To declare my righteousness, or faithfulness. With - hold - Will give thee counsel and strength for the work. Give thee - To be the mediator in whom my covenant of grace is confirmed with mankind. The people - Of all people, not only of Jews but Gentiles. A light - To enlighten them with true and saving knowledge.
isa 42:8The Lord - Heb. Jehovah: who have all being in and of myself, and give being to all my creatures. The everlasting, and unchangeable, and omnipotent God, who therefore both can, and will fulfil all my promises.
isa 42:9I tell you - That when they come to pass, you may know that I am God, and that this is my work.
isa 42:10Sing - Upon this new and great occasion, the salvation of the world by Christ. From the end - All nations from one end of the earth to another. Ye - You that go by sea carry these glad tidings from Judea, where Christ was born, and lived, and died, and published the gospel, unto the remotest parts of the earth.
isa 42:11The wilderness - Those parts of the world which are now desolate and forsaken of God, and barren of all good fruits. Kedar - The Arabians: who were an Heathen and barbarous people, and are put for all nations. Mountains - Who are commonly more savage and ignorant than others.
isa 42:12The islands - In the remotest parts of the world, as well as in Arabia, which was near to them.
isa 42:13Go forth - To battle. Stir up - He shall stir up his strength, and anger against the obstinate enemies of his Son and gospel. Roar - As a lion doth upon his prey, and as soldiers do when they begin the battle.
isa 42:14Long - I have for many ages suffered the devil and his servants, to prevail in the world, but now I will bring forth and accomplish that glorious work which I have long conceived in my mind; yea, I will suddenly destroy the incorrigible enemies of my truth.
isa 42:15Hills - My most lofty and flourishing enemies. Dry up - I will remove all impediments out of the way.
isa 42:16The blind - The Gentiles. By a way - By the way of truth, which hitherto has been hidden from them, yea, I will take away all hindrances; I will direct then in the right way; I will enlighten their dark minds, and rectify their perverse wills and affections, until I have brought theirs to the end of their journey.
isa 42:18Hear - O you, whosoever you are, who resist this clear light.
isa 42:19My servant - The Jews, who will not receive their, Messiah. Messenger - My messengers, the singular number being put for the plural, namely the priests and other teachers whom I have appointed to instruct my people. The Lord's servant - As the most eminent teachers and rulers of the Jews, who were called and obliged to be the Lord's servants, in a special manner.
isa 42:20Heareth not - Thou dost not seriously consider the plain word, and the wonderful works of God.
isa 42:21Well pleased - Altho' God might justly destroy thee suddenly, yet he will patiently wait for thy repentance, that he may be gracious; and that not for thy sake, but for the glory of his own faithfulness, in fulfilling that covenant, which he made with thy pious progenitors. Magnify - He will maintain the honour of his law, and therefore is not forward to destroy you, who profess the true religion, lest his law should upon that occasion be exposed to contempt.
isa 42:22But - But not withstanding this respect which God hath to his people, he hath severely scourged you for your sins. Hid - They have been taken in snares made by their own hands, and by God's just judgment cast into dungeons and prisons. None - None afforded them help.
isa 42:25Fury - Most grievous judgments. Yet - They were secure and stupid under God's judgments.