Isa 42.1-25 is a continuation of the servant passages with a prophecy concerning the Messiah. He will be the embodiment of the Brit Chadasha (Renewed Covenant). The Messiah is presented as a mediator and servant of the Father (John 1.29).
v 1…Behold (take note of) my Servant (the Messiah) whom I uphold (establish in his office), my chosen one (to be the Messiah and Redeemer) in whom my soul delights (or “well pleased” as in Mark 3.17; Luke 9.35; 2 Pet 1.17), I have put my Spirit (ruach) upon him (Isa 111.2 and appointed-Isa 57.20-21); he will bring forth justice to the nations (non-Jews will hear the Basar as it really is and be converted_.
v 2…He will not cry out or raise his voice (in contention), nor make his voice heard in the street (doesn’t promote himself).
v 3…A bruised reed, he will not break (you can depend on him and he won’t break, unlike the False Messiah as seen in Isa 36.6) and a dimly burning wick, he will not extinguish (Messiah’s light or life cannot be put out), he will faithfully bring forth justice (as defined in the Torah; his work will go on).
v 4…He will not be disheartened or crushed (at the power of those against him) until he has established justice in the earth (in the redemption); and the coastlands (ends of the earth) and a term for all the nations) will wait expectantly for his law (the Torah-Matt 12.17-21).
Isa 42.5 through 43.10 is the Haftorah reading for the Torah portion called Bereshit, the first reading from the Torah (Gen 1.1 through 6.8).
v 5…Thus says God (Ha El) the Lord (Yehovah) who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its offspring (vegetation), who gives breath to the people on it (one of the reasons this is read with Bereshit).
v 6…I am the Lord (Yehovah), I have called you in righteousness (Messiah), I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you (from being hurt by his enemies until the time), and I will appoint you as a covenant (the new or renewed covenant-Luke 22.20) to the nations (to fulfill and give meaning to the covenant).
v 7…To open blind eyes (who were in darkness to the true knowledge of God, whether Jewish or non-Jewish), to bring out prisoners from the dungeon (caught in sin and ignorance-Isa 61.1-2), and those who dwell in darkness from the prison (a Hebrew parallelism).
v 8…I am the Lord (Yehovah), that is my name; I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven images (now he turns from addressing the Messiah to the people, and this verse proves that Yeshua is equal to the Father-John 5.23).
v 9…Behold (take note of), the former thing have come to pass (everything Yehovah said was going to happen came true to that point in time, like the ten tribes being taken captive, etc), now I declare new (chadash) things (if the former things came to pass you can trust that what he says now will come to pass); before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.
v 10…Sing to the Lord (Yehovah) a new song (a “new song” is “shir chadash” here, which is masculine. It is usually “shirah chadash”, which is feminine. Why the change? History has “given birth” (feminine) to many tragedies, but when Messiah comes (masculine) there will be no more tragedies. The term “sing a new song” is an idiomatic phrase meaning the Messiah has come-See Psa 92, 95, 97, 98, 99 and 29), sing his praise from the end of the earth (the good news is coming)! You who go down to the sea and all that is in it. You islands and those who dwell on them.
v 11…Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices (remember, the Jewish people will be in the wilderness waiting on the Messiah to come the last half of the birth-pains), the settlements where Kedar inhabits (meaning “black tents” or Beduins; the Arab aristocracy and warriors will believe in Yeshua-Isa 21.141.17). Let the inhabitants of Cela (Petra-Isa 63; Isa 16; Zech 9.14; Mic 2.12-13. Yeshua will arrive there as he advances on Jerusalem-Hab 3.3; Jer 48.28; Exo 15.1-18; Matt 24.27; Rev 12.1-17), let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains.
v 12…Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands (ends of the earth).
v 13…The Lord (Yehovah) will go forth like a warrior, he will arouse his zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, he will raise a war cry (same as shout), he will prevail against his enemies (Hab 3.3-16; Rev 19.11).
v 14…I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained myself (Hebrew parallelism). Now like a woman in labor I will groan (alludes to the birth-pains; judgment is like a child coming forth), I will both gasp and pant.
v 15…I will lay waste the mountains and the hills (great and small kings/kingdoms and rulers), and wither all their vegetation (common people); I will make the rivers into coastlands (remove the obstacles like at the Red Sea and Jordan River), and dry up the ponds.
v 16…I will lead the blind by a way they do not know (Jew and non-Jew will follow the Torah0, in paths they do not know I will guide them (a Hebrew parallelism). I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains (remove all obstacles). These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.
v 17…They shall be turned back and be utterly put to shame, who trust in idols, who say to molten images, “You are our gods.”
v 18…Hear, you deaf (towards Yehovah and the Torah)! ANd look, you blind, that you may see.
v 19…Who is blind but my servant (Israel), or so deaf as my messenger whom I send (here he speaks of Israel who is deaf and blind to what God is doing-Isa 42.7)? Who is so blind that he is at peace (or thought he was) or so blind aas the servant of the Lord (Israel)?
v 20…You have seen many things, but you do not observe; your ears are open, but none hears (spiritually had hard hearts-Mark 8.18; Hos 2.4).
v 21…The Lord was pleased for his righteousness sake to make the law (Torah) great and glorious (Deut 4.6, 10.15; Rom 7.12; Psa 19.7).
v 22…But this is a people plundered and despoiled (by Assyria, then Babylon, then Greece, then Rome and then Gog/Magog/Russia and then Europe and the False Messiah); all of them are trapped in caves (holes), or are hidden away in prisons; they have become a prey with none to deliver them, and a spoil, with none to say, “GIve them back” (they lost God’s protection and are fair game for the moment).
v 23…Who among you will give ear to this (prophecy of destruction)? Who will give heed and listen for the time to come (when Messiah comes; do something about it)?
v 24…Who gave Jacob up for spoil and Israel to plunderers (like the Assyrians, Babylon, Greece, Rome)? Was it not the Lord (Yehovah), against whom we sinned, and in whose ways they were not willing to walk, and whose law (Torah) they did not obey (Amos 3.6-7)?
v 25…So he poured out on him the heat of his anger and the fierceness of battle (war); and it set him aflame all around, yet he did not recognize it; and it burned him, but he paid no attention (Verses 24 and 25 explain why Jerusalem and the Temple were burned by the Babylonians and the Romans, and it also explains the Holocaust. It was a judicial chastening from Yehovah).