Isaiah 42:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

New Living Translation
He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.

English Standard Version
a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick; He will faithfully bring justice.

International Standard Version
A crushed reed he will not break, and a fading candle he won't snuff out. He'll bring forth justice for the truth.

NET Bible
A crushed reed he will not break, a dim wick he will not extinguish; he will faithfully make just decrees.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He will not break off a damaged cattail. He will not even put out a smoking wick. He will faithfully bring about justice.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He shall not break a bruised reed, nor shall he quench the smoking flax; he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

King James 2000 Bible
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth justice unto truth.

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

American Standard Version
A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall 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.

English Revised Version
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment in truth.

Webster's Bible Translation
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment 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.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

42:1-4 This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, Mt 12:17. Let our souls rely on him, and rejoice in him; then, for his sake, the Father will be well-pleased with us. The Holy Spirit not only came, but rested upon him, and without measure. He patiently bore the contradiction of sinners. His kingdom is spiritual; he was not to appear with earthly honours. He is tender of those oppressed with doubts and fears, as a bruised reed; those who are as smoking flax, as the wick of a lamp newly lighted, which is ready to go out again. He will not despise them, nor lay upon them more work or more suffering than they can bear. By a long course of miracles and his resurrection, he fully showed the truth of his holy religion. By the power of his gospel and grace he fixes principles in the minds of men, which tend to make them wise and just. The most distant nations wait for his law, wait for his gospel, and shall welcome it. If we would make our calling and election sure, and have the Father delight over us for good, we must behold, hear, believe in, and obey Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - A bruised reed shall he not break. Egypt was compared to a "bruised reed" by Sennacherib (Isaiah 36:6), as being untrustworthy and destitute of physical strength; but here the image represents the weak and depressed in spirit, the lowly and dejected. Christ would deal tenderly with such, not violently. Smoking flax shall he not quench; rather, the wick which burns dimly (margin) he shall not quench. Where the flame of devotion burns at all, however feebly and dimly, Messiah will take care not to quench it. Rather he will tend it, and trim it, and give it fresh oil, and cause it to burn more brightly. He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. But with all this tenderness, this "economy," this allowance for the shortcomings and weaknesses of individuals, he will be uncompromising in his assertion of absolute justice and absolute truth. He will sanction nothing short of the very highest standard of moral purity and excellence. (For an instance of the combination of extreme tenderness with unswerving maintenance of an absolute standard, see John 8:8-11.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A bruised reed shall not break,.... The tenderness of Christ to weak and ignorant persons is here and in the next clause expressed; by whom young converts or weak believers seem to be designed; who are compared to a "reed", because worthless with respect to God, whom they cannot profit; and in the view of men, who reckon them as nothing; and in themselves, and in their own view, who judge themselves unworthy of the least of mercies; and because they are weak, not only as all men are, of which weakness they are sensible; but they are weak in grace, especially in faith, and have but little hope, their love is the strongest; and because they are wavering like the reed, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and shaken with the temptations of Satan, and disturbed with many doubts and fears; and are like a "bruised" reed that is squeezed, and almost broke to pieces, and so of no use; these are broken in heart, under a sense of sin and unworthiness; whose spirits are bruised and wounded with it, and whose hearts are contrite on account of it. On these Christ does not lay his iron rod, but holds out the golden sceptre of his grace to them; he does not call them to service and sufferings beyond their strength; but strengthens, supports, and upholds them with the right hand of his righteousness; he binds up their broken hearts, having poured in the balm of Gilead, his own blood, and the wine and oil of his love; he encourages them in their application to him for salvation, and manifests his pardoning grace, and restores comforts to them, and revives their souls:

and the smoking flax shall he not quench; or, "the wick of a candle; (h)" which just going out, has some heat, a little light, smokes, and is offensive; so the persons intended by it are fired or lighted by the divine word; have some heat of affection in them to spiritual things, but have but little light; into the corruption of nature into the glories of Christ's person; into the doctrines of the Gospel; into the everlasting love of God, and the covenant of grace; and but little light of joy and comfort, and this almost gone, and seemingly ready to go out; and yet Christ will not extinguish it, or suffer it to be extinct; he does not discourage small beginnings of grace, or despise the day of small things; he blows up their light into a flame; he increases their spiritual light and knowledge; supplies them with the oil of grace; trims, snuffs, and causes their lamps to burn brighter. The Targum is,

"the meek, who are like to a bruised reed, shall not be broken; and the poor, who are as obscure as flax (or a lamp ready to go out), shall not be extinct:''

he shall bring forth judgment unto truth; which some understand of Christ's severity to wicked men, in opposition to his tenderness to his own people; see Isaiah 11:4, others of the Gospel, as preached by him in truth, as in Isaiah 42:1, but rather it designs the power of his Spirit and grace accompanying the word, to the carrying on of his own work in the hearts of his people; which, though attended with many difficulties and discouragements, shall go on, and be performed; grace will break through all obstructions, and prove victorious at last; see Matthew 12:20.

(h) "ellychnium fumigans", Junius & Tremellius; "fumans", Piscator.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. bruised—"It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isa 53:5, 10; Ge 3:15); so He can feel for the bruised. As Isa 42:2 described His unturbulent spirit towards His violent enemies (Mt 12:14-16), and His utter freedom from love of notoriety, so Isa 42:3, His tenderness in cherishing the first spark of grace in the penitent (Isa 40:11).

reed—fragile: easily "shaken with the wind" (Mt 11:7). Those who are at best feeble, and who besides are oppressed by calamity or by the sense of sin.

break—entirely crush or condemn. Compare "bind up the broken-hearted" (Isa 50:4; 61:1; Mt 11:28).

flax—put for the lamp-wick, formed of flax. The believer is the lamp (so the Greek, Mt 5:15; Joh 5:35): his conscience enlightened by the Holy Ghost is the wick. "Smoking" means "dimly burning," "smouldering," the flame not quite extinct. This expresses the positive side of the penitent's religion; as "bruised reed," the negative. Broken-hearted in himself, but not without some spark of flame: literally, "from above." Christ will supply such a one with grace as with oil. Also, the light of nature smouldering in the Gentiles amidst the hurtful fumes of error. He not only did not quench, but cleared away the mists and superadded the light of revelation. See Jerome, To Algasia, Question 2.

truth—Mt 12:20 quotes it, "send forth judgment unto victory." Matthew, under the Spirit, gives the virtual sense, but varies the word, in order to bring out a fresh aspect of the same thing. Truth has in itself the elements of victory over all opposing forces. Truth is the victory of Him who is "the truth" (Joh 14:6). The gospel judicial sifting ("judgment") of believers and unbelievers, begun already in part (Joh 3:18, 19; 9:39), will be consummated victoriously in truth only at His second coming; Isa 42:13, 14, here, and Mt 12:32, 36, 41, 42, show that there is reference to the judicial aspect of the Gospel, especially finally: besides the mild triumph of Jesus coming in mercy to the penitent now (Isa 42:2), there shall be finally the judgment on His enemies, when the "truth" shall be perfectly developed. Compare Isa 61:1-3, where the two comings are similarly joined (Ps 2:4-6, 8; Re 15:2, 4; 19:11-16). On "judgment," see on [783]Isa 42:1.

Isaiah 42:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Lord's Chosen Servant
2"He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. 3"A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4"He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."…
Cross References
Matthew 12:20
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.

Psalm 54:5
Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.

Psalm 72:2
May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.

Psalm 72:4
May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.

Psalm 94:15
Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Psalm 96:13
Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Isaiah 9:7
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isaiah 42:2
He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
Treasury of Scripture

A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to truth.

bruised

Isaiah 35:3,4 Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees…

Isaiah 40:11,29-31 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

Isaiah 50:4,10 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should …

Isaiah 57:15-18 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose …

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have …

Psalm 103:13,14 Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him…

Psalm 147:3 He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.

Jeremiah 30:12-17 For thus said the LORD, Your bruise is incurable, and your wound is grievous…

Jeremiah 31:18-20,25 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised …

Ezekiel 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven …

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 18:11-14 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost…

Luke 22:31,32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have …

John 20:19-21,27 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week…

Hebrews 2:17,18 Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers…

smoking. or, dimly burning
quench. Heb. quench it.
he shall

Isaiah 11:3,4 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: …

Psalm 72:2-4 He shall judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with judgment…

Psalm 96:13 Before the LORD: for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth: he …

Psalm 98:9 Before the LORD; for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness …

Micah 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against …

John 5:30 I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment …

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat …

Jump to Previous
Break Breaketh Broken Bruised Burning Crushed Dim Dimly Extinguish Faithfully Feebly Flax Forth Judgment Justice Light Peoples Quench Quite Reed Right Sending Smoking Smoldering Snuff Stem True. Truth Wick Won't Word
Jump to Next
Break Breaketh Broken Bruised Burning Crushed Dim Dimly Extinguish Faithfully Feebly Flax Forth Judgment Justice Light Peoples Quench Quite Reed Right Sending Smoking Smoldering Snuff Stem True. Truth Wick Won't Word
Links
Isaiah 42:3 NIV
Isaiah 42:3 NLT
Isaiah 42:3 ESV
Isaiah 42:3 NASB
Isaiah 42:3 KJV

Isaiah 42:3 Bible Apps
Isaiah 42:3 Bible Suite
Isaiah 42:3 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 42:3 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 42:3 French Bible
Isaiah 42:3 German Bible

Alphabetical: A and break bring bruised burning dimly extinguish faithfully faithfulness forth he In justice not out reed smoldering snuff wick will

OT Prophets: Isaiah 42:3 He won't break a bruised reed (Isa Isi Is) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Isaiah 42:2
Top of Page
Top of Page