Scripture Analysis Project
The passage studied was Isaiah 42:1-4 in the New Standard Revised Version of the Bible. This passage is small but caries lots of meaning and is composed with strong characteristics. While reading this passage, a lot of unanswered questions and concerns come to mind that may clear up the passage and make it easier to understand. This project allowed me to translate words using the bible dictionary and study the footnotes which gave me a whole new perspective on this passage. At a glance, one could easily overlook this small passage when interpreting what Isaiah has to say in his scripture.
Initially, it appears that Isaiah is talking about an individual when he refers to a servant selected by God to carry out his orders and “bring forth justice to the nations” (NRSV p. 1023). ...view middle of the document...
Israel is to use all means necessary, which includes force. This seems a little harsh, but sometimes a message needs to be this way in order to get a point across. Israel is supposed to reach all types of people, from Gentiles to those who somewhat already believe. This is evident in the verse “a bruised reed he will not break and a dimly burning wick he will not quench” (NRSV p.1023). It feels as if Israel could rally behind this passage and use it as motivation during battles to take over other nations. To this day, Israel more than likely still uses this passage as a reason to fight religious wars.
This is probably what the scribes that collected this book intended for it to be interpreted as, even though not all of the scholars agree on this interpretation of the passage in Isaiah. Some feel as if the “servant” is supposed to be an individual; however, these scholars must not have read the passage in context with the rest of the book.
This passage can be related to the church today and the United States of America. However, the United States and the Christian church feels it is their duty to spread the word of Jesus as did the nation of Israel felt it was their duty to spread the word of God. This was one of the same things and sometimes it feels that the arrogant United States feels that they are the chosen ones as Israel was anointed in Isaiah’s writings. A lot of the wars today are started because countries feel that other countries should believe what they believe and feel the way that they feel about certain topics. However, in reality, different countries and different religions and different cultures and different ethnicities all view certain topics differently. If everyone would realize this the world would be a better place!
Coogan, Michael D. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2010.