TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Isaiah 42

1This is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom I delight. I have put My spirit upon him, He shall teach the true way to the nations.

אהֵן עַבְדִּי אֶתְמָךְ־בּוֹ בְּחִירִי רָצְתָה נַפְשִׁי נָתַתִּי רוּחִי עָלָיו מִשְׁפָּט לַגּוֹיִם יוֹצִיא׃

2He shall not cry out or shout aloud, Or make his voice heard in the streets.

בלֹא יִצְעַק וְלֹא יִשָּׂא וְלֹא־יַשְׁמִיעַ בַּחוּץ קוֹלוֹ׃

3He shall not break even a bruised reed, ,Or snuff out even a dim wick. He shall bring forth the true way.

גקָנֶה רָצוּץ לֹא יִשְׁבּוֹר וּפִשְׁתָּה כֵהָה לֹא יְכַבֶּנָּה לֶאֱמֶת יוֹצִיא מִשְׁפָּט׃

4He shall not grow dim or be bruised Till he has established the true way on earth; And the coastlands shall await his teaching.

דלֹא יִכְהֶה וְלֹא יָרוּץ עַד־יָשִׂים בָּאָרֶץ מִשְׁפָּט וּלְתוֹרָתוֹ אִיִּים יְיַחֵילוּ׃

5Thus said Hashem the lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and what it brings forth, Who gave breath to the people upon it And life to those who walk thereon:

הכֹּה־אָמַר הָאֵל יְהֹוָה בּוֹרֵא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנוֹטֵיהֶם רֹקַע הָאָרֶץ וְצֶאֱצָאֶיהָ נֹתֵן נְשָׁמָה לָעָם עָלֶיהָ וְרוּחַ לַהֹלְכִים בָּהּ׃

6I Hashem, in My grace, have summoned you, And I have grasped you by the hand. I created you, and appointed you A covenant people, a light of nations—

a-NEE a-do-NAI k'-ra-TEE-kha v'-TZE-dek v'-akh-ZAYK b'-ya-DE-kha v'-e-tzor-KHA v'-e-ten-KHA liv-REET AM l'-OR go-YIM

ואֲנִי יְהֹוָה קְרָאתִיךָ בְצֶדֶק וְאַחְזֵק בְּיָדֶךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם׃

 42:6   A light of nations

Emblem of the State of Israel

This famous phrase captures the mission statement of the People of Israel. For most of Jewish history, the role of “light unto the nations” has been understood primarily as a private call to have a positive influence on the world by living an ethical life and setting a personal example of righteous behavior. Rarely was anyone on the outside ever interested in what the Jews as a nation had to say, and so the concept of ‘ohr goyim’ was an ideal that individual Jews strived for. However, Yeshayahu is calling for so much more. The “light” in his stirring description is capable of opening the eyes of the blind and leading the imprisoned out of darkness. The establishment of the State of Israel and its role on the international stage calls for a transformation of the “light unto the nations” metaphor from a passive, individual candle, to a powerful blaze, firing up the nations and igniting the world with righteousness. The State of Israel represents the historic opportunity for the People of Israel to fulfil their religious destiny as a nation.

7Opening eyes deprived of light, Rescuing prisoners from confinement, From the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

זלִפְקֹחַ עֵינַיִם עִוְרוֹת לְהוֹצִיא מִמַּסְגֵּר אַסִּיר מִבֵּית כֶּלֶא יֹשְׁבֵי חֹשֶׁךְ׃

8I am Hashem, that is My name; I will not yield My glory to another, Nor My renown to idols.

חאֲנִי יְהֹוָה הוּא שְׁמִי וּכְבוֹדִי לְאַחֵר לֹא־אֶתֵּן וּתְהִלָּתִי לַפְּסִילִים׃

9See, the things once predicted have come, And now I foretell new things, Announce to you ere they sprout up.

טהָרִאשֹׁנוֹת הִנֵּה־בָאוּ וַחֲדָשׁוֹת אֲנִי מַגִּיד בְּטֶרֶם תִּצְמַחְנָה אַשְׁמִיע אֶתְכֶם׃

10Sing to Hashem a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth— You who sail the sea and you creatures in it, You coastlands and their inhabitants!

ישִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּתוֹ מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ יוֹרְדֵי הַיָּם וּמְלֹאוֹ אִיִּים וְיֹשְׁבֵיהֶם׃

11Let the desert and its towns cry aloud, The villages where Kedar dwells; Let Sela's inhabitants shout, Call out from the peaks of the mountains.

יאיִשְׂאוּ מִדְבָּר וְעָרָיו חֲצֵרִים תֵּשֵׁב קֵדָר יָרֹנּוּ יֹשְׁבֵי סֶלַע מֵרֹאשׁ הָרִים יִצְוָחוּ׃

12Let them do honor to Hashem, And tell His glory in the coastlands.

יביָשִׂימוּ לַיהֹוָה כָּבוֹד וּתְהִלָּתוֹ בָּאִיִּים יַגִּידוּ׃

13Hashem goes forth like a warrior, Like a fighter He whips up His rage. He yells, He roars aloud, He charges upon His enemies.

יגיְהֹוָה כַּגִּבּוֹר יֵצֵא כְּאִישׁ מִלְחָמוֹת יָעִיר קִנְאָה יָרִיעַ אַף־יַצְרִיחַ עַל־אֹיְבָיו יִתְגַּבָּר׃

14“I have kept silent far too long, Kept still and restrained Myself; Now I will scream like a woman in labor, I will pant and I will gasp.

ידהֶחֱשֵׁיתִי מֵעוֹלָם אַחֲרִישׁ אֶתְאַפָּק כַּיּוֹלֵדָה אֶפְעֶה אֶשֹּׁם וְאֶשְׁאַף יָחַד׃

15Hills and heights will I scorch, Cause all their green to wither; I will turn rivers into isles, And dry the marshes up.

טואַחֲרִיב הָרִים וּגְבָעוֹת וְכָל־עֶשְׂבָּם אוֹבִישׁ וְשַׂמְתִּי נְהָרוֹת לָאִיִּים וַאֲגַמִּים אוֹבִישׁ׃

16I will lead the blind By a road they did not know, And I will make them walk By paths they never knew. I will turn darkness before them to light, Rough places into level ground. These are the promises— I will keep them without fail.

טזוְהוֹלַכְתִּי עִוְרִים בְּדֶרֶךְ לֹא יָדָעוּ בִּנְתִיבוֹת לֹא־יָדְעוּ אַדְרִיכֵם אָשִׂים מַחְשָׁךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם לָאוֹר וּמַעֲקַשִּׁים לְמִישׁוֹר אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים עֲשִׂיתִם וְלֹא עֲזַבְתִּים׃

17Driven back and utterly shamed Shall be those who trust in an image, Those who say to idols, ‘You are our gods!'”

יזנָסֹגוּ אָחוֹר יֵבֹשׁוּ בֹשֶׁת הַבֹּטְחִים בַּפָּסֶל הָאֹמְרִים לְמַסֵּכָה אַתֶּם אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

18Listen, you who are deaf; You blind ones, look up and see!

יחהַחֵרְשִׁים שְׁמָעוּ וְהַעִוְרִים הַבִּיטוּ לִרְאוֹת׃

19Who is so blind as My servant, So deaf as the messenger I send? Who is so blind as the chosen one, So blind as the servant of Hashem?

יטמִי עִוֵּר כִּי אִם־עַבְדִּי וְחֵרֵשׁ כְּמַלְאָכִי אֶשְׁלָח מִי עִוֵּר כִּמְשֻׁלָּם וְעִוֵּר כְּעֶבֶד יְהֹוָה׃

20Seeing many things, he gives no heed; With ears open, he hears nothing.

כראית [רָאוֹת] רַבּוֹת וְלֹא תִשְׁמֹר פָּקוֹחַ אָזְנַיִם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָע׃

21Hashem desires His [servant's] vindication, That he may magnify and glorify [His] Teaching.

כאיְהֹוָה חָפֵץ לְמַעַן צִדְקוֹ יַגְדִּיל תּוֹרָה וְיַאְדִּיר׃

22Yet it is a people plundered and despoiled: All of them are trapped in holes, Imprisoned in dungeons. They are given over to plunder, with none to rescue them; To despoilment, with none to say “Give back!”

כבוְהוּא עַם־בָּזוּז וְשָׁסוּי הָפֵחַ בַּחוּרִים כֻּלָּם וּבְבָתֵּי כְלָאִים הָחְבָּאוּ הָיוּ לָבַז וְאֵין מַצִּיל מְשִׁסָּה וְאֵין־אֹמֵר הָשַׁב׃

23If only you would listen to this, Attend and give heed from now on!

כגמִי בָכֶם יַאֲזִין זֹאת יַקְשִׁב וְיִשְׁמַע לְאָחוֹר׃

24Who was it gave Yaakov over to despoilment And Yisrael to plunderers? Surely, Hashem against whom they sinned In whose ways they would not walk And whose Teaching they would not obey.

כדמִי־נָתַן למשוסה [לִמְשִׁסָּה] יַעֲקֹב וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְבֹזְזִים הֲלוֹא יְהֹוָה זוּ חָטָאנוּ לוֹ וְלֹא־אָבוּ בִדְרָכָיו הָלוֹךְ וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ בְּתוֹרָתוֹ׃

25So He poured out wrath upon them, His anger and the fury of war. It blazed upon them all about, but they heeded not; It burned among them, but they gave it no thought.

כהוַיִּשְׁפֹּךְ עָלָיו חֵמָה אַפּוֹ וֶעֱזוּז מִלְחָמָה וַתְּלַהֲטֵהוּ מִסָּבִיב וְלֹא יָדָע וַתִּבְעַר־בּוֹ וְלֹא־יָשִׂים עַל־לֵב׃