“He will not quarrel.
He will not cry aloud.
They will not hear his voice
In the streets.
He will not break
A bruised reed.
He will not quench
A smoldering wick,
Until he brings justice to victory.
In his name,
The gentiles will hope.”
οὐκ ἐρίσει οὐδὲ κραυγάσει, οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ.
κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν.
καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν.
Second Isaiah, chapter 42:2-4, described this servant of Yahweh. He would not cry nor lift up his voice in the streets. He would not break the bruised reeds nor put out a dimly burning wick on a candle. In other words, he would be a very quiet person. However, he would fight for justice. He would not be faint or crushed, until he has established justice on the whole earth. Matthew clearly applied this description to Jesus since Jesus would not quarrel or be contentious (οὐκ ἐρίσει). Jesus would not cry out or shout (οὐδὲ κραυγάσει). They would not hear Jesus’ voice in the streets (οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ). Jesus would not break a bruised reed into pieces (κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει). Jesus would not quench a smoldering wick on a candle (καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει). Jesus would bring justice to victory (ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν). In the name of Jesus (καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ), the gentile nations would hope (ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν). There was no doubt in the mind of Matthew that Jesus was the servant of Yahweh from Isaiah.
“The elements changed places with one another.
As on a harp
The notes vary the nature of the rhythm,
While each note remains the same.
This may be clearly inferred
From the sight of what took place.
The land animals were transformed into water creatures.
The creatures that swim moved over to the land.
Fire even in water retained its normal power.
Water forgot its fire-quenching nature.
On the contrary,
Flames failed to consume
The flesh of perishable creatures
That walked among them.
Nor did they melt the crystalline,
Quick melting kind of heavenly food.”
Now we see what happened in the desert on the way to the Promised Land. Nature was turned upside down. Somehow the rhythm of life had changed. Just like notes on a harp, there was a new sound. The land animals became water creatures, while the water creatures moved to the land. What is this author talking about? Probably this is a reference to some cattle that might have crossed the Red Sea. The water frogs, however, were on land. Water did not quench fire as the fire blazed even in water. The use of water and fire at various times on this journey points to their unique powers. Finally the manna from heaven did not melt. Most of this can be found in chapter 16 of this book.
“Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you.
There she who bore you was in labor.
Set me as a seal upon your heart.
Set me as a seal upon your arm.
Love is as strong as death.
Passion is as fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire.
It is a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love.
Neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
All the wealth of one’s house,
It would be utterly scorned.”
The male lover woke his lover up under the apple tree. He maintains that it was there that she was born from the labor of her mother. Now he wants his lover to bear his seal on her heart and on her arm. The seal was a sense of ownership. Then he went on to talk about the power of love. Love is just as strong as death. Passion is just as fierce as the grave. The love flashes of fire become a raging flame that no water can quench. Not even a flood can drown out love. If someone offers all the wealth they had, the lover would scorn it for his true love.