Isaiah 42:2 - He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;

This, if talking about Jesus, seems to prophecy that he would not cry out.

However, as far as I'm aware, there are numerous examples of Jesus "crying out" as such.

For example:

Matthew 27:46 - About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Or even Hebrews 5:7:

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

I am wondering how this can reconcile, and how the text implies the explanation of this.

  • His cry from the cross was not heard in the street. On the other hand, his journey to the cross which was made through the streets of Jerusalem was made with a cry. Dec 8, 2021 at 16:21

3 Answers 3


In my own personal experience, the only occasions in which I've ever witnessed such (nonsensical) arguments being brought forth is in Jewish critiques of the New Testament.

The relevant passage reads as follows:

Isaiah 42:2-3 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

Now, if someone, for some reason, feels genuinely compelled to interpret the above as implying that Jesus only ever spoke in whispers, and never walked around swamps, so as to ensure the safety of aquatic plants, I can't exactly stop them; but, as far as I can tell, the text simply seems to say that the Messiah will not be the type of person that makes recourse to verbal or physical violence to impose one's will, which sums up Christ's overall attitude and behavior rather nicely.

Indeed, he will not resort to haranguing the crowds nor garnering political support in the city gates. Crying out and lifting up his voice in the streets pictures doing so before men and for the benefit of self. In contrast to that, he shall selfishly harm neither the bruised nor the smoldering.

Another variation on the same theme is coupling Isaiah 53:7 with various Gospel passages detailing Jesus' trial, wherein Christ answers His accusers. (To be quite honest, I still have no idea whether those invoking this type of “arguments” actually believe their own logic, or are simply jesting).


If you read the context of Isaiah 42: 2, you will see in v.1 that he is speaking that he will bring justice, but that power to bring justice will not be by shouting or by talking very loudly.

Isaías 42:1 Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

Isaiah 42: 2 shows that the cry towards the street, a metonymic way of referring to the people who are in "the street." Whereas, in Matthew 27:46 his cry is directed to God; not people; even though, obviously, people listened to him, but this was a cry to God.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

In Hebrews 5:7; in the text you can read they were also addressed to "the one who could save him from death" Then it was a cry of Jesus, addressed to God, not to the people, not to "the street".

Hebrews 5:7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.


It is generally understood that this relates to Jesus, however, there are a number of issues, a few mentioned below.

Isaiah 42:

1 - …justice to the nations.

[Jesus did not bring Justice / law – he said that his kingdom is not of this world]

2 -not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.

[Jesus turn the tables in the temple Matthew 21:12-13]

[Hebrews 5:7: In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears,…]

4 -he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.

[Jesus stated his Kingdom not of this world did not bring justice / law etc…]

6 - a light for the Gentiles,

[Jesus stated he only sent to the lost sheep of Israel]

9 - new things I declare;

[Jesus did not say he came to declare new things – said came not to change a ‘jot’ Matt 5:18]

11 - Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy;

[Kedar is Ishmael son and Sela is a mountain in Medina – not relevant to Jesus or Issac]

13 The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.

[Jesus was never involved in any war and did not triumph over his enemies, quite the opposite]

16 - I will not forsake them.

[Matt 27:46 Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?]

17 But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’

[Jesus was not sent to pagans]

Conclusion: From the evidence its unlikely that this relates to Jesus

More on was Jesus forsaken see: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/62632/33268

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