Matthew 12:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 12:20, NIV: A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.

Matthew 12:20, ESV: a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory;

Matthew 12:20, KJV: A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

Matthew 12:20, NASB: A BENT REED HE WILL NOT BREAK off, AND A DIMLY BURNING WICK HE WILL NOT EXTINGUISH, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.

Matthew 12:20, NLT: He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.

Matthew 12:20, CSB: He will not break a bruised reed,and he will not put out a smoldering wick,until he has led justice to victory.

What does Matthew 12:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Isaiah 41:1–4 is the source of this quotation by Matthew, who applies it to Jesus as a fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah, quoting God, now writes that the servant of whom God speaks will go so gently in His mission that He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick. But He will also bring "justice to victory" (Isaiah 42:1–4).

This description does not fit the Messiah many in Israel were hoping for. They wanted a conquering Savior who would triumphantly overthrow Israel's enemies and set the nation back on the road to glory and prosperity. This description does fit Jesus the Messiah, however, who came to earth to bring salvation through His own death for the sins of others. In this way, the Savior will bring victorious justice to all who trust in Him. Judgment on the enemies of God would come much later.