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12 A blacksmith works with his tool[a]
and forges metal over the coals.
He forms it[b] with hammers;
he makes it with his strong arm.
He gets hungry and loses his energy;[c]
he drinks no water and gets tired.

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  1. Isaiah 44:12 tn The noun מַעֲצָד (maʿatsad), which refers to some type of tool used for cutting, occurs only here and in Jer 10:3. See HALOT 615 s.v. מַעֲצָד.
  2. Isaiah 44:12 tn Some English versions take the pronoun “it” to refer to an idol being fashioned by the blacksmith (cf. NIV, NCV, CEV). NLT understands the referent to be “a sharp tool,” which is then used by the carpenter in the following verse to carve an idol from wood.
  3. Isaiah 44:12 tn Heb “and there is no strength”; NASB “his strength fails.”