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God Comforts His People

40 “Comfort! Yes, comfort my people,”
    says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her heavy service has been completed,
    that her penalty has been paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.”

A voice cries out:
    ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;
        and[a] in the desert a straight highway for our God.’
Every valley will be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill will be lowered;
the rough ground will become level,
    and the mountain ridges made a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all humanity will see it at once;
        for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Word of God Endures Forever

A voice says, “Cry out!”
    So I[b] asked, “What am I to cry out?”

“All humanity is grass,
    and all its loyalty[c] is like the flowers of the field.
Grass withers and flowers fade away
    when the Lord’s breath blows on them;
        surely the people are like grass.[d]
Grass withers and flowers fade away,
    when the Lord’s breath blows on them,
        but the word of[e] our God will stand forever.”

Here is Your God

“Climb up a high mountain,
    you messenger of good news to Zion!
Lift up your voice with strength,
    you messenger to Jerusalem!
Lift it up!
    Don’t be afraid!
Say to the towns of Judah,
    ‘Here is your God!’
10 Look! The Lord God comes with strength,
    and his arm[f] rules for him.
Look! His reward is with him,
    and his payment accompanies him.
11 Like a shepherd, he tends his flock.
    He gathers the lambs in his arms,
carries them close to his heart,
    and gently leads the mother sheep.”

Who is Like the Lord?

12 “Who has measured the waters of the sea[g]
    in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens
    by the width of his hand?[h]
Who has enclosed the dust of the earth
    in a measuring bowl,
or weighed the mountains
    in scales
        and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has fathomed the Spirit of the Lord,
    or as his counselor has taught him?[i]
14 With whom did he consult
    to enlighten and instruct him on the path of justice?
Or who taught him knowledge
    and showed him the way of wisdom?

15 “Look! The nations are like a drop in a bucket,
    and are reckoned as dust on the scales.
Look! He even lifts up the islands like powder!
16 Lebanon would not provide enough fuel,
    nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering.[j]
17 All the nations are as nothing before him—
    they are reckoned by him as[k] nothing and chaos.

18 “To whom, then, will you compare me,[l] the One who is[m] God?
    Or to what image will you liken me?[n]
19 To an idol? A craftsman makes[o] the image,
    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
        and casts silver chains.
20 To the impoverished person?
    He prepares[p] an offering—[q]
        wood that won’t rot—
Or to the one who chooses a skilled craftsman[r]
    and[s] seeks[t] to erect an idol that won’t topple?”

The Majesty of the Lord

21 “You know, don’t you?
    You have heard, haven’t you?
Hasn’t it been told you from the beginning?
    Haven’t you understood from the foundations of the[u] earth?
22 He’s the one who sits above the disk of the earth,
    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
He’s the one who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    and spreads them like a tent to live in,
23 who brings princes to nothing,
    and makes void the rulers of the earth.
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
        no sooner have[v] their stems taken root in the earth,
than[w] he blows on them, and they wither,
    and the tempest sweeps them away like stubble.

25 “To[x] whom, then, will you compare me,
    and to whom should I be equal?”
        asks the Holy One.
26 “Lift your eyes up to heaven and see
    who created all these—
the one who leads out their vast array of stars by number,
    calling them all by name—
because of his great might
    and his[y] powerful strength[z]
        and[aa] not one is missing.”

The Lord Watches Israel

27 “Jacob, why do you say—
    and Israel, why do you complain—
‘My predicament is hidden from the Lord,
    and my cause is ignored by my God.’?
28 Don’t you know?
    Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the eternal God,
        the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary;
    and[ab] his understanding cannot be fathomed.
29 He’s the[ac] one who gives might to the faint,
    renewing strength for the powerless.
30 Even boys grow tired and weary,
    and young men collapse and fall,
31 but those who keep waiting for the Lord will renew their strength.
    Then[ad] they’ll soar on wings like eagles;
they’ll run and not grow weary;
    they’ll walk and not grow tired.”


  1. Isaiah 40:3 So1QIsaa; MT LXX lack and
  2. Isaiah 40:6 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads he
  3. Isaiah 40:6 Or glory
  4. Isaiah 40:7 So MT; 1QIsaa LXX lack this v.
  5. Isaiah 40:8 So MT LXX; 1QIsaa lacks the word of
  6. Isaiah 40:10 I.e. the Messiah
  7. Isaiah 40:12 Lit. from
  8. Isaiah 40:12 So 1QIsaa Syr; MT LXX read by a hand’s width
  9. Isaiah 40:13 I.e. the Spirit; so 1QIsaa; MT reads the Lord
  10. Isaiah 40:16 b-16 So MT LXX; 1QIsaa includes these lines by a later scribe
  11. Isaiah 40:17 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads as less than
  12. Isaiah 40:18 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack me
  13. Isaiah 40:18 1QIsaa LXX MT lack the One who is
  14. Isaiah 40:18 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read him
  15. Isaiah 40:19 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads casts
  16. Isaiah 40:20 1QIsaa MT LXX lack prepares
  17. Isaiah 40:20 So MT; later 1QIsaa scribe includes this line
  18. Isaiah 40:20 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read chooses wood
  19. Isaiah 40:20 So 1QIsaa; MT lacks and
  20. Isaiah 40:20 So 1QIsaa; MT reads seeks a skilled craftsman
  21. Isaiah 40:21 So MT; implied in 1QIsaa
  22. Isaiah 40:24 So 1QIsaa; 4QIsab MT LXX read has
  23. Isaiah 40:24 So 1QIsaa; 4QIsab MT read and then; LXX lacks than
  24. Isaiah 40:25 So 1QIsaa; 4QIsab MT read And to
  25. Isaiah 40:26 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack his
  26. Isaiah 40:26 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads strong
  27. Isaiah 40:26 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack and
  28. Isaiah 40:28 So 1QIsaa LXX; the Heb. lacks and
  29. Isaiah 40:29 So 1QIsaa; the Heb. lacks The
  30. Isaiah 40:31 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack Then