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Comfort for God’s People

40 “Comfort; comfort my people,” says your God.

“Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her,

that her compulsory labor is fulfilled, that her sin is paid for,
    that she has received[a] from the hand of Yahweh double for all her sins.”
A voice is calling in the wilderness, “Clear the way of Yahweh!
    Make a highway smooth in the desert for our God!
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill shall become low,
And the rough ground shall be like a plain,
    and the rugged ground like a valley-plain.
And the glory of Yahweh shall be revealed,
    and all humankind[b] together shall see it,

for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

A voice is saying, “Call!”
    And he said, “What shall I call?”
All humankind[c] are grass,
    and all his loyalty is like the flowers of the field.
Grass withers; the flower withers
when the breath of Yahweh blows on it.
    Surely the people are grass.
Grass withers; the flower withers,
    but[d] the word of our God will stand forever.
Get yourself[e] up to a high mountain, Zion, bringer of good news!
    Lift up your voice with strength, Jerusalem, bringer of good news!
Lift it up; you must not fear!
    Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”
10 Look! The Lord Yahweh comes with strength,[f]
    and his arm rules for him.
Look! His reward is with him,
    and his recompense in his presence.[g]
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arm,
and he will carry them in his bosom;
    he will lead those who nurse.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
    and marked off the heavens with a span,
comprehended the dust of the earth in a third of a measure
    and weighed out the mountains in the scales,[h] and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has measured up the spirit of Yahweh
    or informed him as his counselor[i]?
14 With whom has he consulted, that[j] he enlightened him[k]
    and taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
    and made the way of understanding known to him?
15 Look! The nations are like a drop from a bucket,
    and they are counted like dust of the balances!
        Look! He weighs the islands like a thin covering.
16 And Lebanon is not enough to light a fire,
    and its animals[l] not enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are like nothing before him;
    they are counted by him as[m] nothing and emptiness.
18 And to whom will you liken God?
    And to what likeness will you compare him?
19 A craftsman pours out the idol,
    and a goldsmith[n] overlays it with gold,
        and he smelts chains of silver.
20 The one who is too impoverished for a gift chooses wood that will not rot;
    he seeks a skillful artisan for himself to set up an image that will not be knocked over.
21 Have you not known?
    Have you not heard?
Has it not been told to you from the beginning?[o]
    Have you not understood from the foundation of the earth?
22 He is the one who sits above the circle of the earth,
    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
the one who stretches out the heavens like a veil
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in,
23 the one who brings[p] princes to nothing;
    he makes rulers of the earth like nothing.
24 Indeed, hardly are they planted; indeed, hardly are they sown;
    indeed, hardly has their shoot taken root in the earth
when[q] he blows on them and they wither,
    and the tempest carries them like stubble.

25 “And to whom you will compare me, and am I equal?” says the holy one.

26 Lift your eyes up on high, and see! Who created these?
    The one who brings out their host by number.
He calls all them by name.
    Because he is great of power
        and mighty of power, no man is missing.
27 Why[r] do you say, Jacob,
    and you speak, Israel,
“My way is hidden from Yahweh,
    and my judgment is passed over by my God?”
28 Have you not known,
    or have you not heard?
Yahweh is the God of eternity,
    the creator of the ends of the earth!
He is not faint, and he does not grow weary!
    There is no searching his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weary,
    and he increases power for the powerless.[s]
30 Even[t] young people will be faint and grow weary,
    and the young will stumble, exhausted.
31 But[u] those who wait for Yahweh shall renew their strength.
    They shall go up with wings[v] like eagles;
they shall run and not grow weary;
    they shall walk and not be faint.


  1. Isaiah 40:2 Literally “taken”
  2. Isaiah 40:5 Literally “flesh”
  3. Isaiah 40:6 Literally “flesh”
  4. Isaiah 40:8 Or “and”
  5. Isaiah 40:9 Literally “Go for you”
  6. Isaiah 40:10 Literally “strong”
  7. Isaiah 40:10 Literally “before his face”
  8. Isaiah 40:12 Hebrew “scale”
  9. Isaiah 40:13 Literally “the man of his counsel”
  10. Isaiah 40:14 Or “and”
  11. Isaiah 40:14 Or “made him understand”
  12. Isaiah 40:16 Hebrew “animal”
  13. Isaiah 40:17 Or “from”
  14. Isaiah 40:19 Literally “refiner”
  15. Isaiah 40:21 Literally “head”
  16. Isaiah 40:23 Or “gives”
  17. Isaiah 40:24 Or “also”
  18. Isaiah 40:27 Literally “To what”
  19. Isaiah 40:29 Literally “not power”
  20. Isaiah 40:30 Or “And”
  21. Isaiah 40:31 Or “And”
  22. Isaiah 40:31 Hebrew “wing”