The Greatness of God

40 (A)Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
(B)Speak [a]kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her [b](C)warfare has ended,
That her [c](D)iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord’s hand
(E)Double for all her sins.”

(F)A voice [d]is calling,
(G)Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
[e]Then the (H)glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And (I)all flesh will see it together;
For the (J)mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Call out.”
Then [f]he answered, “What shall I call out?”
(K)All flesh is grass, and all its [g]loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The (L)grass withers, the flower fades,
[h]When the (M)breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But (N)the word of our God stands forever.

Get yourself up on a (O)high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of (P)good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the (Q)cities of Judah,
(R)Here is your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord [i]God will come (S)with might,
With His (T)arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His (U)reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11 Like a shepherd He will (V)tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

12 Who has (W)measured the [j]waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the [k]span,
And [l]calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
13 (X)Who has [m]directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His (Y)counselor has informed Him?
14 (Z)With whom did He consult and who (AA)gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the (AB)nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of (AC)dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the [n]islands like fine dust.
16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its (AD)beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 (AE)All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and [o]meaningless.

18 (AF)To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
19 As for the [p](AG)idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith (AH)plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering
Selects a (AI)tree that does not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To [q]prepare [r]an idol that (AJ)will not totter.

21 (AK)Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood (AL)from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who [s]sits above the [t](AM)circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like (AN)grasshoppers,
Who (AO)stretches out the heavens like a (AP)curtain
And spreads them out like a (AQ)tent to dwell in.
23 He it is who reduces (AR)rulers to nothing,
Who (AS)makes the judges of the earth [u]meaningless.
24 [v]Scarcely have they been planted,
[w]Scarcely have they been sown,
[x]Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the (AT)storm carries them away like stubble.
25 (AU)To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
26 (AV)Lift up your eyes on high
And see (AW)who has created these stars,
The (AX)One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the (AY)greatness of His might and the [y]strength of His power,
(AZ)Not one of them is missing.

27 (BA)Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is (BB)hidden from the Lord,
And the (BC)justice due me [z]escapes the notice of (BD)my God”?
28 (BE)Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The (BF)Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is (BG)inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the (BH)weary,
And to him who lacks might He (BI)increases power.
30 Though (BJ)youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous (BK)young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who [aa]wait for the Lord
Will (BL)gain new strength;
They will [ab](BM)mount up with [ac]wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:2 Or hard service
  3. Isaiah 40:2 Or penalty of iniquity accepted as paid off
  4. Isaiah 40:3 Or of one calling out
  5. Isaiah 40:5 Or In order that the
  6. Isaiah 40:6 Another reading is I said
  7. Isaiah 40:6 Or constancy
  8. Isaiah 40:7 Or Because
  9. Isaiah 40:10 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  10. Isaiah 40:12 DSS reads waters of the sea
  11. Isaiah 40:12 Or half cubit; i.e. 9 in.
  12. Isaiah 40:12 Lit contained or comprehended
  13. Isaiah 40:13 Or measured, marked off
  14. Isaiah 40:15 Or coastlands
  15. Isaiah 40:17 Or void
  16. Isaiah 40:19 Or graven image
  17. Isaiah 40:20 Or set up
  18. Isaiah 40:20 Or a graven image
  19. Isaiah 40:22 Or is enthroned
  20. Isaiah 40:22 Or vault
  21. Isaiah 40:23 Or void
  22. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  23. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  24. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  25. Isaiah 40:26 So DSS and ancient versions; M.T. strong
  26. Isaiah 40:27 Lit passes by my God
  27. Isaiah 40:31 Or hope in
  28. Isaiah 40:31 Or sprout wings
  29. Isaiah 40:31 Or pinions

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort(A) my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly(B) to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service(C) has been completed,(D)
    that her sin has been paid for,(E)
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double(F) for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way(G) for the Lord[a];
make straight(H) in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b](I)
Every valley shall be raised up,(J)
    every mountain and hill(K) made low;
the rough ground shall become level,(L)
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory(M) of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.(N)
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”(O)

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,(P)
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers(Q) and the flowers fall,
    because the breath(R) of the Lord blows(S) on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers(T) fall,
    but the word(U) of our God endures(V) forever.(W)

You who bring good news(X) to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c](Y)
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”(Z)
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes(AA) with power,(AB)
    and he rules(AC) with a mighty arm.(AD)
See, his reward(AE) is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:(AF)
    He gathers the lambs in his arms(AG)
and carries them close to his heart;(AH)
    he gently leads(AI) those that have young.(AJ)

12 Who has measured the waters(AK) in the hollow of his hand,(AL)
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?(AM)
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?(AN)
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d](AO) of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?(AP)
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,(AQ)
    or showed him the path of understanding?(AR)

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;(AS)
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.(AT)
16 Lebanon(AU) is not sufficient for altar fires,
    nor its animals(AV) enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations(AW) are as nothing;(AX)
    they are regarded by him as worthless
    and less than nothing.(AY)

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?(AZ)
    To what image(BA) will you liken him?
19 As for an idol,(BB) a metalworker casts it,
    and a goldsmith(BC) overlays it with gold(BD)
    and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
    selects wood(BE) that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
    to set up an idol(BF) that will not topple.(BG)

21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(BH)
Has it not been told(BI) you from the beginning?(BJ)
    Have you not understood(BK) since the earth was founded?(BL)
22 He sits enthroned(BM) above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.(BN)
He stretches out the heavens(BO) like a canopy,(BP)
    and spreads them out like a tent(BQ) to live in.(BR)
23 He brings princes(BS) to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.(BT)
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root(BU) in the ground,
than he blows(BV) on them and they wither,(BW)
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.(BX)

25 “To whom will you compare me?(BY)
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.(BZ)
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:(CA)
    Who created(CB) all these?
He who brings out the starry host(CC) one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,(CD)
    not one of them is missing.(CE)

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?(CF)
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(CG)
The Lord is the everlasting(CH) God,
    the Creator(CI) of the ends of the earth.(CJ)
He will not grow tired or weary,(CK)
    and his understanding no one can fathom.(CL)
29 He gives strength(CM) to the weary(CN)
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men(CO) stumble and fall;(CP)
31 but those who hope(CQ) in the Lord
    will renew their strength.(CR)
They will soar on wings like eagles;(CS)
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.(CT)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord
  2. Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good news
  4. Isaiah 40:13 Or mind

40 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him?

14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.

17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.

25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

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