Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
God’s People Are Comforted
40 [a]Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare[b] is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.
9 Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;[c]
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,[d]
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
or as his counselor has instructed him?
14 Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,
and who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
18 To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19 The idol! a workman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,
and casts for it silver chains.
20 He who is impoverished[e] chooses for an offering
wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skilful craftsman
to set up an image that will not move.
21 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23 who brings princes to nought,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
25 To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hid from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
- 40.1 Here begins the “Book of the Consolation of Israel,” as it has been beautifully called. It was written to comfort and console the people in their exile in Babylonia.
- Isaiah 40:2 Or time of service
- Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good tidings to Zion
- Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good tidings to Jerusalem
- Isaiah 40:20 Heb uncertain
New International Version
Comfort for God’s People
40 Comfort, comfort(A) my people,
says your God.
2 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.
3 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)
4 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.
5 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)
6 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.
7 The grass withers(Q) and the flowers fall,
because the breath(R) of the Lord blows(S) on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers(T) fall,
but the word(U) of our God endures(V) forever.(W)”
9 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)