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

52 Awake, awake,(A) Zion,
    clothe yourself with strength!(B)
Put on your garments of splendor,(C)
    Jerusalem, the holy city.(D)
The uncircumcised(E) and defiled(F)
    will not enter you again.(G)
Shake off your dust;(H)
    rise up,(I) sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,(J)
    Daughter Zion,(K) now a captive.

For this is what the Lord says:

“You were sold for nothing,(L)
    and without money(M) you will be redeemed.(N)

For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“At first my people went down to Egypt(O) to live;
    lately, Assyria(P) has oppressed them.

“And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord.

“For my people have been taken away for nothing,
    and those who rule them mock,[a]
declares the Lord.
“And all day long
    my name is constantly blasphemed.(Q)
Therefore my people will know(R) my name;(S)
    therefore in that day(T) they will know
that it is I who foretold(U) it.
    Yes, it is I.”

How beautiful on the mountains(V)
    are the feet of those who bring good news,(W)
who proclaim peace,(X)
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
    “Your God reigns!”(Y)
Listen! Your watchmen(Z) lift up their voices;(AA)
    together they shout for joy.(AB)
When the Lord returns(AC) to Zion,(AD)
    they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy(AE) together,
    you ruins(AF) of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted(AG) his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.(AH)
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm(AI)
    in the sight of all the nations,(AJ)
and all the ends of the earth(AK) will see
    the salvation(AL) of our God.

11 Depart,(AM) depart, go out from there!
    Touch no unclean thing!(AN)
Come out from it and be pure,(AO)
    you who carry the articles(AP) of the Lord’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste(AQ)
    or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,(AR)
    the God of Israel will be your rear guard.(AS)

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

13 See, my servant(AT) will act wisely[b];
    he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.(AU)
14 Just as there were many who were appalled(AV) at him[c]
    his appearance was so disfigured(AW) beyond that of any human being
    and his form marred beyond human likeness(AX)
15 so he will sprinkle(AY) many nations,[d]
    and kings(AZ) will shut their mouths(BA) because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand.(BB)

53 Who has believed our message(BC)
    and to whom has the arm(BD) of the Lord been revealed?(BE)
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,(BF)
    and like a root(BG) out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance(BH) that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering,(BI) and familiar with pain.(BJ)
Like one from whom people hide(BK) their faces
    he was despised,(BL) and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,(BM)
yet we considered him punished by God,(BN)
    stricken by him, and afflicted.(BO)
But he was pierced(BP) for our transgressions,(BQ)
    he was crushed(BR) for our iniquities;
the punishment(BS) that brought us peace(BT) was on him,
    and by his wounds(BU) we are healed.(BV)
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,(BW)
    each of us has turned to our own way;(BX)
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity(BY) of us all.

He was oppressed(BZ) and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;(CA)
he was led like a lamb(CB) to the slaughter,(CC)
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[e] and judgment(CD) he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;(CE)
    for the transgression(CF) of my people he was punished.[f]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,(CG)
    and with the rich(CH) in his death,
though he had done no violence,(CI)
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.(CJ)

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will(CK) to crush(CL) him and cause him to suffer,(CM)
    and though the Lord makes[g] his life an offering for sin,(CN)
he will see his offspring(CO) and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper(CP) in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,(CQ)
    he will see the light(CR) of life[h] and be satisfied[i];
by his knowledge[j] my righteous servant(CS) will justify(CT) many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.(CU)
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[k](CV)
    and he will divide the spoils(CW) with the strong,[l]
because he poured out his life unto death,(CX)
    and was numbered with the transgressors.(CY)
For he bore(CZ) the sin of many,(DA)
    and made intercession(DB) for the transgressors.

The Future Glory of Zion

54 “Sing, barren woman,(DC)
    you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy,(DD)
    you who were never in labor;(DE)
because more are the children(DF) of the desolate(DG) woman
    than of her who has a husband,(DH)
says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,(DI)
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.(DJ)
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
    your descendants(DK) will dispossess nations(DL)
    and settle in their desolate(DM) cities.

“Do not be afraid;(DN) you will not be put to shame.(DO)
    Do not fear disgrace;(DP) you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth(DQ)
    and remember no more the reproach(DR) of your widowhood.(DS)
For your Maker(DT) is your husband(DU)
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One(DV) of Israel is your Redeemer;(DW)
    he is called the God of all the earth.(DX)
The Lord will call you back(DY)
    as if you were a wife deserted(DZ) and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,(EA)
    only to be rejected,” says your God.
“For a brief moment(EB) I abandoned(EC) you,
    but with deep compassion(ED) I will bring you back.(EE)
In a surge of anger(EF)
    I hid(EG) my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness(EH)
    I will have compassion(EI) on you,”
    says the Lord your Redeemer.(EJ)

“To me this is like the days of Noah,
    when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.(EK)
So now I have sworn(EL) not to be angry(EM) with you,
    never to rebuke(EN) you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken(EO)
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love(EP) for you will not be shaken(EQ)
    nor my covenant(ER) of peace(ES) be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion(ET) on you.

11 “Afflicted(EU) city, lashed by storms(EV) and not comforted,(EW)
    I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,[m](EX)
    your foundations(EY) with lapis lazuli.(EZ)
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
    your gates(FA) of sparkling jewels,
    and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,(FB)
    and great will be their peace.(FC)
14 In righteousness(FD) you will be established:(FE)
Tyranny(FF) will be far from you;
    you will have nothing to fear.(FG)
Terror(FH) will be far removed;
    it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
    whoever attacks you will surrender(FI) to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith(FJ)
    who fans the coals into flame
    and forges a weapon(FK) fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer(FL) to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,(FM)
    and you will refute(FN) every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants(FO) of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication(FP) from me,”
declares the Lord.

Invitation to the Thirsty

55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,(FQ)
    come to the waters;(FR)
and you who have no money,
    come, buy(FS) and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk(FT)
    without money and without cost.(FU)
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?(FV)
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,(FW)
    and you will delight in the richest(FX) of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen,(FY) that you may live.(FZ)
I will make an everlasting covenant(GA) with you,
    my faithful love(GB) promised to David.(GC)
See, I have made him a witness(GD) to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander(GE) of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations(GF) you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,(GG)
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One(GH) of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”(GI)

Seek(GJ) the Lord while he may be found;(GK)
    call(GL) on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake(GM) their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.(GN)
Let them turn(GO) to the Lord, and he will have mercy(GP) on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.(GQ)

“For my thoughts(GR) are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”(GS)
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,(GT)
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.(GU)
10 As the rain(GV) and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,(GW)
    so that it yields seed(GX) for the sower and bread for the eater,(GY)
11 so is my word(GZ) that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,(HA)
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose(HB) for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy(HC)
    and be led forth in peace;(HD)
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song(HE) before you,
and all the trees(HF) of the field
    will clap their hands.(HG)
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers(HH) the myrtle(HI) will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,(HJ)
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 52:5 Dead Sea Scrolls and Vulgate; Masoretic Text wail
  2. Isaiah 52:13 Or will prosper
  3. Isaiah 52:14 Hebrew you
  4. Isaiah 52:15 Or so will many nations be amazed at him (see also Septuagint)
  5. Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest
  6. Isaiah 53:8 Or generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living, / that he was punished for the transgression of my people?
  7. Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make
  8. Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life.
  9. Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11 He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied
  10. Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him
  11. Isaiah 53:12 Or many
  12. Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous
  13. Isaiah 54:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.