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God’s People Are Comforted

40 [a]Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
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.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
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.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

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.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
    surely the people is grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
    but the word of our God will stand for ever.

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.

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Footnotes

  1. 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.
  2. Isaiah 40:2 Or time of service
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good tidings to Zion
  4. Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good tidings to Jerusalem

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