The Lord versus the Nations’ Gods

41 “Be silent before Me, islands!(A)
And let peoples renew their strength.
Let them approach, then let them testify;
let us come together for the trial.
Who has stirred him up from the east?(B)
He calls righteousness to his feet.[a](C)
The Lord hands nations over to him,(D)
and he subdues kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
like wind-driven stubble with his bow.
He pursues them, going on safely,
hardly touching the path with his feet.
Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, Yahweh, am the first,
and with the last(E)—I am He.”(F)

The islands see and are afraid,
the whole earth trembles.(G)
They approach and arrive.
Each one helps the other,
and says to another, “Take courage!”
The craftsman encourages the metalworker;(H)
the one who flattens with the hammer
supports the one who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good.”
He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over.(I)

But you, Israel, My servant,(J)
Jacob, whom I have chosen,(K)
descendant of Abraham, My friend(L)
I brought[b] you from the ends of the earth
and called you from its farthest corners.
I said to you: You are My servant;
I have chosen you and not rejected you.(M)
10 Do not fear, for I am with you;(N)
do not be afraid, for I am your God.(O)
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.(P)

11 Be sure that all who are enraged against you
will be ashamed and disgraced;(Q)
those who contend with you
will become as nothing and will perish.
12 You will look for those who contend with you,
but you will not find them.
Those who war against you
will become absolutely nothing.
13 For I, Yahweh your God,(R)
hold your right hand
and say to you: Do not fear,
I will help you.
14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob,(S)
you men[c] of Israel:
I will help you—
this is the Lord’s declaration.
Your Redeemer(T) is the Holy One of Israel.(U)
15 See, I will make you into a sharp threshing board,
new, with many teeth.
You will thresh mountains and pulverize them
and make hills into chaff.(V)
16 You will winnow them(W)
and a wind will carry them away,
a gale will scatter them.
But you will rejoice in the Lord;
you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

17 The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, Yahweh, will answer them;(X)
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers on the barren heights,(Y)
and springs in the middle of the plains.
I will turn the desert into a pool of water
and dry land into springs of water.(Z)
19 I will plant cedars in the desert,
acacias, myrtles, and olive trees.(AA)
I will put juniper trees in the desert,
elms and cypress trees together,
20 so that all may see and know,
consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,(AB)
the Holy One of Israel has created(AC) it.

21 “Submit your case,” says the Lord.
“Present your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22 “Let them come and tell us
what will happen.(AD)
Tell us the past events,
so that we may reflect on them
and know the outcome,
or tell us the future.
23 Tell us the coming events,(AE)
then we will know that you are gods.
Indeed, do something good or bad,
then we will be in awe[d] and perceive.
24 Look, you are nothing(AF)
and your work is worthless.
Anyone who chooses you is detestable.

25 “I have raised up one from the north,(AG) and he has come,
one from the east(AH) who invokes My[e] name.(AI)
He will march over rulers as if they were mud,
like a potter who treads the clay.
26 Who told about this from the beginning,
so that we might know,
and from times past,
so that we might say: He is right?
No one announced it,
no one told it,
no one heard your words.
27 I was the first to say to Zion:[f]
Look! Here they are!
And I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem.(AJ)
28 When I look, there is no one;
there is no counselor among them;
when I ask them, they have nothing to say.(AK)
29 Look, all of them are a delusion;[g]
their works are nonexistent;
their images are wind and emptiness.


  1. Isaiah 41:2 Hb obscure
  2. Isaiah 41:9 Or seized
  3. Isaiah 41:14 LXX reads small number; DSS read dead ones
  4. Isaiah 41:23 DSS read we may hear
  5. Isaiah 41:25 DSS read his
  6. Isaiah 41:27 Lit First to Zion
  7. Isaiah 41:29 DSS, Syr read are nothing

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