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The Lord Helps Israel

41 Keep silent before Me, O islands,
    and let the peoples renew their strength.
Let them come near, then let them speak;
    let us come near together to judgment.

Who raised up the righteous man from the east,
    called him to His foot,
gave the nations before him,
    and made him rule over kings?
He makes them as the dust with his sword,
    and as driven stubble with his bow.
He pursued them, and passed safely,
    by paths his feet have not traveled.
Who has performed and done this,
    calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am the first,
    and with the last. I am He.

The coastlands saw it and feared,
    the ends of the earth were afraid;
they drew near and came.
    Every one helped his neighbor,
    and every one said to his brother, “Be of good courage.”
So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith,
    and he who smooths metal with the hammer
    encourages him who strikes the anvil,
saying, “It is ready for the soldering”;
    and he fastened it with nails so that it should not totter.

But you, Israel, are My servant,
    Jacob whom I have chosen,
    the seed of Abraham, My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
    and called from its remotest parts,
and said to you, “You are My servant;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”
10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

11 Certainly all those who were incensed against you
    shall be ashamed and humiliated;
they shall be as nothing,
    and those who strive with you shall perish.
12 You shall seek them
    and shall not find them, even those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
    shall be as nothing, as a thing of nonexistence.
13 For I, the Lord your God,
    will hold your right hand,
saying to you, “Do not fear;
    I will help you.”
14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob,
    and you men of Israel.
I will help you, says the Lord
    and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 See, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument
    with double edges;
you shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small,
    and shall make the hills as chaff.
16 You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away,
    and the whirlwind shall scatter them;
and you shall rejoice in the Lord,
    and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 When the poor and needy seek water,
    and there is none,
    and their tongues fail for thirst,
I, the Lord, will hear them,
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in high places,
    and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
    and the dry land springs of water.
19 I will plant in the wilderness
    the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive tree;
I will set in the desert
    the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together,
20 that they may see, and know,
    and consider, and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
    and the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21 Present your case, says the Lord.
    Bring forth your arguments, says the King of Jacob.
22 Let them bring them forth, and show us
    what shall happen;
let them show the former things, what they were,
    that we may consider them
    and know their outcome,
or declare to us things to come.
23     Show the things that are to come hereafter,
    that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do evil,
    that we may be dismayed and see it together.
24 Indeed you are nothing,
    and your work amounts to nothing;
    he who chooses you is an abomination.

25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come;
    from the rising of the sun he shall call on My name;
and he shall come on princes as on mortar,
    and as the potter treads clay.
26 Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?
    And from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”?
There is no one who shows,
    no one who declares,
    no one who hears your words.
27 Formerly I said to Zion, “Look, here they are,”
    and to Jerusalem, “I will give one who brings good news.”
28 But when I look, there is no man,
    even among them, and there is no counselor
    who, when I ask of them, could answer a word.
29 See, they all are vanity;
    their works are nothing;
    their molded images are wind and emptiness.