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Isaiah 41:17-29 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

17 When the poor and needy seek water,
    and there is none,
    and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them,
    I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights,[a]
    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 put in the wilderness the cedar,
    the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
    the plane and the pine together,
20 so that all may see and know,
    all may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
    the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21 Set forth your case, says the Lord;
    bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
22 Let them bring them, and tell us
    what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
    so that we may consider them,
and that we may know their outcome;
    or declare to us the things to come.
23 Tell us what is to come hereafter,
    that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
    that we may be afraid and terrified.
24 You, indeed, are nothing
    and your work is nothing at all;
    whoever chooses you is an abomination.

25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
    from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.[b]
He shall trample[c] on rulers as on mortar,
    as the potter treads clay.
26 Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,
    and beforehand, so that we might say, “He is right”?
There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,
    none who heard your words.
27 I first have declared it to Zion,[d]
    and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.
28 But when I look there is no one;
    among these there is no counselor
    who, when I ask, gives an answer.
29 No, they are all a delusion;
    their works are nothing;
    their images are empty wind.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:18 Or trails
  2. Isaiah 41:25 Cn Compare Q Ms Gk: MT and he shall call on my name
  3. Isaiah 41:25 Cn: Heb come
  4. Isaiah 41:27 Cn: Heb First to Zion—Behold, behold them
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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