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The Lord Chooses Israel

44 “Family of Jacob, listen to me. You are my servant.
    People of Israel, I have chosen you.
I made you. I formed you when you were born as a nation.
    I will help you.
    So listen to what I am saying.
Family of Jacob, do not be afraid. You are my servant.
    People of Israel, I have chosen you.
I will pour out water on the thirsty land.
    I will make streams flow on the dry ground.
I will pour out my Spirit on your children.
    I will pour out my blessing on their children after them.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow.
    They will grow like poplar trees near flowing streams.
Some will say, ‘We belong to the Lord.’
    Others will call themselves by Jacob’s name.
Still others will write on their hands,
    ‘We belong to the Lord.’
    And they will be called by the name of Israel.

Worship the Lord, Not False Gods

“I am Israel’s King. I set them free.
    I am the Lord who rules over all.
    So listen to what I am saying.
I am the first and the last.
    I am the one and only God.
Who is like me? Let him come forward and speak boldly.
    Let him tell me everything that has happened
    since I created my people long ago.
And let him tell me what has not happened yet.
    Let him announce ahead of time what is going to take place.
Do not tremble with fear. Do not be afraid.
    Didn’t I announce everything that has happened?
    Didn’t I tell you about it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any other God but me?
    No! There is no other Rock. I do not know even one.”

Those who make statues of gods don’t amount to anything.
    And the statues they think so much of are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind.
    They don’t know anything.
    So they will be put to shame.
10 People make statues of gods.
    But those gods can’t do any good.
11 People who do that will be put to shame.
    Those who make statues of gods are mere human beings.
Let all of them come together and state their case.
    They will be terrified and put to shame.

12 A blacksmith gets his tool.
    He uses it to shape metal over the burning coals.
He uses his hammers to make a statue of a god.
    He forms it with his powerful arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength.
    He doesn’t drink any water.
    He gets weaker and weaker.
13 A carpenter measures a piece of wood with a line.
    He draws a pattern on it with a marker.
He cuts out a statue with sharp tools.
    He marks it with compasses.
He shapes it into the form of a beautiful human being.
    He does this so he can put it in a temple.
14 He cuts down a cedar tree.
    Or perhaps he takes a cypress or an oak tree.
It might be a tree that grew in the forest.
    Or it might be a pine tree he planted.
    And the rain made it grow.
15 A man gets wood from trees to burn.
    He uses some of it to warm himself.
    He starts a fire and bakes bread.
But he also uses some of it to make a god and worship it.
    He makes a statue of a god and bows down to it.
16 He burns half of the wood in the fire.
    He prepares a meal over it.
He cooks meat over it.
    He eats until he is full.
He also warms himself. He says,
    “Good! I’m getting warm.
    The fire is nice and hot.”
17 From the rest of the wood he makes a statue.
    It becomes his god.
    He bows down and worships it.
He prays to it. He says,
    “Save me! You are my god!”
18 People like that don’t even know what they are doing.
    Their eyes are shut so that they can’t see the truth.
    Their minds are closed so that they can’t understand it.
19 No one even stops to think about this.
    No one has any sense or understanding.
    If anyone did, they would say,
“I used half of the wood for fuel.
    I even baked bread over the fire.
    I cooked meat. Then I ate it.
Should I now make a statue of a god
    out of the wood that’s left over?
Should I bow down to a block of wood?
    The Lord would hate that.”
20 That’s as foolish as eating ashes!
    The mind of someone like that
    has led him astray.
He can’t save himself.
    He can’t bring himself to say,
“This thing I’m holding in my right hand
    isn’t really a god at all.”

21 The Lord says, “Family of Jacob, remember these things.
    People of Israel, you are my servant.
I have made you. You are my servant.
    Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I will sweep your sins away as if they were a cloud.
    I will blow them away as if they were the morning mist.
Return to me.
    Then I will set you free.”

23 Sing for joy, you heavens!
    The Lord does wonderful things.
Shout out loud, you earth!
    Burst into song, you mountains!
    Sing, you forests and all your trees!
The Lord sets the family of Jacob free.
    He shows his glory in Israel.

People Will Live in Jerusalem Again

24 The Lord says,
    “People of Israel, I set you free.
    I formed you when you were born as a nation.

“I am the Lord. I am the Maker of everything.
    I alone stretch out the heavens.
    I spread out the earth by myself.

25 “Some prophets are not really prophets at all.
    I show that their signs are fake.
    I make those who practice evil magic look foolish.
I destroy the learning of those who think they are wise.
    Their knowledge does not make any sense at all.
26 I make the words of my servants the prophets come true.
    I carry out what my messengers say will happen.

“I say about Jerusalem,
    ‘My people will live there again.’
I say about the towns of Judah,
    ‘They will be rebuilt.’
I say about their broken-down buildings,
    ‘I will make them like new again.’
27 I say to the deep waters,
    ‘Dry up. Let your streams become dry.’
28 I say about Cyrus,
    ‘He is my shepherd.
    He will accomplish everything I want him to.
He will say about Jerusalem,
    “Let it be rebuilt.”
And he will say about the temple,
    “Let its foundations be laid.” ’

Israel the Chosen

44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,(A)
    Israel, whom I have chosen.(B)
This is what the Lord says—
    he who made(C) you, who formed you in the womb,(D)
    and who will help(E) you:
Do not be afraid,(F) Jacob, my servant,(G)
    Jeshurun,[a](H) whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water(I) on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;(J)
I will pour out my Spirit(K) on your offspring,
    and my blessing(L) on your descendants.(M)
They will spring up like grass(N) in a meadow,
    like poplar trees(O) by flowing streams.(P)
Some will say, ‘I belong(Q) to the Lord’;
    others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand,(R) ‘The Lord’s,’(S)
    and will take the name Israel.

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King(T) and Redeemer,(U) the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;(V)
    apart from me there is no God.(W)
Who then is like me?(X) Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell(Y) what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim(Z) this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God(AA) besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock;(AB) I know not one.”

All who make idols(AC) are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.(AD)
Those who would speak up for them are blind;(AE)
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.(AF)
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(AG)
    which can profit nothing?(AH)
11 People who do that will be put to shame;(AI)
    such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and shame.(AJ)

12 The blacksmith(AK) takes a tool
    and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
    he forges it with the might of his arm.(AL)
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
    he drinks no water and grows faint.(AM)
13 The carpenter(AN) measures with a line
    and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
    and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,(AO)
    human form in all its glory,
    that it may dwell in a shrine.(AP)
14 He cut down cedars,
    or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
    or planted a pine,(AQ) and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel(AR) for burning;
    some of it he takes and warms himself,
    he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships(AS) it;
    he makes an idol and bows(AT) down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
    over it he prepares his meal,
    he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
    “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(AU)
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
    he bows down to it and worships.(AV)
He prays(AW) to it and says,
    “Save(AX) me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand(AY) nothing;
    their eyes(AZ) are plastered over so they cannot see,
    and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding(BA) to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;(BB)
    I even baked bread over its coals,
    I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable(BC) thing from what is left?
    Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”(BD)
20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(BE) a deluded(BF) heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(BG)

21 “Remember(BH) these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.(BI)
I have made you, you are my servant;(BJ)
    Israel, I will not forget you.(BK)
22 I have swept away(BL) your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return(BM) to me,
    for I have redeemed(BN) you.”

23 Sing for joy,(BO) you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
    shout aloud, you earth(BP) beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,(BQ)
    you forests and all your trees,(BR)
for the Lord has redeemed(BS) Jacob,
    he displays his glory(BT) in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 “This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(BU) who formed(BV) you in the womb:(BW)

I am the Lord,
    the Maker of all things,
    who stretches out the heavens,(BX)
    who spreads out the earth(BY) by myself,
25 who foils(BZ) the signs of false prophets
    and makes fools of diviners,(CA)
who overthrows the learning of the wise(CB)
    and turns it into nonsense,(CC)
26 who carries out the words(CD) of his servants
    and fulfills(CE) the predictions of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem,(CF) ‘It shall be inhabited,’
    of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
    and of their ruins,(CG) ‘I will restore them,’(CH)
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
    and I will dry up(CI) your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus,(CJ) ‘He is my shepherd
    and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem,(CK) “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple,(CL) “Let its foundations(CM) be laid.”’


  1. Isaiah 44:2 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel.

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