The Greatness of God

40 (A)Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God.
(B)Speak [a]kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her [b](C)warfare has ended,
That her [c](D)guilt has been removed,
That she has received of the Lords hand
(E)Double for all her sins.”

(F)The voice of one calling out,
(G)Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make [d]straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the uneven ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
[e]Then the (H)glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And (I)all flesh will see it together;
For the (J)mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Call out.”
Then [f]he answered, “What shall I call out?”
(K)All flesh is grass, and all its [g]loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The (L)grass withers, the flower fades,
[h]When the (M)breath of the Lord blows upon it;
The people are indeed grass!
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But (N)the word of our God stands forever.

Go up on a (O)high mountain,
Zion, messenger of (P)good news,
Raise your voice forcefully,
Jerusalem, messenger of good news;
Raise it up, do not fear.
Say to the (Q)cities of Judah,
(R)Here is your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord [i]God will come (S)with might,
With His (T)arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His (U)compensation is with Him,
And His reward before Him.
11 Like a shepherd He will (V)tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in the fold of His robe;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

12 Who has (W)measured the [j]waters in the hollow of His hand,
And measured the heavens with a [k]span,
And [l]calculated the dust of the earth with a measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
13 (X)Who has [m]directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His (Y)counselor has informed Him?
14 (Z)With whom did He consult and who (AA)gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge,
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the (AB)nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of (AC)dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the [n]islands like fine dust.
16 Even Lebanon is not enough to [o]burn,
Nor its (AD)animals enough for a burnt offering.
17 (AE)All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and [p]meaningless.

18 (AF)To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
19 As for the [q](AG)idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith (AH)plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering
Selects a (AI)tree that does not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To [r]prepare [s]an idol that (AJ)will not totter.

21 (AK)Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood (AL)from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who [t]sits above the [u](AM)circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like (AN)grasshoppers,
Who (AO)stretches out the heavens like a (AP)curtain
And spreads them out like a (AQ)tent to live in.
23 It is He who reduces (AR)rulers to nothing,
Who (AS)makes the judges of the earth [v]meaningless.
24 [w]Scarcely have they been planted,
[x]Scarcely have they been sown,
[y]Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the (AT)storm carries them away like stubble.
25 (AU)To whom then will you compare Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
26 (AV)Raise your eyes on high
And see (AW)who has created these stars,
The (AX)One who brings out their [z]multitude by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the (AY)greatness of His might and the [aa]strength of His power,
(AZ)Not one of them is missing.

27 (BA)Why do you say, Jacob, and you assert, Israel,
“My way is (BB)hidden from the Lord,
And the (BC)justice due me [ab]escapes the notice of (BD)my God”?
28 (BE)Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The (BF)Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is (BG)unsearchable.
29 He gives strength to the (BH)weary,
And to the one who lacks might He (BI)increases power.
30 Though (BJ)youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous (BK)young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who [ac]wait for the Lord
Will (BL)gain new strength;
They will [ad](BM)mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:2 Or hard service
  3. Isaiah 40:2 Or penalty of guilt accepted as paid off
  4. Isaiah 40:3 Or smooth
  5. Isaiah 40:5 Or In order that the
  6. Isaiah 40:6 Another reading is I said
  7. Isaiah 40:6 Or constancy
  8. Isaiah 40:7 Or Because
  9. Isaiah 40:10 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  10. Isaiah 40:12 DSS reads waters of the sea
  11. Isaiah 40:12 Or half cubit (9 in. or 22.8 cm)
  12. Isaiah 40:12 Lit contained; or comprehended
  13. Isaiah 40:13 Or measured, marked off
  14. Isaiah 40:15 Or coastlands
  15. Isaiah 40:16 I.e., for fire on an altar
  16. Isaiah 40:17 Or void
  17. Isaiah 40:19 Or carved image
  18. Isaiah 40:20 Or set up
  19. Isaiah 40:20 Or a carved image
  20. Isaiah 40:22 Or is enthroned
  21. Isaiah 40:22 Or vault
  22. Isaiah 40:23 Or void
  23. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  24. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  25. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  26. Isaiah 40:26 Lit host
  27. Isaiah 40:26 As in DSS and ancient versions; MT strong
  28. Isaiah 40:27 Lit passes by my God
  29. Isaiah 40:31 Or hope in
  30. Isaiah 40:31 Or sprout wings

Israel Encouraged

41 (A)Listen to Me (B)in silence, you coastlands,
And let the peoples (C)gain new strength;
(D)Let them come forward, then let them speak;
(E)Let’s come together for judgment.
(F)Who has stirred one from the east
Whom He (G)calls in righteousness to His [a]feet?
He (H)turns nations over to him
And subdues kings.
He makes them like (I)dust with his sword,
Like the wind-driven (J)chaff with his bow.
He pursues them, passing on in safety,
By a way he had not been [b]traversing with his feet.
(K)Who has performed and accomplished it,
Summoning the generations from the beginning?
(L)I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. (M)I am He.’”

The (N)coastlands have seen and are afraid;
The (O)ends of the earth tremble;
They have approached and have come.
Each one helps his neighbor
And says to his brother, “Be strong!”
So the (P)craftsman encourages the (Q)smelter,
And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil,
Saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
And he fastens it with nails,
(R)So that it will not totter.
“But you, Israel, (S)My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of (T)Abraham My (U)friend,
You whom I have [c](V)taken from the ends of the earth
And called from its (W)remotest parts,
And said to you, ‘You are (X)My servant,
I have (Y)chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 Do not (Z)fear, for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, (AA)I will also help you,
I will also uphold you with My righteous (AB)right hand.’
11 Behold, (AC)all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
(AD)Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.
12 (AE)You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them,
Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent.
13 For I am the Lord your God (AF)who takes hold of your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘(AG)Do not fear, I will help you.’
14 Do not fear, you (AH)worm Jacob, you people of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and (AI)your [d]Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I turned you into a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges;
(AJ)You will thresh the (AK)mountains and pulverize them,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 You will (AL)winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
And the storm will scatter them;
But you will (AM)rejoice in the Lord,
You will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy are seeking (AN)water, but there is none,
And their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, (AO)will answer them Myself;
As the God of Israel I (AP)will not abandon them.
18 I will open (AQ)rivers on the bare heights,
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make (AR)the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land fountains of water.
19 I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia, the (AS)myrtle, and the olive tree;
I will place the (AT)juniper in the desert,
Together with the elm tree and the cypress,
20 So that (AU)they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the (AV)hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 [e]Present your case,” the Lord says.
“Bring forward your evidence,”
The (AW)King of Jacob says.
22 (AX)Let them bring them forward and declare to us what is going to take place;
As for the (AY)former events, declare what they were,
So that we may consider them and know their outcome.
Or announce to us what is coming;
23 (AZ)Declare the things that are going to come afterward,
So that we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, (BA)do good or evil, that we may be afraid and fear together.
24 Behold, (BB)you are less than nothing,
And (BC)your work is less than nothing!
He who chooses you is an (BD)abomination.

25 “I have put (BE)one from the north into motion, and he has come;
From the rising of the sun he will call on My name;
And he will come upon rulers as upon [f](BF)mortar,
As the potter treads on clay.”
26 Who has (BG)declared this from the beginning, that we might know?
Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”?
There was (BH)no one at all who declared,
There was no one at all who proclaimed,
There was no one at all who heard your words.
27 (BI)Previously I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’
And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a (BJ)messenger of good news.’
28 But (BK)when I look, there is no one,
And there is no (BL)counselor [g]among them
Who, if I ask, can (BM)give an answer.
29 Behold, all of them are [h]false;
Their (BN)works are (BO)nothing,
Their cast metal images are (BP)wind and emptiness.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Lit foot
  2. Isaiah 41:3 Lit going
  3. Isaiah 41:9 Lit seized
  4. Isaiah 41:14 Or Redeemer, the Holy One
  5. Isaiah 41:21 Lit Bring near
  6. Isaiah 41:25 I.e., the building material
  7. Isaiah 41:28 Lit out of those
  8. Isaiah 41:29 Another reading is nothing

God’s Promise concerning His Servant

42 (A)Behold, My (B)Servant, whom I [a]uphold;
My (C)chosen one in whom My (D)soul delights.
I have put My (E)Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth (F)justice to the [b]nations.
He will not cry out nor raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
A bent reed He will not break off
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth (G)justice.
He will not be (H)disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice on the earth;
And the (I)coastlands will wait expectantly for His [c]law.”

This is what God the Lord says,

Who (J)created the heavens and (K)stretched them out,
Who spread out the (L)earth and its [d]offspring,
Who (M)gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord, I have (N)called You in righteousness,
I will also (O)hold You by the hand and (P)watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a (Q)covenant to the people,
As a (R)light to the nations,
To (S)open blind eyes,
To (T)bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
(U)I am the Lord, that is (V)My name;
I will not give My (W)glory to another,
Nor My praise to idols.
Behold, the (X)former things have come to pass,
Now I declare (Y)new things;
Before they sprout I proclaim them to you.”

10 Sing to the Lord a (Z)new song,
Sing His praise from the (AA)end of the earth!
(AB)You who go down to the sea, and (AC)all that is in it;
You (AD)islands, and those who live on them.
11 Let the (AE)wilderness and its cities raise their voices,
The settlements which (AF)Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of (AG)Sela sing aloud,
Let them shout for joy from the tops of the (AH)mountains.
12 Let them (AI)give glory to the Lord
And declare His praise in the (AJ)coastlands.
13 (AK)The Lord will go out like a warrior,
He will stir His (AL)zeal like a man of war.
He will shout, indeed, He will raise a war cry.
He will (AM)prevail against His enemies.

The Blindness of the People

14 (AN)I have kept silent for a long time,
I have kept still and restrained Myself.
Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
I will both gasp and pant.
15 I will (AO)lay waste the mountains and hills
And wither all their vegetation;
I will (AP)turn the rivers into coastlands
And dry up the ponds.
16 I will (AQ)lead those who are blind by a way they have not known,
In paths they have not known I will guide them.
I will (AR)turn darkness into light before them
And (AS)uneven land into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will (AT)not leave them undone.”
17 They will be turned back and be (AU)utterly put to shame,
Who trust in [e]idols,
Who say to cast metal images,
“You are our gods.”

18 (AV)Hear, you who are deaf!
And look, you who are blind, so that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My (AW)servant,
Or so deaf as My (AX)messenger whom I send?
Who is so blind as one who is [f](AY)at peace with Me,
Or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
20 (AZ)You have seen many things, but you do not retain them;
Your ears are open, but no one hears.
21 The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the Law (BA)great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and pillaged;
All of them are (BB)trapped in [g]caves,
Or are (BC)hidden away in prisons;
They have become plunder, with no one to save them,
And spoils with no one to say, “Give them back!”

23 Who among you will listen to this?
Who will pay attention and listen in the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob up for spoils, and Israel to plunderers?
Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned,
And in whose ways they (BD)were not willing to walk,
And whose Law they did not (BE)obey?
25 So He poured out on him the heat of His anger
And the (BF)fierceness of battle;
And it set him aflame all around,
Yet he did not recognize it;
And it burned him, but he [h](BG)paid no attention.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 42:1 Or hold fast
  2. Isaiah 42:1 Or Gentiles
  3. Isaiah 42:4 Or instruction
  4. Isaiah 42:5 Or vegetation
  5. Isaiah 42:17 Or carved images
  6. Isaiah 42:19 Or the devoted one
  7. Isaiah 42:22 Or holes
  8. Isaiah 42:25 Lit did not lay it to heart

Israel Redeemed

43 But now, this is what the Lord says, He who is your (A)Creator, Jacob,
And He who (B)formed you, Israel:
“Do not (C)fear, for I have (D)redeemed you;
I have (E)called you by name; you are (F)Mine!
When you (G)pass through the waters, (H)I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you (I)walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
For (J)I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your (K)Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
[a](L)Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Since you are (M)precious in My sight,
Since you are (N)honored and I (O)love you,
I will give other people in your place and other nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for (P)I am with you;
I will bring (Q)your offspring from the east,
And (R)gather you from the west.
I will say to the (S)north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring My (T)sons from afar
And My daughters from the (U)ends of the earth,
Everyone who is (V)called by My name,
And whom I have (W)created for My (X)glory,
(Y)Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”

Israel Is God’s Witness

Bring out the people who are (Z)blind, even though they have eyes,
And those who are deaf, even though they have ears.
All the nations have (AA)gathered together
So that the peoples may be assembled.
Who among them can (AB)declare this
And proclaim to us the former things?
Let them present (AC)their witnesses so (AD)that they may be justified,
Or let them hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are (AE)My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And (AF)My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that (AG)I am He.
(AH)Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 I, only I, am the Lord,
And there is no (AI)savior (AJ)besides Me.
12 It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no (AK)strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And I am God.
13 Even [b](AL)from eternity (AM)I am He,
And there is (AN)no one who can rescue from My hand;
(AO)I act, and who can reverse it?”

Babylon to Be Destroyed

14 This is what the Lord your (AP)Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

“For your sake I have sent to Babylon,
And will bring them all down as fugitives,
[c]Even the (AQ)Chaldeans, into the (AR)ships [d]over which they rejoice.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
(AS)The Creator of Israel, your (AT)King.”

16 This is what the Lord says,

He who (AU)makes a way through the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
17 Who brings out the (AV)chariot and the horse,
The army and the mighty man
(They will lie down together and not rise again;
They have been (AW)extinguished, and have gone out like a wick):
18 (AX)Do not call to mind the former things,
Or consider things of the past.
19 Behold, I am going to do something (AY)new,
Now it will spring up;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even (AZ)make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
20 The animals of the field will glorify Me,
The (BA)jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have (BB)given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
21 The people whom (BC)I formed for Myself
(BD)Will declare My praise.

The Shortcomings of Israel

22 “Yet you have not called on Me, Jacob;
But you have become (BE)weary of Me, Israel.
23 You have (BF)not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings,
Nor have you (BG)honored Me with your sacrifices.
I have not (BH)burdened you with [e]offerings,
Nor wearied you with (BI)incense.
24 You have not bought Me [f](BJ)sweet cane with money,
Nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices;
Rather, you have burdened Me with your sins,
You have (BK)wearied Me with your wrongdoings.

25 “I, I alone, am the one who (BL)wipes out your wrongdoings (BM)for My own sake,
And I will (BN)not remember your sins.
26 [g]Meet Me in court, (BO)let’s argue our case together;
State your cause, (BP)so that you may be proved right.
27 Your (BQ)first [h]forefather sinned,
And your [i](BR)spokesmen have rebelled against Me.
28 So I will profane the [j]officials of the sanctuary,
And I will turn Jacob over to (BS)destruction and Israel to (BT)abuse.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 43:3 Or Ethiopia
  2. Isaiah 43:13 As in LXX; MT from the day
  3. Isaiah 43:14 Another reading is As for the Chaldeans, their rejoicing is turned into mourning
  4. Isaiah 43:14 Lit of their rejoicing
  5. Isaiah 43:23 Or a meal offering
  6. Isaiah 43:24 Or calamus
  7. Isaiah 43:26 Or Report to Me
  8. Isaiah 43:27 Lit father
  9. Isaiah 43:27 Or interpreters
  10. Isaiah 43:28 Or holy princes