The Greatness of God
40 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak [a]tenderly to Jerusalem,
And call out to her, that her time of compulsory service in warfare is finished,
That her wickedness has been taken away [since her punishment is sufficient],
That she has received from the Lord’s hand
Double [punishment] for all her sins.”
A voice of one is calling out,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness [remove the obstacles];
Make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God.(A)
“Every valley shall be raised,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged places a broad valley.
“And the glory and majesty and splendor of the Lord will be revealed,
And all humanity shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”(B)
A voice says, “Call out [prophesy].”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
[The voice answered:] All humanity is [as frail as] grass, and all that makes it attractive [its charm, its loveliness] is [momentary] like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Most certainly [all] the people are [like] grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.(C)
O Zion, herald of good news,
Get up on a high mountain.
O Jerusalem, herald of good news,
Lift up your voice with strength,
Lift it up, do not fear;
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”(D)
Listen carefully, the Lord God will come with might,
And His arm will rule for Him.
Most certainly His reward is with Him,
And His restitution accompanies Him.(E)
He will protect His flock like a shepherd,
He will gather the lambs in His arm,
He will carry them in His bosom;
He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens with a span [of the hand],
And calculated the dust of the earth with a [b]measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or has taught Him as His counselor?(F)
With whom did He consult and who enlightened Him?
Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
In fact, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Now look, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
And [the forests of] Lebanon cannot supply sufficient fuel to start a fire,
Nor are its wild beasts enough for a burnt offering [worthy of the Lord].
All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.
To whom then will you liken God?
Or with what likeness will you compare Him?(G)
As for the cast image (idol), a metalworker casts it,
A goldsmith overlays it with gold
And a silversmith casts its silver chains.
He who is too impoverished for such an offering [to give to his god]
Chooses a tree that will not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To [carve and] set up an idol that will not totter.
Do you [who worship idols] not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth [the omnipotence of God and the stupidity of bowing to idols]?(H)
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
[It is He] who stretches out the heavens like a veil
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
It is He who reduces dignitaries to nothing,
Who makes the judges (rulers) of the earth meaningless (useless).
Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And a strong wind carries them away like stubble.
“To whom then will you compare Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these heavenly bodies,
The One who brings out their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one is missing.
Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become tired or grow weary;
There is no searching of His understanding.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who has no might He increases power.(I)
Even youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired.(J)
- Isaiah 40:2 Lit to the heart of.
- Isaiah 40:12 Lit third.
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