“Comfort, comfort my people. 2 Speak kindly to ·the people of Jerusalem [L Jerusalem] and tell them that their time of ·service [or warfare] is finished, that ·they have paid for their sins [or her sins are pardoned], that ·the Lord has punished Jerusalem [L she has received from the Lord] ·twice [double] for every sin they did.” 3 This is the voice of one who calls out: “Prepare in the ·desert [wilderness] the way for the Lord. Make a straight road in the ·dry lands [arid plain] for our God. 4 Every valley will be ·raised up [elevated], and every mountain and hill will be made ·flat [level; low]. The rough ground will be ·made level [smoothed out], and the rugged ground will be made ·smooth [into a plain]. 5 Then the glory of the Lord[C his manifest presence] will be ·shown [revealed], and all ·people [flesh] together will see it. ·The Lord himself said these things [L For the mouth of the Lord has spoken].”
6 A voice says, “Cry out!” Then I[a] said, “What shall I cry out?”
“Say all ·people [flesh] are like the grass, and all their glory[b] is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass ·dies [withers] and the flowers fall when the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are like grass. 8 The grass ·dies [withers] and the flowers fall, but the word of our God will ·live [endure; stand] forever.” 9 ·Jerusalem [L Zion], ·you have good news to tell [herald of good news]. Go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, ·you have good news to tell [herald of good news]. Shout out loud the good news. Shout it out and don’t be afraid. Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God.” 10 Look, the Lord God is coming with power ·to rule all the people [L his arm rules for him]. Look, ·he will bring reward for his people [L his reward is with him]; ·he will have their payment with him [L his payment/prize is before him]. 11 He ·takes care of his people [L tends his flock] like a shepherd. He gathers them like lambs in his arms and carries them ·close to him [on his chest/bosom]. He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.
God Is Supreme
12 Who has measured the ·oceans [L waters] in the ·palm [hollow] of his hand? Who has used ·his hand [L a span; C the distance between the extended thumb and little finger] to measure the ·sky [heavens]? Who has used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth and ·scales to weigh the mountains and [L a balance (to weigh) the] hills? 13 Who has ·known [comprehended; or directed; or measured] the ·mind [or Spirit] of the Lord or been able to ·give him advice [instruct him as counselor; Job 38:2; Rom. 11:34]? 14 Whom did he ·ask for help [take counsel from]? Who taught him the ·right way [path/way of justice/judgment]? Who taught him knowledge and showed him the way to understanding?
15 [L Look; T Behold] The nations are like one small drop in a bucket; they are ·no more than [regarded as] the dust on his measuring scales. ·To him the islands are no more than fine dust on his scales [L He weighs/or lifts the coastlands/islands like fine dust]. 16 ·All the trees in Lebanon are not enough [L Lebanon is not sufficient] for the altar fires, and all the animals in Lebanon are not enough for burnt offerings. 17 ·Compared to the Lord[L Before him] all the nations are worth nothing; to him they are ·less than nothing [L nothing and void/empty].
18 To whom can you compare God? To what image can you compare him? 19 An idol is ·formed [cast] by a craftsman, and a goldsmith ·covers [overlays] it with gold and ·makes [forms; refines] silver chains for it. 20 A poor person cannot ·buy those expensive statues [make such an offering], so he finds a tree that will not rot. Then he finds a skilled craftsman to make it into an idol that will not fall over.
21 ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] know. ·Surely you have [L Have you not…?] heard. ·Surely [L Has not…?] from the beginning someone told you. ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] understand ·how the earth was created [or from the foundations of the earth]. 22 ·God sits on his throne [L He sits] above the ·circle [horizon] of the earth, and ·compared to him, [L its] people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the ·skies [heavens] like a ·piece of cloth [canopy; curtain] and spreads them out like a tent to ·sit under [or live in]. 23 He makes rulers ·unimportant [nothing] and the judges of this world ·worth nothing [insignificant; useless]. 24 ·They are like plants that are placed in the ground [L Indeed, they are barely planted], ·like seeds that are planted [L indeed, they are barely sown]. ·As soon as they begin to grow strong [L Indeed, they barely take root], he blows on them and they ·die [wither], and the ·wind [storm; whirlwind] blows them away like ·chaff [straw].
25 The Holy One [1:4], says, “To whom can you compare me? Is anyone equal to me?” 26 Look up to the ·skies [heavens]. Who created ·all these stars [L these]? He leads out the ·army [hosts] of heaven one by one and calls ·all the stars [L them all] by name. Because ·he is strong and powerful [L of his great strength and mighty power], not one of them is missing.
27 ·People of Jacob [L Jacob], why do you complain? ·People of Israel [L Israel], why do you say, “The Lord does not see ·what happens to me [L my way/path]; he ·does not care if I am treated fairly [disregards my cause]”? 28 ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] know. ·Surely you have [L Have you not…?] heard. The Lord is the ·God who lives forever [everlasting God], who created ·all [L the ends of] the ·world [earth]. He does not become tired or ·need to rest [weary]. No one can ·understand [fathom; comprehend] how great his ·wisdom [knowledge] is. 29 He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. 30 Even ·children [youths; young people] become tired and ·need to rest [weary], and young ·people [men] ·trip and fall [fall in exhaustion]. 31 But the people who ·trust [hope in; wait on] the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up ·as an eagle in the sky [L with wings like eagles]; they will run and not ·need rest [grow weary]; they will walk and not ·become tired [T faint].
Isaiah 40:6I The Dead Sea Scrolls and come Greek copies read “I.” Some Hebrew copies read “he,” meaning a second voice responds to the first.
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