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Isaiah 40 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Comfort My People

    “Comfort my people! Comfort them!” says your God.
    “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and announce to it
    that its time of hard labor is over
        and its wrongs have been paid for.
            It has received from the Lord double for all its sins.”

A voice cries out in the desert:

“Clear a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway in the wilderness for our God.
    Every valley will be raised.
    Every mountain and hill will be lowered.
    Steep places will be made level.
    Rough places will be made smooth.
Then the Lord’s glory will be revealed
    and all people will see it together.
        The Lord has spoken.”

A voice called, “Call out!”

I asked, “What should I call out?”

“Call out: All people are like grass,
    and all their beauty is like a flower in the field.
Grass dries up,
    and flowers wither when the Lord’s breath blows on them.
        Yes, people are like grass.
Grass dries up,
    and flowers wither,
        but our God’s word will last forever.”

Go up a high mountain, Zion.
    Tell the good news!
Call out with a loud voice, Jerusalem.
    Tell the good news!
Raise your voice without fear.
    Tell the cities of Judah:
        “Here is your God!”

10 The Almighty Lord is coming with power
    to rule with authority.
His reward is with him,
    and the people he has won arrive ahead of him.
11 Like a shepherd he takes care of his flock.
    He gathers the lambs in his arms.
    He carries them in his arms.
    He gently helps the sheep and their lambs.

God Gives Strength to Those Who Depend on Him

12 Who has measured the water of the sea[a] with the palm of his hand
    or measured the sky with the length of his hand?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a bushel basket
    or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills on a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord
    or instructed him as his adviser?
14         Whom did he consult?
        Who gave him understanding?
        Who taught him the right way?
        Who taught him knowledge?
        Who informed him about the way to understanding?

15 The nations are like a drop in a bucket
    and are considered to be like dust on a scale.
The weight of the islands is like fine dust.
16 All the trees in Lebanon are not enough to burn an offering.
    Its wild animals are not enough for a single burnt offering.
17 All the nations amount to nothing in his presence.
    He considers them less than nothing and worthless.
18 To whom, then, can you compare God?
To what statue can you compare him?

19 Craftsmen make idols.
    Goldsmiths cover them with gold.
        Silversmiths make silver chains for them.
20 The poorest people choose wood that will not rot
    and search out skillful craftsmen
        to set up idols that will not fall over.
21 Don’t you know?
    Haven’t you heard?
        Haven’t you been told from the beginning?
            Don’t you understand the foundations of the earth?
22 God is enthroned above the earth,
    and those who live on it are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the sky like a canopy
    and spreads it out like a tent to live in.
23 He makes rulers unimportant
    and makes earthly judges worth nothing.
24 They have hardly been planted.
They have hardly been sown.
They have hardly taken root in the ground.
    Then he blows on them and they wither,
        and a windstorm sweeps them away like straw.
25 “To whom, then, can you compare me?
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

26 Look at the sky and see.
    Who created these things?
    Who brings out the stars one by one?
        He calls them all by name.
Because of the greatness of his might and the strength of his power,
    not one of them is missing.
27 Jacob, why do you complain?
Israel, why do you say,
    “My way is hidden from the Lord,
        and my rights are ignored by my God”?
28 Don’t you know?
    Haven’t you heard?
The eternal God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
    doesn’t grow tired or become weary.
        His understanding is beyond reach.
29 He gives strength to those who grow tired
    and increases the strength of those who are weak.
30 Even young people grow tired and become weary,
    and young men will stumble and fall.
31 Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord
    will be renewed.
        They will soar on wings like eagles.
            They will run and won’t become weary.
            They will walk and won’t grow tired.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:12 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text “Who has measured the water.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Isaiah 40 New International Version (NIV)

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
    that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b]
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.

You who bring good news to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c]
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
    and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
    nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
    they are regarded by him as worthless
    and less than nothing.

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
    To what image will you liken him?
19 As for an idol, a metalworker casts it,
    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
    and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
    selects wood that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
    to set up an idol that will not topple.

21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord
  2. Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good news
  4. Isaiah 40:13 Or mind
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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