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Isaiah 40Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

God’s People Comforted

40 “Comfort, comfort My people,”
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to[a] Jerusalem,
and announce to her
that her time of forced labor is over,
her iniquity has been pardoned,
and she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.”

A voice of one crying out:

Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness;
make a straight highway for our God in the desert.
Every valley will be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill will be leveled;
the uneven ground will become smooth
and the rough places, a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will appear,
and all humanity[b] together will see it,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
Another[c] said, “What should I cry out?”
“All humanity is grass,
and all its goodness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flowers fade
when the breath[d] of the Lord blows on them;[e]
indeed, the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.”

Zion, herald of good news,
go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, herald of good news,
raise your voice loudly.
Raise it, do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with strength,
and His power establishes His rule.
His reward is with Him,
and His gifts accompany Him.
11 He protects His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them in the fold of His garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains in a balance
and the hills in the scales?
13 Who has directed[f] the Spirit of the Lord,
or who gave Him His counsel?
14 Who did He consult with?
Who gave Him understanding
and taught Him the paths of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge
and showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered as a speck of dust in the scales;
He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not enough for fuel,
or its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him;
they are considered by Him
as nothingness and emptiness.

18 Who will you compare God with?
What likeness will you compare Him to?
19 To an idol?—something that a smelter casts,
and a metalworker plates with gold
and makes silver welds for it?
20 To one who shapes a pedestal,
choosing wood that does not rot?[g]
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not fall over.

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you
from the beginning?
Have you not considered
the foundations of the earth?
22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He reduces princes to nothing
and makes judges of the earth irrational.
24 They are barely planted, barely sown,
their stem hardly takes root in the ground
when He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble.

25 “Who will you compare Me to,
or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up[h] and see:
who created these?
He brings out the starry host by number;
He calls all of them by name.
Because of His great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust 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 faint.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit Speak to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:5 Lit flesh
  3. Isaiah 40:6 DSS, LXX, Vg read I
  4. Isaiah 40:7 Or wind, or Spirit
  5. Isaiah 40:7 Lit it
  6. Isaiah 40:13 Or measured, or comprehended
  7. Isaiah 40:20 Or who is too poor for such an offering, or who chooses mulberry wood as a votive gift; Hb obscure
  8. Isaiah 40:26 Lit Lift up your eyes on high
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