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Isaiah 41 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The Nations Chose Idols, but the Lord Chose Israel

    “Be silent and listen to me, you coastlands.
    Let the people gain new strength.
    Let them come near and speak.
    Let us come together for judgment.

“Who has raised up from the east
    someone to whom the Lord gives victory with every step he takes?
        Nations are handed over to him.
            He defeats kings.
            With his sword he turns them into dust.
            With his bow he turns them into straw blown by the wind.
            He chases them, marching by safely
                on a path his feet have never traveled before.
Who has accomplished this?
Who has determined the course of history from the beginning?
    I, the Lord, was there first, and I will be there to the end.
    I am the one!”

The coastlands have seen him and are afraid.
The ends of the earth tremble.
    They have come near and gathered together.
People help their neighbors
    and say to their relatives, “Be brave!”
Craftsmen encourage goldsmiths.
Metalsmiths encourage blacksmiths who work at their anvils.
    They say that their soldering is good.
        And they fasten things with nails so they won’t move.

“But you are my servant Israel,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the descendant of Abraham, my dear friend.
I have taken you from the ends of the earth
    and called you from its most distant places.
I said to you, ‘You are my servant.
    I’ve chosen you; I haven’t rejected you.’
10 Don’t be afraid, because I am with you.
Don’t be intimidated; I am your God.
    I will strengthen you.
    I will help you.
    I will support you with my victorious right hand.

11 “Everyone who is angry with you
    will be ashamed and disgraced.
Those who oppose you
    will be reduced to nothing and disappear.
12 You will search for your enemies,
    but you will not find them.
Those who are at war with you
    will be reduced to nothing and no longer exist.
13 I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand
    and say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid; I will help you.’
14 Don’t be afraid, Jacob, you worm.
You people of Israel, I will help you,”
    declares the Lord, your Defender, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “I am going to make you into a new threshing[a] sledge
    with sharp, double-edged teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them to dust.
    You will turn the hills into straw.
16 You will winnow[b] them.
    The wind will carry them away.
    The windstorm will scatter them.
But you will find joy in the Lord
    and praise the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy are looking for water, but there is none.
    Their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them.
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.
18     I will make rivers flow on bare hilltops.
    I will make springs flow through valleys.
        I will turn deserts into lakes.
        I will turn dry land into springs.
19     I will plant cedar, acacia, myrtle, and wild olive trees in the desert.
    I will place cedar, fir, and cypress trees together in the wilderness.
20 People will see and know.
Together they will consider and understand
    that the Lord’s power has done this,
    that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
“Bring forward your best arguments,” says Jacob’s king.
22 “Bring your idols so they can tell us what’s going to happen.
    Explain past events that your idols told you about
        so that we may consider them
            and know what their outcome will be.
                Tell us about future events.
23     Tell us what’s going to happen
        so that we may know that you are gods.
    Yes, do something, good or evil,
        to intimidate us and make us afraid.
24 You are nothing!
You can’t do anything!
    Whoever chooses you is disgusting.

25 “I have raised up someone from the north, and he has come.
    He will call on my name from the east.
    He will attack rulers as if they were mud,
        as if he were treading on clay like a potter.
26 Who revealed this from the beginning so that we could know it?
Who revealed this from the past so that we could say that he was right?
    No one revealed it.
    No one announced it.
    No one heard your words.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are.’
I gave Jerusalem a messenger with the good news.
28 When I look, there is no one.
    There is no one to advise them.
When I ask them a question,
    will they give an answer?
29 All of them are nothing.[c]
    They can’t do anything.
    Their statues are nothing but air.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:15 Threshing is the process of beating stalks to separate them from the grain.
  2. Isaiah 41:16 Winnowing is the process of separating husks from grain.
  3. Isaiah 41:29 Dead Sea Scrolls, Syriac, Targum; Masoretic Text “They are false.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Isaiah 41 New International Version (NIV)

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silent before me, you islands!
    Let the nations renew their strength!
Let them come forward and speak;
    let us meet together at the place of judgment.

“Who has stirred up one from the east,
    calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?
He hands nations over to him
    and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
    to windblown chaff with his bow.
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
    by a path his feet have not traveled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last—I am he.

The islands have seen it and fear;
    the ends of the earth tremble.
They approach and come forward;
    they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!
The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,
    and the one who smooths with the hammer
    spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.
One says of the welding, “It is good.”
    The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.

“But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
    new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
    and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
    and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy search for water,
    but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
    and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
    the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
    the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
    may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
    that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
    “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22 “Tell us, you idols,
    what is going to happen.
Tell us what the former things were,
    so that we may consider them
    and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,
23     tell us what the future holds,
    so we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
    so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing
    and your works are utterly worthless;
    whoever chooses you is detestable.

25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes—
    one from the rising sun who calls on my name.
He treads on rulers as if they were mortar,
    as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,
    or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?
No one told of this,
    no one foretold it,
    no one heard any words from you.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’
    I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28 I look but there is no one
    no one among the gods to give counsel,
    no one to give answer when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false!
    Their deeds amount to nothing;
    their images are but wind and confusion.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Or east, / whom victory meets at every step
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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