41 “Be silent before me, you coastlands, and let the people renew their strength! Let them come forward, then let them speak together— let’s draw near for a ruling. 2 Who has aroused victory from the east, and[a] has summoned it to his service, and[b] has handed over nations to him? Who brings down kings, and[c] turns them into dust with his sword, into windblown stubble with his bow? 3 And[d] who pursues them and[e] moves on unscathed by a path that his feet don’t know?[f] 4 Who has performed and carried this out, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord—the first and will be with the last —I am the One!”
Idolaters Encourage Each Other
5 “The coastlands have looked and are afraid; the ends of the earth have drawn near together[g] and come forward. 6 Each helps his neighbor, saying[h] to each other, ‘Be strong!’ 7 The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and the hammersmith[i] encourages the one who strikes the anvil. He says[j] about the welding, ‘It’s good!’ and he reinforces it with nails so that it won’t topple.”
The Lord Encourages Israel
8 “But as for you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I’ve chosen, the offspring of my friend Abraham— 9 you whom I encouraged from the ends of the earth and called from its farthest corners, and told you, ‘You’re my servant, I’ve chosen you and haven’t cast you aside.’ 10 Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m truly helping you. I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.”
The Coming Defeat of God’s Enemies
11 “Look! All who are enraged at you will be put to shame and disgraced; those who contend with you will all die.[k] 12 Those who quarrel with you[l] will be as nothing; those who fight you like nothing at all!”
A Call to Courage
13 “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’ll help you. 14 Don’t be afraid, you little worm Jacob, and[m] you insects of Israel! I myself will help you,’[n] declares the Lord, your[o] Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
A Promise of Victory
15 “See, I’m making you[p] into a new, sharp, and multi-tooth threshing sledge. You’ll thresh and crush the mountains, and make the hills like chaff. 16 You’ll winnow them, and the wind will lift them up, and a tempest will blow them away. Then you’ll rejoice in the Lord, and[q] you’ll make your boast in the Holy One of Israel.”
17 “As for the poor, the needy, those seeking[r] water— when there is none and their tongues are parched from thirst— I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, won’t abandon them. 18 I’ll open up rivers on the barren heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I’ll turn the[s] desert into a pool of water, and the parched land into springs of water. 19 I’ll put cedar trees in the wilderness, along with acacia, myrtle, and olive trees. I’ll plant cypresses in the desert— box[t] trees, and pine trees together— 20 all so that people may see and recognize, perceive,[u] consider, and comprehend at the same time, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
Can God’s Enemies Predict the Future?
21 “Put forward your case!” says the Lord. “Submit your arguments!” says Jacob’s King. 22 Let them approach and ask us, ‘What will happen? As to the former things, what were they? Tell us, so that we may consider them and know. Or[v] the latter things or the things to come— let us hear. 23 Tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods! Yes, do something good or something bad, so we may hear[w] and gaze at it together.’”
24 “Look! You and your work are less than nothing;[x] whoever finds you pleasing is disgusting.”
25 “You are stirring up[y] one from the north, and they are coming[z] from the rising of the sun; and[aa] he will be called by his[ab] name. Rulers will arrive like mud;[ac] just[ad] like a potter, he will trample the clay. 26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know, or beforehand, so we could ask, ‘Is it right?’[ae] Indeed, no one told of this, no one made an announcement, and no one heard your words: 27 First, to Zion: “There is slumber.”[af] And to Jerusalem: “I’ll send a messenger with good news.” 28 But when I look, there is no one— among them there’s no one to give counsel, no one to give an answer when I ask them. 29 See, none of them exist, and their deeds are nothing.[ag] Their metal images are only wind and confusion.’”
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