Israel Encouraged

41 (A)Listen to Me (B)in silence, you coastlands,
And let the peoples (C)gain new strength;
(D)Let them come forward, then let them speak;
(E)Let’s come together for judgment.
(F)Who has stirred one from the east
Whom He (G)calls in righteousness to His [a]feet?
He (H)turns nations over to him
And subdues kings.
He makes them like (I)dust with his sword,
Like the wind-driven (J)chaff with his bow.
He pursues them, passing on in safety,
By a way he had not been [b]traversing with his feet.
(K)Who has performed and accomplished it,
Summoning the generations from the beginning?
(L)I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. (M)I am He.’”

The (N)coastlands have seen and are afraid;
The (O)ends of the earth tremble;
They have approached and have come.
Each one helps his neighbor
And says to his brother, “Be strong!”
So the (P)craftsman encourages the (Q)smelter,
And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil,
Saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
And he fastens it with nails,
(R)So that it will not totter.
“But you, Israel, (S)My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of (T)Abraham My (U)friend,
You whom I have [c](V)taken from the ends of the earth
And called from its (W)remotest parts,
And said to you, ‘You are (X)My servant,
I have (Y)chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 Do not (Z)fear, for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, (AA)I will also help you,
I will also uphold you with My righteous (AB)right hand.’
11 Behold, (AC)all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
(AD)Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.
12 (AE)You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them,
Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent.
13 For I am the Lord your God (AF)who takes hold of your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘(AG)Do not fear, I will help you.’
14 Do not fear, you (AH)worm Jacob, you people of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and (AI)your [d]Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I turned you into a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges;
(AJ)You will thresh the (AK)mountains and pulverize them,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 You will (AL)winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
And the storm will scatter them;
But you will (AM)rejoice in the Lord,
You will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy are seeking (AN)water, but there is none,
And their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, (AO)will answer them Myself;
As the God of Israel I (AP)will not abandon them.
18 I will open (AQ)rivers on the bare heights,
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make (AR)the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land fountains of water.
19 I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia, the (AS)myrtle, and the olive tree;
I will place the (AT)juniper in the desert,
Together with the elm tree and the cypress,
20 So that (AU)they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the (AV)hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 [e]Present your case,” the Lord says.
“Bring forward your evidence,”
The (AW)King of Jacob says.
22 (AX)Let them bring them forward and declare to us what is going to take place;
As for the (AY)former events, declare what they were,
So that we may consider them and know their outcome.
Or announce to us what is coming;
23 (AZ)Declare the things that are going to come afterward,
So that we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, (BA)do good or evil, that we may be afraid and fear together.
24 Behold, (BB)you are less than nothing,
And (BC)your work is less than nothing!
He who chooses you is an (BD)abomination.

25 “I have put (BE)one from the north into motion, and he has come;
From the rising of the sun he will call on My name;
And he will come upon rulers as upon [f](BF)mortar,
As the potter treads on clay.”
26 Who has (BG)declared this from the beginning, that we might know?
Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”?
There was (BH)no one at all who declared,
There was no one at all who proclaimed,
There was no one at all who heard your words.
27 (BI)Previously I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’
And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a (BJ)messenger of good news.’
28 But (BK)when I look, there is no one,
And there is no (BL)counselor [g]among them
Who, if I ask, can (BM)give an answer.
29 Behold, all of them are [h]false;
Their (BN)works are (BO)nothing,
Their cast metal images are (BP)wind and emptiness.


  1. Isaiah 41:2 Lit foot
  2. Isaiah 41:3 Lit going
  3. Isaiah 41:9 Lit seized
  4. Isaiah 41:14 Or Redeemer, the Holy One
  5. Isaiah 41:21 Lit Bring near
  6. Isaiah 41:25 I.e., the building material
  7. Isaiah 41:28 Lit out of those
  8. Isaiah 41:29 Another reading is nothing

The Helper of Israel

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

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

The islands(R) have seen it and fear;
    the ends of the earth(S) tremble.
They approach and come forward;
    they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!(T)
The metalworker(U) encourages the goldsmith,(V)
    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.(W)

“But you, Israel, my servant,(X)
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,(Y)
    you descendants of Abraham(Z) my friend,(AA)
I took you from the ends of the earth,(AB)
    from its farthest corners I called(AC) you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;(AD)
    I have chosen(AE) you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear,(AF) for I am with you;(AG)
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen(AH) you and help(AI) you;
    I will uphold you(AJ) with my righteous right hand.(AK)

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

17 “The poor and needy search for water,(BH)
    but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.(BI)
But I the Lord will answer(BJ) them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake(BK) them.
18 I will make rivers flow(BL) on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert(BM) into pools of water,(BN)
    and the parched ground into springs.(BO)
19 I will put in the desert(BP)
    the cedar and the acacia,(BQ) the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers(BR) in the wasteland,
    the fir and the cypress(BS) together,(BT)
20 so that people may see and know,(BU)
    may consider and understand,(BV)
that the hand(BW) of the Lord has done this,
    that the Holy One(BX) of Israel has created(BY) it.

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

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


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