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Isaiah 41 New Century Version (NCV)

The Lord Will Help Israel

41 The Lord says, “Faraway countries, listen to me.
    Let the nations become strong.
Come to me and speak;
    we will meet together to decide who is right.

“Who caused the one to come from the east?
    Who gives him victories everywhere he goes?
The one who brought him gives nations over to him
    and defeats kings.
He uses his sword, and kings become like dust.
    He uses his bow, and they are blown away like chaff.
He chases them and is never hurt,
    going places he has never been before.
Who caused this to happen?
    Who has controlled history since the beginning?
I, the Lord, am the one. I was here at the beginning,
    and I will be here when all things are finished.”

All you faraway places, look and be afraid;
    all you places far away on the earth, shake with fear.
Come close and listen to me.
The workers help each other
    and say to each other, “Be strong!”
The craftsman encourages the goldsmith,
    and the workman who smooths the metal with a hammer encourages the one who shapes the metal.
He says, “This metal work is good.”
    He nails the statue to a base so it can’t fall over.

Only the Lord Can Save Us

The Lord says, “People of Israel, you are my servants.
    People of Jacob, I chose you.
    You are from the family of my friend Abraham.
I took you from places far away on the earth
    and called you from a faraway country.
I said, ‘You are my servants.’
    I have chosen you and have not turned against you.
10 So don’t worry, because I am with you.
    Don’t be afraid, because I am your God.
I will make you strong and will help you;
    I will support you with my right hand that saves you.

11 “All those people who are angry with you
    will be ashamed and disgraced.
Those who are against you
    will disappear and be lost.
12 You will look for your enemies,
    but you will not find them.
Those who fought against you
    will vanish completely.
13 I am the Lord your God,
    who holds your right hand,
and I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid.
    I will help you.’
14 You few people of Israel who are left,
    do not be afraid even though you are weak as a worm.
I myself will help you,” says the Lord.
    “The one who saves you is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Look, I have made you like a new threshing board
    with many sharp teeth.
So you will walk on mountains and crush them;
    you will make the hills like chaff.
16 You will throw them into the air, and the wind will carry them away;
    a windstorm will scatter them.
Then you will be happy in the Lord;
    you will be proud of the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy people look for water,
    but they can’t find any.
    Their tongues are dry with thirst.
But I, the Lord, will answer their prayers;
    I, the God of Israel, will not leave them to die.
18 I will make rivers flow on the dry hills
    and springs flow through the valleys.
I will change the desert into a lake of water
    and the dry land into fountains of water.
19 I will make trees grow in the desert—
    cedars, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees.
I will put pine, fir, and cypress trees
    growing together in the desert.
20 People will see these things and understand;
    they will think carefully about these things and learn
that the Lord’s power did this,
    that the Holy One of Israel made these things.”

The Lord Challenges False Gods

21 The Lord says, “Present your case.”
    The King of Jacob says, “Tell me your arguments.
22 Bring in your idols to tell us
    what is going to happen.
Have them tell us what happened in the beginning.
    Then we will think about these things,
    and we will know how they will turn out.
Or tell us what will happen in the future.
23 Tell us what is coming next
    so we will believe that you are gods.
Do something, whether it is good or bad,
    and make us afraid.
24 You gods are less than nothing;
    you can’t do anything.
    Those who worship you should be hated.

25 “I have brought someone to come out of the north[a]
    I have called by name a man from the east, and he knows me.
He walks on kings as if they were mud,
    just as a potter walks on the clay.
26 Who told us about this before it happened?
    Who told us ahead of time so we could say, ‘He was right’?
None of you told us anything;
    none of you told us before it happened;
    no one heard you tell about it.
27 I, the Lord, was the first one to tell Jerusalem that the people were coming home.
    I sent a messenger to Jerusalem with the good news.
28 I look at the idols, but there is not one that can answer.
    None of them can give advice;
    none of them can answer my questions.
29 Look, all these idols are false.
    They cannot do anything;
    they are worth nothing.

Footnotes:

  1. 41:25 someone . . . north This probably means Cyrus, a king of Persia.
New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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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