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Isaiah 41 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel Assured of God’s Help

41 “Keep silence before Me, O coastlands,
And let the people renew their strength!
Let them come near, then let them speak;
Let us come near together for judgment.

“Who raised up one from the east?
Who in righteousness called him to His feet?
Who gave the nations before him,
And made him rule over kings?
Who gave them as the dust to his sword,
As driven stubble to his bow?
Who pursued them, and passed [a]safely
By the way that he had not gone with his feet?
Who has performed and done it,
Calling the generations from the beginning?
‘I, the Lord, am the first;
And with the last I am He.’ ”

The coastlands saw it and feared,
The ends of the earth were afraid;
They drew near and came.
Everyone helped his neighbor,
And said to his brother,
[b]“Be of good courage!”
So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith;[c]
He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil,
Saying, [d]“It is ready for the soldering”;
Then he fastened it with pegs,
That it might not totter.

“But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

11 “Behold, all those who were incensed against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
They shall be as nothing,
And those who strive with you shall perish.
12 You shall seek them and not find them—
[e]Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.
13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob,
You men of Israel!
I will help you,” says the Lord
And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth;
You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them;
You shall rejoice in the Lord,
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.
19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree,
The myrtle and the oil tree;
I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine
And the box tree together,
20 That they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
“Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob.
22 “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen;
Let them show the former things, what they were,
That we may [f]consider them,
And know the latter end of them;
Or declare to us things to come.
23 Show the things that are to come hereafter,
That we may know that you are gods;
Yes, do good or do evil,
That we may be dismayed and see it together.
24 Indeed you are nothing,
And your work is nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

25 “I have raised up one from the north,
And he shall come;
From the [g]rising of the sun he shall call on My name;
And he shall come against princes as though mortar,
As the potter treads clay.
26 Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?
And former times, that we may say, ‘He is righteous’?
Surely there is no one who shows,
Surely there is no one who declares,
Surely there is no one who hears your words.
27 The first time I said to Zion,
‘Look, there they are!’
And I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings.
28 For I looked, and there was no man;
I looked among them, but there was no counselor,
Who, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
29 Indeed they are all [h]worthless;
Their works are nothing;
Their molded images are wind and confusion.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:3 Lit. in peace
  2. Isaiah 41:6 Lit. Be strong
  3. Isaiah 41:7 refiner
  4. Isaiah 41:7 Or The soldering is good
  5. Isaiah 41:12 Lit. Men of your strife
  6. Isaiah 41:22 Lit. set our heart on them
  7. Isaiah 41:25 East
  8. Isaiah 41:29 So with MT, Vg.; DSS, Syr., Tg. nothing; LXX omits first line
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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 Baker Publishing Group

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