Isaiah 44 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Lord Is the Only God
44 The Lord says,
“Listen now, Israel, my servant,
my chosen people, the descendants of Jacob.
2 I am the Lord who created you;
from the time you were born, I have helped you.
Do not be afraid; you are my servant,
my chosen people whom I love.
3 “I will give water to the thirsty land
and make streams flow on the dry ground.
I will pour out my spirit on your children
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will thrive like well-watered grass,
like willows by streams of running water.
5 “One by one, people will say, ‘I am the Lord's.’
They will come to join the people of Israel.
They each will mark the name of the Lord on their arms
and call themselves one of God's people.”
6 The Lord, who rules and protects Israel,
the Lord Almighty, has this to say:
“I am the first, the last, the only God;
there is no other god but me.
7 Could anyone else have done what I did?
Who could have predicted all that would happen
from the very beginning to the end of time?
8 Do not be afraid, my people!
You know that from ancient times until now
I have predicted all that would happen,
and you are my witnesses.
Is there any other god?
Is there some powerful god I never heard of?”
Idolatry Is Ridiculed
9 All those who make idols are worthless, and the gods they prize so highly are useless. Those who worship these gods are blind and ignorant—and they will be disgraced. 10 It does no good to make a metal image to worship as a god! 11 Everyone who worships it will be humiliated. The people who make idols are human beings and nothing more. Let them come and stand trial—they will be terrified and will suffer disgrace.
12 The metalworker takes a piece of metal and works with it over a fire. His strong arm swings a hammer to pound the metal into shape. As he works, he gets hungry, thirsty, and tired.
13 The carpenter measures the wood. He outlines a figure with chalk, carves it out with his tools, and makes it in the form of a man, a handsome human figure, to be placed in his house. 14 He might cut down cedars to use, or choose oak or cypress wood from the forest. Or he might plant a laurel tree and wait for the rain to make it grow. 15 A person uses part of a tree for fuel and part of it for making an idol. With one part he builds a fire to warm himself and bake bread; with the other part he makes a god and worships it. 16 With some of the wood he makes a fire; he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He warms himself and says, “How nice and warm! What a beautiful fire!” 17 The rest of the wood he makes into an idol, and then he bows down and worships it. He prays to it and says, “You are my god—save me!”
18 Such people are too stupid to know what they are doing. They close their eyes and their minds to the truth. 19 The maker of idols hasn't the wit or the sense to say, “Some of the wood I burned up. I baked some bread on the coals, and I roasted meat and ate it. And the rest of the wood I made into an idol. Here I am bowing down to a block of wood!”
20 It makes as much sense as eating ashes. His foolish ideas have so misled him that he is beyond help. He won't admit to himself that the idol he holds in his hand is not a god at all.
The Lord, the Creator and Savior
21 The Lord says,
“Israel, remember this;
remember that you are my servant.
I created you to be my servant,
and I will never forget you.
22 I have swept your sins away like a cloud.
Come back to me; I am the one who saves you.”
23 Shout for joy, you heavens!
Shout, deep places of the earth!
Shout for joy, mountains, and every tree of the forest!
The Lord has shown his greatness
by saving his people Israel.
24 “I am the Lord, your savior;
I am the one who created you.
I am the Lord, the Creator of all things.
I alone stretched out the heavens;
when I made the earth, no one helped me.
25 I make fools of fortunetellers
and frustrate the predictions of astrologers.
The words of the wise I refute
and show that their wisdom is foolishness.
26 But when my servant makes a prediction,
when I send a messenger to reveal my plans,
I make those plans and predictions come true.
I tell Jerusalem that people will live there again,
and the cities of Judah that they will be rebuilt.
Those cities will rise from the ruins.
27 With a word of command I dry up the ocean.
28 I say to Cyrus, ‘You are the one who will rule for me;
you will do what I want you to do:
you will order that Jerusalem be rebuilt
and that the foundations of the Temple be laid.’”
Isaiah 44 New International Version (NIV)
Israel the Chosen
44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 This is what the Lord says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and will take the name Israel.
The Lord, Not Idols
6 “This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
9 All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.
12 The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.
Jerusalem to Be Inhabited
24 “This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord,
the Maker of all things,
who stretches out the heavens,
who spreads out the earth by myself,
25 who foils the signs of false prophets
and makes fools of diviners,
who overthrows the learning of the wise
and turns it into nonsense,
26 who carries out the words of his servants
and fulfills the predictions of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’
of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
and I will dry up your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’