Isaiah 44 English Standard Version (ESV)
Israel the Lord's Chosen
44 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the Lord who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O 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 my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, ‘I am the Lord's,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord's,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Besides Me There Is No God
6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
8 Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”
The Folly of Idolatry
9 All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
12 The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
The Lord Redeems Israel
21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
and will be glorified in Israel.
24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
25 who frustrates the signs of liars
and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
26 who confirms the word of his servant
and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
and I will raise up their ruins’;
27 who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
I will dry up your rivers’;
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”
Isaiah 44 New English Translation (NET Bible)
The Lord Will Renew Israel
44 “Now, listen, Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!”
2 This is what the Lord, the one who made you, says—
the one who formed you in the womb and helps you:
“Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen!
3 For I will pour water on the parched ground
and cause streams to flow on the dry land.
I will pour my spirit on your offspring
and my blessing on your children.
4 They will sprout up like a tree in the grass,
like poplars beside channels of water.
5 One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord,’
and another will use the name ‘Jacob.’
One will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and use the name ‘Israel.’”
The Absurdity of Idolatry
6 This is what the Lord, Israel’s king, says,
their protector, the Lord who commands armies:
“I am the first and I am the last,
there is no God but me.
7 Who is like me? Let him make his claim!
Let him announce it and explain it to me—
since I established an ancient people—
let them announce future events!
8 Don’t panic! Don’t be afraid!
Did I not tell you beforehand and decree it?
You are my witnesses! Is there any God but me?
There is no other sheltering rock; I know of none.
9 All who form idols are nothing;
the things in which they delight are worthless.
Their witnesses cannot see;
they recognize nothing, so they are put to shame.
10 Who forms a god and casts an idol
that will prove worthless?
11 Look, all his associates will be put to shame;
the craftsmen are mere humans.
Let them all assemble and take their stand!
They will panic and be put to shame.
12 A blacksmith works with his tool
and forges metal over the coals.
He forms it with hammers;
he makes it with his strong arm.
He gets hungry and loses his energy;
he drinks no water and gets tired.
13 A carpenter takes measurements;
he marks out an outline of its form;
he scrapes it with chisels,
and marks it with a compass.
He patterns it after the human form,
like a well-built human being,
and puts it in a shrine.
14 He cuts down cedars
and acquires a cypress or an oak.
He gets trees from the forest;
he plants a cedar and the rain makes it grow.
15 A man uses it to make a fire;
he takes some of it and warms himself.
Yes, he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
Then he makes a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of it he burns in the fire—
over that half he cooks meat;
he roasts a meal and fills himself.
Yes, he warms himself and says,
‘Ah! I am warm as I look at the fire.’
17 With the rest of it he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships it.
He prays to it, saying,
‘Rescue me, for you are my god!’
18 They do not comprehend or understand,
for their eyes are blind and cannot see;
their minds do not discern.
19 No one thinks to himself,
nor do they comprehend or understand and say to themselves:
‘I burned half of it in the fire—
yes, I baked bread over the coals;
I roasted meat and ate it.
With the rest of it should I make a disgusting idol?
Should I bow down to dry wood?’
20 He feeds on ashes;
his deceived mind misleads him.
He cannot rescue himself,
nor does he say, ‘Is this not a false god I hold in my right hand?’
21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
O Israel, for you are my servant.
I formed you to be my servant;
O Israel, I will not forget you!
22 I remove the guilt of your rebellious deeds as if they were a cloud,
the guilt of your sins as if they were a cloud.
Come back to me, for I protect you.”
23 Shout for joy, O sky, for the Lord intervenes;
shout out, you subterranean regions of the earth.
O mountains, give a joyful shout;
you too, O forest and all your trees!
For the Lord protects Jacob;
he reveals his splendor through Israel.
The Lord Empowers Cyrus
24 This is what the Lord, your protector, says,
the one who formed you in the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made everything,
who alone stretched out the sky,
who fashioned the earth all by myself,
25 who frustrates the omens of the empty talkers
and humiliates the omen readers,
who overturns the counsel of the wise men
and makes their advice seem foolish,
26 who fulfills the oracles of his prophetic servants
and brings to pass the announcements of his messengers,
who says about Jerusalem, ‘She will be inhabited,’
and about the towns of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt,
her ruins I will raise up,’
27 who says to the deep sea, ‘Be dry!
I will dry up your sea currents,’
28 who commissions Cyrus, the one I appointed as shepherd
to carry out all my wishes
and to decree concerning Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’
and concerning the temple, ‘It will be reconstructed.’”
New English Translation (NET)
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