Isaiah 44 New International Version (NIV)
Israel the Chosen
44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
The Lord, Not Idols
6 “This is what the Lord says—
9 All who make idols are nothing,
12 The blacksmith takes a tool
21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
Jerusalem to Be Inhabited
24 “This is what the Lord says—
I am the Lord,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’
Isaiah 44 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Blessings of Israel
44 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant,
6 “For the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts says this,
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
The Folly of Idolatry
9 All who make carved idols are nothing. Their precious objects are worthless [to them], and their own witnesses (worshipers) fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has made a god or cast an idol which is profitable for nothing? 11 In fact, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble, let them stand up, let them be terrified, let them together be put to shame.
12 The ironsmith shapes iron and uses a chisel and works it over the coals. He forms the [idol’s] core with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He also becomes hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and grows tired. 13 The carpenter stretches out a measuring line, he marks out the shape [of the idol] with red chalk; he works it with planes and outlines it with the compass; and he makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, that it may sit in a house. 14 He cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and lets it grow strong for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also kindles a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god [from the same wood] and worships it. He makes it into a carved idol [with his own hands] and falls down and worships it! 16 He burns half of the wood in the fire; over this half he [cooks and] eats meat, he roasts meat and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But from what is left of the wood he makes a god, his carved idol. He falls down before it, he worships it and prays to it and says, “Save me, for you are my god.”
18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for God has muddied their eyes so that they cannot see, and their hearts (minds) as well so that they cannot understand. 19 No one remembers, nor has knowledge and understanding [enough] to say [to himself], “I have burned half of this log in the fire, and also baked bread on its coals and have roasted meat and eaten it. Then I make the rest of it into an repulsive thing [to God]; I bow down [to worship] before a block of wood!” 20 That kind of man (the idolater) feeds on ashes [and is satisfied with ashes]! A deceived mind has led him astray, so that he cannot save himself, or ask, “Is this thing [that I am holding] in my right hand not a lie?”
God Forgives and Redeems
24 For the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb says this,
“I am the Lord, Maker of all things,
Isaiah 44 The Message (MSG)
Proud to Be Called Israel
44 1-5 “But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen—
6-8 God, King of Israel,
Lover of Emptiness
9-11 All those who make no-god idols don’t amount to a thing, and what they work so hard at making is nothing. Their little puppet-gods see nothing and know nothing—they’re total embarrassments! Who would bother making gods that can’t do anything, that can’t “god”? Watch all the no-god worshipers hide their faces in shame. Watch the no-god makers slink off humiliated when their idols fail them. Get them out here in the open. Make them face God-reality.
12 The blacksmith makes his no-god, works it over in his forge, hammering it on his anvil—such hard work! He works away, fatigued with hunger and thirst.
13-17 The woodworker draws up plans for his no-god, traces it on a block of wood. He shapes it with chisels and planes into human shape—a beautiful woman, a handsome man, ready to be placed in a chapel. He first cuts down a cedar, or maybe picks out a pine or oak, and lets it grow strong in the forest, nourished by the rain. Then it can serve a double purpose: Part he uses as firewood for keeping warm and baking bread; from the other part he makes a god that he worships—carves it into a god shape and prays before it. With half he makes a fire to warm himself and barbecue his supper. He eats his fill and sits back satisfied with his stomach full and his feet warmed by the fire: “Ah, this is the life.” And he still has half left for a god, made to his personal design—a handy, convenient no-god to worship whenever so inclined. Whenever the need strikes him he prays to it, “Save me. You’re my god.”
18-19 Pretty stupid, wouldn’t you say? Don’t they have eyes in their heads? Are their brains working at all? Doesn’t it occur to them to say, “Half of this tree I used for firewood: I baked bread, roasted meat, and enjoyed a good meal. And now I’ve used the rest to make an abominable no-god. Here I am praying to a stick of wood!”
20 This lover of emptiness, of nothing, is so out of touch with reality, so far gone, that he can’t even look at what he’s doing, can’t even look at the no-god stick of wood in his hand and say, “This is crazy.”
21-22 “Remember these things, O Jacob.
23 High heavens, sing!
24 God, your Redeemer,
25-28 He makes the magicians look ridiculous
Isaiah 44 King James Version (KJV)
44 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:
2 Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
5 One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.
6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?
11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.
12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.
14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.
15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.
16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:
17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.
18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.
19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?
21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
Isaiah 44 New Living Translation (NLT)
44 “But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant,
The Foolishness of Idols
6 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:
“I am the First and the Last;
9 How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
12 The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool,
18 Such stupidity and ignorance!
Restoration for Jerusalem
21 “Pay attention, O Jacob,
23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing.
24 This is what the Lord says—
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