Envoys From Babylon(A)

39 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon(B) sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery. Hezekiah received the envoys(C) gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold,(D) the spices, the fine olive oil—his entire armory and everything found among his treasures.(E) There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,(F)” Hezekiah replied. “They came to me from Babylon.”

The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word(G) of the Lord Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.(H) Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.(I)

“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,(J)” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.(K)

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort(L) my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly(M) to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service(N) has been completed,(O)
    that her sin has been paid for,(P)
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double(Q) for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way(R) for the Lord[a];
make straight(S) in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b](T)
Every valley shall be raised up,(U)
    every mountain and hill(V) made low;
the rough ground shall become level,(W)
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory(X) of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.(Y)
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”(Z)

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,(AA)
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers(AB) and the flowers fall,
    because the breath(AC) of the Lord blows(AD) on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers(AE) fall,
    but the word(AF) of our God endures(AG) forever.(AH)

You who bring good news(AI) to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c](AJ)
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”(AK)
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes(AL) with power,(AM)
    and he rules(AN) with a mighty arm.(AO)
See, his reward(AP) is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:(AQ)
    He gathers the lambs in his arms(AR)
and carries them close to his heart;(AS)
    he gently leads(AT) those that have young.(AU)

12 Who has measured the waters(AV) in the hollow of his hand,(AW)
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?(AX)
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?(AY)
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d](AZ) of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?(BA)
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,(BB)
    or showed him the path of understanding?(BC)

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;(BD)
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.(BE)
16 Lebanon(BF) is not sufficient for altar fires,
    nor its animals(BG) enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations(BH) are as nothing;(BI)
    they are regarded by him as worthless
    and less than nothing.(BJ)

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?(BK)
    To what image(BL) will you liken him?
19 As for an idol,(BM) a metalworker casts it,
    and a goldsmith(BN) overlays it with gold(BO)
    and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
    selects wood(BP) that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
    to set up an idol(BQ) that will not topple.(BR)

21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(BS)
Has it not been told(BT) you from the beginning?(BU)
    Have you not understood(BV) since the earth was founded?(BW)
22 He sits enthroned(BX) above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.(BY)
He stretches out the heavens(BZ) like a canopy,(CA)
    and spreads them out like a tent(CB) to live in.(CC)
23 He brings princes(CD) to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.(CE)
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root(CF) in the ground,
than he blows(CG) on them and they wither,(CH)
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.(CI)

25 “To whom will you compare me?(CJ)
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.(CK)
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:(CL)
    Who created(CM) all these?
He who brings out the starry host(CN) one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,(CO)
    not one of them is missing.(CP)

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?(CQ)
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(CR)
The Lord is the everlasting(CS) God,
    the Creator(CT) of the ends of the earth.(CU)
He will not grow tired or weary,(CV)
    and his understanding no one can fathom.(CW)
29 He gives strength(CX) to the weary(CY)
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men(CZ) stumble and fall;(DA)
31 but those who hope(DB) in the Lord
    will renew their strength.(DC)
They will soar on wings like eagles;(DD)
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.(DE)

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silent(DF) before me, you islands!(DG)
    Let the nations renew their strength!(DH)
Let them come forward(DI) and speak;
    let us meet together(DJ) at the place of judgment.

“Who has stirred(DK) up one from the east,(DL)
    calling him in righteousness(DM) to his service[e]?(DN)
He hands nations over to him
    and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust(DO) with his sword,
    to windblown chaff(DP) with his bow.(DQ)
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,(DR)
    by a path his feet have not traveled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling(DS) forth the generations from the beginning?(DT)
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last(DU)—I am he.(DV)

The islands(DW) have seen it and fear;
    the ends of the earth(DX) tremble.
They approach and come forward;
    they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!(DY)
The metalworker(DZ) encourages the goldsmith,(EA)
    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.(EB)

“But you, Israel, my servant,(EC)
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,(ED)
    you descendants of Abraham(EE) my friend,(EF)
I took you from the ends of the earth,(EG)
    from its farthest corners I called(EH) you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;(EI)
    I have chosen(EJ) you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear,(EK) for I am with you;(EL)
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen(EM) you and help(EN) you;
    I will uphold you(EO) with my righteous right hand.(EP)

11 “All who rage(EQ) against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;(ER)
those who oppose(ES) you
    will be as nothing and perish.(ET)
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.(EU)
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing(EV) at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand(EW)
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help(EX) you.
14 Do not be afraid,(EY) you worm(EZ) Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help(FA) you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer,(FB) the Holy One(FC) of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,(FD)
    new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains(FE) and crush them,
    and reduce the hills to chaff.(FF)
16 You will winnow(FG) them, the wind will pick them up,
    and a gale(FH) will blow them away.(FI)
But you will rejoice(FJ) in the Lord
    and glory(FK) in the Holy One(FL) of Israel.


  1. Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord
  2. Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good news
  4. Isaiah 40:13 Or mind
  5. Isaiah 41:2 Or east, / whom victory meets at every step

Paul, an apostle(A) of Christ Jesus by the will of God,(B)

To God’s holy people(C) in Ephesus,[a](D) the faithful(E) in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.(F)

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,(G) who has blessed us in the heavenly realms(H) with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us(I) in him before the creation of the world(J) to be holy and blameless(K) in his sight. In love(L) he[b] predestined(M) us for adoption to sonship[c](N) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure(O) and will— to the praise of his glorious grace,(P) which he has freely given us in the One he loves.(Q) In him we have redemption(R) through his blood,(S) the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches(T) of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery(U) of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed(V) in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment(W)—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.(X)

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined(Y) according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose(Z) of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.(AA) 13 And you also were included in Christ(AB) when you heard the message of truth,(AC) the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal,(AD) the promised Holy Spirit,(AE) 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance(AF) until the redemption(AG) of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.(AH)

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus(AI) and your love for all God’s people,(AJ) 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you,(AK) remembering you in my prayers.(AL) 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,(AM) may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom(AN) and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened(AO) in order that you may know the hope to which he has called(AP) you, the riches(AQ) of his glorious inheritance(AR) in his holy people,(AS) 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power(AT) is the same as the mighty strength(AU) 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead(AV) and seated him at his right hand(AW) in the heavenly realms,(AX) 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion,(AY) and every name(AZ) that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.(BA) 22 And God placed all things under his feet(BB) and appointed him to be head(BC) over everything for the church, 23 which is his body,(BD) the fullness of him(BE) who fills everything in every way.(BF)

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  1. Ephesians 1:1 Some early manuscripts do not have in Ephesus.
  2. Ephesians 1:5 Or sight in love. He
  3. Ephesians 1:5 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
  4. Ephesians 1:9 Or us with all wisdom and understanding. And he
  5. Ephesians 1:11 Or were made heirs
  6. Ephesians 1:17 Or a spirit

Psalm 66

For the director of music. A song. A psalm.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!(A)
    Sing the glory of his name;(B)
    make his praise glorious.(C)
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!(D)
    So great is your power
    that your enemies cringe(E) before you.
All the earth bows down(F) to you;
    they sing praise(G) to you,
    they sing the praises of your name.”[a]

Come and see what God has done,
    his awesome deeds(H) for mankind!
He turned the sea into dry land,(I)
    they passed through(J) the waters on foot—
    come, let us rejoice(K) in him.
He rules forever(L) by his power,
    his eyes watch(M) the nations—
    let not the rebellious(N) rise up against him.

Praise(O) our God, all peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives(P)
    and kept our feet from slipping.(Q)
10 For you, God, tested(R) us;
    you refined us like silver.(S)
11 You brought us into prison(T)
    and laid burdens(U) on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;(V)
    we went through fire and water,
    but you brought us to a place of abundance.(W)

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings(X)
    and fulfill my vows(Y) to you—
14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
    when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
    and an offering of rams;
    I will offer bulls and goats.(Z)

16 Come and hear,(AA) all you who fear God;
    let me tell(AB) you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
    his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened;(AC)
19 but God has surely listened
    and has heard(AD) my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
    who has not rejected(AE) my prayer
    or withheld his love from me!

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  1. Psalm 66:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 7 and 15.

25 May your father and mother rejoice;
    may she who gave you birth be joyful!(A)

Saying 18

26 My son,(B) give me your heart
    and let your eyes delight in my ways,(C)
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,(D)
    and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait(E)
    and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

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