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Isaiah 40Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

40 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her,
that her warfare is accomplished,
that her iniquity is pardoned:
for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low:
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough places plain:
and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The voice said, Cry.
And he said, What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
the grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
lift up thy voice with strength;
lift it up, be not afraid;
say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand,
and his arm shall rule for him:
behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom,
and shall gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
and meted out heaven with the span,
and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales,
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord,
or being his counsellor hath taught him?
14 With whom took he counsel,
and who instructed him,
and taught him in the path of judgment,
and taught him knowledge,
and shewed to him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket,
and are counted as the small dust of the balance:
behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before him are as nothing;
and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

18 To whom then will ye liken God?
or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
19 The workman melteth a graven image,
and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold,
and casteth silver chains.
20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation
chooseth a tree that will not rot;
he seeketh unto him a cunning workman
to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard?
hath it not been told you from the beginning?
have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,
and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers;
that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain,
and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
23 that bringeth the princes to nothing;
he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
24 Yea, they shall not be planted;
yea, they shall not be sown:
yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth:
and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither,
and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.

25 To whom then will ye liken me,
or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
and behold who hath created these things,
that bringeth out their host by number:
he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might,
for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel,
My way is hid from the Lord,
and my judgment is passed over from my God?
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,
that the everlasting God, the Lord,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
fainteth not, neither is weary?
there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

Isaiah 40New International Version (NIV)

Comfort for God’s People

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

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

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

“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.

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

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

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

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

21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

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

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”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Footnotes:

  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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 40New Living Translation (NLT)

Comfort for God’s People

40 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
    says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone
    and her sins are pardoned.
Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over
    for all her sins.”

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
    for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
    for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
    and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
    and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
    The Lord has spoken!”[a]

A voice said, “Shout!”
    I asked, “What should I shout?”

“Shout that people are like the grass.
    Their beauty fades as quickly
    as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade
    beneath the breath of the Lord.
    And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

O Zion, messenger of good news,
    shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.[b]
    Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
    “Your God is coming!”
10 Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
    He will rule with a powerful arm.
    See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
    He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

The Lord Has No Equal

12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
    Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
    or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?[c]
    Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
    Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
    or show him the path of justice?

15 No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.
16 All the wood in Lebanon’s forests
    and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough
    to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.
17 The nations of the world are worth nothing to him.
    In his eyes they count for less than nothing—
    mere emptiness and froth.

18 To whom can you compare God?
    What image can you find to resemble him?
19 Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold,
    overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?
20 Or if people are too poor for that,
    they might at least choose wood that won’t decay
and a skilled craftsman
    to carve an image that won’t fall down!

21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand?
    Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began?
    Are you so ignorant?
22 God sits above the circle of the earth.
    The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
    and makes his tent from them.
23 He judges the great people of the world
    and brings them all to nothing.
24 They hardly get started, barely taking root,
    when he blows on them and they wither.
    The wind carries them off like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

26 Look up into the heavens.
    Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
    calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
    not a single one is missing.
27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
    O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28 Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Footnotes:

  1. 40:3-5 Greek version reads He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, / “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! / Clear a road for our God! / Fill in the valleys, / and level the mountains and hills. / And then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, / and all people will see the salvation sent from God. / The Lord has spoken!” Compare Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6.
  2. 40:9 Or O messenger of good news, shout to Zion from the mountaintops! Shout it louder to Jerusalem.
  3. 40:13 Greek version reads Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Compare Rom 11:34; 1 Cor 2:16.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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