Comfort for God’s People

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

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

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

“All people are like grass,(P)
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers(Q) and the flowers fall,
    because the breath(R) of the Lord blows(S) on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers(T) fall,
    but the word(U) of our God endures(V) forever.(W)

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

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

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

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

21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(BH)
Has it not been told(BI) you from the beginning?(BJ)
    Have you not understood(BK) since the earth was founded?(BL)
22 He sits enthroned(BM) above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.(BN)
He stretches out the heavens(BO) like a canopy,(BP)
    and spreads them out like a tent(BQ) to live in.(BR)
23 He brings princes(BS) to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.(BT)
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root(BU) in the ground,
than he blows(BV) on them and they wither,(BW)
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.(BX)

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

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

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

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silent(A) before me, you islands!(B)
    Let the nations renew their strength!(C)
Let them come forward(D) and speak;
    let us meet together(E) at the place of judgment.

“Who has stirred(F) up one from the east,(G)
    calling him in righteousness(H) to his service[a]?(I)
He hands nations over to him
    and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust(J) with his sword,
    to windblown chaff(K) with his bow.(L)
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,(M)
    by a path his feet have not traveled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling(N) forth the generations from the beginning?(O)
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last(P)—I am he.(Q)

The islands(R) have seen it and fear;
    the ends of the earth(S) tremble.
They approach and come forward;
    they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!(T)
The metalworker(U) encourages the goldsmith,(V)
    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.(W)

“But you, Israel, my servant,(X)
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,(Y)
    you descendants of Abraham(Z) my friend,(AA)
I took you from the ends of the earth,(AB)
    from its farthest corners I called(AC) you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;(AD)
    I have chosen(AE) you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear,(AF) for I am with you;(AG)
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen(AH) you and help(AI) you;
    I will uphold you(AJ) with my righteous right hand.(AK)

11 “All who rage(AL) against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;(AM)
those who oppose(AN) you
    will be as nothing and perish.(AO)
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.(AP)
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing(AQ) at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand(AR)
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help(AS) you.
14 Do not be afraid,(AT) you worm(AU) Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help(AV) you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer,(AW) the Holy One(AX) of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,(AY)
    new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains(AZ) and crush them,
    and reduce the hills to chaff.(BA)
16 You will winnow(BB) them, the wind will pick them up,
    and a gale(BC) will blow them away.(BD)
But you will rejoice(BE) in the Lord
    and glory(BF) in the Holy One(BG) of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy search for water,(BH)
    but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.(BI)
But I the Lord will answer(BJ) them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake(BK) them.
18 I will make rivers flow(BL) on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert(BM) into pools of water,(BN)
    and the parched ground into springs.(BO)
19 I will put in the desert(BP)
    the cedar and the acacia,(BQ) the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers(BR) in the wasteland,
    the fir and the cypress(BS) together,(BT)
20 so that people may see and know,(BU)
    may consider and understand,(BV)
that the hand(BW) of the Lord has done this,
    that the Holy One(BX) of Israel has created(BY) it.

21 “Present your case,(BZ)” says the Lord.
    “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.(CA)
22 “Tell us, you idols,
    what is going to happen.(CB)
Tell us what the former things(CC) were,
    so that we may consider them
    and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,(CD)
23     tell us what the future holds,
    so we may know(CE) that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,(CF)
    so that we will be dismayed(CG) and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing(CH)
    and your works are utterly worthless;(CI)
    whoever chooses you is detestable.(CJ)

25 “I have stirred(CK) up one from the north,(CL) and he comes—
    one from the rising sun who calls on my name.
He treads(CM) on rulers as if they were mortar,
    as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26 Who told of this from the beginning,(CN) so we could know,
    or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?
No one told of this,
    no one foretold(CO) it,
    no one heard any words(CP) from you.
27 I was the first to tell(CQ) Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’
    I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.(CR)
28 I look but there is no one(CS)
    no one among the gods to give counsel,(CT)
    no one to give answer(CU) when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false!
    Their deeds amount to nothing;(CV)
    their images(CW) are but wind(CX) and confusion.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Or east, / whom victory meets at every step

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant,(A) whom I uphold,
    my chosen one(B) in whom I delight;(C)
I will put my Spirit(D) on him,
    and he will bring justice(E) to the nations.(F)
He will not shout or cry out,(G)
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed(H) he will not break,(I)
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.(J)
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;(K)
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice(L) on earth.
    In his teaching(M) the islands(N) will put their hope.”(O)

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens,(P) who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth(Q) with all that springs from it,(R)
    who gives breath(S) to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called(T) you in righteousness;(U)
    I will take hold of your hand.(V)
I will keep(W) you and will make you
    to be a covenant(X) for the people
    and a light(Y) for the Gentiles,(Z)
to open eyes that are blind,(AA)
    to free(AB) captives from prison(AC)
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.(AD)

“I am the Lord;(AE) that is my name!(AF)
    I will not yield my glory to another(AG)
    or my praise to idols.(AH)
See, the former things(AI) have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce(AJ) them to you.”

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing(AK) to the Lord a new song,(AL)
    his praise(AM) from the ends of the earth,(AN)
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,(AO)
    you islands,(AP) and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness(AQ) and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar(AR) lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela(AS) sing for joy;
    let them shout from the mountaintops.(AT)
12 Let them give glory(AU) to the Lord
    and proclaim his praise(AV) in the islands.(AW)
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,(AX)
    like a warrior(AY) he will stir up his zeal;(AZ)
with a shout(BA) he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.(BB)

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,(BC)
    I have been quiet and held myself back.(BD)
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
    I cry out, I gasp and pant.(BE)
15 I will lay waste(BF) the mountains(BG) and hills
    and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
    and dry up(BH) the pools.
16 I will lead(BI) the blind(BJ) by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light(BK) before them
    and make the rough places smooth.(BL)
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake(BM) them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
    who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’(BN)
    will be turned back in utter shame.(BO)

Israel Blind and Deaf

18 “Hear, you deaf;(BP)
    look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind(BQ) but my servant,(BR)
    and deaf like the messenger(BS) I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant(BT) with me,
    blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
    your ears are open, but you do not listen.”(BU)
21 It pleased the Lord
    for the sake(BV) of his righteousness
    to make his law(BW) great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered(BX) and looted,
    all of them trapped in pits(BY)
    or hidden away in prisons.(BZ)
They have become plunder,
    with no one to rescue them;(CA)
they have been made loot,
    with no one to say, “Send them back.”

23 Which of you will listen to this
    or pay close attention(CB) in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
    and Israel to the plunderers?(CC)
Was it not the Lord,(CD)
    against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow(CE) his ways;
    they did not obey his law.(CF)
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,(CG)
    the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames,(CH) yet they did not understand;(CI)
    it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.(CJ)

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves(A) to your own husbands(B) so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over(C) without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.(D) Rather, it should be that of your inner self,(E) the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.(F) For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God(G) used to adorn themselves.(H) They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.(I) You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands,(J) in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Suffering for Doing Good

Finally, all of you, be like-minded,(K) be sympathetic, love one another,(L) be compassionate and humble.(M) Do not repay evil with evil(N) or insult with insult.(O) On the contrary, repay evil with blessing,(P) because to this(Q) you were called(R) so that you may inherit a blessing.(S) 10 For,

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a](T)

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?(U) 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.(V) “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c](W) 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer(X) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope(Y) that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience,(Z) so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.(AA) 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will,(AB) to suffer for doing good(AC) than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once(AD) for sins,(AE) the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.(AF) He was put to death in the body(AG) but made alive in the Spirit.(AH) 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits(AI) 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently(AJ) in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.(AK) In it only a few people, eight in all,(AL) were saved(AM) through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you(AN) also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience(AO) toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,(AP) 22 who has gone into heaven(AQ) and is at God’s right hand(AR)—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Peter 3:12 Psalm 34:12-16
  2. 1 Peter 3:14 Or fear what they fear
  3. 1 Peter 3:14 Isaiah 8:12
  4. 1 Peter 3:19 Or but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also
  5. 1 Peter 3:21 Or but an appeal to God for a clear conscience

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