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Isaiah 44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God’s Blessing on Israel

44 But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
    Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the Lord who made you,
    who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,
    Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
    and my blessing on your offspring.
They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
    like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,”
    another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, “The Lord’s,”
    and adopt the name of Israel.

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.
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
    let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?[a]
    Let them tell us[b] what is yet to be.
Do not fear, or be afraid;
    have I not told you from of old and declared it?
    You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
    There is no other rock; I know not one.

The Absurdity of Idol Worship

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know. And so they will be put to shame. 10 Who would fashion a god or cast an image that can do no good? 11 Look, all its devotees shall be put to shame; the artisans too are merely human. Let them all assemble, let them stand up; they shall be terrified, they shall all be put to shame.

12 The ironsmith fashions it[c] and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging 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, marks it out with a stylus, fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he makes it in human form, with human beauty, to be set up in a shrine. 14 He cuts down cedars or chooses a holm 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 can be used as fuel. Part of it he takes and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Then he makes a god and worships it, makes it a carved image and bows down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!” 17 The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it and worships it; he prays to it and says, “Save me, for you are my god!”

18 They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, 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. Now 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 mind has led him astray, and he cannot save himself or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?”

Israel Is Not Forgotten

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 swept away 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 in the womb:
I am the Lord, who made all things,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who by myself spread out the earth;
25 who frustrates the omens of liars,
    and makes fools of diviners;
who turns back the wise,
    and makes their knowledge foolish;
26 who confirms the word of his servant,
    and fulfills the prediction of his messengers;
who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,”
    and of the cities of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt,
    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 carry out all my purpose”;
and who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 44:7 Cn: Heb from my placing an eternal people and things to come
  2. Isaiah 44:7 Tg: Heb them
  3. Isaiah 44:12 Cn: Heb an ax
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 44 Common English Bible (CEB)

You are my witnesses

44 But now hear this, Jacob my servant,
    and Israel, whom I have chosen.
The Lord your maker,
    who formed you in the womb and will help you, says:
    Don’t fear, my servant Jacob,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
I will pour out water upon thirsty ground
    and streams upon dry land.
I will pour out my spirit upon your descendants
    and my blessing upon your offspring.
They will spring up from among the reeds
    like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,”
        and that one will be named after Jacob.
    Another will write on his hand, “The Lord’s”
        and will take the name Israel.

The Lord, Israel’s king and redeemer,
    the Lord of heavenly forces, says:
I am the first, and I am the last,
    and besides me there are no gods.
Who is like me?
    Let them speak up, explain it, and lay it out for me.
Who announced long ago what is to be?[a]
    Let them tell us[b] what is to come.
Don’t tremble; have no fear!
    Didn’t I proclaim it?
    Didn’t I inform you long ago?
You are my witnesses!
    Is there a God besides me?
    There is no other rock; I know of none.

Idol-makers mocked

Idol-makers are all as nothing;
    their playthings do no good.
Their promoters neither see nor know anything,
    so they ought to be ashamed.
10 Who would form a god or cast an idol
    that does no good?
11 All its worshippers will be ashamed,
    and its artisans, who are only human.
They will all gather and stand,
    tremble and be ashamed together.
12 A blacksmith with his tools
    works it over coals,
    and shapes it with hammers,
    and works it with his strong arm.
He even becomes hungry and weak.
    If he didn’t drink water, he’d pass out.
13 A carpenter stretches out a string,
    marks it out with a stylus,
    fashions it with carving tools,
    and marks it with a compass.
He makes it into a human form,
    like a splendid human,
    to live in a temple.
14 He cuts down cedars for himself,
    or chooses a cypress[c] or oak,
    selecting from all the trees of the forest.
    He plants a pine,[d] and the rain makes it grow.
15     It becomes suitable to burn for humans,
        so he takes some of the wood and warms himself.
    He kindles fire and bakes bread.
He fashions a god and worships it;
    he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of it he burns in the fire;
    on that half he roasts and eats meat, and he is satisfied.
He warms himself and says,
    “Ah, I’m warm, watching the fire!”
17 And the rest of it he makes into a god,
    into his idol,
    and he bows down, worships, and prays to it, saying, “Save me, for you are my god!”
18 They don’t know or comprehend,
    for their eyes can’t see
    and their minds can’t comprehend.
19 He doesn’t think,
    and has no knowledge or understanding to think:
Half of it I burned in the fire,
    and I baked bread on its coals,
    and roasted meat and ate.
Should I make the rest into something detestable?
    Should I bow down to a block of wood?
20 He’s feeding on ashes;
    his deluded mind has led him astray.
He can’t save himself and say,
    “Isn’t this thing in my hand a lie?”

Promises to Jacob and Jerusalem

21 Remember these things, Jacob;
    Israel, for you are my servant.
I formed you; you are my servant!
    I won’t forget you, Israel.
22 I swept away your rebellions like a cloud,
    and your sins like fog.
Return to me,
    because I have redeemed you.

23 Sing, heavens, for the Lord has acted;
    shout, depths of the earth!
Burst out with a ringing cry,
you mountains, forest, and every tree in it.
The Lord has redeemed Jacob,
    and will glorify himself through Israel.

24 The Lord your redeemer
    who formed you in the womb says:
I am the Lord, the maker of all,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who spread out the earth by myself,
25     who frustrates the omens of diviners
        and makes a mockery of magicians,
    who turns back the wise
        and turns their knowledge into folly.
26     But who confirms the word of my[e] servant,
        and fulfills the predictions of my messengers;
    who says about Jerusalem, “It will be resettled”;
        and who says about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt,
        and I will restore their ruins”;
27         who says to the ocean depths,
    “Dry up; I will dry your streams”;
28     who says about Cyrus, “My shepherd—
        he will do all that I want”;
    who says about Jerusalem,
        “She will be rebuilt”;
    and who says about the temple,
        “You will be founded once again.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 44:7 Or Since I placed an ancient people and coming things
  2. Isaiah 44:7 Or them
  3. Isaiah 44:14 Species uncertain
  4. Isaiah 44:14 Species uncertain
  5. Isaiah 44:26 Or his; also in next line
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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