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Isaiah 39:1-41:16

The Babylonian king’s messengers

39 At that time, Babylon’s King Merodach-baladan, Baladan’s son, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been ill and had recovered. Hezekiah was pleased, and he showed them his treasury—the silver and the gold, the spices and fine oil—and everything in his armory, all that was found in his storerooms. There wasn’t a thing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah didn’t show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say? Where did they come from?”

Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant land, from Babylon.”

So Isaiah said, “What did they see in your house?”

Hezekiah said, “They saw everything in my house. There was nothing in my storerooms that I didn’t show them.”

Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of heavenly forces: Days are coming when all that is in your house, which your ancestors have stored up until this day, will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. Some of your sons, your own descendants whom you fathered, will be taken to become eunuchs in the king of Babylon’s palace.”

Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s word that you delivered is good,” since he thought, That means there will be peace and security in my lifetime.

Comfort for God’s people

40 Comfort, comfort my people!
says your God.
Speak compassionately to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended,
that her penalty has been paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins!

A voice is crying out:
“Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!
Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!
Every valley will be raised up,
and every mountain and hill will be flattened.
Uneven ground will become level,
and rough terrain a valley plain.
The Lord’s glory will appear,
and all humanity will see it together;
the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”

A voice was saying:
“Call out!”
And another[a] said,
“What should I call out?”
All flesh is grass;
all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field.
The grass dries up
and the flower withers
when the Lord’s breath blows on it.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass dries up;
the flower withers,
but our God’s word will exist forever.

Go up on a high mountain,
messenger Zion!
Raise your voice and shout,
messenger Jerusalem!
Raise it; don’t be afraid;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Here is the Lord God,
coming with strength,
with a triumphant arm,
bringing his reward with him
and his payment before him.
11 Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;
he will gather lambs in his arms
and lift them onto his lap.
He will gently guide the nursing ewes.

The incomparable God

12 Who has measured the waters in the palm of a hand
or gauged the heavens with a ruler
or scooped the earth’s dust up in a measuring cup
or weighed the mountains on a scale
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who directed the Lord’s spirit
and acted as God’s advisor?
14 Whom did he consult for enlightenment?
Who taught him the path of justice and knowledge
and explained to him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket,
and valued as dust on a scale.
Look, God weighs the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon doesn’t have enough fuel;
its animals aren’t enough for an entirely burned offering.
17 All the nations are like nothing before God.
They are viewed as less than nothing and emptiness.

18 So to whom will you equate God;
to what likeness will you compare him?
19 An idol? A craftsman pours it,
a metalworker covers it with gold,
and fashions silver chains.
20 The one who sets up an image chooses wood that won’t rot[b]
and then seeks a skilled artisan
to set up an idol that won’t move.
21 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
Wasn’t it announced to you from the beginning?
Haven’t you understood since the earth was founded?
22 God inhabits the earth’s horizon—
its inhabitants are like locusts—
stretches out the skies like a curtain
and spreads it out like a tent for dwelling.
23 God makes dignitaries useless
and the earth’s judges into nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely is their shoot rooted in the earth
when God breathes on them, and they dry up;
the windstorm carries them off like straw.
25 So to whom will you compare me,
and who is my equal? says the holy one.

Power for the weary

26 Look up at the sky and consider:
Who created these?
The one who brings out their attendants one by one,
summoning each of them by name.
Because of God’s great strength
and mighty power, not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, Jacob,
and declare, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord
my God ignores my predicament”?
28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He doesn’t grow tired or weary.
His understanding is beyond human reach,
29 giving power to the tired
and reviving the exhausted.
30 Youths will become tired and weary,
young men will certainly stumble;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will fly up on wings like eagles;
they will run and not be tired;
they will walk and not be weary.

Victor from the east

41 Be quiet before me, coastlands.
Let the nations renew their strength.
Let them approach and speak.
Let’s draw near for a judgment.
Who has awakened one from the east
and has authority to summon him to serve—
giving him nations,
conquering kings,
making them like dust with his sword,
like scattered straw with his bow?
He pursues them and passes untouched,
needing no path for his feet.
Who has acted and who has done this,
calling upon generation after generation since the beginning?
I, the Lord, was first,
and I will be the last!

The coastlands see and fear;
the ends of the earth tremble;
they draw near and arrive.
Each helps the other,
each saying to the other, “Take courage!”
The craftsman encourages the metalworker;
the one who smoothes with the hammer
encourages the one who strikes the anvil,
saying of the welding, “That’s good,”
and strengthening it with nails so it won’t move.

Israel as God’s servant

But you, Israel my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham, whom I love,
you whom I took from the ends of the earth
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant;
I chose you and didn’t reject you”:
10 Don’t fear, because I am with you;
don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
I will surely help you;
I will hold you
with my righteous strong hand.
11 All who rage against you will be shamed and disgraced.
Those who contend with you
will be as nothing and will perish.
12 You will look for your opponents,
and won’t find them.
Those who fight you will be of no account and will die.
13 I am the Lord your God,
who grasps your strong hand,
who says to you,
Don’t fear; I will help you.
14 Don’t fear, worm of Jacob,
people of Israel!
I will help you, says the Lord.
The holy one of Israel is your redeemer.
15 Look, I’ve made you
into a new threshing tool with sharp teeth.
You will thresh mountains and pulverize them;
you will reduce hills to straw.
16 When you winnow them,
the wind will carry them off;
the tempest will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the Lord
and take pride in the holy one of Israel.


  1. Isaiah 40:6 MT; DSS (1QIsaa), LXX I
  2. Isaiah 40:20 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Ephesians 1


From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will.

To the holy and faithful people in Christ Jesus in Ephesus.[a]

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The believers’ blessings

Bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven. God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world. God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to us freely through the Son whom he loves. We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding. God revealed his hidden design[b] to us, which is according to his goodwill and the plan that he intended to accomplish through his Son. 10 This is what God planned for the climax of all times:[c] to bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth. 11 We have also received an inheritance in Christ. We were destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design. 12 We are called to be an honor to God’s glory because we were the first to hope in Christ. 13 You too heard the word of truth in Christ, which is the good news of your salvation. You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because you believed in Christ. 14 The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance, which is applied toward our redemption as God’s own people, resulting in the honor of God’s glory.

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians

15 Since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, this is the reason that 16 I don’t stop giving thanks to God for you when I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, 19 and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength. 20 God’s power was at work in Christ when God raised him from the dead and sat him at God’s right side in the heavens, 21 far above every ruler and authority and power and angelic power, any power that might be named not only now but in the future. 22 God put everything under Christ’s feet and made him head of everything in the church, 23 which is his body. His body, the church, is the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way.


  1. Ephesians 1:1 The location of Ephesus was added in some later manuscripts, probably to make the opening of this letter similar to the others in the collection of Paul’s letters.
  2. Ephesians 1:9 Or mystery
  3. Ephesians 1:10 Or the fullness of times
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 66

Psalm 66

For the music leader. A song. A psalm.

66 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth!
Sing praises to the glory of God’s name!
Make glorious his praise!
Say to God:
“How awesome are your works!
Because of your great strength,
your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you,
sings praises to you,
sings praises to your name!” Selah

Come and see God’s deeds;
his works for human beings are awesome:
He turned the sea into dry land
so they could cross the river on foot.
Right there we rejoiced in him!
God rules with power forever;
keeps a good eye on the nations.
So don’t let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

All you nations, bless our God!
Let the sound of his praise be heard!
God preserved us among the living;
he didn’t let our feet slip a bit.

10 But you, God, have tested us—
you’ve refined us like silver,
11 trapped us in a net,
laid burdens on our backs,
12 let other people run right over our heads—
we’ve been through fire and water.

But you brought us out to freedom!
13 So I’ll enter your house
with entirely burned offerings.
I’ll keep the promises I made to you,
14 the ones my lips uttered,
the ones my mouth spoke when I was in deep trouble.
15 I will offer the best burned offerings to you
along with the smoke of sacrificed rams.
I will offer both bulls and goats. Selah

16 Come close and listen,
all you who honor God;
I will tell you what God has done for me:
17 My mouth cried out to him
with praise on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished evil in my heart,
my Lord would not have listened.
19 But God definitely listened.
He heard the sound of my prayer.
20 Bless God! He didn’t reject my prayer;
he didn’t withhold his faithful love from me.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Proverbs 23:25-28

25 Your father and your mother will rejoice;
she who gave you birth will be happy.

26 My child, give your mind to me
and let your eyes keep to my path.
27 A prostitute is a deep pit,
and a foreign woman is a narrow well.
28 Indeed, she ambushes like a robber
and increases the number of the faithless.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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