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Isaiah 40:12–15

12  qWho has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

and marked off the heavens with a span,

enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure

and weighed the mountains in scales

and the hills in a balance?

13  rWho has measured7 the Spirit of the Lord,

or what man shows him his counsel?

14  Whom did he consult,

and who made him understand?

sWho taught him the path of justice,

and taught him knowledge,

and showed him the way of understanding?

15  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

and are accounted tas the dust on the scales;

behold, he takes up uthe coastlands like fine dust.

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Isaiah 40:12–15 — The New International Version (NIV)

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 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.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

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 counseller 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.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — New Living Translation (NLT)

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?

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.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,

Measured heaven with a span

And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?

Weighed the mountains in scales

And the hills in a balance?

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,

Or as His counselor has taught Him?

14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,

And taught Him in the path of justice?

Who taught Him knowledge,

And showed Him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,

And are counted as the small dust on the scales;

Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — New Century Version (NCV)

12 Who has measured the oceans in the palm of his hand?

Who has used his hand to measure the sky?

Who has used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth

and scales to weigh the mountains and hills?

13 Who has known the mind of the Lord

or been able to give him advice?

14 Whom did he ask for help?

Who taught him the right way?

Who taught him knowledge

and showed him the way to understanding?

15 The nations are like one small drop in a bucket;

they are no more than the dust on his measuring scales.

To him the islands are no more than fine dust on his scales.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — American Standard Version (ASV)

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 Jehovah, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out the heavens with his span, and grasped the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales? 13 Who hath directed the Spirit of Jehovah, and, as his counsellor, hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who gave him intelligence, and instructed him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are esteemed as a drop of the bucket, and as the fine dust on the scales; behold, he taketh up the isles as an atom.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

12 Who has measured the water of the seawith the palm of his hand 

or measured the sky with the length of his hand? 

Who has held the dust of the earth in a bushel basket 

or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills on a balance? 

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord 

or instructed him as his adviser? 

14 Whom did he consult? 

Who gave him understanding? 

Who taught him the right way? 

Who taught him knowledge? 

Who informed him about the way to understanding? 

15 The nations are like a drop in a bucket 

and are considered to be like dust on a scale. 

The weight of the islands is like fine dust. 

Isaiah 40:12–15 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?

Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure

or weighed the mountains in a balance

and the hills in the scales?

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,

or who gave Him His counsel?

14 Who did He consult with?

Who gave Him understanding

and taught Him the paths of justice?

Who taught Him knowledge

and showed Him the way of understanding?

15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;

they are considered as a speck of dust in the scales;

He lifts up the islands like fine dust.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

and marked off the heavens with a span,

enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,

and weighed the mountains in scales

and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,

or as his counselor has instructed him?

14 Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,

and who taught him the path of justice?

Who taught him knowledge,

and showed him the way of understanding?

15 Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

and are accounted as dust on the scales;

see, he takes up the isles like fine dust.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

and marked off the heavens with a span,

comprehended the dust of the earth in a third of a measure

and weighed out the mountains in the scales, and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has measured up the spirit of Yahweh

or informed him as his counselor?

14 With whom has he consulted, that he enlightened him

and taught him the path of justice,

and taught him knowledge,

and made the way of understanding known to him?

15 Look! The nations are like a drop from a bucket,

and they are counted like dust of the balances!

Look! He weighs the islands like a thin covering.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

12 Who has measured the oceans by using the palm of his hand?

Who has used the width of his hand to mark off the sky?

Who has measured out the dust of the earth in a basket?

Who has weighed the mountains on scales?

Who has weighed the hills in a balance?

13 Who can ever understand what is in the Lord’s mind?

Who can ever give him advice?

14 Did the Lord have to ask anyone to help him understand?

Did he have to ask someone to teach him the right way?

Who taught him what he knows?

Who showed him how to understand?

15 The nations are only a drop in a bucket to him.

He considers them as nothing but dust on the scales.

He weighs the islands as if they were only fine dust.

Isaiah 40:12–15 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,

And marked off the heavens by the span,

And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,

And weighed the mountains in a balance

And the hills in a pair of scales?

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,

Or as His counselor has informed Him?

14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?

And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge

And informed Him of the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;

Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.