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Isaiah 40:1–55:13

Comfort for God’s People

40 “Comfort; comfort my people,” says your God.

“Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her,

that her compulsory labor is fulfilled, that her sin is paid for,

that she has receiveda from the hand of Yahweh double for all her sins.”

A voice is calling in the wilderness, “Clear the way of Yahweh!

Make a highway smooth in the desert for our God!

Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill shall become low,

And the rough ground shall be like a plain,

and the rugged ground like a valley-plain.

And the glory of Yahweh shall be revealed,

and all humankindb together shall see it,

for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

A voice is saying, “Call!”

And he said, “What shall I call?”

All humankindc are grass,

and all his loyalty is like the flowers of the field.

Grass withers; the flower withers

when the breath of Yahweh blows on it.

Surely the people are grass.

Grass withers; the flower withers,

butd the word of our God will stand forever.

Get yourselfe up to a high mountain, Zion, bringer of good news!

Lift up your voice with strength, Jerusalem, bringer of good news!

Lift it up; you must not fear!

Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

10 Look! The Lord Yahweh comes with strength,f

and his arm rules for him.

Look! His reward is with him,

and his recompense in his presence.g

11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;

he will gather the lambs in his arm,

and he will carry them in his bosom;

he will lead those who nurse.

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,h and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has measured up the spirit of Yahweh

or informed him as his counselori?

14 With whom has he consulted, thatj he enlightened himk

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.

16 And Lebanon is not enough to light a fire,

and its animalsl not enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are like nothing before him;

they are counted by him asm nothing and emptiness.

18 And to whom will you liken God?

And to what likeness will you compare him?

19 A craftsman pours out the idol,

and a goldsmithn overlays it with gold,

and he smelts chains of silver.

20 The one who is too impoverished for a gift chooses wood that will not rot;

he seeks a skillful artisan for himself to set up an image that will not be knocked over.

21 Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told to you from the beginning?o

Have you not understood from the foundation of the earth?

22 He is the one who sits above the circle of the earth,

and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

the one who stretches out the heavens like a veil

and spreads them out like a tent to live in,

23 the one who bringsp princes to nothing;

he makes rulers of the earth like nothing.

24 Indeed, hardly are they planted; indeed, hardly are they sown;

indeed, hardly has their shoot taken root in the earth

whenq he blows on them and they wither,

and the tempest carries them like stubble.

25 “And to whom you will compare me, and am I equal?” says the holy one.

26 Lift your eyes up on high, and see! Who created these?

The one who brings out their host by number.

He calls all them by name.

Because he is great of power

and mighty of power, not one is missing.

27 Whyr do you say, Jacob,

and you speak, Israel,

“My way is hidden from Yahweh,

and my judgment is passed over by my God?”

28 Have you not known,

or have you not heard?

Yahweh is the God of eternity,

the creator of the ends of the earth!

He is not faint, and he does not grow weary!

There is no searching his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weary,

and he increases power for the powerless.s

30 Event young people will be faint and grow weary,

and the young will stumble, exhausted.

31 Butu those who wait for Yahweh shall renew their strength.

They shall go up with wingsv like eagles;

they shall run and not grow weary;

they shall walk and not be faint.

God Helps Israel

41 Listen to me in silence, coastlands,

and let nations renew their strength.

Let them approach, then let them speak;

let us draw near together for judgment.

Who has roused salvation from the east,

summoneda him to his foot,

gives nations in his presence,b

and subjugates kings?

He makesc them like the dust with his sword,

like scattered stubble with his bow.

He pursues them and passes on in peace;

he does not enter the path with his feet.

Who has accomplished and done this,

calling the generations from the beginning?d

I, Yahweh, am first;

and I am the one with the last.

The coastlands have seen and are afraid;

the ends of the earth tremble.

They have drawn near,

and they have come.

Each one helpse his neighbor;

he says to his brother, “Take courage!”

And the artisan encourages the goldsmith,f

the one who makes smooth with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil,

saying of the soldering, “It is good!”

And they strengthen it with nails so it cannot be knocked over.

Butg you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen,

you, the offspringh of Abraham my friend,i

you whom I grasped from the ends of the earth

and called from its remotest parts

and told, “You are my servant;

I have chosen you and I have not rejected you.”

10 You must not fear, for I am with you;

you must not be afraid, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, indeed I will help you,

indeed I will take hold of you with the right hand of my salvation.

11 Look! All those who are angry with you shall be ashamed and humiliated;

your opponentsj shall be like nothing and shall become lost.

12 You shall seek them,

butk you shall not find them;

your opponentsl shall be like nothing,

and the men of your war like nothing.

13 For I, Yahweh your God, am grasping your right hand;

it is I who saym to you,

“You must not fear;

I myself, I will help you.

14 You must not fear, O worm of Jacob;

people of Israel,

I myself, I will help you,” declaresn Yahweh,

“and your redeemer is the holy one of Israel.

15 Look! I will make you into a new sharp threshing sledge,

witho sharp edges.

You shall thresh and crush the mountains,

and you shall make the hills like chaff.

16 You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them,

and the tempest shall scatter them.

And you yourself shall rejoice in Yahweh;

you shall boast in the holy one of Israel.

17 The poor and the needy are seeking water and there is none;

their tongue is dried up with thirst.

I, Yahweh, will answer them;

I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

18 I will open rivers on the barren heights

and fountains in the midst of the valleys.

I will make the wilderness like a pool of water

and the land of dryness like springs of water.

19 I will putp the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive oil tree in the wilderness;

I will set the cypress, elm, and box tree together in the desert

20 so that they may see and know,

and take to heart and understand together

that the hand of Yahweh has done this,

and the holy one of Israel has created it.”

21 “Present your legal case,” says Yahweh.

“Bring your evidence,” says the king of Jacob.

22 Let them bring them,

and let them tell us what will happen.

Tell us what the former things are

so thatq we may take them to our heart

and know their outcome.r

Declare to us the things to come;

23 tell us the things coming hereafter,s

thatt we may know that you are gods.

Indeed, do good oru do evil,

thatv we may be afraid and seew together.

24 Look! you are nothing,

and your work is something worthless;

whoever chooses you is an abomination.

25 I stirred up one from the north,

and he has come from the rising of the sun.

He shall call on my name,

and he shall come on officials as on mortar,

and as the potterx treads clay.

26 Who declared it from the beginningy so thatz we might know,

and beforehanda so thatb we might say, “He is right!”c

Indeed, there was no one who declared it;

Indeed, there was no one who proclaimed it.

Indeed there was no one who heard your words.

27 First to Zion, look! Look at them!

And I give a heraldd of good tidings to Jerusalem.

28 Bute I look and there is no man,

and I look among these and there is no counselor,

thatf I might ask them and they might answer a word.

29 Look! All of them are deception;

their works are nothing;

their images are wind and emptiness.

The Mission of Yahweh’s Servant

42 Look! here is my servant; I hold him,

my chosen one, in whom my soul delights.

I have puta my spirit on him;

he will bring justice forth to the nations.

He will not cry out and lift up

and make his voice heard in the street.

He will not break a broken reed,

and he will not extinguish a dim wick.

He will bring justice forth inb faithfulness.

He will not grow faint,

and he will not be broken

until he has established justice in the earth.

And the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says the God, Yahweh,

who created the heavens

and stretched them out,

who spread out the earth and its offspring,

who gives breath to the people upon it

and spirit to those who walk in it.

“I am Yahweh; I have called you in righteousness,

and I have grasped your hand and watched over you;

and I have given you as a covenant of the people,

as a light of the nations,

to open the blind eyes,

to bring the prisoner out from the dungeon,

those who sit in darkness from the house of imprisonment.

I am Yahweh; that is my name,

and I do not give my glory to another,

norc my praise to the idols.

Look! the former things have come,

and I declare new things.

I announced them to you before they sprout up.”

A Song of Praise to Yahweh

10 Sing a new song to Yahweh;

praise him from the end of the earth,

youe who go down to the sea and that

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