1 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
Tell her that her sad days are gone
and her sins are pardoned.
Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over
for all her sins.”
“Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!
and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places.
and all people will see it together.
The Lord has spoken!”*
I asked, “What should I shout?”
“Shout that people are like the grass.
Their beauty fades as quickly
as the flowers in a field.
beneath the breath of the Lord.
And so it is with people.
but the word of our God stands forever.”
shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.*
Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
“Your God is coming!”
He will rule with a powerful arm.
See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
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?
Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
or show him the path of justice?
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.
and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough
to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.
In his eyes they count for less than nothing—
mere emptiness and froth.
What image can you find to resemble him?
overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?
they might at least choose wood that won’t decay
and a skilled craftsman
to carve an image that won’t fall down!
Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began?
Are you so ignorant?
The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
and makes his tent from them.
and brings them all to nothing.
when he blows on them and they wither.
The wind carries them off like chaff.
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
and strength to the powerless.
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
40:3–5 Greek version reads He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, / “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! / Clear a road for our God! / Fill in the valleys, / and level the mountains and hills. / And then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, / and all people will see the salvation sent from God. / The Lord has spoken!” Compare Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4–6.
40:9 Or O messenger of good news, shout to Zion from the mountaintops! Shout it louder to Jerusalem.