Isaiah 40-43 American Standard Version

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The LORD's Comforting Words to Zion

40 1  Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2  Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she hath received of Jehovah's hand double for all her sins.

3  The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. 4  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain: 5  and the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it. 6  The voice of one saying, Cry. And one said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. 7  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the breath of Jehovah bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. 8  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.

9  O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God! 10  Behold, the Lord Jehovah will come as a mighty one, and his arm will rule for him: Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11  He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, [and] will gently lead those that have their young.

Israel's Incomparable God

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. 16  And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. 17  All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing, and vanity.

18  To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 19  The image, a workman hath cast [it], and the goldsmith overlayeth it with gold, and casteth [for it] silver chains. 20  He that is too impoverished for [such] an oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a skilful workman to set up a graven image, that shall not be moved. 21  Have ye not known? have yet not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22  [It is] he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; 23  that bringeth princes to nothing; that maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. 24  Yea, they have not been planted; yea, they have not been sown; yea, their stock hath not taken root in the earth: moreover he bloweth upon them, and they wither, and the whirlwind taketh them away as stubble. 25  To whom then will ye liken me, that I should be equal [to him]? saith the Holy One. 26  Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these, that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and for that he is strong in power, not one is lacking.

27  Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from Jehovah, and the justice [due] to me is passed away from my God? 28  Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding. 29  He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might he increaseth strength. 30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31  but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.

God's Assurance to Israel

41 1  Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the peoples renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak; let us come near together to judgment. 2  Who hath raised up one from the east, whom he calleth in righteousness to his foot? he giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings; he giveth them as the dust to his sword, as the driven stubble to his bow. 3  He pursueth them, and passeth on safely, even by a way that he had not gone with his feet. 4  Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, Jehovah, the first, and with the last, I am he. 5  The isles have seen, and fear; the ends of the earth tremble; they draw near, and come. 6  They help every one his neighbor; and [every one] saith to his brother, Be of good courage. 7  So the carpenter encourageth the goldsmith, [and] he that smootheth with the hammer him that smiteth the anvil, saying of the soldering, It is good; and he fasteneth it with nails, that is should not be moved. 8  But thou, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend, 9  thou whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called from the corners thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee and not cast thee away;

10  Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11  Behold, all they that are incensed against thee shall be put to shame and confounded: they that strive with thee shall be as nothing, and shall perish. 12  Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contend with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13  For I, Jehovah thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14  Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith Jehovah, and thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15  Behold, I have made thee [to be] a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16  Thou shalt winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in Jehovah, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17  The poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I, Jehovah, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18  I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19  I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together: 20  that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Jehovah hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

The LORD's Challenge to False Gods

21  Produce your cause, saith Jehovah; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 22  Let them bring forth, and declare unto us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come. 23  Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. 24  Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work is of nought; an abomination is he that chooseth you. 25  I have raised up one from the north, and he is come; from the rising of the sun one that calleth upon my name: and he shall come upon rulers as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay. 26  Who hath declared it from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, [He is] right? yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that showeth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. 27  [I am the] first [that saith] unto Zion, Behold, behold them; and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. 28  And when I look, there is no man: even among them there is no counsellor, that, when I ask of them, can answer a word. 29  Behold, all of them, their works are vanity [and] nought; their molten images are wind and confusion.

The LORD's Servant

42 1  Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. 2  He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. 3  A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth. 4  He will not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set justice in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law.

5  Thus saith God Jehovah, he that created the heavens, and stretched them forth; he that spread abroad the earth and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6  I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7  to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. 8  I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images. 9  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Praise for the LORD's Mighty Deliverance

10  Sing unto Jehovah a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth; ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein, the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 11  Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12  Let them give glory unto Jehovah, and declare his praise in the islands.

13  Jehovah will go forth as a mighty man; he will stir up [his] zeal like a man of war: he will cry, yea, he will shout aloud; he will do mightily against his enemies. 14  I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: [now] will I cry out like a travailing woman; I will gasp and pant together. 15  I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and will dry up the pools. 16  And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; in paths that they know not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things will I do, and I will not forsake them. 17  They shall be turned back, they shall be utterly put to shame, that trust in graven images, that say unto molten images, Ye are our gods.

Israel's Failure to Profit from Discipline

18  Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19  Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I send? who is blind as he that is at peace [with me], and blind as Jehovah's servant? 20  Thou seest many things, but thou observest not; his ears are open, but he heareth not. 21  It pleased Jehovah, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the law, and make it honorable. 22  But this is a people robbed and plundered; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison-houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23  Who is there among you that will give ear to this? that will hearken and hear for the time to come? 24  Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not Jehovah? he against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they would not walk, neither were they obedient unto his law. 25  Therefore he poured upon him the fierceness of his anger, and the strength of battle; and it set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.

The LORD the Only Redeemer

43 1  But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. 2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3  For I am Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I have given Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in thy stead. 4  Since thou hast been precious in my sight, [and] honorable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men in thy stead, and peoples instead of thy life. 5  Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6  I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth; 7  every one that is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yea, whom I have made.

8  Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. 9  Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 10  Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11  I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour. 12  I have declared, and I have saved, and I have showed; and there was no strange [god] among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and I am God. 13  Yea, since the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who can hinder it?

14  Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I will bring down all of them as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships of their rejoicing. 15  I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. 16  Thus saith Jehovah, who maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17  who bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty man (they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as a wick): 18  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19  Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20  The beasts of the field shall honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21  the people which I formed for myself, that they might set forth my praise.

22  Yet thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. 23  Thou hast not brought me of thy sheep for burnt-offerings; neither hast thou honored me with thy sacrifices. I have not burdened thee with offerings, nor wearied thee with frankincense. 24  Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices; but thou hast burdened me with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. 25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake; and I will not remember thy sins. 26  Put me in remembrance; let us plead together: set thou forth [thy cause], that thou mayest be justified. 27  Thy first father sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. 28  Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and I will make Jacob a curse, and Israel a reviling.

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