The LORD's Comforting Words to Zion
40 1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her time of suffering is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of Jehovah's hand double for all her sins.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God! 4 Every valley shall be raised up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, 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. 6 A voice saith, Cry. And he saith, What shall I cry?—All flesh is grass, and all the comeliness thereof as the flower of the field. 7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, for 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 abideth for ever.
9 O Zion, that bringest glad tidings, get thee up into a high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest glad tidings, 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 with might, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompence before him. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd: he will gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom; he will gently lead those that give suck.
Israel's Incomparable God
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. 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 esteemed by him less than a cipher, and vanity.
18 To whom then will ye liken God? and what likeness will ye compare unto him? 19 The workman casteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains [for it]. 20 He that is impoverished, so that he hath no offering, chooseth a tree that doth not rot; he seeketh unto him a skilled workman to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved. 21 —Do ye not know? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood the foundation of the earth? 22 [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a gauze curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; 23 that bringeth the princes to nothing, that maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. 24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely are they sown, scarcely hath their stock taken root in the earth, but he also bloweth upon them and they wither, and the whirlwind taketh them away as stubble. 25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see! Who hath created these things, bringing out their host by number? He calleth them all by name; through the greatness of his might and strength of power, not one faileth.
27 Why sayest thou, Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from Jehovah, and my right is passed away from my God? 28 Dost thou not know, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not nor tireth? 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 shall tire, and the young men shall stumble and fall; 31 but they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew [their] strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not tire; they shall walk, and not faint.
God's Assurance to Israel
41 1 Keep silence before me, islands; and let the peoples renew [their] strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us draw near together to judgment. 2 Who raised up from the east him whom righteousness calleth to its foot? He gave the nations before him, and caused him to have dominion over kings; he gave them as dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow. 3 He pursued them, he passed on in safety, by a way he had never come 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 saw [it], and feared; the ends of the earth trembled: they drew near, and came. 6 They helped every one his neighbour, and [each] said to his brother, Take courage. 7 And the artizan encouraged the founder, he that smootheth [with] the hammer him that smiteth on the anvil, saying of the soldering, It is good; and he fasteneth it with nails, that it be not moved. 8 But thou, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend 9 —thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from the extremities thereof, and to whom I said, Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee and not rejected thee,
10 —Fear 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 Lo, all that are incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they that strive with thee shall be as nothing, and shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them—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, hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith Jehovah, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I have made of thee a new sharp threshing instrument having double teeth: thou shalt thresh and beat small the mountains, and shalt make the hills as chaff; 16 thou shalt fan 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 afflicted and the needy seek water, and there is none; 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 into a pool of water, and the dry land into water-springs. 19 I will give in the wilderness the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and oleaster; I will set in the desert the cypress, pine, and 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 forward your arguments, saith the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them forward, and declare to us what shall happen: shew the former things, what they are, that we may give attention to them, and know the end of them;—or let us hear things to come: 23 declare the things that are to happen hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods; yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be astonished, and behold it together. 24 Behold, ye are less than 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 shall come,—from the rising of the sun, he who will call upon my name; and he shall come upon princes as on 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, [It is] right? Indeed, there is none that declareth; no, none that sheweth; no, none that heareth your words. 27 The first, [I said] to Zion, Behold, behold them! and to Jerusalem, I will give one that bringeth glad tidings. 28 And I beheld, and there was no man; even among them,—and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. 29 Behold, they are all vanity, their works are nought, their molten images are wind and emptiness.
The LORD's Servant
42 1 Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect [in whom] my soul delighteth! I will put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the nations. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment according to truth. 4 He shall not faint nor be in haste, 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 out, he that spread forth the earth and its productions, 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 take hold of thy hand; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations, 7 to open the blind eyes, to bring forth the prisoner from the prison, them that sit in darkness out of the house of restraint. 8 I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth will I cause you to hear them.
Praise for the LORD's Mighty Deliverance
10 Sing unto Jehovah a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein, the isles and their inhabitants. 11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of the rock 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 jealousy like a man of war: he will cry, yea, he will shout; he will shew himself mighty against his enemies. 14 Long time have I holden my peace; I have been still, I have restrained myself: I will cry like a woman that travaileth; I will blow and pant at once. 15 I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I 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 things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 17 They shall be turned back, they shall be covered with shame, that confide in graven images, that say to the 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? and deaf, as my messenger whom I sent? Who is blind as he in whom I have trusted, and blind as Jehovah's servant, 20 —seeing many things, and thou observest not? With opened ears, he heareth not. 21 Jehovah had delight [in him] for his righteousness' sake: he hath magnified the law, and made it honourable. 22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and hidden in prison-houses; they are become a prey, and none delivereth,—a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23 Who among you will give ear to this, [who] will hearken and hear what is to come? 24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not Jehovah, he against whom we have sinned? And they would not walk in his ways, neither did they hearken unto his law. 25 And he hath poured upon him the fury 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 took 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 gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee; and I will give men for thee, and peoples for 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 afar, 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: I have formed him, yea, I have made him.
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 declareth this, or causeth us to hear former things? let them bring forth 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, I [am] Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour. 12 It is I that have declared, and have saved, and have shewed, when there was no strange [god] among you; and ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, that I [am] God. 13 Yea, since the day was, I [am] HE, and there is none that delivereth out of my hand: I will work, and who shall hinder it?
14 Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 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 chariot and horse, army and power—they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow: 18 —Remember not the former things, neither consider the ancient things: 19 behold, I do a new thing; now it shall spring forth: shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the waste. 20 The beast of the field shall glorify me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I will give waters in the wilderness, rivers in the waste, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21 This people have I formed for myself: they shall shew forth my praise.
22 —But thou hast not called upon me, Jacob; for thou hast been weary of me, O Israel: 23 thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt-offerings, neither hast thou glorified me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to toil with an oblation, nor wearied thee with incense. 24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices; but thou hast made me to toil with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. 25 —I, 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; rehearse thine own [cause], that thou mayest be justified. 27 Thy first father hath sinned, and thy mediators have rebelled against me. 28 And I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the ban, and Israel to reproaches.