Isaiah 40-43 New American Standard Bible

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The LORD's Comforting Words to Zion

40 " Comfort , O comfort My people ," says your God . 2  " Speak kindly to Jerusalem ; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended , That her iniquity has been removed , That she has received of the Lord'S hand Double for all her sins ."

3  A voice is calling , " Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness ; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God . 4  "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low ; And let the rough ground become a plain , And the rugged terrain a broad valley ; 5  Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed , And all flesh will see it together ; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken ." 6  A voice says , "Call out." Then he answered , "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass , and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field . 7  The grass withers , the flower fades , When the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass . 8  The grass withers , the flower fades , But the word of our God stands forever .

9  Get yourself up on a high mountain , O Zion , bearer of good news , Lift up your voice mightily , O Jerusalem , bearer of good news ; Lift it up, do not fear . Say to the cities of Judah , " Here is your God !" 10  Behold , the Lord GOD will come with might , With His arm ruling for Him. Behold , His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. 11  Like a shepherd He will tend His flock , In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom ; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Israel's Incomparable God

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 e 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 . 16  Even Lebanon is not enough to burn , Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering . 17  All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless .

18  To whom then will you liken God ? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? 19  As for the idol , a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold , And a silversmith fashions chains of silver . 20  He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot ; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter . 21  Do you not know ? Have you not heard ? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning ? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth ? 22  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth , And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers , Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23  He it is who reduces rulers to nothing , Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless . 24  Scarcely e have they been planted , Scarcely e have they been sown , Scarcely e has their stock taken root in the earth , But He merely blows on them, and they wither , And the storm carries them away like stubble . 25  " To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal ?" says the Holy One . 26  Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number , He calls them all by name ; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power , Not one of them is missing .

27  Why do you say , O Jacob , and assert , O Israel , "My way is hidden from the Lord , And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God "? 28  Do you not know ? Have you not heard ? The Everlasting God , the Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired . His understanding is inscrutable e . 29  He gives strength to the weary , And to him who lacks might He increases power . 30  Though youths grow weary and tired , And vigorous young men stumble badly , 31  Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength ; They will mount up with wings like eagles , They will run and not get tired , They will walk and not become weary .

God's Assurance to Israel

41 " Coastlands , listen to Me in silence , And let the peoples gain new strength ; Let them come forward , then let them speak ; Let us come together for judgment . 2  " Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet ? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings . He makes them like dust with his sword , As the wind-driven chaff with his bow . 3  "He pursues them, passing on in safety , By a way he had not been traversing with his feet . 4  " Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning ? ' I, the Lord , am the first , and with the last . I am He.' " 5  The coastlands have seen and are afraid ; The ends of the earth tremble ; They have drawn near and have come . 6  Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother , "Be strong !" 7  So the craftsman encourages the smelter , And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil , Saying of the soldering , "It is good "; And he fastens it with nails , So that it will not totter . 8  "But you, Israel , My servant , Jacob whom I have chosen , Descendant of Abraham My friend , 9  You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth , And called from its remotest parts And said to you, 'You are My servant , I have chosen you and not rejected you.

10  'Do not fear , for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God . I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand .' 11  "Behold , all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored ; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish . 12  " You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent . 13  "For I am the Lord your God , who upholds your right hand , Who says to you, ' Do not fear , I will help you.' 14  "Do not fear , you worm Jacob , you men of Israel ; I will help you," declares the Lord , "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel . 15  "Behold , I have made you a new , sharp threshing sledge with double edges ; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff . 16  "You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord , You will glory in the Holy One of Israel . 17  "The afflicted and needy are seeking water , but there is none , And their tongue is parched with thirst ; I, the Lord , will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18  "I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys ; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water . 19  "I will put the cedar in the wilderness , The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree ; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress , 20  That they may see and recognize , And consider and gain insight as well , That the hand of the Lord has done this , And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The LORD's Challenge to False Gods

21  "Present your case ," the Lord says . "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says . 22  Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place ; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome . Or announce to us what is coming ; 23  Declare the things that are going to come afterward , That we may know that you are gods ; Indeed , do good or evil , that we may anxiously look about us and fear together . 24  Behold , you are of no account , And your work amounts to nothing ; He who chooses you is an abomination . 25  "I have aroused one from the north , and he has come ; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name ; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar , Even as the potter treads clay ." 26  Who has declared this from the beginning , that we might know ? Or from former times , that we may say , "He is right !"? Surely there was no one who declared , Surely there was no one who proclaimed , Surely there was no one who heard your words . 27  " Formerly I said to Zion , 'Behold , here they are.' And to Jerusalem , 'I will give a messenger of good news .' 28  "But when I look , there is no one , And there is no counselor among them Who, if I ask , can give an answer . 29  "Behold , all of them are false ; Their works are worthless , Their molten images are wind and emptiness .

The LORD's Servant

42 " Behold , My Servant , whom I uphold ; My chosen one in whom My soul delights . I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations . 2  "He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street . 3  "A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish ; He will faithfully bring forth justice . 4  "He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth ; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law ."

5  Thus says God the Lord , Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring , Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, 6  "I am the Lord , I have called You in righteousness , I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people , As a light to the nations , 7  To open blind eyes , To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison e . 8  " I am the Lord , that is My name ; I will not give My glory to another , Nor My praise to graven images . 9  "Behold , the former things have come to pass , Now I declare new things ; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you."

Praise for the LORD's Mighty Deliverance

10  Sing to the Lord a new song , Sing His praise from the end of the earth ! You who go down to the sea , and all that is in it. You islands , and those who dwell on them. 11  Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices, The settlements where Kedar inhabits . Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud , Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains . 12  Let them give glory to the Lord And declare His praise in the coastlands .

13  The Lord will go forth like a warrior , He will arouse His zeal like a man of war . He will utter a shout , yes , He will raise a war cry . He will prevail against His enemies . 14  " I have kept silent for a long time , I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan , I will both gasp and pant . 15  "I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation ; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds . 16  "I will lead the blind by a way they do not know , In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains . These are the things I will do , And I will not leave them undone ." 17  They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame , Who trust in idols , Who say to molten images , "You are our gods ."

Israel's Failure to Profit from Discipline

18  Hear , you deaf ! And look , you blind , that you may see . 19  Who is blind but My servant , Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send ? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, Or so blind as the servant of the Lord ? 20  You have seen many things , but you do not observe them; Your ears are open , but none hears . 21  The Lord was pleased for His righteousness' sake To make the law great and glorious . 22  But this is a people plundered and despoiled ; All of them are trapped in caves , Or are hidden away in prisons ; They have become a prey with none to deliver them, And a spoil , with none to say , "Give them back !" 23  Who among you will give ear to this ? Who will give heed and listen hereafter ? 24  Who gave Jacob up for spoil , and Israel to plunderers ? Was it not the Lord , against whom we have sinned , And in whose ways they were not willing to walk , And whose law they did not obey ? 25  So He poured out on him the heat of His anger And the fierceness of battle ; And it set him aflame all e around , Yet he did not recognize it; And it burned him, but he paid no attention e .

The LORD the Only Redeemer

43 But now , thus says the Lord , your Creator , O Jacob , And He who formed you, O Israel , "Do not fear , for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name ; you are Mine! 2  "When you pass through the waters , I will be with you; And through the rivers , they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire , you will not be scorched , Nor will the flame burn you. 3  "For I am the Lord your God , The Holy One of Israel , your Savior ; I have given Egypt as your ransom , Cush and Seba in your place . 4  "Since e you are precious in My sight , Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life . 5  "Do not fear , for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east , And gather you from the west . 6  "I will say to the north , 'Give them up!' And to the south , 'Do not hold them back .' Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth , 7  Everyone who is called by My name , And whom I have created for My glory , Whom I have formed , even whom I have made ."

8  Bring out the people who are blind , even though they have eyes , And the deaf , even though they have ears . 9  All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled . Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things ? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified , Or let them hear and say , "It is true ." 10  "You are My witnesses ," declares the Lord , "And My servant whom I have chosen , So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed , And there will be none after Me. 11  "I, even I, am the Lord , And there is no savior besides e Me. 12  "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed , And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses ," declares the Lord , "And I am God . 13  "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand ; I act and who can reverse it?"

14  Thus says the Lord your Redeemer , the Holy One of Israel , "For your sake I have sent to Babylon , And will bring them all down as fugitives , Even the Chaldeans , into the ships in which they rejoice . 15  "I am the Lord , your Holy One , The Creator of Israel , your King ." 16  Thus says the Lord , Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters , 17  Who brings forth the chariot and the horse , The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick ): 18  " Do not call to mind the former things , Or ponder things of the past . 19  "Behold , I will do something new , Now it will spring forth ; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness , Rivers in the desert . 20  "The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches , Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert , To give drink to My chosen people . 21  "The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise .

22  "Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob ; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel . 23  "You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings , Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices . I have not burdened you with offerings , Nor wearied you with incense . 24  "You have bought Me not sweet cane with money , Nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices ; Rather you have burdened Me with your sins , You have wearied Me with your iniquities . 25  "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake , And I will not remember your sins . 26  "Put Me in remembrance , let us argue our case together ; State your cause, that you may be proved right . 27  "Your first forefather sinned , And your spokesmen have transgressed against Me. 28  "So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary , And I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement .

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