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.