Bible: Isaiah 40-55
The Lord Returns to Jerusalem
40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your 1 God.
that her time of warfare is over, 4
that her punishment is completed. 5
40:3 A voice cries out,
“In the wilderness clear a way for the
construct in the desert a road for our God.
40:4 Every valley must be elevated,
and every mountain and hill leveled.
The rough terrain will become a level plain,
the rugged landscape a wide valley.
40:5 The splendor 7 of the
and all people 8 will see it at the same time.
40:6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
Another asks, 11 “What should I cry out?”
and all their promises 14 are like the flowers in the field.
40:7 The grass dries up,
the flowers wither,
when the wind sent by the
Surely humanity 16 is like grass.
40:8 The grass dries up,
the flowers wither,
but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” 17
40:9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion!
Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! 18
Shout, don’t be afraid!
Say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
40:10 Look, the sovereign
his military power establishes his rule. 20
Look, his reward is with him;
his prize goes before him. 21
40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;
he gathers up the lambs with his arm;
he carries them close to his heart; 22
he leads the ewes along.
The Lord is Incomparable
40:12 Who has measured out the waters 23 in the hollow of his hand,
or carefully weighed 26 the soil of the earth,
or weighed the mountains in a balance,
or the hills on scales? 27
or gives him instruction as his counselor? 30
40:14 From whom does he receive directions? 31
or imparts knowledge to him,
or instructs him in skillful design? 34
40:15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales.
40:16 Not even Lebanon could supply enough firewood for a sacrifice; 37
its wild animals would not provide enough burnt offerings. 38
40:17 All the nations are insignificant before him;
they are regarded as absolutely nothing. 39
40:18 To whom can you compare God?
To what image can you liken him?
40:19 A craftsman casts 40 an idol;
a metalsmith overlays it with gold
and forges silver chains for it.
40:20 To make a contribution one selects wood that will not rot; 41
he then seeks a skilled craftsman
to make 42 an idol that will not fall over.
40:21 Do you not know?
Do you not hear?
Has it not been told to you since the very beginning?
Have you not understood from the time the earth’s foundations were made?
40:22 He is the one who sits on the earth’s horizon; 43
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. 44
He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, 45
40:23 He is the one who reduces rulers to nothing;
he makes the earth’s leaders insignificant.
40:24 Indeed, they are barely planted;
yes, they are barely sown;
yes, they barely take root in the earth,
and then he blows on them, causing them to dry up,
and the wind carries them away like straw.
40:25 “To whom can you compare me? Whom do I resemble?”
says the Holy One. 48
40:26 Look up at the sky! 49
Who created all these heavenly lights? 50
He is the one who leads out their ranks; 51
he calls them all by name.
Because of his absolute power and awesome strength,
not one of them is missing.
40:27 Why do you say, Jacob,
Why do you say, Israel,
My God is not concerned with my vindication”? 53
40:28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
the creator of the whole earth. 54
He does not get tired or weary;
there is no limit to his wisdom. 55
40:29 He gives strength to those who are tired;
to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.
40:30 Even youths get tired and weary;
even strong young men clumsily stumble. 56
40:31 But those who wait for the
they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, 58
they run without growing weary,
they walk without getting tired.
The Lord Challenges the Nations
41:1 “Listen to me in silence, you coastlands! 59
Let the nations find renewed strength!
Let them approach and then speak;
let us come together for debate! 60
41:2 Who stirs up this one from the east? 61
He hands nations over to him, 64
and enables him to subdue 65 kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
like windblown straw with his bow. 66
41:3 He pursues them and passes by unharmed; 67
he advances with great speed. 68
41:4 Who acts and carries out decrees? 69
Who 70 summons the successive generations from the beginning?
and at the very end – I am the one. 71
41:5 The coastlands 72 see and are afraid;
the whole earth 73 trembles;
they approach and come.
41:6 They help one another; 74
one says to the other, ‘Be strong!’
41:7 The craftsman encourages the metalsmith,
the one who wields the hammer encourages 75 the one who pounds on the anvil.
He approves the quality of the welding, 76
and nails it down so it won’t fall over.”
The Lord Encourages His People
41:8 “You, my servant Israel,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham my friend, 77
41:9 you whom I am bringing back 78 from the earth’s extremities,
and have summoned from the remote regions –
I told you, “You are my servant.”
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!
Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! 79
I strengthen you –
yes, I help you –
yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! 80
41:11 Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated;
41:12 When you will look for your opponents, 83 you will not find them;
your enemies 84 will be reduced to absolutely nothing.
41:13 For I am the
the one who takes hold of your right hand,
who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’
41:14 Don’t be afraid, despised insignificant Jacob, 85
men of 86 Israel.
I am helping you,” says the
41:15 “Look, I am making you like 89 a sharp threshing sledge,
new and double-edged. 90
You will thresh the mountains and crush them;
you will make the hills like straw. 91
41:16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;
the wind will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the
you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.
41:17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched from thirst.
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.
41:18 I will make streams flow down the slopes
and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.
I will turn the desert into a pool of water
and the arid land into springs.
41:19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;
I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.
so they will pay attention and understand
and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.” 96
The Lord Challenges the Pagan Gods
41:21 “Present your argument,” says the
41:22 “Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen!
Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, 99
Or decree for us some future events!
41:23 Predict how future events will turn out, 102
so we might know you are gods.
Yes, do something good or bad,
so we might be frightened and in awe. 103
41:24 Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent;
the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting. 104
41:25 I have stirred up one out of the north 105 and he advances,
one from the eastern horizon who prays in my name. 106
He steps on 107 rulers as if they were clay,
like a potter treading the clay.
41:26 Who decreed this from the beginning, so we could know?
Who announced it 108 ahead of time, so we could say, ‘He’s correct’?
Indeed, none of them decreed it!
Indeed, none of them announced it!
Indeed, no one heard you say anything!
41:27 I first decreed to Zion, ‘Look, here’s what will happen!’ 109
I sent a herald to Jerusalem. 110
41:28 I look, but there is no one,
among them there is no one who serves as an adviser,
that I might ask questions and receive answers.
41:29 Look, all of them are nothing, 111
their accomplishments are nonexistent;
their metal images lack any real substance. 11242:1
The Lord Commissions His Special Servant
“Here is my servant whom I support,
my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.
I have placed my spirit on him;
42:2 He will not cry out or shout;
he will not publicize himself in the streets. 116
42:3 A crushed reed he will not break,
a dim wick he will not extinguish; 117
he will faithfully make just decrees. 118
42:4 He will not grow dim or be crushed 119
before establishing justice on the earth;
42:5 This is what the true God, 122 the
the one who created the sky and stretched it out,
the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it, 123
the one who gives breath to the people on it,
and life to those who live on it: 124
42:6 “I, the
I take hold of your hand.
42:7 to open blind eyes, 130
to release prisoners 131 from dungeons,
those who live in darkness from prisons.
The Lord Intervenes
42:8 I am the
I will not share my glory with anyone else,
or the praise due me with idols.
42:9 Look, my earlier predictive oracles have come to pass; 132
now I announce new events.
Before they begin to occur,
I reveal them to you.” 133
42:10 Sing to the
Praise him 134 from the horizon of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, 135
you coastlands 136 and those who live there!
42:11 Let the desert and its cities shout out,
the towns where the nomads of Kedar live!
Let the residents of Sela shout joyfully;
let them shout loudly from the mountaintops.
42:12 Let them give the
let them praise his deeds in the coastlands. 138
like a warrior he inspires himself for battle; 139
he shouts, yes, he yells,
he shows his enemies his power. 140
42:14 “I have been inactive 141 for a long time;
I kept quiet and held back.
Like a woman in labor I groan;
I pant and gasp. 142
42:15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up; 143
I will dry up all their vegetation.
I will turn streams into islands, 144
and dry up pools of water. 145
42:16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; 146
I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. 147
I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,
and level out the rough ground. 148
This is what I will do for them.
I will not abandon them.
42:17 Those who trust in idols
will turn back and be utterly humiliated, 149
those who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’”
The Lord Reasons with His People
42:18 “Listen, you deaf ones!
Take notice, 150 you blind ones!
42:19 My servant is truly blind,
my messenger is truly deaf.
their ears are open, but do not hear.”
by magnifying his law and displaying it. 155
42:22 But these people are looted and plundered;
all of them are trapped in pits 156
and held captive 157 in prisons.
They were carried away as loot with no one to rescue them;
they were carried away as plunder, and no one says, “Bring that back!” 158
42:23 Who among you will pay attention to this?
Who will listen attentively in the future? 159
42:24 Who handed Jacob over to the robber?
Who handed Israel over to the looters? 160
Was it not the
They refused to follow his commands;
they disobeyed his law. 161
42:25 So he poured out his fierce anger on them,
along with the devastation 162 of war.
Its flames encircled them, but they did not realize it; 163
it burned against them, but they did notice. 164
The Lord Will Rescue His People
43:1 Now, this is what the
the one who created you, O Jacob,
and formed you, O Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect 165 you.
I call you by name, you are mine.
43:2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;
when you pass 166 through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not harm 167 you.
43:3 For I am the
the Holy One of Israel, 168 your deliverer.
I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,
Ethiopia and Seba 169 in place of you.
43:4 Since you are precious and special in my sight, 170
and I love you,
I will hand over people in place of you,
nations in place of your life.
43:5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
From the east I will bring your descendants;
from the west I will gather you.
43:6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’
Bring my sons from distant lands,
and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,
43:7 everyone who belongs to me, 171
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed – yes, whom I made!
The Lord Declares His Sovereignty
43:8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,
those who are deaf, even though they have ears!
43:9 All nations gather together,
the peoples assemble.
Who among them announced this?
Who predicted earlier events for us? 172
Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right;
let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’
43:10 You are my witnesses,” says the
“my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may consider 173 and believe in me,
and understand that I am he.
No god was formed before me,
and none will outlive me. 174
43:11 I, I am the
and there is no deliverer besides me.
43:12 I decreed and delivered and proclaimed,
and there was no other god among you.
You are my witnesses,” says the
43:13 From this day forward I am he;
no one can deliver from my power; 175
I will act, and who can prevent it?”
The Lord Will Do Something New
43:14 This is what the
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and make them all fugitives, 178
turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs. 179
43:15 I am the
the one who created Israel, your king.”
43:16 This is what the
the one who made a road through the sea,
a pathway through the surging waters,
43:17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction, 181
together with a mighty army.
They fell down, 182 never to rise again;
they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:
43:18 “Don’t remember these earlier events; 183
don’t recall these former events.
43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new.
Yes, I will make a road in the desert
and paths 186 in the wilderness.
43:20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,
the jackals and ostriches,
because I put water in the desert
and streams in the wilderness,
to quench the thirst of my chosen people,
43:21 the people whom I formed for myself,
so they might praise me.” 187
The Lord Rebukes His People
43:22 “But you did not call for me, O Jacob;
you did not long 188 for me, O Israel.
43:23 You did not bring me lambs for your burnt offerings;
you did not honor me with your sacrifices.
I did not burden you with offerings;
I did not make you weary by demanding 189 incense.
43:24 You did not buy me aromatic reeds; 190
you did not present to me 191 the fat of your sacrifices.
Yet you burdened me with your sins;
you made me weary with your evil deeds. 192
43:25 I, I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake;
your sins I do not remember.
43:26 Remind me of what happened! Let’s debate!
You, prove to me that you are right! 193
43:27 The father of your nation 194 sinned;
your spokesmen 195 rebelled against me.
43:28 So I defiled your holy princes,
and handed Jacob over to destruction,
and subjected 196 Israel to humiliating abuse.”
The Lord Will Renew Israel
44:1 “Now, listen, Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!”
44:2 This is what the
the one who formed you in the womb and helps you:
“Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
Jeshurun, 197 whom I have chosen!
44:3 For I will pour water on the parched ground 198
and cause streams to flow 199 on the dry land.
I will pour my spirit on your offspring
and my blessing on your children.
44:4 They will sprout up like a tree in the grass, 200
like poplars beside channels of water.
44:5 One will say, ‘I belong to the
and another will use 201 the name ‘Jacob.’
One will write on his hand, ‘The
and use the name ‘Israel.’” 202
The Absurdity of Idolatry
44:6 This is what the
their protector, 203 the
“I am the first and I am the last,
there is no God but me.
44:7 Who is like me? Let him make his claim! 204
Let him announce it and explain it to me –
since I established an ancient people – 205
let them announce future events! 206
44:8 Don’t panic! Don’t be afraid! 207
Did I not tell you beforehand and decree it?
You are my witnesses! Is there any God but me?
There is no other sheltering rock; 208 I know of none.
44:9 All who form idols are nothing;
the things in which they delight are worthless.
Their witnesses cannot see;
they recognize nothing, so they are put to shame.
44:10 Who forms a god and casts an idol
that will prove worthless? 209
44:11 Look, all his associates 210 will be put to shame;
the craftsmen are mere humans. 211
Let them all assemble and take their stand!
They will panic and be put to shame.
44:12 A blacksmith works with his tool 212
and forges metal over the coals.
He forms it 213 with hammers;
he makes it with his strong arm.
He gets hungry and loses his energy; 214
he drinks no water and gets tired.
44:13 A carpenter takes measurements; 215
he marks out an outline of its form; 216
he scrapes 217 it with chisels,
and marks it with a compass.
He patterns it after the human form, 218
like a well-built human being,
and puts it in a shrine. 219
44:14 He cuts down cedars
and acquires a cypress 220 or an oak.
He gets 221 trees from the forest;
he plants a cedar 222 and the rain makes it grow.
44:15 A man uses it to make a fire; 223
he takes some of it and warms himself.
Yes, he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
Then he makes a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it. 224
44:16 Half of it he burns in the fire –
over that half he cooks 225 meat;
he roasts a meal and fills himself.
Yes, he warms himself and says,
‘Ah! I am warm as I look at the fire.’
44:17 With the rest of it he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships it.
He prays to it, saying,
‘Rescue me, for you are my god!’
44:18 They do not comprehend or understand,
for their eyes are blind and cannot see;
their minds do not discern. 226
44:19 No one thinks to himself,
nor do they comprehend or understand and say to themselves:
‘I burned half of it in the fire –
yes, I baked bread over the coals;
I roasted meat and ate it.
With the rest of it should I make a disgusting idol?
Should I bow down to dry wood?’ 227
44:20 He feeds on ashes; 228
his deceived mind misleads him.
He cannot rescue himself,
nor does he say, ‘Is this not a false god I hold in my right hand?’ 229
44:21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
O Israel, for you are my servant.
I formed you to be my servant;
O Israel, I will not forget you! 230
44:22 I remove the guilt of your rebellious deeds as if they were a cloud,
the guilt of your sins as if they were a cloud. 231
Come back to me, for I protect 232 you.”
44:23 Shout for joy, O sky, for the
shout out, you subterranean regions 234 of the earth.
O mountains, give a joyful shout;
you too, O forest and all your trees! 235
he reveals his splendor through Israel. 237
The Lord Empowers Cyrus
44:24 This is what the
the one who formed you in the womb:
“I am the
who alone stretched out the sky,
who fashioned the earth all by myself, 239
44:25 who frustrates the omens of the empty talkers 240
and humiliates 241 the omen readers,
who overturns the counsel of the wise men 242
and makes their advice 243 seem foolish,
44:26 who fulfills the oracles of his prophetic servants 244
and brings to pass the announcements 245 of his messengers,
who says about Jerusalem, 246 ‘She will be inhabited,’
and about the towns of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt,
her ruins I will raise up,’
44:27 who says to the deep sea, ‘Be dry!
I will dry up your sea currents,’
to carry out all my wishes 249
and to decree concerning Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’
and concerning the temple, ‘It will be reconstructed.’” 250
45:1 This is what the
to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold 252
in order to subdue nations before him,
and disarm kings, 253
to open doors before him,
so gates remain unclosed:
45:2 “I will go before you
and level mountains. 254
Bronze doors I will shatter
and iron bars 255 I will hack through.
45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, 256
riches stashed away in secret places,
so you may recognize that I am the
the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.
45:4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
Israel, my chosen one,
I call you by name
and give you a title of respect, even though you do not recognize 257 me.
45:5 I am the
there is no God but me.
that there is no God but me;
I am the
45:7 I am 263 the one who forms light
and creates darkness; 264
the one who brings about peace
and creates calamity. 265
I am the
45:8 O sky, rain down from above!
Let the clouds send down showers 266 of deliverance!
and deliverance may sprout up 269 along with it.
The Lord Gives a Warning
45:9 One who argues with his creator is in grave danger, 271
one who is like a mere 272 shard among the other shards on the ground!
The clay should not say to the potter, 273
“What in the world 274 are you doing?
Your work lacks skill!” 275
45:10 Danger awaits one who says 276 to his father,
“What in the world 277 are you fathering?”
and to his mother,
“What in the world are you bringing forth?” 278
45:11 This is what the
the Holy One of Israel, 279 the one who formed him,
concerning things to come: 280
“How dare you question me 281 about my children!
How dare you tell me what to do with 282 the work of my own hands!
45:12 I made the earth,
I created the people who live 283 on it.
I give orders to all the heavenly lights. 286
45:13 It is me – I stir him up and commission him; 287
I will make all his ways level.
He will rebuild my city;
he will send my exiled people home,
but not for a price or a bribe,”
The Lord is the Nations’ Only Hope
45:14 This is what the
along with the Sabeans, those tall men,
will be brought to you 290 and become yours.
They will walk behind you, coming along in chains. 291
They will bow down to you
and pray to you: 292
there is no other God!’”
45:15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden,
O God of Israel, deliverer!
45:16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed;
those who fashion idols will all be humiliated. 295
45:17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by the
you will never again be ashamed or humiliated. 297
45:18 For this is what the
the one who created the sky –
he is the true God, 298
the one who formed the earth and made it;
he established it,
he did not create it without order, 299
he formed it to be inhabited –
“I am the
45:19 I have not spoken in secret,
in some hidden place. 300
I did not tell Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain!’ 301
I am the
the one who speaks honestly,
who makes reliable announcements. 302
45:20 Gather together and come!
Approach together, you refugees from the nations!
Those who carry wooden idols know nothing,
those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.
45:21 Tell me! Present the evidence! 303
Let them consult with one another!
Who predicted this in the past?
Who announced it beforehand?
Was it not I, the
I have no peer, there is no God but me,
a God who vindicates and delivers; 304
there is none but me.
45:22 Turn to me so you can be delivered, 305
all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!
For I am God, and I have no peer.
45:23 I solemnly make this oath 306 –
what I say is true and reliable: 307
‘Surely every knee will bow to me,
every tongue will solemnly affirm; 308
45:24 they will say about me,
All who are angry at him will cower before him. 310
45:25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the
and will boast in him. 311
The Lord Carries His People
46:1 Bel 312 kneels down,
Nebo 313 bends low.
Their images weigh down animals and beasts. 314
Your heavy images are burdensome to tired animals. 315
46:2 Together they bend low and kneel down;
they are unable to rescue the images; 316
46:3 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, 319
all you who are left from the family of Israel, 320
you who have been carried from birth, 321
you who have been supported from the time you left the womb. 322
46:4 Even when you are old, I will take care of you, 323
even when you have gray hair, I will carry you.
I made you and I will support you;
I will carry you and rescue you. 324
46:5 To whom can you compare and liken me?
Tell me whom you think I resemble, so we can be compared!
46:6 Those who empty out gold from a purse
and weigh out silver on the scale 325
hire a metalsmith, who makes it into a god.
They then bow down and worship it.
46:7 They put it on their shoulder and carry it;
they put it in its place and it just stands there;
it does not 326 move from its place.
Even when someone cries out to it, it does not reply;
it does not deliver him from his distress.
46:8 Remember this, so you can be brave! 327
Think about it, you rebels! 328
46:9 Remember what I accomplished in antiquity! 329
Truly I am God, I have no peer; 330
I am God, and there is none like me,
46:10 who announces the end from the beginning
and reveals beforehand 331 what has not yet occurred,
who says, ‘My plan will be realized,
I will accomplish what I desire,’
46:11 who summons an eagle 332 from the east,
from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.
Yes, I have decreed, 333
yes, I will bring it to pass;
I have formulated a plan,
yes, I will carry it out.
46:12 Listen to me, you stubborn people, 334
you who distance yourself from doing what is right. 335
46:13 I am bringing my deliverance near, it is not far away;
I am bringing my salvation near, 336 it does not wait.
I will save Zion; 337
I will adorn Israel with my splendor.” 338
Babylon Will Fall
47:1 “Fall down! Sit in the dirt,
O virgin 339 daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground, not on a throne,
O daughter of the Babylonians!
Indeed, 340 you will no longer be called delicate and pampered.
47:2 Pick up millstones and grind flour!
Remove your veil,
strip off your skirt,
expose your legs,
cross the streams!
47:3 Let your private parts be exposed!
Your genitals will be on display! 341
I will get revenge;
I will not have pity on anyone,” 342
47:4 says our protector –
the Holy One of Israel. 343
47:5 “Sit silently! Go to a hiding place, 344
O daughter of the Babylonians!
Indeed, 345 you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’
47:6 I was angry at my people;
I defiled my special possession
and handed them over to you.
You showed them no mercy; 346
you even placed a very heavy burden on old people. 347
47:7 You said,
‘I will rule forever as permanent queen!’ 348
You did not think about these things; 349
you did not consider how it would turn out. 350
47:8 So now, listen to this,
O one who lives so lavishly, 351
who lives securely,
who says to herself, 352
‘I am unique! No one can compare to me! 353
I will never have to live as a widow;
I will never lose my children.’ 354
47:9 Both of these will come upon you
suddenly, in one day!
You will lose your children and be widowed. 355
You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies, 356
despite 357 your many incantations
and your numerous amulets. 358
47:10 You were complacent in your evil deeds; 359
you thought, 360 ‘No one sees me.’
Your self-professed 361 wisdom and knowledge lead you astray,
when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’ 362
47:11 Disaster will overtake you;
you will not know how to charm it away. 363
Destruction will fall on you;
you will not be able to appease it.
Calamity will strike you suddenly,
before you recognize it. 364
and your many incantations,
which you have faithfully recited 367 since your youth!
Maybe you will be successful 368 –
maybe you will scare away disaster. 369
47:13 You are tired out from listening to so much advice. 370
Let them take their stand –
the ones who see omens in the sky,
who gaze at the stars,
who make monthly predictions –
let them rescue you from the disaster that is about to overtake you! 371
47:14 Look, they are like straw,
which the fire burns up;
they cannot rescue themselves
from the heat 372 of the flames.
There are no coals to warm them,
no firelight to enjoy. 373
47:15 They will disappoint you, 374
those you have so faithfully dealt with since your youth. 375
Each strays off in his own direction, 376
leaving no one to rescue you.”
The Lord Appeals to the Exiles
48:1 Listen to this, O family of Jacob, 377
you who are called by the name ‘Israel,’
and are descended from Judah, 378
who take oaths in the name of the
and invoke 379 the God of Israel –
but not in an honest and just manner. 380
48:2 Indeed, they live in the holy city; 381
they trust in 382 the God of Israel,
whose name is the
48:3 “I announced events beforehand, 383
I issued the decrees and made the predictions; 384
suddenly I acted and they came to pass.
48:4 I did this 385 because I know how stubborn you are.
Your neck muscles are like iron
and your forehead like bronze. 386
48:5 I announced them to you beforehand;
before they happened, I predicted them for you,
so you could never say,
‘My image did these things,
my idol, my cast image, decreed them.’
48:6 You have heard; now look at all the evidence! 387
Will you not admit that what I say is true? 388
From this point on I am announcing to you new events
that are previously unrevealed and you do not know about. 389
48:7 Now they come into being, 390 not in the past;
before today you did not hear about them,
so you could not say,
‘Yes, 391 I know about them.’
48:8 You did not hear,
you do not know,
you were not told beforehand. 392
For I know that you are very deceitful; 393
you were labeled 394 a rebel from birth.
48:9 For the sake of my reputation 395 I hold back my anger;
48:10 Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have purified you 398 in the furnace of misery.
48:11 For my sake alone 399 I will act,
for how can I allow my name to be defiled? 400
I will not share my glory with anyone else! 401
48:12 Listen to me, O Jacob,
Israel, whom I summoned!
I am the one;
I am present at the very beginning
and at the very end. 402
48:13 Yes, my hand founded the earth;
my right hand spread out the sky.
I summon them;
they stand together.
48:14 All of you, gather together and listen!
Who among them 403 announced these things?
he will exert his power against the Babylonians. 405
48:15 I, I have spoken –
yes, I have summoned him;
I lead him and he will succeed. 406
48:16 Approach me! Listen to this!
From the very first I have not spoken in secret;
when it happens, 407 I am there.”
So now, the sovereign
48:17 This is what the
the Holy One of Israel: 410
“I am the
who teaches you how to succeed,
who leads you in the way you should go.
48:18 If only you had obeyed my 411 commandments,
prosperity would have flowed to you like a river, 412
deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea. 413
48:19 Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand, 414
and your children 415 like its granules.
Their name would not have been cut off
and eliminated from my presence. 416
48:20 Leave Babylon!
Flee from the Babylonians!
Announce it with a shout of joy!
Make this known!
Proclaim it throughout the earth! 417
48:21 They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;
he makes water flow out of a rock for them;
he splits open a rock and water flows out.’ 419
48:22 There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the
Ideal Israel Delivers the Exiles
49:1 Listen to me, you coastlands! 420
Pay attention, you people who live far away!
he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world. 422
49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
he hid me in the hollow of his hand;
he made me like a sharpened 423 arrow,
he hid me in his quiver. 424
49:3 He said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I will reveal my splendor.” 425
49:4 But I thought, 426 “I have worked in vain;
I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing.” 427
my God will reward me. 428
49:5 So now the
the one who formed me from birth 429 to be his servant –
he did this 430 to restore Jacob to himself,
so that Israel might be gathered to him;
and I will be honored 431 in the
for my God is my source of strength 432 –
49:6 he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant,
to reestablish the tribes of Jacob,
I will make you a light to the nations, 435
so you can bring 436 my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”
49:7 This is what the
a servant of rulers:
“Kings will see and rise in respect, 442
princes will bow down,
because of the faithful
the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
49:8 This is what the
“At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you;
in the day of deliverance I will help you;
and to reassign the desolate property.
49:9 You will say 447 to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
They will graze beside the roads;
on all the slopes they will find pasture.
49:10 They will not be hungry or thirsty;
the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, 450
for one who has compassion on them will guide them;
he will lead them to springs of water.
49:11 I will make all my mountains into a road;
I will construct my roadways.”
49:12 Look, they come from far away!
Look, some come from the north and west,
and others from the land of Sinim! 451
49:13 Shout for joy, O sky! 452
Rejoice, O earth!
Let the mountains give a joyful shout!
and shows compassion to the 453 oppressed.
The Lord Remembers Zion
49:14 “Zion said, ‘The
the sovereign master 454 has forgotten me.’
49:15 Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? 455
Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? 456
Even if mothers 457 were to forget,
I could never forget you! 458
49:16 Look, I have inscribed your name 459 on my palms;
your walls are constantly before me.
49:17 Your children hurry back,
while those who destroyed and devastated you depart.
49:18 Look all around you! 460
All of them gather to you.
As surely as I live,” says the
“you will certainly wear all of them like jewelry;
you will put them on as if you were a bride.
49:19 Yes, your land lies in ruins;
it is desolate and devastated. 461
But now you will be too small to hold your residents,
and those who devoured you will be far away.
49:20 Yet the children born during your time of bereavement
will say within your hearing,
‘This place is too cramped for us, 462
make room for us so we can live here.’ 463
49:21 Then you will think to yourself, 464
‘Who bore these children for me?
I was bereaved and barren,
dismissed and divorced. 465
Who raised these children?
Look, I was left all alone;
where did these children come from?’”
49:22 This is what the sovereign
“Look I will raise my hand to the nations;
I will raise my signal flag to the peoples.
They will bring your sons in their arms
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
49:23 Kings will be your children’s 466 guardians;
their princesses will nurse your children. 467
With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you
and they will lick the dirt on 468 your feet.
Then you will recognize that I am the
those who wait patiently for me are not put to shame.
49:24 Can spoils be taken from a warrior,
or captives be rescued from a conqueror? 469
49:25 Indeed,” says the
“captives will be taken from a warrior;
spoils will be rescued from a conqueror.
I will oppose your adversary
and I will rescue your children.
49:26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
they will get drunk on their own blood, as if it were wine. 470
Then all humankind 471 will recognize that
I am the
50:1 This is what the
“Where is your mother’s divorce certificate
by which I divorced her?
Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? 474
Look, you were sold because of your sins; 475
because of your rebellious acts I divorced your mother. 476
50:2 Why does no one challenge me when I come?
Why does no one respond when I call? 477
Do I lack the power to rescue you?
Look, with a mere shout 480 I can dry up the sea;
I can turn streams into a desert,
so the fish rot away and die
from lack of water. 481
50:3 I can clothe the sky in darkness;
I can cover it with sackcloth.”
The Servant Perseveres
50:4 The sovereign
so that I know how to help the weary. 483
He wakes me up every morning;
he makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do. 484
50:5 The sovereign
I have not rebelled,
I have not turned back.
50:6 I offered my back to those who attacked, 486
my jaws to those who tore out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from insults and spitting.
50:7 But the sovereign
so I am not humiliated.
For that reason I am steadfastly resolved; 487
I know I will not be put to shame.
50:8 The one who vindicates me is close by.
Who dares to argue with me? Let us confront each other! 488
50:9 Look, the sovereign
Who dares to condemn me?
Look, all of them will wear out like clothes;
a moth will eat away at them.
50:10 Who among you fears the
Who obeys 491 his servant?
Whoever walks in deep darkness, 492
should trust in the name of the
and rely on his God.
50:11 Look, all of you who start a fire
and among the flaming arrows you ignited! 497
This is what you will receive from me: 498
you will lie down in a place of pain. 499
There is Hope for the Future
51:1 “Listen to me, you who pursue godliness, 500
who seek the
Look at the rock from which you were chiseled,
51:2 Look at Abraham, your father,
and Sarah, who gave you birth. 503
When I summoned him, he was a lone individual, 504
51:3 Certainly the
he will console all her ruins.
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the Garden of the
Happiness and joy will be restored to 507 her,
thanksgiving and the sound of music.
51:4 Pay attention to me, my people!
Listen to me, my people!
I will make my justice a light to the nations. 510
51:5 I am ready to vindicate, 511
I am ready to deliver, 512
I will establish justice among the nations. 513
The coastlands 514 wait patiently for me;
they wait in anticipation for the revelation of my power. 515
51:6 Look up at the sky!
Look at the earth below!
For the sky will dissipate 516 like smoke,
and the earth will wear out like clothes;
its residents will die like gnats.
But the deliverance I give 517 is permanent;
51:7 Listen to me, you who know what is right,
you people who are aware of my law! 520
Don’t be afraid of the insults of men;
don’t be discouraged because of their abuse!
51:8 For a moth will eat away at them like clothes;
a clothes moth will devour them like wool.
But the vindication I provide 521 will be permanent;
the deliverance I give will last.”
51:9 Wake up! Wake up!
Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the
Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity!
51:10 Did you not dry up the sea,
the waters of the great deep?
Did you not make 527 a path through the depths of the sea,
so those delivered from bondage 528 could cross over?
51:11 Those whom the
they will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them, 529
happiness and joy will overwhelm 530 them;
grief and suffering will disappear. 531
51:12 “I, I am the one who consoles you. 532
Why are you afraid of mortal men,
of mere human beings who are as short-lived as grass? 533
51:13 Why do you forget 534 the
who stretched out the sky 535
and founded the earth?
Why do you constantly tremble all day long 536
at the anger of the oppressor,
when he makes plans to destroy?
Where is the anger of the oppressor? 537
51:14 The one who suffers 538 will soon be released;
he will not die in prison, 539
he will not go hungry. 540
51:15 I am the
who churns up the sea so that its waves surge.
Zion’s Time to Celebrate
I cover you with the palm of my hand, 543
to establish 544 the sky and to found the earth,
to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” 545
51:17 Wake up! Wake up!
Get up, O Jerusalem!
You drank from the cup the
which was full of his anger! 546
You drained dry
the goblet full of intoxicating wine. 547
51:18 There was no one to lead her
among all the children she bore;
there was no one to take her by the hand
among all the children she raised.
51:19 These double disasters confronted you.
But who feels sorry for you?
Destruction and devastation,
famine and sword.
But who consoles you? 548
51:20 Your children faint;
they lie at the head of every street
like an antelope in a snare.
They are left in a stupor by the
by the battle cry of your God. 549
51:21 So listen to this, oppressed one,
who is drunk, but not from wine!
51:22 This is what your sovereign master, 550 the
“Look, I have removed from your hand
the cup of intoxicating wine, 551
the goblet full of my anger. 552
You will no longer have to drink it.
51:23 I will put it into the hand of your tormentors 553
who said to you, ‘Lie down, so we can walk over you.’
You made your back like the ground,
and like the street for those who walked over you.”
52:1 Wake up! Wake up!
Clothe yourself with strength, O Zion!
Put on your beautiful clothes,
O Jerusalem, 554 holy city!
For uncircumcised and unclean pagans
will no longer invade you.
52:2 Shake off the dirt! 555
Get up, captive 556 Jerusalem!
Take off the iron chains around your neck,
O captive daughter Zion!
52:3 For this is what the
“You were sold for nothing,
and you will not be redeemed for money.”
52:4 For this is what the sovereign
“In the beginning my people went to live temporarily in Egypt;
Assyria oppressed them for no good reason.
52:5 And now, what do we have here?” 557 says the
“Indeed my people have been carried away for nothing,
those who rule over them taunt,” 558 says the
“and my name is constantly slandered 559 all day long.
52:6 For this reason my people will know my name,
‘Here I am.’”
52:7 How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains 562
the feet of a messenger who announces peace,
a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 563
52:8 Listen, 564 your watchmen shout;
in unison they shout for joy,
for they see with their very own eyes 565
52:9 In unison give a joyful shout,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
he protects 566 Jerusalem.
in the sight of all the nations;
the entire 569 earth sees
our God deliver. 570
52:11 Leave! Leave! Get out of there!
Don’t touch anything unclean!
Get out of it!
Stay pure, you who carry the
52:12 Yet do not depart quickly
or leave in a panic. 572
the God of Israel is your rear guard.
The Lord Will Vindicate His Servant
52:13 “Look, my servant will succeed! 573
He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted 574 –
52:14 (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) 575
52:15 his form was so marred he no longer looked human 578 –
Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, 581
for they will witness something unannounced to them,
and they will understand something they had not heard about.
53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God, 587
like a root out of parched soil; 588
he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, 589
no special appearance that we should want to follow him. 590
53:3 He was despised and rejected by people, 591
one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
people hid their faces from him; 592
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. 593
53:4 But he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain; 594
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. 595
53:5 He was wounded because of 596 our rebellious deeds,
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well; 597
because of his wounds we have been healed. 598
53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep;
each of us had strayed off on his own path,
53:7 He was treated harshly and afflicted, 600
but he did not even open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block,
like a sheep silent before her shearers,
he did not even open his mouth. 601
53:8 He was led away after an unjust trial 602 –
but who even cared? 603
Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; 604
because of the rebellion of his own 605 people he was wounded.
53:9 They intended to bury him with criminals, 606
but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, 607
because 608 he had committed no violent deeds,
nor had he spoken deceitfully.
53:10 Though the
once restitution is made, 609
he will see descendants and enjoy long life, 610
53:11 Having suffered, he will reflect on his work,
he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. 611
for he carried their sins. 614
53:12 So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, 615
he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, 616
because he willingly submitted 617 to death
and was numbered with the rebels,
when he lifted up the sin of many
and intervened 618 on behalf of the rebels.”
Zion Will Be Secure
54:1 “Shout for joy, O barren one who has not given birth!
Give a joyful shout and cry out, you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one are more numerous
than the children of the married woman,” says the
54:2 Make your tent larger,
stretch your tent curtains farther out! 619
Spare no effort,
lengthen your ropes,
and pound your stakes deep. 620
54:3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your children will conquer 621 nations
and will resettle desolate cities.
54:4 Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame!
Don’t be intimidated, 622 for you will not be humiliated!
You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth;
you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment. 623
54:5 For your husband is the one who made you –
He is called “God of the entire earth.”
54:6 “Indeed, the
like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression, 626
like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.
54:7 “For a short time I abandoned 627 you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,”
says your protector, 630 the
54:9 “As far as I am concerned, this is like in Noah’s time, 631
when I vowed that the waters of Noah’s flood 632 would never again cover the earth.
In the same way I have vowed that I will not be angry at you or shout at you.
54:10 Even if the mountains are removed
and the hills displaced,
my devotion will not be removed from you,
nor will my covenant of friendship 633 be displaced,”
54:11 “O afflicted one, driven away, 634 and unconsoled!
Look, I am about to set your stones in antimony
and I lay your foundation with lapis-lazuli.
54:12 I will make your pinnacles out of gems, 635
your gates out of beryl, 636
54:13 All your children will be followers of the
and your children will enjoy great prosperity. 639
54:14 You will be reestablished when I vindicate you. 640
You will not experience oppression; 641
indeed, you will not be afraid.
You will not be terrified, 642
for nothing frightening 643 will come near you.
54:15 If anyone dares to 644 challenge you, it will not be my doing!
Whoever tries to challenge you will be defeated. 645
54:16 Look, I create the craftsman,
who fans the coals into a fire
and forges a weapon. 646
I create the destroyer so he might devastate.
54:17 No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed;
you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you. 647
This is what the
I will vindicate them,” 648
The Lord Gives an Invitation
55:1 “Hey, 649 all who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come!
Buy and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk
without money and without cost! 650
55:2 Why pay money for something that will not nourish you? 651
Enjoy fine food! 656
55:3 Pay attention and come to me!
Listen, so you can live! 657
Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to 658 you,
just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David. 659
55:4 Look, I made him a witness to nations, 660
a ruler and commander of nations.”
55:5 Look, you will summon nations 661 you did not previously know;
nations 662 that did not previously know you will run to you,
because of the
the Holy One of Israel, 663
for he bestows honor on you.
55:6 Seek the
call to him while he is nearby!
55:7 The wicked need to abandon their lifestyle 665
and sinful people their plans. 666
and to their God, for he will freely forgive them. 669
55:9 for just as the sky 675 is higher than the earth,
and my plans 678 superior to your plans.55:10 679
The rain and snow fall from the sky
and do not return,
but instead water the earth
and make it produce and yield crops,
and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat.
55:11 In the same way, the promise that I make
does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. 680
No, it is realized as I desire
and is fulfilled as I intend.” 681
55:12 Indeed you will go out with joy;
you will be led along in peace;
the mountains and hills will give a joyful shout before you,
and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.
55:13 Evergreens will grow in place of thorn bushes,
firs will grow in place of nettles;
they will be a monument to the
a permanent reminder that will remain. 683