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Isaiah 40

40
XL
1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God:
2Speak ye things pleasing to the heart of Jerusalem, and declare unto her,
That her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity hath been expiated;
That she hath received at the hand of Jehovah
Double for all her sins.
3A voice crieth in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of Jehovah,
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every valley shall be exalted,
And every mountain and bill shall be made low,
And the crooked shall become Straight;
And the rough places a smooth plain:
5And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall See together
That the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.
6A voice saith, Proclaim!
And he said, What shall I proclaim?
All flesh is grass,
And all his goodliness like the flower of the field:
7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,
When the spirit of Jehovah bloweth upon it:
Surely the people is grass.
8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth;
But the word of God shall stand for ever.
9Get thee up upon a high mountain, O Zion, that bringest good tidings:
Lift up thy voice with strength, O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings;
Lift it up; be not afraid:
Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
10Behold, the Lord. Jehovah shall come with might,
And his arm shall rule for him:
Behold, his reward is with him;
And the recompense of his word is before him.
11He shall feed his flock, like a shepherd;
In his arm shall he gather up the lambs,
And in his bosom carry them;
The nursing ewes shall he gently lead.
12Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
And hath meted out the heavens with a span;
And hath comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure,
And hath weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
13Who hath searched out the Spirit of Jehovah,
Or being his counsellor hath taught him?
14With whom took he counsel, that he should instruct him;
And teach him in the path of judgment;
And teach him knowledge,
And shew to him the way of understanding?
15Behold, the nations are as a drop from the bucket;
And as the small dust on a balance shall they be accounted:
Behold, the isles are as an atom which flitteth away.
16And Lebanon is not sufficient to supply fire,
Nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering.
17All the nations are before him, as though they were nought;
They are accounted by Him as less than nought and vanity.
18To whom then will ye liken God?
Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
19The workman casteth an image,
And the goldsmith overlayeth it with gold;
And forgeth for it chains of silver.
20He that is too poor to make a costly oblation chooseth him a piece of wood that will not rot;
He seeketh unto him a skilful workman,
To erect an image which shall not be moved.
21Have ye not known? have ye not heard?
Hath it not been told you from the beginning?
Have ye not understood it from the foundations of the earth?
22He it is who sitteth upon the circle of the earth,
And the inhabitants thereof are as locusts:
Who stretcheth out the heavens, like a canopy;
And spreadeth them out, as a tent to dwell in:
23Who reduceth princes to nothing;
Who maketh the rulers of the earth as vanity.
24Yea, they shall not scarcely be planted; yea, they shall not scarcely be sown;
Yea, their trunk shall not scarcely take root in the earth;
And yet should He but blow upon them, they wither;
And the whirlwind taketh them away as stubble.
25To whom then will ye liken me?
And to whom shall I be equalled? saith the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high,
And behold who hath created these things;
Who bringeth out their hosts by number,
Who calleth them all by name:
Through multitude of strength, and might of power,
Not one of them is missing.
27Why sayest thou, O Jacob,
And speakest, O Israel:
My way is hidden from Jehovah,
And my cause passeth unregarded by my God?
28Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,
That the everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
Fainteth not, neither is weary?
There is no searching out of his understanding.
29He giveth power to the faint,
And to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall;
31But they that wait upon Jehovah shall gather new strength;
They shall mount up with wings as eagles;
They shall run, and not be weary,
They shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40

40
Words of Hope
1“Comfort my people,” says our God. “Comfort them!
2Encourage the people of Jerusalem.
Tell them they have suffered long enough
and their sins are now forgiven.#40.2 and their sins are now forgiven; or they have paid for what they did.
I have punished them in full for all their sins.”
3 # Mt 3.3; Mk 1.3; Jn 1.23 # Lk 3.4–6 A voice cries out,
“Prepare in the wilderness a road for the LORD!
Clear the way in the desert for our God!
4Fill every valley;
level every mountain.
The hills will become a plain,
and the rough country will be made smooth.
5Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and the whole human race will see it.
The LORD himself has promised this.”
6 # Jas 1.10–11; 1 Pet 1.24–25 A voice cries out, “Proclaim a message!”
“What message shall I proclaim?” I ask.
“Proclaim that all human beings are like grass;
they last no longer than wild flowers.
7Grass withers and flowers fade,
when the LORD sends the wind blowing over them.
People are no more enduring than grass.
8Yes, grass withers and flowers fade,
but the word of our God endures for ever.”
9Jerusalem, go up on a high mountain
and proclaim the good news!
Call out with a loud voice, Zion;
announce the good news!#40.9 Jerusalem, go up… news!; or Go up on a high mountain and proclaim the good news to Jerusalem! Call out with a loud voice and announce the good news to Zion!
Speak out and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah
that their God is coming!
10 # Is 62.11; Rev 22.12 The Sovereign LORD is coming to rule with power,
bringing with him the people he has rescued.#40.10 the people he has rescued; or the rewards he has for his people.
11 # Ezek 34.15; Jn 10.11 He will take care of his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs together
and carry them in his arms;
he will gently lead their mothers.
Israel's Incomparable God
12Can anyone measure the ocean by handfuls
or measure the sky with his hands?
Can anyone hold the soil of the earth in a cup
or weigh the mountains and hills on scales?
13 # Rom 11.34; 1 Cor 2.16 Can anyone tell the LORD what to do?
Who can teach him or give him advice?
14With whom does God consult
in order to know and understand
and to learn how things should be done?
15To the LORD the nations are nothing,
no more than a drop of water;
the distant islands are as light as dust.
16All the animals in the forests of Lebanon
are not enough for a sacrifice to our God,
and its trees are too few to kindle the fire.
17The nations are nothing at all to him.
18 # Acts 17.29 To whom can God be compared?
How can you describe what he is like?
19He is not like an idol that workmen make,
that metalworkers cover with gold
and set in a base of silver.
20The man who cannot afford silver or gold#40.20 Verses 19–20a in Hebrew are unclear.
chooses wood that will not rot.
He finds a skilful craftsman
to make an image that won't fall down.
21Do you not know?
Were you not told long ago?
Have you not heard how the world began?
22It was made by the one who sits on his throne
above the earth and beyond the sky;
the people below look as tiny as ants.
He stretched out the sky like a curtain,
like a tent in which to live.
23He brings down powerful rulers
and reduces them to nothing.
24They are like young plants,
just set out and barely rooted.
When the LORD sends a wind,
they dry up and blow away like straw.
25To whom can the holy God be compared?
Is there anyone else like him?
26Look up at the sky!
Who created the stars you see?
The one who leads them out like an army,
he knows how many there are
and calls each one by name!
His power is so great —
not one of them is ever missing!
27Israel, why then do you complain
that the LORD doesn't know your troubles
or care if you suffer injustice?
28Don't you know? Haven't you heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God;
he created all the world.
He never grows tired or weary.
No one understands his thoughts.
29He strengthens those who are weak and tired.
30Even those who are young grow weak;
young people can fall exhausted.
31But those who trust in the LORD for help
will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
they will run and not get weary;
they will walk and not grow weak.