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Isaiah 41

41
XLI
1Keep silence before me, O Islands;
And let the nations renew their strength:
Let them draw near; then let them speak;
Let us come near together to judgment.
2Who hath stirred up from the east him,
Whom justice met at his feet?
Who hath given up the nations before him, that he should rule over kings?
Hath made as the dust, his sword;
As chaff driven by the wind, his bow?
3He hath pursued them, he hath passed safely,
By a way which no man had ever gone with his feet.
4Who hath wrought and done it,
Calling the generations from the beginning?
I Jehovah, the first;
And with the last, I am the same.
5The isles saw it, and feared;
The ends of the earth were terrified:
They drew near, they came together.
6They helped every one his neighbour,
And everyone said to his brother, Be of good courage.
7So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith,
And he that smootheth with the hammer him that smiteth on the anvil:
Saying of the soldering, It is good;
And he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
8But thou, O Israel, my servant,
O Jacob, whom I have chosen,
The seed of Abraham my friend;
9Thou, whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called thee from the extremities thereof;
And said unto thee, Thou art my servant;
I have chosen thee, and will not reject thee.
10Fear 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.
11Behold, all they that were enraged against thee shall be ashamed and confounded:
They that contended with thee shall become as nothing, and shall utterly perish.
12Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even the men that strove with thee:
They shall become as nothing, and as mere nought, even the men that opposed thee in battle.
13For I Jehovah thy God, hold thee fast by thy right hand,
Saying unto thee, Fear not: I am thy helper.
14Fear not, thou worm Jacob; ye mortals of Israel;
I will help thee, saith Jehovah;
And thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15Behold, I have made thee a new sharp threshing wain, armed with pointed teeth:
Thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small;
And shalt make the hills as chaff.
16Thou shalt winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them:
But thou shalt rejoice in Jehovah,
And shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17The poor and needy who seek for water, and there is none;
Whose tongue is parched with thirst:
I Jehovah will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18I will open rivers in the high places,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys:
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of waters.
19I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia,
And the myrtle, and the oil-tree;
I will set in the desert the fir-tree,
The plane-tree, and the box together:
20That they might 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.
21Bring forward your cause, saith Jehovah:
Produce your strong arguments, saith the King of Jacob,
22Let them approach, and tell us the things that shall happen;
The things that shall first happen, what they are, let them tell us;
That we may consider them, and know the event of them:
Or declare to us things to come hereafter.
23Tell us the things that will come to pass in the later times,
That we may know if ye be gods:
Yea, do good, or do evil,
That we may look around us, and behold together.
24Lo, ye are worse than nothing;
And your work is less than nought:
An abomination is he that maketh choice of you.
25I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come;
From the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name:
And he shall trample on princes, as on mortar;
And as the potter treadeth down the clay.
26Who hath declared this from the beginning, that we should know it?
And beforehand, that we should say, It is right?
Yea, there was not one that declared it; yea, not one who had spread the report;
Yea, there was not one that heard your words.
27I am the first who said unto Zion, Behold, behold them I
And gave to Jerusalem a messenger of glad tidings.
28And I looked, but there was no man;
Even among these, but there was no counsellor;
And I inquired of them, but there was no one that could return an answer.
29Behold, they are all of them vanity;
Their works are nought:
Mere wind and emptiness are their molten images.

Isaiah 41

41
Israel Encouraged
1“Listen to Me in silence, you islands and coastlands,
And let the nations gain their strength;
Let them come near, then let them speak;
Let us come together for judgment [and decide the issue between us concerning the enemy from the east].
2Who has stirred up and put into action one from the east [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great]
Whom He calls in righteousness to His service and whom victory meets at every step?
The Lord turns nations over to him
And subdues kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
Like wind-driven chaff with his bow.
3He (Cyrus) pursues them and passes along safely,
By a way his feet had not traveled before.
4Who has performed and done this,
Calling forth [and guiding the destinies of] the generations [of the nations] from the beginning?
‘I, the Lord—the first, and with the last [existing before history began, the ever-present, unchanging God]—I am He.’ ”
5The islands and coastlands have seen and they fear;
The ends of the earth tremble;
They have drawn near and have come.
6They each help his neighbor
And say to his brother [as he fashions his idols], “Be of good courage!”
7So the craftsman encourages the goldsmith,
And he who smooths metal with the smith’s hammer encourages him who beats the anvil,
Saying of the soldering (welding), “That is good”;
And he fastens the idol with nails,
So that it will not totter nor be moved.
8“But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The offspring of Abraham My friend,
9You whom I [the Lord] have #Lit seized.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 have not rejected you [even though you are exiled].
10Do not fear [anything], for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you;
I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’
11Indeed, all those who are angry with you will be put to shame and humiliated;
Those who strive against you will be as nothing and will perish.
12You shall search for those who quarrel with you, but will not find them;
They who war against you will be as nothing, as nothing at all.
13For I the Lord your God keep hold of your right hand; [I am the Lord],
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
14Do 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.
15In fact, I have made of you a new, sharp #A heavy flat wooden sledge composed of several thick boards with sharp pieces of flint or metal embedded on one side. It was dragged over harvested stalks of grain to separate the kernels from the straw.threshing implement with sharp edges;
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
And make the hills like chaff.
16You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
And a high wind will scatter them;
But you will rejoice in the Lord,
You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17“The poor and needy are seeking water, but there is none;
Their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them Myself;
I, the God of Israel, will not neglect them.
18I will open rivers on the barren heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a reed-pool of water
And the dry land springs of water.
19I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia, the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
20So that they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
That the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21“Present your case [for idols made by men’s hands],” says the Lord.
“Produce your evidence [of divinity],”
Says the king of Jacob.
22Let them bring forward [their evidence] and tell us what is going to happen.
Regarding the former events, tell what they were,
That we may consider them and know their outcome;
Or announce to us the things that are going to come.
23Tell us the things that are to come afterward,
That we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, you should do something good or do evil, #Lit and let us be.that we may be afraid and fear [you] together [as we observe the miracle].
24Hear this! You [idols] are less than nothing,
And your work is worthless;
The worshiper who chooses you [as a god] is repulsive.
25“I have stirred up and put into action #Cyrus originally came from the east (Is 41:2), but defeated a number of kingdoms north of Babylon early in his reign.one from the north [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great], and he has come;
From the rising of the sun he will call on My Name [in prayer].
And he will trample on [the Babylonian] officials as on mortar,
Even as a potter treads clay.”
26Who [among the idols] has declared this from the beginning, so that we could know?
Or from earlier times, so that we could say, “He is [unquestionably] right!”?
In fact, there was no one who declared it,
Indeed, there was no one who proclaimed it;
There was no one at all who heard you speak [for you pagan gods are speechless].
27“I was first to say to Zion, ‘Listen carefully, here they are [the Jews who will be restored to their own land].’
And to Jerusalem, ‘I will provide a messenger (Isaiah) to bring the good news [#This prophecy was declared about a hundred and fifty years before it occurred.that Cyrus will be stirred up and put into action to save them].’
28But when I look [on the pagan prophets and priests], there is no one [who could predict these events],
And there is no counselor #Lit out of those.among them,
Who, if I ask, can give an answer.
29In fact, all of these [pagan prophets and priests] are false;
Their works are worthless,
Their cast images are [merely] wind and emptiness.