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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
God's Assurance to Israel
1God says,
“Be silent and listen to me, you distant lands!
Get ready to present your case in court;
you will have your chance to speak.
Let us come together to decide who is right.
2“Who was it that brought the conqueror from the east,#41.2 the conqueror from the east: Cyrus, the emperor of Persia (see 45.1).
and makes him triumphant wherever he goes?
Who gives him victory over kings and nations?
His sword strikes them down as if they were dust.
His arrows scatter them like straw before the wind.
3He follows in pursuit and marches safely on,
so fast that he hardly touches the ground!
4Who was it that made this happen?
Who has determined the course of history?
I, the LORD, was there at the beginning,
and I, the LORD, will be there at the end.
5“The people of distant lands have seen what I have done;
they are frightened and tremble with fear.
So they all assemble and come.
6The craftsmen help and encourage one another.
7The carpenter says to the goldsmith, ‘Well done!’
The man who beats the idol smooth
encourages the one who nails it together.
They say, ‘The soldering is good’ —
and they fasten the idol in place with nails.
8 # 2 Chr 20.7; Jas 2.23 “But you, Israel my servant,
you are the people that I have chosen,
the descendants of Abraham, my friend.
9I brought you from the ends of the earth;
I called you from its farthest corners
and said to you, ‘You are my servant.’
I did not reject you, but chose you.
10Do not be afraid — I am with you!
I am your God — let nothing terrify you!
I will make you strong and help you;
I will protect you and save you.
11“Those who are angry with you
will know the shame of defeat.
Those who fight against you will die
12and will disappear from the earth.
13I am the LORD your God;
I strengthen you and say,
‘Do not be afraid; I will help you.’ ”
14The LORD says,
“Small and weak as you are, Israel,
don't be afraid; I will help you.
I, the holy God of Israel, am the one who saves you.
15I will make you like a threshing board,
with spikes that are new and sharp.
You will thresh mountains and destroy them;
hills will crumble into dust.
16You will toss them in the air;
the wind will carry them off,
and they will be scattered by the storm.
Then you will be happy because I am your God;
you will praise me, the holy God of Israel.
17“When my people in their need look for water,
when their throats are dry with thirst,
then I, the LORD, will answer their prayer;
I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.
18I will make rivers flow among barren hills
and springs of water run in the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water
and the dry land into flowing springs.
19I will make cedars grow in the desert,
and acacias and myrtles and olive trees.
Forests will grow in barren land,
forests of pine and juniper and cypress.
20People will see this and know
that I, the LORD, have done it.
They will come to understand
that Israel's holy God has made it happen.”
The LORD's Challenge to False Gods
21The LORD, the king of Israel, has this to say:
“You gods of the nations, present your case.
Bring the best arguments you have!
22Come here and predict what will happen,
so that we will know it when it takes place.
Explain to the court the events of the past,
and tell us what they mean.
23Tell us what the future holds —
then we will know that you are gods!
Do something good or bring some disaster;
fill us with fear and awe!
24You and all you do are nothing;
those who worship you are disgusting!
25“I have chosen a man who lives in the east;#41.25 a man who lives in the east: See 41.2.
I will bring him to attack from the north.
He tramples on rulers as if they were mud,
like a potter trampling clay.
26Which of you predicted that this would happen,
so that we could say that you were right?
None of you said a word about it;
no one heard you say a thing!
27I, the LORD, was the first to tell Zion the news;
I sent a messenger to Jerusalem to say,
‘Your people are coming! They are coming home!’#41.27 Verse 27 in Hebrew is unclear.
28When I looked among the gods,
none of them had a thing to say;
not one could answer the questions I asked.
29All these gods are useless;
they can do nothing at all —
these idols are weak and powerless.”