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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 Helps Israel
1Listen to me in silence, coastlands,
and let nations renew their strength.
Let them approach, then let them speak;
let us draw near together for judgment.
2Who has roused salvation from the east,
summoned#Or “called” him to his foot,
gives nations in his presence,#Literally “before his face”
and subjugates kings?
He makes#Or “gives” them like the dust with his sword,
like scattered stubble with his bow.
3He pursues them and passes on in peace;
he does not enter the path with his feet.
4Who has accomplished and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?#Literally “head”
I, Yahweh, am first;
and I am the one with the last.
5The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
the ends of the earth tremble.
They have drawn near,
and they have come.
6Each one helps#Hebrew “help” his neighbor;
he says to his brother, “Take courage!”
7And the artisan encourages the goldsmith,#Literally “refiner”
the one who makes smooth with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good!”
And they strengthen it with nails so it cannot be knocked over.
8But#Or “And” you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you, the offspring#Literally “seed” of Abraham my friend,#Literally “beloved”
9you whom I grasped from the ends of the earth
and called from its remotest parts
and told, “You are my servant;
I have chosen you and I have not rejected you.”
10You must not fear, for I am with you;
you must not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, indeed I will help you,
indeed I will take hold of you with the right hand of my salvation.
11Look! All those who are angry with you shall be ashamed and humiliated;
your opponents#Literally “the men of your strife” shall be like nothing and shall become lost.
12You shall seek them,
but#Or “and” you shall not find them;
your opponents#Literally “the men of your strife” shall be like nothing,
and the men of your war like nothing.
13For I, Yahweh your God, am grasping your right hand;
it is I who say#Literally “the sayer” to you,
“You must not fear;
I myself, I will help you.
14You must not fear, O worm of Jacob;
people of Israel, I myself, I will help you,”
declares#Literally “declaration of” Yahweh,
“and your redeemer is the holy one of Israel.
15Look! I will make you into a new sharp threshing sledge,
with#Literally “owner of” sharp edges.
You shall thresh and crush the mountains,
and you shall make the hills like chaff.
16You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you yourself shall rejoice in Yahweh;
you shall boast in the holy one of Israel.
17The poor and the needy are seeking water and there is none;
their tongue is dried up with thirst.
I, Yahweh, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18I will open rivers on the barren heights
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness like a pool of water
and the land of dryness like springs of water.
19I will put#Literally “give” the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive oil tree in the wilderness;
I will set the cypress, elm, and box tree together in the desert
20so that they may see and know,
and take to heart and understand together
that the hand of Yahweh has done this,
and the holy one of Israel has created it.”
21“Present your legal case,” says Yahweh.
“Bring your evidence,” says the king of Jacob.
22Let them bring them,
and let them tell us what will happen.
Tell us what the former things are
so that#Or “And” we may take them to our heart
and know their outcome.#Or “end”
Declare to us the things to come;
23tell us the things coming hereafter,#Literally “later”
that#Or “and” we may know that you are gods.
Indeed, do good or#Or “and” do evil,
that#Or “and” we may be afraid and see#Following the reading tradition (Qere); the written text (Kethib) has “fear” together.
24Look! you are nothing,
and your work is something worthless;
whoever chooses you is an abomination.
25I stirred up one from the north,
and he has come from the rising of the sun.
He shall call on my name,
and he shall come on officials as on mortar,
and as the potter#Literally “creator” treads clay.
26Who declared it from the beginning#Literally “head” so that#Or “and” we might know,
and beforehand#Literally “from before faces” so that#Or “and” we might say, “He is right!”#Literally “righteous”
Indeed, there was no one who declared it;
Indeed, there was no one who proclaimed it.
Indeed there was no one who heard your words.
27First to Zion, look! Look at them!
And I give a herald#Or “bringer” of good tidings to Jerusalem.
28But#Or “And” I look and there is no man,
and I look among these and there is no counselor,
that#Or “and” I might ask them and they might answer a word.
29Look! All of them are deception;
their works are nothing;
their images are wind and emptiness.