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Isaiah 44

44
XLIV
1Yet now hear, O Jacob, my servant!
And Israel! whom I have chosen:
2Thus saith Jehovah who made thee,
And formed thee from the womb, He will help thee;
Fear not, my servant Jacob,
And thou Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3For I will pour waters upon the thirsty soil,
And flowing streams upon the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed,
And my blessing upon thine offspring.
4And they shall spring up as among the grass,
As willows by the water-courses.
5One shall say: I am Jehovah’s;
And another shall call himself by the name of Jacob:
And another shall inscribe upon his hand, I am Jehovah’s;
And shall be surnamed by the name of Israel.
6Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts:
I am the first, and I am the last;
And beside me there is no God.
7And who like me could foretell,
And declare it; or who could dispose it for me,
From the time that I have appointed the ancient people;
So that the things which are now coming, and what shall come hereafter, should become known unto them?
8Fear ye not, neither be afraid:
Have I not of old made it known unto thee, and declared it?
And ye are my witnesses.
Is there a God beside me?
Yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.
9They that form a graven image are all of them vanity;
And their objects of delight shall not profit:
Yea, they are their witnesses, that they see not,
Nor understand; so that they may be ashamed.
10Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image,
That is profitable for nothing?
11Behold, all his associates shall be ashamed;
And the workmen themselves who are of men:
Let them assemble, all of them; let them stand up;
They shall fear, and be ashamed together.
12The smith maketh an axe,
And worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers;
And worketh it with the strength of his arm:
Yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth him;
He drinketh no water, and is faint.
13The carpenter stretcheth out the line;
He marketh out the form of it with red ochre:
He worketh it with planes,
And with the compass he marketh it out:
He maketh it after the figure of a man,
According to the beauty of the human form, that it may abide in the house.
14He heweth him down cedars,
He taketh also the pine, and the oak;
And he chooseth for himself among the trees of the forest:
He planteth the ash, and the rain nourisheth it.
15Then shall it be for man to burn;
And he taketh thereof, and warmeth himself;
Yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread;
Yea, he formeth a god, and worshippeth it;
He maketh of it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.
16Part of it he burneth in the fire;
On a part of it he eateth flesh:
He roasteth meat, and is satisfied;
Yea, he warmeth himself, and saith:
Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.
17And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image:
He falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it;
And he prayeth unto it, and saith:
Deliver me, for thou art my God!
18They know not, neither do they understand;
For he hath closed up their eyes, that they cannot see;
And their hearts, that they cannot rightly discern.
19Neither doth he consider in his heart;
Neither hath he knowledge, nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire;
I have also baked bread upon the coals thereof;
I have roasted flesh, and eaten it:
And shall I make the residue thereof an abomination?
Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
20He feedeth on ashes: a deluded heart leadeth him aside,
So that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say,
Is there not a lie in my right hand?
21Remember these things, O Jacob,
And, Israel; for thou art my servant:
I have formed thee; thou art my servant;
O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten by me.
22I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions,
And as a light cloud thy sins:
Return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
23Sing, O ye heavens, for Jehovah hath done it;
Utter a joyful sound, ye lower parts of the earth:
Burst forth into song, O ye mountains:
Thou forest, and every tree therein:
For Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob,
And will be glorified in Israel.
24Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer,
Even He that formed thee from the womb:
I am Jehovah who maketh all things,
Who stretcheth out the heavens alone;
Who spreadeth abroad the earth by myself:
25I am He who frustrated the foretokens of the impostors,
And maketh the diviners mad;
Who turneth the wise men backward,
And maketh their knowledge foolish:
26Who established the word of his servant,
And accomplished the counsel of his messengers:
Who saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited;
And to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built;
And I will restore her desolate places:
27Who saith to the deep, Be dry;
And I will make dry thy rivers:
28Who saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd;
And he shall fulfill all my pleasure:
Who saith of Jerusalem, She shall be built;
And to the Temple, Thy foundations shall be laid.

Isaiah 44

44
1“But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
2The Lord who made you and helps you says:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
O dear Israel,#44:2 Hebrew Jeshurun, a term of endearment for Israel. my chosen one.
3For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
and to irrigate your parched fields.
And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
and my blessing on your children.
4They will thrive like watered grass,
like willows on a riverbank.
5Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’
Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’
Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands
and will take the name of Israel as their own.”
The Foolishness of Idols
6This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:
“I am the First and the Last;
there is no other God.
7Who is like me?
Let him step forward and prove to you his power.
Let him do as I have done since ancient times
when I established a people and explained its future.
8Do not tremble; do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?
You are my witnesses—is there any other God?
No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
9How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
These prized objects are really worthless.
The people who worship idols don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
10Who but a fool would make his own god—
an idol that cannot help him one bit?
11All who worship idols will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can make a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame.
12The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool,
pounding and shaping it with all his might.
His work makes him hungry and weak.
It makes him thirsty and faint.
13Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood
and draws a pattern on it.
He works with chisel and plane
and carves it into a human figure.
He gives it human beauty
and puts it in a little shrine.
14He cuts down cedars;
he selects the cypress and the oak;
he plants the pine in the forest
to be nourished by the rain.
15Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire.
With it he warms himself and bakes his bread.
Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it
and makes himself a god to worship!
He makes an idol
and bows down in front of it!
16He burns part of the tree to roast his meat
and to keep himself warm.
He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
17Then he takes what’s left
and makes his god: a carved idol!
He falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” he says.
“You are my god!”
18Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
Restoration for Jerusalem
21“Pay attention, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I, the Lord, made you,
and I will not forget you.
22I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,
for I have paid the price to set you free.”
23Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing.
Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!
Break into song,
O mountains and forests and every tree!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob
and is glorified in Israel.
24This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer and Creator:
“I am the Lord, who made all things.
I alone stretched out the heavens.
Who was with me
when I made the earth?
25I expose the false prophets as liars
and make fools of fortune-tellers.
I cause the wise to give bad advice,
thus proving them to be fools.
26But I carry out the predictions of my prophets!
By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’
and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt;
I will restore all your ruins!’
27When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’
they will be dry.
28When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’
he will certainly do as I say.
He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’;
he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”