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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
The Lord's Promise to Israel
1People of Israel,
I have chosen you
as my servant.
2I am your Creator.
You were in my care
even before you were born.
Israel, don't be terrified!
You are my chosen servant,
my very favorite.#44.2 my very favorite: Or “Jeshurun.”
3I will bless the thirsty land
by sending streams of water;
I will bless your descendants
by giving them my Spirit.
4They will spring up like grass#44.4 like grass: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
or like willow trees
near flowing streams.
5They will worship me
and become my people.
They will write my name
on the back of their hands.#44.5 write … hands: To show that they belong to the Lord and to Israel.
6 # Is 48.12; Rev 1.17; 2.8; 22.13. I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the first and the last,
the one and only God.
Israel, I have rescued you!
I am your King.
7Can anyone compare with me?
If so, let them speak up
and tell me now.
Let them say what has happened
since I made my nation
long ago,
and let them tell
what is going to happen.#44.7 Let them say … happen: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
8Don't tremble with fear!
Didn't I tell you long ago?
Didn't you hear me?
I alone am God—
no one else is a mighty rock.#44.8 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10.
Idols Can't Do a Thing
The Lord said:
9Those people who make idols
are nothing themselves,
and the idols they treasure
are just as worthless.
Worshipers of idols are blind,
stupid, and foolish.
10Why make an idol or an image
that can't do a thing?
11Everyone who makes idols
and all who worship them
are mere humans,
who will end up
sadly disappointed.
Let them face me in court
and be terrified.
Idols and Firewood
12A metalworker shapes an idol
by using a hammer#44.12 by using a hammer: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and heat from the fire.
In his powerful hand
he holds a hammer,
as he pounds the metal
into the proper shape.
But he gets hungry and thirsty
and loses his strength.
13Some woodcarver measures
a piece of wood,
then draws an outline.
The idol is carefully carved
with each detail exact.
At last it looks like a person
and is placed in a temple.
14Either cedar, cypress, oak,
or any tree from the forest
may be chosen.
Or even a pine tree planted
by the woodcarver
and watered by the rain.
15 # Ws 13.11-19. Some of the wood is used
to make a fire for heating
or for cooking.
One piece is made into an idol,
then the woodcarver bows down
and worships it.
16He enjoys the warm fire
and the meat that was roasted
over the burning coals.
17Afterwards, he bows down
to worship the wooden idol.
“Protect me!” he says.
“You are my god.”
18Those who worship idols are stupid and blind! 19They don't have enough sense to say to themselves, “I made a fire with half of the wood and cooked my bread and meat on it. Then I made something worthless with the other half. Why worship a block of wood?”
20How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes?#44.20 How … ashes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. No one can save themselves like that. Don't they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?
The Lord Won't Forget His People
21People of Israel,
you are my servant,
so remember all of this.
Israel, I created you,
and you are my servant.
I won't forget you.#44.21 I won't forget you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
22Turn back to me!
I have rescued you
and swept away your sins
as though they were clouds.
Sing Praises to the Lord
23Tell the heavens and the earth
to start singing!
Tell the mountains
and every tree in the forest
to join in the song!
The Lord has rescued his people;
now they will worship him.
The Lord Created Everything
24Israel, I am your Lord,
the source of your life,
and I have rescued you.
I created everything
from the sky above
to the earth below.
25 # 1 Co 1.20. I make liars of false prophets
and fools of fortunetellers.
I take human wisdom
and turn it into nonsense.
26I will make the message
of my prophets come true.
They are saying, “Jerusalem
will be filled with people,
and the Lord will rebuild
the towns of Judah.”
27I am the one who commands
the sea and its streams
to run dry.
28 # 2 Ch 36.23; Ezra 1.2,3. I am also the one who says,
“Cyrus will lead my people
and obey my orders.
Jerusalem and the temple
will be rebuilt.”