August 8

Isaiah 39:1 — 41:29

39 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan the king of Babylon sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, after he heard that he had been sick but was strong again. 2 So Hezekiah began to rejoice over them and proceeded to show them his treasure-house, the silver and the gold and the balsam oil and the good oil and all his armory and all that was to be found in his treasures. There proved to be nothing that Hezekiah did not show them in his own house and in all his dominion.

3 After that Isaiah the prophet came in to King Hezekiah and said to him: “What did these men say, and from where did they proceed to come to you?” So Hezekiah said: “From a distant land they came to me, from Babylon.” 4 And he went on to say: “What did they see in your house?” To this Hezekiah said: “Everything that is in my house they saw. There proved to be nothing that I did not show them in my treasures.” 5 Isaiah now said to Hezekiah: “Hear the word of Jehovah of armies, 6 ‘Look! Days are coming, and all that is in your own house and that your forefathers have stored up down to this day will actually be carried to Babylon.’ ‘Nothing will be left,’ Jehovah has said. 7 ‘And some of your own sons that will come forth from you, to whom you will become father, will themselves be taken and actually become court officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”

8 At that Hezekiah said to Isaiah: “The word of Jehovah that you have spoken is good.” And he went on to say: “Because peace and truth will continue in my own days.”

40 “COMFORT, comfort my people,” says the God of YOU men. 2 “SPEAK to the heart of Jerusalem and call out to her that her military service has been fulfilled, that her error has been paid off. For from the hand of Jehovah she has received a full amount for all her sins.”

3 Listen! Someone is calling out in the wilderness: “Clear up the way of Jehovah, YOU people! MAKE the highway for our God through the desert plain straight. 4 Let every valley be raised up, and every mountain and hill be made low. And the knobby ground must become level land, and the rugged ground a valley plain. 5 And the glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed, and all flesh must see [it] together, for the very mouth of Jehovah has spoken [it].”

6 Listen! Someone is saying: “Call out!” And one said: “What shall I call out?”

“All flesh is green grass, and all their loving-kindness is like the blossom of the field. 7 The green grass has dried up, the blossom has withered, because the very spirit of Jehovah has blown upon it. Surely the people are green grass. 8 The green grass has dried up, the blossom has withered; but as for the word of our God, it will last to time indefinite.”

9 Make your way up even onto a high mountain, you woman bringing good news for Zion. Raise your voice even with power, you woman bringing good news for Jerusalem. Raise [it]. Do not be afraid. Say to the cities of Judah: “Here is YOUR God.” 10 Look! The Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself will come even as a strong one, and his arm will be ruling for him. Look! His reward is with him, and the wage he pays is before him. 11 Like a shepherd he will shepherd his own drove. With his arm he will collect together the lambs; and in his bosom he will carry [them]. Those giving suck he will conduct [with care].

12 Who has measured the waters in the mere hollow of his hand, and taken the proportions of the heavens themselves with a mere span and included in a measure the dust of the earth, or weighed with an indicator the mountains, and the hills in the scales? 13 Who has taken the proportions of the spirit of Jehovah, and who as his man of counsel can make him know anything? 14 With whom did he consult together that one might make him understand, or who teaches him in the path of justice, or teaches him knowledge, or makes him know the very way of real understanding?

15 Look! The nations are as a drop from a bucket; and as the film of dust on the scales they have been accounted. Look! He lifts the islands themselves as mere fine [dust]. 16 Even Lebanon is not sufficient for keeping a fire burning, and its wild animals are not sufficient for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as something nonexistent in front of him; as nothing and an unreality they have been accounted to him.

18 And to whom can YOU people liken God, and what likeness can YOU put alongside him? 19 The craftsman has cast a mere molten image, and with gold the metalworker overlays it, and silver chains he is forging. 20 A certain tree as a contribution, a tree that is not rotten, he chooses. A skillful craftsman he searches out for himself, to prepare a carved image that may not be made to totter.

21 Do YOU people not know? Do YOU not hear? Has it not been told to YOU from the outset? Have YOU not applied understanding from the foundations of the earth? 22 There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell, 23 the One who is reducing high officials to nothing, who has made the very judges of the earth as a mere unreality.

24 Never yet have they been planted; never yet have they been sown; never yet has their stump taken root in the earth. And one has only to blow upon them and they dry up; and like stubble the windstorm itself will carry them away.

25 “But to whom can YOU people liken me so that I should be made his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 “Raise YOUR eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one [of them] is missing.

27 “For what reason do you say, O Jacob, and do you speak out, O Israel, ‘My way has been concealed from Jehovah, and justice to me eludes my God himself’? 28 Have you not come to know or have you not heard? Jehovah, the Creator of the extremities of the earth, is a God to time indefinite. He does not tire out or grow weary. There is no searching out of his understanding. 29 He is giving to the tired one power; and to the one without dynamic energy he makes full might abound. 30 Boys will both tire out and grow weary, and young men themselves will without fail stumble, 31 but those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out.”

41 “Attend to me in silence, YOU islands; and let national groups themselves regain power. Let them approach. At that time let them speak. Let us come up close together for the judgment itself.

2 “Who has roused up [someone] from the sunrise? [Who] proceeded in righteousness to call him to His feet, to give before him the nations, and to make [him] go subduing even kings? [Who] kept giving [them] like dust to his sword, so that they have been driven about like mere stubble with his bow? 3 [Who] kept pursuing them, kept peacefully passing along on his feet over the path [by which] he did not proceed to come? 4 Who has been active and has done [this], calling out the generations from the start?

“I, Jehovah, the First One; and with the last ones I am the same.”

5 The islands saw and began to fear. The very extremities of the earth began trembling. They drew near and kept coming. 6 They went helping each one his companion, and one would say to his brother: “Be strong.” 7 So the craftsman went strengthening the metalworker; the one doing the smoothing out with the forge hammer him that is hammering away at the anvil, saying regarding the soldering: “It is good.” Finally one fastened it with nails that it could not be made to totter.

8 “But you, O Israel, are my servant, you, O Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend; 9 you, whom I have taken hold of from the extremities of the earth, and you, whom I have called even from the remote parts of it. And so I said to you, ‘You are my servant; I have chosen you, and I have not rejected you. 10 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not gaze about, for I am your God. I will fortify you. I will really help you. I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness.’

11 “Look! All those getting heated up against you will become ashamed and be humiliated. The men in a quarrel with you will become as nothing and will perish. 12 You will search for them, but you will not find them, those men in a struggle with you. They will become as something nonexistent and as nothing, those men at war with you. 13 For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand, the One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I myself will help you.’

14 “Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, YOU men of Israel. I myself will help you,” is the utterance of Jehovah, even your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel. 15 “Look! I have made you a threshing sledge, a new threshing instrument having double-edged [teeth]. You will tread down the mountains and crush [them]; and the hills you will make just like the chaff. 16 You will winnow them, and a wind itself will carry them away, and a windstorm itself will drive them different ways. And you yourself will be joyful in Jehovah. In the Holy One of Israel you will boast about yourself.”

17 “The afflicted ones and the poor ones are seeking for water, but there is none. Because of thirst their very tongue has become dry. I myself, Jehovah, shall answer them. I, the God of Israel, shall not leave them. 18 Upon bare hills I shall open up rivers, and in the midst of the valley plains, springs. I shall make the wilderness into a reedy pool of water, and the waterless land into sources of water. 19 In the wilderness I shall set the cedar tree, the acacia and the myrtle and the oil tree. In the desert plain I shall place the juniper tree, the ash and the cypress at the same time; 20 in order that people may see and know and pay heed and have insight at the same time, that the very hand of Jehovah has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has himself created it.”

21 “Bring YOUR controversial case forward,” says Jehovah. “Produce YOUR arguments,” says the King of Jacob. 22 “Produce and tell to us the things that are going to happen. The first things—what they were—do tell, that we may apply our heart and know the future of them. Or cause us to hear even the things that are coming. 23 Tell the things that are to come afterward, that we may know that YOU are gods. Yes, YOU ought to do good or do bad, that we may gaze about and see [it] at the same time. 24 Look! YOU are something nonexistent, and YOUR achievement is nothing. A detestable thing is anyone that chooses YOU.

25 “I have roused up [someone] from the north, and he will come. From the rising of the sun he will call upon my name. And he will come upon deputy rulers as [if they were] clay and just as a potter that tramples down the moist material.

26 “Who has told anything from the start, that we may know, or from times past, that we may say, ‘He is right’? Really there is no one telling. Really there is no one causing [one] to hear. Really there is no one that is hearing any sayings of YOU men.”

27 There is one first, [saying] to Zion: “Look! Here they are!” and to Jerusalem I shall give a bringer of good news.

28 And I kept seeing, and there was not a man; and out of these there was also no one that was giving counsel. And I kept asking them, that they might make a reply. 29 Look! All of them are something nonexistent. Their works are nothing. Their molten images are wind and unreality.