August 9

Isaiah 42:1 — 44:28

42 Look! My servant, on whom I keep fast hold! My chosen one, [whom] my soul has approved! I have put my spirit in him. Justice to the nations is what he will bring forth. 2 He will not cry out or raise [his voice], and in the street he will not let his voice be heard. 3 No crushed reed will he break; and as for a dim flaxen wick, he will not extinguish it. In trueness he will bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow dim nor be crushed until he sets justice in the earth itself; and for his law the islands themselves will keep waiting.

5 This is what the [true] God, Jehovah, has said, the Creator of the heavens and the Grand One stretching them out; the One laying out the earth and its produce, the One giving breath to the people on it, and spirit to those walking in it: 6 “I myself, Jehovah, have called you in righteousness, and I proceeded to take hold of your hand. And I shall safeguard you and give you as a covenant of the people, as a light of the nations, 7 [for you] to open the blind eyes, to bring forth out of the dungeon the prisoner, out of the house of detention those sitting in darkness.

8 “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory, neither my praise to graven images.

9 “The first things—here they have come, but new things I am telling out. Before they begin to spring up, I cause YOU people to hear [them].”

10 Sing to Jehovah a new song, his praise from the extremity of the earth, YOU men that are going down to the sea and to that which fills it, YOU islands and YOU inhabiting them. 11 Let the wilderness and its cities raise [their voice], the settlements that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of the crag cry out in joy. From the top of the mountains let people cry aloud. 12 Let them attribute to Jehovah glory, and in the islands let them tell forth even his praise.

13 Like a mighty man Jehovah himself will go forth. Like a warrior he will awaken zeal. He will shout, yes, he will let out a war cry; over his enemies he will show himself mightier.

14 “I have kept quiet for a long time. I continued silent. I kept exercising self-control. Like a woman giving birth I am going to groan, pant, and gasp at the same time. 15 I shall devastate mountains and hills, and all their vegetation I shall dry up. And I will turn rivers into islands, and reedy pools I shall dry up. 16 And I will make the blind ones walk in a way that they have not known; in a roadway that they have not known I shall cause them to tread. I shall turn a dark place before them into light, and rugged terrain into level land. These are the things that I will do for them, and I will not leave them.”

17 They must be turned back, they will be very much ashamed, those who are putting trust in the carved image, those who are saying to a molten image: “YOU are our gods.”

18 Hear, YOU deaf ones; and look forth to see, YOU blind ones. 19 Who is blind, if not my servant, and who is deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as the one rewarded, or blind as the servant of Jehovah? 20 It was a case of seeing many things, but you did not keep watching. It was a case of opening the ears, but you did not keep listening. 21 Jehovah himself for the sake of his righteousness has taken a delight in that he should magnify the law and make it majestic. 22 But it is a people plundered and pillaged, all of them being trapped in the holes, and in the houses of detention they have been kept hidden. They have come to be for plunder without a deliverer, for pillage without anyone to say: “Bring back!”

23 Who among YOU people will give ear to this? Who will pay attention and listen for later times? 24 Who has given Jacob for mere pillage, and Israel to the plunderers? Is it not Jehovah, the One against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they did not want to walk and to whose law they did not listen? 25 So He kept pouring out upon him rage, his anger, and the strength of war. And it kept consuming him all around, but he took no note; and it kept blazing up against him, but he would lay nothing to heart.

43 And now this is what Jehovah has said, your Creator, O Jacob, and your Former, O Israel: “Do not be afraid, for I have repurchased you. I have called [you] by your name. You are mine. 2 In case you should pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not flood over you. In case you should walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, neither will the flame itself singe you. 3 For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior. I have given Egypt as a ransom for you, Ethiopia and Seba in place of you. 4 Owing to the fact that you have been precious in my eyes, you have been considered honorable, and I myself have loved you. And I shall give men in place of you, and national groups in place of your soul.

5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. From the sunrising I shall bring your seed, and from the sunset I shall collect you together. 6 I shall say to the north, ‘Give up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep back. Bring my sons from far off, and my daughters from the extremity of the earth, 7 everyone that is called by my name and that I have created for my own glory, that I have formed, yes, that I have made.’

8 “Bring forth a people blind though eyes themselves exist, and the ones deaf though they have ears. 9 Let the nations all be collected together at one place, and let national groups be gathered together. Who is there among them that can tell this? Or can they cause us to hear even the first things? Let them furnish their witnesses, that they may be declared righteous, or let them hear and say, ‘It is the truth!’”

10 “YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. 11 I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.”

12 “I myself have told forth and have saved and have caused [it] to be heard, when there was among YOU no strange [god]. So YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I am God. 13 Also, all the time I am the same One; and there is no one effecting deliverance out of my own hand. I shall get active, and who can turn it back?”

14 This is what Jehovah has said, the Repurchaser of YOU people, the Holy One of Israel: “For YOUR sakes I will send to Babylon and cause the bars of the prisons to come down, and the Chaldeans in the ships with whining cries on their part. 15 I am Jehovah YOUR Holy One, the Creator of Israel, YOUR King.”

16 This is what Jehovah has said, the One making a way through the sea itself and a roadway even through strong waters, 17 the One bringing forth the war chariot and the horse, the military force and the strong ones at the same time: “They will lie down. They will not get up. They will certainly be extinguished. Like a flaxen wick they must be put out.”

18 “Do not remember the first things, and to the former things do not turn YOUR consideration. 19 Look! I am doing something new. Now it will spring up. YOU people will know it, will YOU not? Really, through the wilderness I shall set a way, through the desert rivers. 20 The wild beast of the field will glorify me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I shall have given water even in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to cause my people, my chosen one, to drink, 21 the people whom I have formed for myself, that they should recount the praise of me.

22 “But you have not called even me, O Jacob, because you have grown weary of me, O Israel. 23 You have not brought me the sheep of your whole burnt offerings, and with your sacrifices you have not glorified me. I have not compelled you to serve me with a gift, nor have I made you weary with frankincense. 24 For me you have bought no [sweet] cane with any money; and with the fat of your sacrifices you have not saturated me. In reality you have compelled me to serve because of your sins; you have made me weary with your errors.

25 “I—I am the One that is wiping out your transgressions for my own sake, and your sins I shall not remember. 26 Remind me; let us put ourselves on judgment together; tell your own account of it in order that you may be in the right. 27 Your own father, the first one, has sinned, and your own spokesmen have transgressed against me. 28 So I shall profane the princes of the holy place, and I will give Jacob over as a man devoted to destruction and Israel over to words of abuse.

44 “And now listen, O Jacob my servant, and you, O Israel, whom I have chosen. 2 This is what Jehovah has said, your Maker and your Former, who kept helping you even from the belly, ‘Do not be afraid, O my servant Jacob, and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3 For I shall pour out water upon the thirsty one, and trickling streams upon the dry place. I shall pour out my spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your descendants. 4 And they will certainly spring up as among the green grass, like poplars by the water ditches. 5 This one will say: “I belong to Jehovah.” And that one will call [himself] by the name of Jacob, and another will write upon his hand: “Belonging to Jehovah.” And by the name of Israel one will betitle [himself].’

6 “This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel and the Repurchaser of him, Jehovah of armies, ‘I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God. 7 And who is there like me? Let him call out, that he may tell it and present it to me. From when I appointed the people of long ago, both the things coming and the things that will enter in let them tell on their part. 8 Do not be in dread, YOU people, and do not become stupefied. Have I not from that time on caused you individually to hear and told [it] out? And YOU are my witnesses. Does there exist a God besides me? No, there is no Rock. I have recognized none.’”

9 The formers of the carved image are all of them an unreality, and their darlings themselves will be of no benefit; and as their witnesses they see nothing and know nothing, in order that they may be ashamed. 10 Who has formed a god or cast a mere molten image? Of no benefit at all has it been. 11 Look! All his partners themselves will be ashamed, and the craftsmen are from earthling men. They will all of them collect themselves together. They will stand still. They will be in dread. They will be ashamed at the same time.

12 As for the carver of iron with the billhook, he has been busy [at it] with the coals; and with the hammers he proceeds to form it, and he keeps busy at it with his powerful arm. Also, he has become hungry, and so without power. He has not drunk water; so he gets tired.

13 As for the wood carver, he has stretched out the measuring line; he traces it out with red chalk; he works it up with a wood scraper; and with a compass he keeps tracing it out, and gradually he makes it like the representation of a man, like the beauty of mankind, to sit in a house.

14 There is one whose business is to cut down cedars; and he takes a certain species of tree, even a massive tree, and he lets it become strong for himself among the trees of the forest. He planted the laurel tree, and the pouring rain itself keeps making it get big. 15 And it has become [something] for man to keep a fire burning. So he takes part of it that he may warm himself. In fact he builds a fire and actually bakes bread. He also works on a god to which he may bow down. He has made it into a carved image, and he prostrates himself to it. 16 Half of it he actually burns up in a fire. Upon half of it he roasts well the flesh that he eats, and he becomes satisfied. He also warms himself and says: “Aha! I have warmed myself. I have seen the firelight.” 17 But the remainder of it he actually makes into a god itself, into his carved image. He prostrates himself to it and bows down and prays to it and says: “Deliver me, for you are my god.”

18 They have not come to know, nor do they understand, because their eyes have been besmeared so as not to see, their heart so as to have no insight. 19 And no one recalls to his heart or has knowledge or understanding, saying: “The half of it I have burned up in a fire, and upon its coals I have also baked bread; I roast flesh and eat. But the rest of it shall I make into a mere detestable thing? To the dried-out wood of a tree shall I prostrate myself?” 20 He is feeding on ashes. His own heart that has been trifled with has led him astray. And he does not deliver his soul, nor does he say: “Is there not a falsehood in my right hand?”

21 “Remember these things, O Jacob, and you, O Israel, because you are my servant. I have formed you. You are a servant belonging to me. O Israel, you will not be forgotten on my part. 22 I will wipe out your transgressions just as with a cloud, and your sins just as with a cloud mass. Do return to me, for I will repurchase you.

23 “Joyfully cry out, YOU heavens, for Jehovah has taken action! Shout in triumph, all YOU lowest parts of the earth! Become cheerful, YOU mountains, with joyful outcry, you forest and all YOU trees in it! For Jehovah has repurchased Jacob, and on Israel he shows his beauty.”

24 This is what Jehovah has said, your Repurchaser and the Former of you from the belly: “I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me? 25 [I am] frustrating the signs of the empty talkers, and [I am] the One that makes diviners themselves act crazily; the One turning wise men backwards, and the One that turns even their knowledge into foolishness; 26 the One making the word of his servant come true, and the One that carries out completely the counsel of his own messengers; the One saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be inhabited,’ and of the cities of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt, and her desolated places I shall raise up’; 27 the One saying to the watery deep, ‘Be evaporated; and all your rivers I shall dry up’; 28 the One saying of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and all that I delight in he will completely carry out’; even in [my] saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘You will have your foundation laid.’”