God’s People Comforted

40 “Comfort, comfort My people,”(A)
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to[a] Jerusalem,
and announce to her
that her time of forced labor is over,
her iniquity(B) has been pardoned,(C)
and she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.”(D)

A voice of one crying out:

Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness;(E)
make a straight highway for our God in the desert.(F)
Every valley will be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill will be leveled;
the uneven ground will become smooth
and the rough places, a plain.(G)
And the glory of the Lord will appear,(H)
and all humanity[b] together will see it,(I)
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.(J)

A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
Another[c] said, “What should I cry out?”
“All humanity is grass,(K)
and all its goodness is like the flower of the field.(L)
The grass withers, the flowers fade
when the breath[d] of the Lord blows on them;[e]
indeed, the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flowers fade,(M)
but the word of our God remains forever.”(N)

Zion, herald of good news,
go up on a high mountain.(O)
Jerusalem, herald of good news,(P)
raise your voice loudly.
Raise it, do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”(Q)
10 See, the Lord God comes with strength,
and His power establishes His rule.(R)
His reward is with Him,(S)
and His gifts accompany Him.
11 He protects His flock like a shepherd;(T)
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them in the fold of His garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?(U)
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains in a balance
and the hills in the scales?
13 Who has directed[f] the Spirit of the Lord,
or who gave Him His counsel?(V)
14 Who did He consult with?
Who gave Him understanding(W)
and taught Him the paths of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge
and showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered as a speck of dust in the scales;
He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not enough for fuel,
or its animals enough for a burnt offering.(X)
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him;
they are considered by Him
as nothingness and emptiness.(Y)

18 Who will you compare God with?
What likeness will you compare Him to?(Z)
19 To an idol?—something that a smelter casts,
and a metalworker plates with gold
and makes silver welds for it?(AA)
20 To one who shapes a pedestal,
choosing wood that does not rot?[g]
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not fall over.(AB)

21 Do you not know?(AC)
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you
from the beginning?
Have you not considered
the foundations of the earth?(AD)
22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.(AE)
He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth(AF)
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.(AG)
23 He reduces princes to nothing(AH)
and makes judges of the earth irrational.
24 They are barely planted, barely sown,
their stem hardly takes root in the ground
when He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble.(AI)

25 “Who will you compare Me to,(AJ)
or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up[h] and see:
who created(AK) these?
He brings out the starry host by number;
He calls all of them by name.(AL)
Because of His great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?(AM)
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,(AN)
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.(AO)
29 He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;(AP)
they will soar on wings like eagles;(AQ)
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit Speak to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:5 Lit flesh
  3. Isaiah 40:6 DSS, LXX, Vg read I
  4. Isaiah 40:7 Or wind, or Spirit
  5. Isaiah 40:7 Lit it
  6. Isaiah 40:13 Or measured, or comprehended
  7. Isaiah 40:20 Or who is too poor for such an offering, or who chooses mulberry wood as a votive gift; Hb obscure
  8. Isaiah 40:26 Lit Lift up your eyes on high

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort(A) my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly(B) to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service(C) has been completed,(D)
    that her sin has been paid for,(E)
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double(F) for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way(G) for the Lord[a];
make straight(H) in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b](I)
Every valley shall be raised up,(J)
    every mountain and hill(K) made low;
the rough ground shall become level,(L)
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory(M) of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.(N)
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”(O)

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,(P)
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers(Q) and the flowers fall,
    because the breath(R) of the Lord blows(S) on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers(T) fall,
    but the word(U) of our God endures(V) forever.(W)

You who bring good news(X) to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c](Y)
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”(Z)
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes(AA) with power,(AB)
    and he rules(AC) with a mighty arm.(AD)
See, his reward(AE) is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:(AF)
    He gathers the lambs in his arms(AG)
and carries them close to his heart;(AH)
    he gently leads(AI) those that have young.(AJ)

12 Who has measured the waters(AK) in the hollow of his hand,(AL)
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?(AM)
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?(AN)
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d](AO) of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?(AP)
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,(AQ)
    or showed him the path of understanding?(AR)

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;(AS)
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.(AT)
16 Lebanon(AU) is not sufficient for altar fires,
    nor its animals(AV) enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations(AW) are as nothing;(AX)
    they are regarded by him as worthless
    and less than nothing.(AY)

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?(AZ)
    To what image(BA) will you liken him?
19 As for an idol,(BB) a metalworker casts it,
    and a goldsmith(BC) overlays it with gold(BD)
    and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
    selects wood(BE) that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
    to set up an idol(BF) that will not topple.(BG)

21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(BH)
Has it not been told(BI) you from the beginning?(BJ)
    Have you not understood(BK) since the earth was founded?(BL)
22 He sits enthroned(BM) above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.(BN)
He stretches out the heavens(BO) like a canopy,(BP)
    and spreads them out like a tent(BQ) to live in.(BR)
23 He brings princes(BS) to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.(BT)
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root(BU) in the ground,
than he blows(BV) on them and they wither,(BW)
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.(BX)

25 “To whom will you compare me?(BY)
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.(BZ)
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:(CA)
    Who created(CB) all these?
He who brings out the starry host(CC) one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,(CD)
    not one of them is missing.(CE)

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?(CF)
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?(CG)
The Lord is the everlasting(CH) God,
    the Creator(CI) of the ends of the earth.(CJ)
He will not grow tired or weary,(CK)
    and his understanding no one can fathom.(CL)
29 He gives strength(CM) to the weary(CN)
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men(CO) stumble and fall;(CP)
31 but those who hope(CQ) in the Lord
    will renew their strength.(CR)
They will soar on wings like eagles;(CS)
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.(CT)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord
  2. Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good news
  4. Isaiah 40:13 Or mind

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