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40 “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak comfortably to Jerusalem; and call out to her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received of Yahweh’s hand double for all her sins.”

The voice of one who calls out,
    “Prepare the way of Yahweh in the wilderness!
    Make a level highway in the desert for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
    The uneven shall be made level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Yahweh’s glory shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together;
    for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.”

The voice of one saying, “Cry!”
    One said, “What shall I cry?”
“All flesh is like grass,
    and all its glory is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers,
    the flower fades,
    because Yahweh’s breath blows on it.
    Surely the people are like grass.
The grass withers,
    the flower fades;
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

You who tell good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
    You who tell good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength!
    Lift it up! Don’t be afraid!
    Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold, your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord Yahweh will come as a mighty one,
    and his arm will rule for him.
    Behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will gather the lambs in his arm,
    and carry them in his bosom.
    He will gently lead those who have their young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    and marked off the sky with his span,
    and calculated the dust of the earth in a measuring basket,
    and weighed the mountains in scales,
    and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed Yahweh’s Spirit,
    or has taught him as his counselor?
14 Who did he take counsel with,
    and who instructed him,
    and taught him in the path of justice,
    and taught him knowledge,
    and showed him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop in a bucket,
    and are regarded as a speck of dust on a balance.
    Behold, he lifts up the islands like a very little thing.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
    nor its animals sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are like nothing before him.
    They are regarded by him as less than nothing, and vanity.

18 To whom then will you liken God?
    Or what likeness will you compare to him?
19 A workman has cast an image,
    and the goldsmith overlays it with gold,
    and casts silver chains for it.
20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering chooses a tree that will not rot.
    He seeks a skillful workman to set up a carved image for him that will not be moved.

21 Haven’t you known?
    Haven’t you heard?
    Haven’t you been told from the beginning?
    Haven’t you understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
    who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in,
23     who brings princes to nothing,
    who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
24 They are planted scarcely.
    They are sown scarcely.
    Their stock has scarcely taken root in the ground.
    He merely blows on them, and they wither,
    and the whirlwind takes them away as stubble.

25 “To whom then will you liken me?
    Who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
    and see who has created these,
    who brings out their army by number.
    He calls them all by name.
    by the greatness of his might,
    and because he is strong in power,
    not one is lacking.

27 Why do you say, Jacob,
    and speak, Israel,
    “My way is hidden from Yahweh,
    and the justice due me is disregarded by my God?”
28 Haven’t you known?
    Haven’t you heard?
    The everlasting God, Yahweh,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint.
    He isn’t weary.
    His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak.
    He increases the strength of him who has no might.
30 Even the youths faint and get weary,
    and the young men utterly fall;
31     but those who wait for Yahweh will renew their strength.
    They will mount up with wings like eagles.
    They will run, and not be weary.
    They will walk, and not faint.

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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