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44 “Now listen, Ya‘akov my servant,
Isra’el whom I have chosen:
Thus says Adonai, who made you,
formed you in the womb, and will help you:
Don’t be afraid, Ya‘akov my servant,
Yeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit on your descendants,
my blessing on your offspring.
They will spring up among the grass
like willows on the riverbanks.
One will say, ‘I belong to Adonai.’
Another will be called by the name of Ya‘akov.
Yet another will write that he belongs to Adonai.
and adopt the surname Isra’el.”

Thus says Adonai, Isra’el’s King
and Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot:
“I am the first, and I am the last;
besides me there is no God.
Who is like me? Let him speak out!
Let him show me clearly what has been happening
since I set up the eternal people;
let him foretell future signs and events.
Don’t be frightened, don’t be afraid —
Didn’t I tell you this long ago?
I foretold it, and you are my witnesses.
Is there any God besides me?
There is no other Rock — I know of none.”

All idol-makers amount to nothing;
their precious productions profit no one;
and their witnesses, to their own shame,
neither see nor understand.
10 Who would fashion a god or cast an image
that profits no one anything?
11 All involved will be ashamed,
but more than anyone else, the people who made them.
Let them all be assembled, let them stand up;
let them fear and be shamed together.

12 A blacksmith makes a tool over burning coals;
with his strong arm he shapes it with hammers.
But when he gets hungry, his strength fails;
if he doesn’t drink water, he grows tired.

13 A carpenter takes his measurements,
sketches the shape with a stylus,
planes the wood, checks it with calipers,
and carves it into the shape of a man;
and, since it is honored like a man,
of course it has to live in a house.
14 He goes to chop down cedars;
he takes an evergreen and an oak;
he especially tends one tree in the forest,
plants a pine for the rain to nourish.
15 In time, when it’s ready for use as fuel,
he takes some of it to keep himself warm
and burns some more to bake bread.
Then he makes a god and worships it,
carves it into an idol and falls down before it.
16 So half of it he burns in the fire;
with that half he roasts meat and eats his fill;
he warms himself; says, “It feels so good,
getting warm while watching the flames!”
17 With the rest of the log he fashions a god,
a carved image, then falls down before it;
he worships it and prays to it.
“Save me,” he says, “for you are my god!”

18 Such people know nothing, understand nothing.
Their eyes are sealed shut, so that they can’t see;
their hearts too, so they can’t understand.
19 Not one thinks to himself or has the knowledge
or the discernment to say,
“I burned half of it in the fire,
baked bread on its coals, roasted meat and ate it.
Should I now make the rest an abomination?
Should I prostrate myself to a tree trunk?”
20 He is relying on ashes!
A deceived heart has led him astray;
so that now he won’t save himself, just won’t say,
“This thing in my hand is a fraud!”

21 “Keep these matters in mind, Ya‘akov,
for you, Isra’el, are my servant.
I formed you, you are my own servant;
Isra’el, don’t forget me.
22 Like a thick cloud, I wipe away your offenses;
like a cloud, your sins.
Come back to me, for I have redeemed you.”

23 Sing, you heavens, for Adonai has done it!
Shout, you depths of the earth!
Mountains, break out into song,
along with every tree in the forest!
For Adonai has redeemed Ya‘akov;
he glorifies himself in Isra’el.

24 Here is what Adonai says, your Redeemer,
he who formed you in the womb:
“I am Adonai, who makes all things,
who stretched out the heavens all alone,
who spread out the earth all by myself.
25 I frustrate false prophets and their omens,
I make fools of diviners,
I drive back the sages
and make their wisdom look silly.
26 I confirm my servants’ prophecies
and make my messengers’ plans succeed.
I say of Yerushalayim: ‘She will be lived in,’
of the cities of Y’hudah, ‘They will be rebuilt;
I will restore their ruins.’
27 I say to the deep sea, ‘Dry up!
I will make your streams run dry.’
28 I say of Koresh, ‘He is my shepherd,
he will do everything I want.
He will say of Yerushalayim,
“You will be rebuilt,”
and of the temple,
“Your foundation will be laid.”’”

Israel the Chosen

44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,(A)
    Israel, whom I have chosen.(B)
This is what the Lord says—
    he who made(C) you, who formed you in the womb,(D)
    and who will help(E) you:
Do not be afraid,(F) Jacob, my servant,(G)
    Jeshurun,[a](H) whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water(I) on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;(J)
I will pour out my Spirit(K) on your offspring,
    and my blessing(L) on your descendants.(M)
They will spring up like grass(N) in a meadow,
    like poplar trees(O) by flowing streams.(P)
Some will say, ‘I belong(Q) to the Lord’;
    others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand,(R) ‘The Lord’s,’(S)
    and will take the name Israel.

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King(T) and Redeemer,(U) the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;(V)
    apart from me there is no God.(W)
Who then is like me?(X) Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell(Y) what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim(Z) this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God(AA) besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock;(AB) I know not one.”

All who make idols(AC) are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.(AD)
Those who would speak up for them are blind;(AE)
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.(AF)
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(AG)
    which can profit nothing?(AH)
11 People who do that will be put to shame;(AI)
    such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and shame.(AJ)

12 The blacksmith(AK) takes a tool
    and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
    he forges it with the might of his arm.(AL)
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
    he drinks no water and grows faint.(AM)
13 The carpenter(AN) measures with a line
    and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
    and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,(AO)
    human form in all its glory,
    that it may dwell in a shrine.(AP)
14 He cut down cedars,
    or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
    or planted a pine,(AQ) and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel(AR) for burning;
    some of it he takes and warms himself,
    he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships(AS) it;
    he makes an idol and bows(AT) down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
    over it he prepares his meal,
    he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
    “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(AU)
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
    he bows down to it and worships.(AV)
He prays(AW) to it and says,
    “Save(AX) me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand(AY) nothing;
    their eyes(AZ) are plastered over so they cannot see,
    and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding(BA) to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;(BB)
    I even baked bread over its coals,
    I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable(BC) thing from what is left?
    Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”(BD)
20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(BE) a deluded(BF) heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(BG)

21 “Remember(BH) these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.(BI)
I have made you, you are my servant;(BJ)
    Israel, I will not forget you.(BK)
22 I have swept away(BL) your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return(BM) to me,
    for I have redeemed(BN) you.”

23 Sing for joy,(BO) you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
    shout aloud, you earth(BP) beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,(BQ)
    you forests and all your trees,(BR)
for the Lord has redeemed(BS) Jacob,
    he displays his glory(BT) in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 “This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(BU) who formed(BV) you in the womb:(BW)

I am the Lord,
    the Maker of all things,
    who stretches out the heavens,(BX)
    who spreads out the earth(BY) by myself,
25 who foils(BZ) the signs of false prophets
    and makes fools of diviners,(CA)
who overthrows the learning of the wise(CB)
    and turns it into nonsense,(CC)
26 who carries out the words(CD) of his servants
    and fulfills(CE) the predictions of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem,(CF) ‘It shall be inhabited,’
    of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
    and of their ruins,(CG) ‘I will restore them,’(CH)
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
    and I will dry up(CI) your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus,(CJ) ‘He is my shepherd
    and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem,(CK) “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple,(CL) “Let its foundations(CM) be laid.”’


  1. Isaiah 44:2 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel.

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