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Good Will Come to Israel

44 “But now listen, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. This is what the Lord Who made you, Who put you together before you were born, Who will help you, says, ‘Do not be afraid, O Jacob My servant, and you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land and rivers on the dry ground. I will pour out My Spirit on your children, and will bring good to your children’s children. They will grow like grass in the fields, and like poplar trees by the rivers.’ This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s.’ And that one will call on the name of Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘I belong to the Lord,’ and will name Israel’s name with honor.”

Only One God

The Lord, the King of Israel and the One Who saves and frees from sin, the Lord of All, says, “I am the first and I am the last. There is no God besides Me. Who is like Me? Let him make it known. Yes, let him tell Me what happened from the time I made people long ago. And let him tell the things that are coming and what is going to happen. Do not fear. Do not be afraid. Have I not made it known to you from long ago? And you have heard Me. Is there a God besides Me? No, there is no other Rock. I know of none.”

Following False Gods Is Sinful

All who make objects to worship are for nothing. The things they think are worth much are worth nothing. Those who speak for them do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10 Who has made a false god or an object of worship that is of no worth? 11 See, all his friends will be put to shame, for the workmen themselves are only men. Let them all gather, let them stand up, let them shake with fear, and let them together be put to shame.

12 The one who works with iron makes a sharp tool for cutting, working over a fire. He makes it by beating it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry and has no strength. He drinks no water and becomes tired. 13 One works with wood, he marks it, and draws on it with a red marker. He makes it smooth and makes it like a man, like the beauty of a man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 He cuts down cedar trees, and takes a cypress or an oak, and lets it grow strong among the trees. He plants a fir tree, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself. He makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an object of worship and bows down in front of it. 16 He burns half of it in the fire. Over this half he eats meat as he makes it ready, and is filled. He also warms himself and says, “O, I am warm. I see the fire.” 17 But he makes the rest of it into a god, his object of worship. He bows down in front of it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Bring me out of my trouble, for you are my god.”

18 They do not know, and they do not understand. For the Lord has covered their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot understand. 19 And no one remembers about it, or knows or understands enough to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and have baked bread over the fire. I have cooked the meat over a fire and have eaten it. Should I make the rest of it into an object the Lord hates? Should I bow down in front of a block of wood?” 20 He eats ashes! A false idea in his heart has led him the wrong way. And he cannot save himself or say, “Is not what I have here in my right hand a lie?”

The Lord Does Not Forget Israel

21 “Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel, for you are My servant. I have made you, you are My servant. O Israel, I will not forget you. 22 I have taken away your wrong-doing like a dark cloud, and your sins like a fog. Return to Me, for I have bought you and set you free.” 23 Call out for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Call out for joy, you deep places of the earth. Break out into singing, you mountains and every tree. For the Lord has bought Jacob and set him free and has shown His shining-greatness in Israel!

People Will Live in Jerusalem Again

24 The Lord, Who makes you, bought you and saves you, and the One Who put you together before you were born, says, “I am the Lord, Who made all things. I alone spread out the heavens, and I alone spread out the earth. 25 I allow trouble to come on the special things done by men who lie and speak in pride. I make fools out of those who tell the future using their secret ways. I turn back wise men, and make their learning foolish. 26 I make the word of My servant sure, and act upon the words of the men who speak for Me. It is I Who says of Jerusalem, ‘She will have people living in her,’ and of the cities of Judah, ‘They will be built.’ And I will build her up again. 27 It is I Who says to the deep sea, ‘Dry up!’ And I will dry up your rivers. 28 It is I Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he will do all that I want him to do,’ even saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the house of God, ‘Your first stones will be laid again.’”

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.”’

Footnotes

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

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