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ISA 33

A Prophecy of Deliverance from Foes

33Ah, you destroyer,
   who yourself have not been destroyed;
you treacherous one,
   with whom no one has dealt treacherously!
When you have ceased to destroy,
   you will be destroyed;
and when you have stopped dealing treacherously,
   you will be dealt with treacherously.


2Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
   Be our arm every morning,
   our salvation in the time of trouble.
3 At the sound of tumult, peoples fled;
   before your majesty, nations scattered.
4 Spoil was gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
   as locusts leap, they leapt* upon it.
5 The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high;
   he filled Zion with justice and righteousness;
6 he will be the stability of your times,
   abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
   the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.*


7 Listen! the valiant* cry in the streets;
   the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways are deserted,
   travellers have left the road.
The treaty is broken,
   its oaths* are despised,
   its obligation* is disregarded.
9 The land mourns and languishes;
   Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
Sharon is like a desert;
   and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.


10 ‘Now I will arise,’ says the Lord,
   ‘now I will lift myself up;
   now I will be exalted.
11 You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble;
   your breath is a fire that will consume you.
12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
   like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.’


13 Hear, you who are far away, what I have done;
   and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
   trembling has seized the godless:
‘Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
   Who among us can live with everlasting flames?’
15 Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly,
   who despise the gain of oppression,
who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it,
   who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed
   and shut their eyes from looking on evil,
16 they will live on the heights;
   their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;
   their food will be supplied, their water assured.

The Land of the Majestic King


17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
   they will behold a land that stretches far away.
18 Your mind will muse on the terror:
   ‘Where is the one who counted?
   Where is the one who weighed the tribute?
   Where is the one who counted the towers?’
19 No longer will you see the insolent people,
   the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
   stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
20 Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!
   Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
   a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be pulled up,
   and none of whose ropes will be broken.
21 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us
   a place of broad rivers and streams,
where no galley with oars can go,
   nor stately ship can pass.
22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,
   the Lord is our king; he will save us.


23 Your rigging hangs loose;
   it cannot hold the mast firm in its place,
   or keep the sail spread out.


Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;
   even the lame will fall to plundering.
24 And no inhabitant will say, ‘I am sick’;
   the people who live there will be forgiven their iniquity.

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ISA 41

Israel Assured of God’s Help

41Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
   let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
   let us together draw near for judgement.


2 Who has roused a victor from the east,
   summoned him to his service?
He delivers up nations to him,
   and tramples kings under foot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
   like driven stubble with his bow.
3 He pursues them and passes on safely,
   scarcely touching the path with his feet.
4 Who has performed and done this,
   calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am first,
   and will be with the last.
5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid,
   the ends of the earth tremble;
   they have drawn near and come.
6 Each one helps the other,
   saying to one another, ‘Take courage!’
7 The artisan encourages the goldsmith,
   and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, ‘It is good’;
   and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
8 But you, Israel, my servant,
   Jacob, whom I have chosen,
   the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
   and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, ‘You are my servant,
   I have chosen you and not cast you off ’;
10 do not fear, for I am with you,
   do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.


11 Yes, all who are incensed against you
   shall be ashamed and disgraced;
those who strive against you
   shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12 You shall seek those who contend with you,
   but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
   shall be as nothing at all.
13 For I, the Lord your God,
   hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear,
   I will help you.’


14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob,
   you insect* Israel!
I will help you, says the Lord;
   your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Now, I will make of you a threshing-sledge,
   sharp, new, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
   and you shall make the hills like chaff.
16 You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away,
   and the tempest shall scatter them.
Then you shall rejoice in the Lord;
   in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.


17 When the poor and needy seek water,
   and there is none,
   and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them,
   I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights,*
   and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
   and the dry land springs of water.
19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
   the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
   the plane and the pine together,
20 so that all may see and know,
   all may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
   the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols


21 Set forth your case, says the Lord;
   bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
22 Let them bring them, and tell us
   what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
   so that we may consider them,
and that we may know their outcome;
   or declare to us the things to come.
23 Tell us what is to come hereafter,
   that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
   that we may be afraid and terrified.
24 You, indeed, are nothing
   and your work is nothing at all;
   whoever chooses you is an abomination.


25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
   from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.*
He shall trample* on rulers as on mortar,
   as the potter treads clay.
26 Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,
   and beforehand, so that we might say, ‘He is right’?
There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,
   none who heard your words.
27 I first have declared it to Zion,*
   and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.
28 But when I look there is no one;
   among these there is no counsellor
   who, when I ask, gives an answer.
29 No, they are all a delusion;
   their works are nothing;
   their images are empty wind.

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ISA 43-44

Restoration and Protection Promised

43But now thus says the Lord,
   he who created you, O Jacob,
   he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
   and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
   and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
   Ethiopia* and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my sight,
   and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
   nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
   I will bring your offspring from the east,
   and from the west I will gather you;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’,
   and to the south, ‘Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
   and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
   whom I created for my glory,
   whom I formed and made.’


8 Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
   who are deaf, yet have ears!
9 Let all the nations gather together,
   and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
   and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
   and let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’
10 You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
   and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
   and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
   nor shall there be any after me.
11 I, I am the Lord,
   and besides me there is no saviour.
12 I declared and saved and proclaimed,
   when there was no strange god among you;
   and you are my witnesses, says the Lord.
13 I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
   there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
   I work and who can hinder it?


14 Thus says the Lord,
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I will send to Babylon
   and break down all the bars,
   and the shouting of the Chaldeans will be turned to lamentation.*
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
   the Creator of Israel, your King.
16 Thus says the Lord,
   who makes a way in the sea,
   a path in the mighty waters,
17 who brings out chariot and horse,
   army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
   they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18 Do not remember the former things,
   or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
   and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild animals will honour me,
   the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
   rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21   the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.


22 Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
   but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt-offerings,
   or honoured me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
   or wearied you with frankincense.
24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
   or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins;
   you have wearied me with your iniquities.


25 I, I am He
   who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
   and I will not remember your sins.
26 Accuse me, let us go to trial;
   set forth your case, so that you may be proved right.
27 Your first ancestor sinned,
   and your interpreters transgressed against me.
28 Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary,
   I delivered Jacob to utter destruction,
   and Israel to reviling.

God’s Blessing on Israel

44But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
   Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the Lord who made you,
   who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,
   Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
   and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
   and my blessing on your offspring.
4 They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
   like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’,
   another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, ‘The Lord’s’,
   and adopt the name of Israel.


6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
   and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
   besides me there is no god.
7 Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
   let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?*
   Let them tell us* what is yet to be.
8 Do not fear, or be afraid;
   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
   You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
   There is no other rock; I know not one.

The Absurdity of Idol-Worship

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know. And so they will be put to shame. 10Who would fashion a god or cast an image that can do no good? 11Look, all its devotees shall be put to shame; the artisans too are merely human. Let them all assemble, let them stand up; they shall be terrified, they shall all be put to shame.

12 The blacksmith fashions it* and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging it with his strong arm; he becomes hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint. 13The carpenter stretches a line, marks it out with a stylus, fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he makes it in human form, with human beauty, to be set up in a shrine. 14He cuts down cedars or chooses a holm tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15Then it can be used as fuel. Part of it he takes and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Then he makes a god and worships it, makes it a carved image and bows down before it. 16Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, ‘Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!’ 17The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it, and worships it; he prays to it and says, ‘Save me, for you are my god!’

18 They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand. 19No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, ‘Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and have eaten. Now shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’ 20He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot save himself or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?’

Israel Is Not Forgotten


21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
   and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you, you are my servant;
   O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
   and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.


23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
   shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
   O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
   and will be glorified in Israel.


24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
   who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord, who made all things,
   who alone stretched out the heavens,
   who by myself spread out the earth;
25 who frustrates the omens of liars,
   and makes fools of diviners;
who turns back the wise,
   and makes their knowledge foolish;
26 who confirms the word of his servant,
   and fulfils the prediction of his messengers;
who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited’,
   and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,
   and I will raise up their ruins’;
27 who says to the deep, ‘Be dry—
   I will dry up your rivers’;
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
   and he shall carry out all my purpose’;
and who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be rebuilt’,
   and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’

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ISA 49

The Servant’s Mission

49Listen to me, O coastlands,
   pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
   while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
   in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
   in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, ‘You are my servant,
   Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
4 But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain,
   I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
   and my reward with my God.’


5 And now the Lord says,
   who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
   and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord,
   and my God has become my strength—
6 he says,
‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
   to raise up the tribes of Jacob
   and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’


7 Thus says the Lord,
   the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
   the slave of rulers,
‘Kings shall see and stand up,
   princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’

Zion’s Children to Be Brought Home


8 Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favour I have answered you,
   on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you
   as a covenant to the people,*
to establish the land,
   to apportion the desolate heritages;
9 saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out’,
   to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
They shall feed along the ways,
   on all the bare heights* shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
   neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
   and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will turn all my mountains into a road,
   and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Lo, these shall come from far away,
   and lo, these from the north and from the west,
   and these from the land of Syene.*


13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
   break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
   and will have compassion on his suffering ones.


14 But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me,
   my Lord has forgotten me.’
15 Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
   or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
   yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
   your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders outdo your destroyers,*
   and those who laid you waste go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes all around and see;
   they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
   you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
   and like a bride you shall bind them on.


19 Surely your waste and your desolate places
   and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
   and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children born in the time of your bereavement
   will yet say in your hearing:
‘The place is too crowded for me;
   make room for me to settle.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
   ‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
   exiled and put away—
   so who has reared these?
I was left all alone—
   where then have these come from?’


22 Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
   and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster-fathers,
   and their queens your nursing-mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
   and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
   those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.


24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
   or the captives of a tyrant* be rescued?
25 But thus says the Lord:
Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
   and the prey of the tyrant be rescued;
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
   and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
   and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
   that I am the Lord your Saviour,
   and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

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