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Isaiah - Chapter 44

Isaiah Chapters

1 And now listen, Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen.

2 Thus says Yahweh who made you, who formed you in the womb; he will help you. Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

3 For I shall pour out water on the thirsty soil and streams on the dry ground. I shall pour out my spirit on your descendants, my blessing on your offspring,

4 and they will spring up among the grass, like willows on the banks of a stream.

5 One person will say, 'I belong to Yahweh,' another will call himself by Jacob's name. On his hand another will write 'Yahweh's' and be surnamed 'Israel'.

6 Thus says Yahweh, Israel's king, Yahweh Sabaoth, his redeemer: I am the first and I am the last; there is no God except me.

7 Who is like me? Let him call out, let him affirm it and convince me it is so; let him say what has been happening since I instituted an eternal people, and predict to them what will happen next!

8 Have no fear, do not be afraid: have I not told you and revealed it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God except me? There is no Rock; I know of none.

9 The makers of idols are all nothingness; the works they delight in serve no purpose. And these are the witness against them: they see nothing, they know nothing; and so they will be put to shame.

10 Who ever fashioned a god or cast an image without hope of gain?

11 Watch how all its devotees will be put to shame, and the men who made it too, who are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forward and feel both fear and shame!

12 The blacksmith makes an axe over the charcoal, beats it into shape with a hammer, works on it with his strong arm. Then he feels hungry and his strength deserts him; having drunk no water, he is exhausted.

13 The wood carver takes his measurements, outlines the image with chalk, executes it with the chisel, following the outline with a compass. He makes it look like a human being, with human standards of beauty, so that it can reside in a house.

14 He has cut down cedars, has selected an oak and a terebinth which he has grown for himself among the trees in the forest and has planted a pine tree which the rain has nourished.

15 Once it is suitable to burn, he takes some of it to warm himself; having kindled it, he bakes bread. But he also makes a god and worships it; he makes an idol from it and bows down before it.

16 Half of it he burns on the fire, over this half he roasts meat, eats it and is replete; at the same time he warms himself and says, 'Ah, how warm I am, watching the flames!'

17 With the remainder he makes a god, his idol, bows down before it, worships it and prays to it. 'Save me,' he says, 'for you are my god.'

18 They know nothing, they understand nothing, since their eyes are incapable of seeing and their hearts of reflecting.

19 Not one of them looks into his heart, not one of them has the knowledge and wit to think, 'I burned half of it on the fire and cooked food over the embers. Am I right to make something disgusting out of what is left? Am I right to bow down before a block of wood?'

20 He hankers after ashes, his deluded heart has led him astray; he will not save himself, he will not think, 'What I have in my hand is nothing but a lie!'

21 Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, since you are my servant. I formed you, you are my servant; Israel, I shall not forget you.

22 I have dispelled your acts of revolt like a cloud and your sins like a mist. Come back to me, for I have redeemed you.

23 Heavens, shout for joy, for Yahweh has acted! Underworld, shout aloud! Shout for joy, you mountains, forests and all your trees! For Yahweh has redeemed Jacob and displayed his glory in Israel.

24 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, he who formed you in the womb: I, Yahweh, have made all things, I alone spread out the heavens. When I hammered the earth into shape, who was with me?

25 I, who foil the omens of soothsayers and make fools of diviners, who confound sages turning their knowledge into folly,

26 who confirm the word of my servant and make the plans of my envoys succeed; who say to Jerusalem, 'You will be inhabited,' and to the towns of Judah, 'You will be rebuilt and I shall restore the ruins of Jerusalem';

27 who say to the ocean, 'Dry up! I shall make your rivers run dry';

28 who say to Cyrus, 'My shepherd.' He will perform my entire will by saying to Jerusalem, 'You will be rebuilt,' and to the Temple, 'You will be refounded.'


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