Isaiah 41
CEB
41
Victor from the east
1Be quiet before me, coastlands.
Let the nations renew their strength.
Let them approach and speak.
Let’s draw near for a judgment.
2Who has awakened one from the east
and has authority to summon him to serve—
giving him nations,
conquering kings,
making them like dust with his sword,
like scattered straw with his bow?
3He pursues them and passes untouched,
needing no path for his feet.
4Who has acted and who has done this,
calling upon generation after generation since the beginning?
I, the LORD, was first,
and I will be the last!
5The coastlands see and fear;
the ends of the earth tremble;
they draw near and arrive.
6Each helps the other,
each saying to the other, "Take courage!"
7The craftsman encourages the metalworker;
the one who smoothes with the hammer
encourages the one who strikes the anvil,
saying of the welding, "That’s good,"
and strengthening it with nails so it won’t move.
Israel as God’s servant
8But you, Israel my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham, whom I love,
9you whom I took from the ends of the earth
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, "You are my servant;
I chose you and didn’t reject you":
10Don’t fear, because I am with you;
don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
I will surely help you;
I will hold you
with my righteous strong hand.
11All who rage against you will be shamed and disgraced.
Those who contend with you
will be as nothing and will perish.
12You will look for your opponents,
and won’t find them.
Those who fight you will be of no account and will die.
13I am the LORD your God,
who grasps your strong hand,
who says to you,
Don’t fear; I will help you.
14Don’t fear, worm of Jacob,
people of Israel!
I will help you, says the LORD.
The holy one of Israel is your redeemer.
15Look, I’ve made you
into a new threshing tool with sharp teeth.
You will thresh mountains and pulverize them;
you will reduce hills to straw.
16When you winnow them,
the wind will carry them off;
the tempest will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the LORD
and take pride in the holy one of Israel.
17The poor and the needy seek water, and there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will respond to them;
I, the God of Israel, won’t abandon them.
18I will open streams on treeless hilltops
and springs in valleys.
I will make the desert into ponds
and dry land into cascades of water.
19I will plant in the desert cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees;
I will put in the wilderness cypress, elm, and pine as well,
20so that they will see and know
and observe and comprehend
that the LORD’s hand has done this,
and the holy one of Israel has created it.
Other gods challenged
21Present your case, says the LORD.
Bring forward your evidence, says Jacob’s king.
22Let the idols#Or them approach
and tell us what will happen.
The prior things—what are they?
Announce them, and we’ll think about them
and know their significance.
Or proclaim to us what is to come!
23Report things that will happen in the future,
then we’ll know that you are gods.
Do good! Or do bad!
Then we will all be afraid and fearful.
24Look! You are nobody, and your deeds are nothing.
Whoever chooses you is disgusting.
25I woke up one from the north and he came;
from the east, one who calls my name.
He tramples governors like mud,
as a potter treads clay.
26Who announced this from the start
so that we would know;
from an earlier time
so we would say, "That’s right"?
Truly, no one announced it,
no one proclaimed it,
and no one heard your words.
27I first said it to Zion, "Look, here they are";
to Jerusalem I now send a herald.
28But I look, and there’s no one
among them, no counselor;
and when I ask,
no one can answer.
29Look, all of them are frauds;
their deeds amount to nothing;
their images are a total delusion.
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