Isaiah 44
Yahweh Blesses Chosen Israel
1“But now hear, Jacob my servant,
and Israel, whom I have chosen.
2Thus says Yahweh, who made you,
and who formed you in#Or “from” the womb and will help you:
you must not fear, my servant Jacob,
and Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3For I will pour out water on a thirsty land
and streams on dry ground.
I will pour my spirit out on your descendants#Hebrew “descendant”
and my blessing on your offspring.
4And they shall sprout among#Literally “in between” the grass
like willows by a watercourse of water.
5This one will say, ‘I belong to Yahweh!’
And that one will be called by the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand ‘Yahweh’s’
and take the name#Literally “he will be titled by the name” of Israel.”
Yahweh the Only God
6Thus says Yahweh, the king of Israel,
and its redeemer, Yahweh of hosts:
“I am the first, and I am the last,
and there is no god besides me.
7And who is like me? Let him proclaim#Or “call” it!
And let him declare it and set it in order for me
since I established an eternal people#Literally “from my placing a people of eternity” and things that are to come,
and let them tell them the things that are coming.
8You must not tremble,#Or “be startled”
and you must not be paralyzed with fear.
Have I not made you hear from of old#Or “then”
and declared it, and you are my witnesses?
Is there a god besides me?
And there is no rock! I know none!”
Idolatry Is Ridiculous
9All those who form an idol are nothing,
and their delightful things do not profit.
And their witnesses do not see or know,
so they will be ashamed.
10Who would form a god
and cast an image of which he cannot profit?
11Look! all his companions shall be ashamed,
and the artisans are human!
Let all of them assemble;
let them stand up.
They shall tremble;#Or “be startled”
they shall be ashamed together.
12The ironsmith#Literally “craftsman of iron” works in the coals with his tool
and forms it with hammers.
And he makes it with his strong arm;#Literally “the arm of his strength”
indeed, he becomes hungry, and he lacks#Literally “there is no” strength;
he does not drink water, and he is faint.
13The woodworker#Literally “craftsman of wood” stretches out a line;
he makes an outline of it with a marker.
He makes it with a knife
and makes an outline of it with a compass.
He makes it like the image of a man,
like the beauty of a human, to dwell in a temple.#Or “house”
14Cutting down cedars for himself,
he chooses#Literally “takes” a holm tree and an oak,
and he lets it grow strong for him among the trees of the forest.
He plants a cedar, and the rain makes it grow.
15And it becomes fuel for a human,#Literally “will become for a man as burning”
and he takes some of it and grows warm;
also, he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
Also, he makes a god and bows in worship;
he makes himself an image and bows down to it!
16He burns half of it in the fire;
he eats meat over half of it;
he roasts a roast and is satisfied.
Also he grows warm and says, “Ah!
I am warm! I see the fire!”
17And he makes the remainder of it into a god!
He bows down to his idol,
and he bows in worship and prays to him,
and he says, “Save me, for you are my god!”
18They do not know,
and they do not understand,
for their eyes are besmeared so that they cannot see,#Literally “from seeing”
their minds#Literally “hearts” so that they have no insight.#Literally “from having insight”
19And no one takes it to heart,#Literally “he does not bring back to his heart” and there is no knowledge
and no understanding to say, “I burned half of it in the fire
and also I baked bread on its coals;
I roasted meat, and I have eaten.
And I shall make the rest of it into an abomination!
I shall bow down to a block of wood!”
20He feeds on ashes; a deceived mind#Literally “heart deceived” misleads him.
And he cannot save himself,#Literally “his soul” and he cannot say,
“Is this not an illusion in my right hand?”
Yahweh Remembers Israel
21Remember these things, Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant:
I formed you; you are my servant;
Israel, you will not be forgotten by me!
22I have wiped your transgressions out like a cloud
and your sins like mist.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you!
23Sing for joy, heavens, for Yahweh has done it!
Shout, depths of the earth!
Break forth, mountains, in rejoicing,
forest and every tree in it,
for Yahweh has redeemed Jacob,
and he will show his glory in Israel!
Jerusalem Restored through Cyrus
24Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer,
and he who formed you in#Or “from” the womb:
“I am Yahweh, who made everything,
who stretched out the heavens alone,
who spread out the earth—who was with me?—
25who frustrates#Or “breaks” the signs of oracle priests
and makes a fool of diviners,
who drives the wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
26who keeps#Or “erects” the word of his servant
and carries out the plan of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’
and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,
and I will restore its ruins’;
27who says to the deep, ‘Dry up!
And I will cause your rivers to dry up’;
28who says of Cyrus, ‘My shepherd,’
and he shall carry out all my wishes#Hebrew “wish”;
and saying of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be rebuilt,’
and the temple, ‘It shall be founded.’ ”
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