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Isaiah 40:1-31

Isaiah 40:1-31 King James Version (KJV)

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:1-31 The Message (MSG)

“Comfort, oh comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven! She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with.” Thunder in the desert! “Prepare for GOD’s arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God. Fill in the valleys, level off the hills, Smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks. Then GOD’s bright glory will shine and everyone will see it. Yes. Just as GOD has said.” A voice says, “Shout!” I said, “What shall I shout?” “These people are nothing but grass, their love fragile as wildflowers. The grass withers, the wildflowers fade, if GOD so much as puffs on them. Aren’t these people just so much grass? True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.” Climb a high mountain, Zion. You’re the preacher of good news. Raise your voice. Make it good and loud, Jerusalem. You’re the preacher of good news. Speak loud and clear. Don’t be timid! Tell the cities of Judah, “Look! Your God!” Look at him! GOD, the Master, comes in power, ready to go into action. He is going to pay back his enemies and reward those who have loved him. Like a shepherd, he will care for his flock, gathering the lambs in his arms, Hugging them as he carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture. Who has scooped up the ocean in his two hands, or measured the sky between his thumb and little finger, Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of his baskets, weighed each mountain and hill? Who could ever have told GOD what to do or taught him his business? What expert would he have gone to for advice, what school would he attend to learn justice? What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows, showed him how things work? Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket, a mere smudge on a window. Watch him sweep up the islands like so much dust off the floor! There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon nor enough animals in those vast forests to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for his worship. All the nations add up to simply nothing before him— less than nothing is more like it. A minus. So who even comes close to being like God? To whom or what can you compare him? Some no-god idol? Ridiculous! It’s made in a workshop, cast in bronze, Given a thin veneer of gold, and draped with silver filigree. Or, perhaps someone will select a fine wood— olive wood, say—that won’t rot, Then hire a woodcarver to make a no-god, giving special care to its base so it won’t tip over! Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening? Haven’t you heard these stories all your life? Don’t you understand the foundation of all things? God sits high above the round ball of earth. The people look like mere ants. He stretches out the skies like a canvas— yes, like a tent canvas to live under. He ignores what all the princes say and do. The rulers of the earth count for nothing. Princes and rulers don’t amount to much. Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted, They shrivel when God blows on them. Like flecks of chaff, they’re gone with the wind. “So—who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy. Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name —so magnificent! so powerful!— and never overlooks a single one? Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “GOD has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? GOD doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

Isaiah 40:1-31 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.” A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens by the span, And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver. He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter. Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40:1-31 New Century Version (NCV)

Your God says, “Comfort, comfort my people. Speak kindly to the people of Jerusalem and tell them that their time of service is finished, that they have paid for their sins, that the LORD has punished Jerusalem twice for every sin they did.” This is the voice of one who calls out: “Prepare in the desert the way for the LORD. Make a straight road in the dry lands for our God. Every valley should be raised up, and every mountain and hill should be made flat. The rough ground should be made level, and the rugged ground should be made smooth. Then the glory of the LORD will be shown, and all people together will see it. The LORD himself said these things.” A voice says, “Cry out!” Then I said, “What shall I cry out?” “Say all people are like the grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass dies and the flowers fall when the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are like grass. The grass dies and the flowers fall, but the word of our God will live forever.” Jerusalem, you have good news to tell. Go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, you have good news to tell. Shout out loud the good news. Shout it out and don’t be afraid. Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God.” Look, the Lord GOD is coming with power to rule all the people. Look, he will bring reward for his people; he will have their payment with him. He takes care of his people like a shepherd. He gathers them like lambs in his arms and carries them close to him. He gently leads the mothers of the lambs. Who has measured the oceans in the palm of his hand? Who has used his hand to measure the sky? Who has used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth and scales to weigh the mountains and hills? Who has known the mind of the LORD or been able to give him advice? Whom did he ask for help? Who taught him the right way? Who taught him knowledge and showed him the way to understanding? The nations are like one small drop in a bucket; they are no more than the dust on his measuring scales. To him the islands are no more than fine dust on his scales. All the trees in Lebanon are not enough for the altar fires, and all the animals in Lebanon are not enough for burnt offerings. Compared to the LORD all the nations are worth nothing; to him they are less than nothing. Can you compare God to anything? Can you compare him to an image of anything? An idol is formed by a craftsman, and a goldsmith covers it with gold and makes silver chains for it. A poor person cannot buy those expensive statues, so he finds a tree that will not rot. Then he finds a skilled craftsman to make it into an idol that will not fall over. Surely you know. Surely you have heard. Surely from the beginning someone told you. Surely you understand how the earth was created. God sits on his throne above the circle of the earth, and compared to him, people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies like a piece of cloth and spreads them out like a tent to sit under. He makes rulers unimportant and the judges of this world worth nothing. They are like plants that are placed in the ground, like seeds that are planted. As soon as they begin to grow strong, he blows on them and they die, and the wind blows them away like chaff. God, the Holy One, says, “Can you compare me to anyone? Is anyone equal to me?” Look up to the skies. Who created all these stars? He leads out the army of heaven one by one and calls all the stars by name. Because he is strong and powerful, not one of them is missing. People of Jacob, why do you complain? People of Israel, why do you say, “The LORD does not see what happens to me; he does not care if I am treated fairly”? Surely you know. Surely you have heard. The LORD is the God who lives forever, who created all the world. He does not become tired or need to rest. No one can understand how great his wisdom is. He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. Even children become tired and need to rest, and young people trip and fall. But the people who trust the LORD will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.

Isaiah 40:1-31 American Standard Version (ASV)

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she hath received of Jehovah’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain: and the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it. The voice of one saying, Cry. And one said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the breath of Jehovah bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God! Behold, the Lord Jehovah will come as a mighty one, and his arm will rule for him: Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young. Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of Jehovah, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The image, a workman hath cast it, and the goldsmith overlayeth it with gold, and casteth for it silver chains. He that is too impoverished for such an oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a skilful workman to set up a graven image, that shall not be moved. Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; that bringeth princes to nothing; that maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they have not been planted; yea, they have not been sown; yea, their stock hath not taken root in the earth: moreover he bloweth upon them, and they wither, and the whirlwind taketh them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, that I should be equal to him? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these, that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and for that he is strong in power, not one is lacking. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from Jehovah, and the justice due to me is passed away from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:1-31 New International Version (NIV)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing. With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple. Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:1-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? The workman molds an image, The goldsmith overspreads it with gold, And the silversmith casts silver chains. Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution Chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks for himself a skillful workman To prepare a carved image that will not totter. Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. “To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:1-31 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, And call out to her, that her time of compulsory service in warfare is finished, That her wickedness has been taken away [since her punishment is sufficient], That she has received from the LORD’S hand Double [punishment] for all her sins.” ¶A voice of one is calling out, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness [remove the obstacles]; Make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God. [Mark 1:3] “Every valley shall be raised, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged places a broad valley. “And the glory and majesty and splendor of the LORD will be revealed, And all humanity shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.” [Luke 3:5, 6] A voice says, “Call out [prophesy].” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” [The voice answered:] All humanity is [as frail as] grass, and all that makes it attractive [its charm, its loveliness] is [momentary] like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Most certainly [all] the people are [like] grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. [James 1:10, 11; 1 Pet 1:24, 25] ¶O Zion, herald of good news, Get up on a high mountain. O Jerusalem, herald of good news, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, do not fear; Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” [Acts 10:36; Rom 10:15] Listen carefully, the Lord GOD will come with might, And His arm will rule for Him. Most certainly His reward is with Him, And His restitution accompanies Him. [Rev 22:7, 12] He will protect His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom; He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young. ¶Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens with a span [of the hand], And calculated the dust of the earth with a measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or has taught Him as His counselor? [Rom 11:34] With whom did He consult and who enlightened Him? Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? In fact, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Now look, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. And [the forests of] Lebanon cannot supply sufficient fuel to start a fire, Nor are its wild beasts enough for a burnt offering [worthy of the LORD]. All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. ¶To whom then will you liken God? Or with what likeness will you compare Him? [Acts 17:29] As for the cast image (idol), a metalworker casts it, A goldsmith overlays it with gold And a silversmith casts its silver chains. He who is too impoverished for such an offering [to give to his god] Chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To [carve and] set up an idol that will not totter. ¶Do you [who worship idols] not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth [the omnipotence of God and the stupidity of bowing to idols]? [Rom 1:20, 21] It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; [It is He] who stretches out the heavens like a veil And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. It is He who reduces dignitaries to nothing, Who makes the judges (rulers) of the earth meaningless (useless). Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And a strong wind carries them away like stubble. “To whom then will you compare Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these heavenly bodies, The One who brings out their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one is missing. ¶Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become tired or grow weary; There is no searching of His understanding. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power. [2 Cor 12:9] Even youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired. [Heb 12:1-3]

Isaiah 40:1-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the LORD has punished her twice over for all her sins.” Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!” A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. LORD Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth. To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains? Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down! Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing. They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:1-31 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Your God says to you: “Comfort, comfort my people with gentle, compassionate words. Speak tenderly from the heart to revive those in Jerusalem, and proclaim that their warfare is over. Her debt of sin is paid for, and she will not be treated as guilty. Prophesy to her that she has received from the hand of YAHWEH twice as many blessings as all her sins.” A thunderous voice cries out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for YAHWEH’s arrival! Make a highway straight through the desert for our God! Every valley will be raised up, every mountain brought low. The rugged terrain will become level ground and the rough places a plain. Then YAHWEH’s radiant glory will be unveiled, and all humanity will experience it together. Believe it, for YAHWEH has spoken his decree!” A voice says, “Cry out!” And I ask, “What should I say?” “All people are as frail as grass, and their elegance is like a wilting wildflower. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of YAHWEH blows upon it; the people are just like grass! But even though grass withers and the flower fades, the word of our God stands strong forever!” Go up on a high mountain, you joyful messengers of Zion, and lift up your voices with power. You who proclaim joyous news to Jerusalem, shout it out and don’t be afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” Look! Here comes Lord YAHWEH as a victorious warrior; he triumphs with his awesome power. Watch as he brings with him his reward and the spoils of victory to give to his people. He will care for you as a shepherd tends his flock, gathering the weak lambs and taking them in his arms. He carries them close to his heart and gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters of the sea in the hollow of his hand and used his hand-width to mark off the heavens? Who knows the exact weight of all the dust of the earth and has weighed all the mountains and hills on his scale? Who fully understands the Spirit of YAHWEH or is wise enough to counsel him? Whom does he consult to be enlightened? Who teaches him the ways of justice? Who imparts knowledge to him or shows him the true path of wisdom? Even the nations are to him like a drop in a bucket, regarded as nothing more than dust on a scale. He picks up the islands like fine grains of sand. All of Lebanon’s trees are not enough firewood for him, nor are all its animals enough for a burnt offering. The nations are nothing in his eyes; he regards them as absolutely nothing. Who even comes close to being compared to God? How could you ever compare God to an idol? A craftsman forms an idol-god, then a goldsmith overlays it with gold and forges its silver chains. The one who is poor and cannot afford silver or gold chooses a tree that will not rot, then seeks a skilled workman to make an idol that will not topple. Don’t you realize that God is the Creator? Don’t you hear the truth? Haven’t you been told this from the beginning? Haven’t you understood this since he laid a firm foundation for the earth? He sits enthroned high above the circle of the earth; to him the people of earth are like grasshoppers! He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, spreading it open like a tent to live in. He reduces rulers to nothing and makes the elite of the earth as nothing at all. They barely get planted and barely take root in their position of power when the Lord blows on them and they wither away, carried off like straw in the stormy wind. The Holy One asks: “Can you find anyone or anything to compare to me? Where is the one equal to me?” Lift up your eyes to the sky and see for yourself. Who do you think created the cosmos? He lit every shining star and formed every glowing galaxy, and stationed them all where they belong. He has numbered, counted, and given each one a name. They shine because of God’s incredible power and awesome might; not one fails to appear! Why, then, O Jacob’s tribes, would you ever complain? And my chosen Israel, why would you say, “YAHWEH isn’t paying attention to my situation. He has lost all interest in what happens to me”? Don’t you know? Haven’t you been listening? YAHWEH is the one and only everlasting God, the Creator of all you can see and imagine! He never gets weary or worn out. His intelligence is unlimited; he is never puzzled over what to do! He empowers the feeble and infuses the powerless with increasing strength. Even young people faint and get exhausted; athletic ones may stumble and fall. But those who entwine their hearts with YAHWEH will experience divine strength. They will rise up on soaring wings and fly like eagles, run their races without growing weary, and walk through life without giving up.

Isaiah 40:1-31 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move. Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

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