Isaiah 41:1-25

Isaiah 41:1-25-29 The Message (MSG)

“Quiet down, far-flung ocean islands. Listen! Sit down and rest, everyone. Recover your strength. Gather around me. Say what’s on your heart. Together let’s decide what’s right. “Who got things rolling here, got this champion from the east on the move? Who recruited him for this job, then rounded up and corralled the nations so he could run roughshod over kings? He’s off and running, pulverizing nations into dust, leaving only stubble and chaff in his wake. He chases them and comes through unscathed, his feet scarcely touching the path. “Who did this? Who made it happen? Who always gets things started? I did. GOD. I’m first on the scene. I’m also the last to leave. “Far-flung ocean islands see it and panic. The ends of the earth are shaken. Fearfully they huddle together. They try to help each other out, making up stories in the dark. The godmakers in the workshops go into overtime production, crafting new models of no-gods, Urging one another on—‘Good job!’ ‘Great design!’— pounding in nails at the base so that the things won’t tip over. “But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. “Count on it: Everyone who had it in for you will end up out in the cold— real losers. Those who worked against you will end up empty-handed— nothing to show for their lives. When you go out looking for your old adversaries you won’t find them— Not a trace of your old enemies, not even a memory. That’s right. Because I, your GOD, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’ “Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob? Don’t be afraid. Feel like a fragile insect, Israel? I’ll help you. I, GOD, want to reassure you. The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel. I’m transforming you from worm to harrow, from insect to iron. As a sharp-toothed harrow you’ll smooth out the mountains, turn those tough old hills into loamy soil. You’ll open the rough ground to the weather, to the blasts of sun and wind and rain. But you’ll be confident and exuberant, expansive in The Holy of Israel! “The poor and homeless are desperate for water, their tongues parched and no water to be found. But I’m there to be found, I’m there for them, and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty. I’ll open up rivers for them on the barren hills, spout fountains in the valleys. I’ll turn the baked-clay badlands into a cool pond, the waterless waste into splashing creeks. I’ll plant the red cedar in that treeless wasteland, also acacia, myrtle, and olive. I’ll place the cypress in the desert, with plenty of oaks and pines. Everyone will see this. No one can miss it— unavoidable, indisputable evidence That I, GOD, personally did this. It’s created and signed by The Holy of Israel. “Set out your case for your gods,” says GOD. “Bring your evidence,” says the King of Jacob. “Take the stand on behalf of your idols, offer arguments, assemble reasons. Spread out the facts before us so that we can assess them ourselves. Ask them, ‘If you are gods, explain what the past means— or, failing that, tell us what will happen in the future. Can’t do that? How about doing something—anything! Good or bad—whatever. Can you hurt us or help us? Do we need to be afraid?’ They say nothing, because they are nothing— sham gods, no-gods, fool-making gods. “I, God, started someone out from the north and he’s come. He was called out of the east by name. He’ll stomp the rulers into the mud the way a potter works the clay. Let me ask you, Did anyone guess that this might happen? Did anyone tell us earlier so we might confirm it with ‘Yes, he’s right!’? No one mentioned it, no one announced it, no one heard a peep out of you. But I told Zion all about this beforehand. I gave Jerusalem a preacher of good news. But around here there’s no one— no one who knows what’s going on. I ask, but no one can tell me the score. Nothing here. It’s all smoke and hot air— sham gods, hollow gods, no-gods.”

Isaiah 41:1-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment. Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow. He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been traversing with his feet. Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’ ” The coastlands have seen and are afraid; The ends of the earth tremble; They have drawn near and have come. Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother, “Be strong!” So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, “It is good”; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter. “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the LORD, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress, That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it. “Present your case,” the LORD says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says. Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination. “I have aroused one from the north, and he has come; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, Even as the potter treads clay.”

Isaiah 41:1-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

“Listen in silence before me, you lands beyond the sea. Bring your strongest arguments. Come now and speak. The court is ready for your case. “Who has stirred up this king from the east, rightly calling him to God’s service? Who gives this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their kings underfoot? With his sword, he reduces armies to dust. With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind. He chases them away and goes on safely, though he is walking over unfamiliar ground. Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.” The lands beyond the sea watch in fear. Remote lands tremble and mobilize for war. The idol makers encourage one another, saying to each other, “Be strong!” The carver encourages the goldsmith, and the molder helps at the anvil. “Good,” they say. “It’s coming along fine.” Carefully they join the parts together, then fasten the thing in place so it won’t fall over. “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing. You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing. For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’ You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains. You will toss them into the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. Then you will rejoice in the LORD. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them. I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground. I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine. I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means— that it is the LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it. “Present the case for your idols,” says the LORD. “Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel. “Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves. “But I have stirred up a leader who will approach from the north. From the east he will call on my name. I will give him victory over kings and princes. He will trample them as a potter treads on clay.

Isaiah 41:1-25 King James Version (KJV)

Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment. Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.

Isaiah 41:1-25 New Century Version (NCV)

The LORD says, “Faraway countries, listen to me. Let the nations become strong. Come to me and speak; we will meet together to decide who is right. “Who caused the one to come from the east? Who gives him victories everywhere he goes? The one who brought him gives nations over to him and defeats kings. He uses his sword, and kings become like dust. He uses his bow, and they are blown away like chaff. He chases them and is never hurt, going places he has never been before. Who caused this to happen? Who has controlled history since the beginning? I, the LORD, am the one. I was here at the beginning, and I will be here when all things are finished.” All you faraway places, look and be afraid; all you places far away on the earth, shake with fear. Come close and listen to me. The workers help each other and say to each other, “Be strong!” The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and the workman who smooths the metal with a hammer encourages the one who shapes the metal. He says, “This metal work is good.” He nails the statue to a base so it can’t fall over. The LORD says, “People of Israel, you are my servants. People of Jacob, I chose you. You are from the family of my friend Abraham. I took you from places far away on the earth and called you from a faraway country. I said, ‘You are my servants.’ I have chosen you and have not turned against you. So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you. “All those people who are angry with you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who are against you will disappear and be lost. You will look for your enemies, but you will not find them. Those who fought against you will vanish completely. I am the LORD your God, who holds your right hand, and I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I will help you.’ You few people of Israel who are left, do not be afraid even though you are weak as a worm. I myself will help you,” says the LORD. “The one who saves you is the Holy One of Israel. Look, I have made you like a new threshing board with many sharp teeth. So you will walk on mountains and crush them; you will make the hills like chaff. You will throw them into the air, and the wind will carry them away; a windstorm will scatter them. Then you will be happy in the LORD; you will be proud of the Holy One of Israel. “The poor and needy people look for water, but they can’t find any. Their tongues are dry with thirst. But I, the LORD, will answer their prayers; I, the God of Israel, will not leave them to die. I will make rivers flow on the dry hills and springs flow through the valleys. I will change the desert into a lake of water and the dry land into fountains of water. I will make trees grow in the desert— cedars, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees. I will put pine, fir, and cypress trees growing together in the desert. People will see these things and understand; they will think carefully about these things and learn that the LORD’s power did this, that the Holy One of Israel made these things.” The LORD says, “Present your case.” The King of Jacob says, “Tell me your arguments. Bring in your idols to tell us what is going to happen. Have them tell us what happened in the beginning. Then we will think about these things, and we will know how they will turn out. Or tell us what will happen in the future. Tell us what is coming next so we will believe that you are gods. Do something, whether it is good or bad, and make us afraid. You gods are less than nothing; you can’t do anything. Those who worship you should be hated. “I have brought someone to come out of the north I have called by name a man from the east, and he knows me. He walks on kings as if they were mud, just as a potter walks on the clay.

Isaiah 41:1-25 American Standard Version (ASV)

Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the peoples renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak; let us come near together to judgment. Who hath raised up one from the east, whom he calleth in righteousness to his foot? he giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings; he giveth them as the dust to his sword, as the driven stubble to his bow. He pursueth them, and passeth on safely, even by a way that he had not gone with his feet. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, Jehovah, the first, and with the last, I am he. The isles have seen, and fear; the ends of the earth tremble; they draw near, and come. They help every one his neighbor; and every one saith to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encourageth the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smiteth the anvil, saying of the soldering, It is good; and he fasteneth it with nails, that it should not be moved. But thou, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend, thou whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called from the corners thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee and not cast thee away; fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that are incensed against thee shall be put to shame and confounded: they that strive with thee shall be as nothing, and shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contend with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I, Jehovah thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith Jehovah, and thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I have made thee to be a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in Jehovah, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. The poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I, Jehovah, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 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. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together: that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Jehovah hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. Produce your cause, saith Jehovah; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring forth, and declare unto us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come. Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work is of nought; an abomination is he that chooseth you. I have raised up one from the north, and he is come; from the rising of the sun one that calleth upon my name: and he shall come upon rulers as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.

Isaiah 41:1-25 New International Version (NIV)

“Be silent before me, you islands! Let the nations renew their strength! Let them come forward and speak; let us meet together at the place of judgment. “Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow. He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before. Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD—with the first of them and with the last—I am he.” The islands have seen it and fear; the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward; they help each other and say to their companions, “Be strong!” The metalworker encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, “It is good.” The other nails down the idol so it will not topple. “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel. “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. “Present your case,” says the LORD. “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. “Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable. “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes— one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay.

Isaiah 41:1-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Listen to Me in silence, you islands and coastlands, And let the nations gain their strength; Let them come near, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment [and decide the issue between us concerning the enemy from the east]. Who has stirred up and put into action one from the east [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great] Whom He calls in righteousness to His service and whom victory meets at every step? The LORD turns nations over to him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, Like wind-driven chaff with his bow. He (Cyrus) pursues them and passes along safely, By a way his feet had not traveled before. Who has performed and done this, Calling forth [and guiding the destinies of] the generations [of the nations] from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD—the first, and with the last [existing before history began, the ever-present, unchanging God]—I am He.’ ” The islands and coastlands have seen and they fear; The ends of the earth tremble; They have drawn near and have come. They each help his neighbor And say to his brother [as he fashions his idols], “Be of good courage!” So the craftsman encourages the goldsmith, And he who smooths metal with the smith’s hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering (welding), “That is good”; And he fastens the idol with nails, So that it will not totter nor be moved. “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The offspring of Abraham My friend, You whom I [the LORD] have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not rejected you [even though you are exiled]. Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’ Indeed, all those who are angry with you will be put to shame and humiliated; Those who strive against you will be as nothing and will perish. You shall search for those who quarrel with you, but will not find them; They who war against you will be as nothing, as nothing at all. For I the LORD your God keep hold of your right hand; [I am the Lord], Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the LORD, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. In fact, I have made of you a new, sharp threshing implement with sharp edges; You will thresh the mountains and crush them, And make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And a high wind will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. “The poor and needy are seeking water, but there is none; Their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them Myself; I, the God of Israel, will not neglect them. I will open rivers on the barren heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a reed-pool of water And the dry land springs of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia, the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress, So that they may see and know, And consider and understand together, That the hand of the LORD has done this, That the Holy One of Israel has created it. “Present your case [for idols made by men’s hands],” says the LORD. “Produce your evidence [of divinity],” Says the king of Jacob. Let them bring forward [their evidence] and tell us what is going to happen. Regarding the former events, tell what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome; Or announce to us the things that are going to come. Tell us the things that are to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, you should do something good or do evil, that we may be afraid and fear [you] together [as we observe the miracle]. Hear this! You [idols] are less than nothing, And your work is worthless; The worshiper who chooses you [as a god] is repulsive. “I have stirred up and put into action one from the north [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great], and he has come; From the rising of the sun he will call on My Name [in prayer]. And he will trample on [the Babylonian] officials as on mortar, Even as a potter treads clay.”

Isaiah 41:1-25 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

Listen 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 judgment. Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 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”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 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. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. 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. 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. 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, that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you. I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay.