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1 COMFORT, COMFORT My people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to the heart of Jerusalem, and cry to her that her time of service and her warfare are ended, that [her punishment is accepted and] her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received [punishment] from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God! [Mark 1:3.]
4 Every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory (majesty and splendor) of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. [Luke 3:5, 6.]
6 A voice says, Cry [prophesy]! And I said, What shall I cry? [The voice answered, Proclaim:] All flesh is as frail as grass, and all that makes it attractive [its kindness, its goodwill, its mercy from God, its glory and comeliness, however good] is transitory, like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely [all] the people are like grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. [James 1:10, 11; I Pet. 1:24, 25.]
9 O you who bring good tidings to Zion, get up to the high mountain. O you who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God! [Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:15.]
10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, and His arm will rule for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. [Rev. 22:7, 12.]
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, marked off the heavens with a [nine-inch] span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him? [Rom. 11:34.]
14 With whom did He take counsel, that instruction might be given Him? Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are counted as small dust on the scales; behold, He takes up the isles like a very little thing.
16 And all Lebanon's [forests] cannot supply sufficient fuel, nor all its wild beasts furnish victims enough to burn sacrifices [worthy of the Lord].
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and emptiness (waste, futility, and worthlessness).
18 To whom then will you liken God? Or with what likeness will you compare Him? [Acts 17:29.]
19 The graven image! A workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts silver chains for it.
20 He who is so impoverished that he has no offering or oblation or rich gift to give [to his god is constrained to make a wooden offering, an idol; so he] chooses a tree that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to carve and set up an image that will not totter or deteriorate.
21 [You worshipers of idols, you are without excuse.] Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? [These things ought to convince you of God's omnipotence and of the folly of bowing to idols.] Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? [Rom. 1:20, 21.]
22 It is God Who sits above the circle (the horizon) of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; it is He Who stretches out the heavens like [gauze] curtains and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in,
23 Who brings dignitaries to nothing, Who makes the judges and rulers of the earth as chaos (emptiness, falsity, and futility).
24 Yes, these men are scarcely planted, scarcely are they sown, scarcely does their stock take root in the earth, when [the Lord] blows upon them and they wither, and the whirlwind or tempest takes them away like stubble.
25 To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be equal to him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see! Who has created these? He Who brings out their host by number and calls them all by name; through the greatness of His might and because He is strong in power, not one is missing or lacks anything.
27 Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, My way and my lot are hidden from the Lord, and my right is passed over without regard from my God?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.
29 He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. [II Cor. 12:9.]
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;
31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. [Heb. 12:1-3.]
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation