Isaiah 41

Chapter 41

The Lord Redeems Israel

1 Be silent and listen to me, O coastlands;
let the peoples renew their strength.
Let them draw near and speak;
let us meet together at the place of judgment.
2 Who has raised up a victor from the east
and summoned him to his service?
He delivers up nations to him
and overthrows their kings.
With his sword he scatters them like dust,
and with his bow he reduces them to stubble.
3 He pursues them and advances unscathed,
scarcely touching the path with his feet.
4 Who has performed these deeds and accomplished this?
Who has summoned the nations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am the first,
and I will be there with the last.
5 The coastlands have seen and become frightened;
the ends of the earth tremble.
These things are fast approaching;
they will come to pass.
6 Each worker helps another;
they encourage each other to take heart.
7 The craftsman encourages the goldsmith,
and the polisher the one who strikes the anvil;
he declares the soldering to be good,
and he fastens the image with nails
so that it will be secure.
8 But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the descendants of my friend Abraham,
9 you whom I have taken to myself
from the ends of the earth
and summoned from its farthest corners,
to whom I have said, “You are my servant;
I have chosen you and will not cast you off.
10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and give you help,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
11 All those who rage against you
will be put to shame and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be reduced to nothing and perish.
12 You will search for those who oppose you
but you will not find them.
Those who take up arms against you
will be reduced to nothing.
13 For I, the Lord, am your God
and I grasp your right hand.
It is I who say to you,
Do not fear; I will help you.
14 Do not fear, you worm, Jacob,
you maggot, Israel.
I will help you, says the Lord;
your redeemer[a] is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Now I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, with numerous teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you will reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them,
the wind will carry them away,
and the gale will scatter them.
Then you will rejoice in the Lord
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 When the poor and needy search for water
and there is none,
and their tongues are parched with thirst,
I the Lord will come to their aid;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open up rivers on the barren heights
and fountains in the midst of valleys.
I will turn the wilderness into a lake
and the dry land into springs of water.
19 In the wilderness I will plant cedars,
acacias, myrtles, and olive trees;
in the wasteland I will place cypress trees
to grow side by side with plane trees and pine trees,
20 so that all may see and know,
observe and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21 Present your case, says the Lord.
Produce your arguments, says the king of Jacob.
22 Let them bring forth their idols
and reveal to us what is going to happen.
What happened in the past?
Inform us so that we may reflect on it
and that we may know what the outcome will be
or declare to us the things to come.
23 Reveal to us what is yet to come
so that we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
that will cause us to be alarmed and terrified.
24 But you cannot do so, for you are nothing,
and your works are truly worthless.
To choose you is an abomination.
25 I have stirred up one from the north,
and he has come forth;
from the east he has been summoned by name.
He will trample on rulers as if they were mud,
like a potter treading clay.
26 Who revealed this to us from the beginning
so that we might know it,
or advised us beforehand
so that we might say, “He is right”?
No one foretold it, no one proclaimed it,
no one has heard you say anything in this regard.
27 I was the first to declare it to Zion,
and I sent a bearer of glad tidings to Jerusalem.
28 But when I look around, I see no one;
there is not a single one of them to offer counsel
or to give an answer when I question them.
29 No, they are a delusion.
Nothing they do amounts to anything;
their idols are empty wind.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 41:14 A redeemer (Hebrew, goel) in the Old Testament is a relative whose duty it is to protect the interests and rights of the family (Lev 25:24-25; Num 35:19; Ru 2:20; 4:4).

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