New American Standard Bible

Isaiah 40

The Greatness of God

1“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak [a]kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her [b]warfare has ended,
That her [c]iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”

A voice [d]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;
[e]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 [f]he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its [g]loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
[h]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!”
10 Behold, the Lord [i]God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11 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.

12 Who has measured the [j]waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the [k]span,
And [l]calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
13 Who has [m]directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
14 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?
15 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 [n]islands like fine dust.
16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and [o]meaningless.

18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
19 As for the [p]idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
20 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 [q]prepare [r]an idol that will not totter.

21 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?
22 It is He who [s]sits above the [t]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.
23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth [u]meaningless.
24 [v]Scarcely have they been planted,
[w]Scarcely have they been sown,
[x]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.
25 “To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
26 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 [y]strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me [z]escapes the notice of my God”?
28 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.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who [aa]wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will [ab]mount up with [ac]wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:2 Or hard service
  3. Isaiah 40:2 Or penalty of iniquity accepted as paid off
  4. Isaiah 40:3 Or of one calling out
  5. Isaiah 40:5 Or In order that the
  6. Isaiah 40:6 Another reading is I said
  7. Isaiah 40:6 Or constancy
  8. Isaiah 40:7 Or Because
  9. Isaiah 40:10 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  10. Isaiah 40:12 DSS reads waters of the sea
  11. Isaiah 40:12 Or half cubit; i.e. 9 in.
  12. Isaiah 40:12 Lit contained or comprehended
  13. Isaiah 40:13 Or measured, marked off
  14. Isaiah 40:15 Or coastlands
  15. Isaiah 40:17 Or void
  16. Isaiah 40:19 Or graven image
  17. Isaiah 40:20 Or set up
  18. Isaiah 40:20 Or a graven image
  19. Isaiah 40:22 Or is enthroned
  20. Isaiah 40:22 Or vault
  21. Isaiah 40:23 Or void
  22. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  23. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  24. Isaiah 40:24 Or Not even
  25. Isaiah 40:26 So DSS and ancient versions; M.T. strong
  26. Isaiah 40:27 Lit passes by my God
  27. Isaiah 40:31 Or hope in
  28. Isaiah 40:31 Or sprout wings
  29. Isaiah 40:31 Or pinions