New International Version

Isaiah 41

The Helper of Israel

1“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[a]?
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.
10 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.

11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.
13 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.
14 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.
15 “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.
16 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.

17 “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.
18 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.
19 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,
20 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.

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
    “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22 “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,
23     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.
24 But you are less than nothing
    and your works are utterly worthless;
    whoever chooses you is detestable.

25 “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.
26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,
    or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?
No one told of this,
    no one foretold it,
    no one heard any words from you.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’
    I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28 I look but there is no one—
    no one among the gods to give counsel,
    no one to give answer when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false!
    Their deeds amount to nothing;
    their images are but wind and confusion.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Or east, / whom victory meets at every step

New American Standard Bible

Isaiah 41

Israel Encouraged

1“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 [a]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 [b]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 [c]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.
10 ‘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.’
11 “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.
12 “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.
13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
14 “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “[d]and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 “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.
16 “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.

17 “The [e]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.
18 “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.
19 “I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the myrtle and the [f]olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
20 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.

21 [g]Present your case,” the Lord says.
“Bring forward your strong arguments,”
The King of Jacob says.
22 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;
23 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.
24 Behold, you are of [h]no account,
And your work amounts to nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

25 “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.”
26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know?
Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”?
Surely there was no one who declared,
Surely there was no one who proclaimed,
Surely there was no one who heard your words.
27 “Formerly I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’
And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a messenger of good news.’
28 “But when I look, there is no one,
And there is no counselor [i]among them
Who, if I ask, can give an answer.
29 “Behold, all of them are [j]false;
Their works are worthless,
Their molten images are wind and emptiness.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Lit foot
  2. Isaiah 41:3 Lit going
  3. Isaiah 41:9 Or taken hold of
  4. Isaiah 41:14 Or even your Redeemer, the Holy One
  5. Isaiah 41:17 Or poor
  6. Isaiah 41:19 Or oleaster
  7. Isaiah 41:21 Lit Bring near
  8. Isaiah 41:24 Lit nothing
  9. Isaiah 41:28 Lit out of those
  10. Isaiah 41:29 Another reading is nothing