Isaiah, CHAPTER 41
THE LIBERATOR OF ISRAEL
Keep silence before me, O coastlands;
let the nations renew their strength.
Let them draw near and speak;
let us come together for judgment.
Who has stirred up from the East the champion of justice,
and summoned him to be his attendant?
To him he delivers nations
and subdues kings;
With his sword he reduces them to dust,
with his bow, to driven straw.
He pursues them, passing on without loss,
by a path his feet scarcely touch.
Who has performed these deeds?
Who has called forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the LORD, am the first,
and at the last I am he.
The coastlands see, and fear;
the ends of the earth tremble:
they approach, they come on.
Each one helps his neighbor,
one says to the other, “Courage!”
The woodworker encourages the goldsmith,
the one who beats with the hammer, him who strikes on the anvil,
Saying of the soldering, “It is good!”
then fastening it with nails so it will not totter.
But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham my friend―
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth
and summoned from its far-off places,
To whom I have said, You are my servant;
I chose you, I have not rejected you―
Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Yes, all shall be put to shame and disgrace
who vent their anger against you;
Those shall be as nothing and perish
who offer resistance.
You shall seek but not find
those who strive against you;
They shall be as nothing at all
who do battle with you.
For I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear,
I will help you.
Do not fear, you worm Jacob,
you maggot Israel;
I will help you―oracle of the LORD;
the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, full of teeth,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off,
the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the wilderness into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
In the wilderness I will plant the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
In the wasteland I will set the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Present your case, says the LORD;
bring forward your arguments, says the King of Jacob.
Let them draw near and foretell to us
what it is that shall happen!
What are the things of long ago?
Tell us, that we may reflect on them
and know their outcome;
Or declare to us the things to come,
tell what is to be in the future,
that we may know that you are gods!
Do something, good or evil,
that will put us in awe and in fear.
Why, you are nothing
and your work is nought;
to choose you is an abomination!
I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes;
from the east I summon him by name;
He shall trample the rulers down like mud,
like a potter treading clay.
Who announced this from the beginning, that we might know;
beforehand, that we might say, “True”?
Not one of you foretold it, not one spoke;
not one heard you say,
“The first news for Zion: here they come,”
or, “I will give Jerusalem a herald of good news.”
When I look, there is not one,
not one of them to give counsel,
to make an answer when I question them.
Ah, all of them are nothing,
their works are nought,
their idols, empty wind!