Isaiah 40:1-26 (Holman Christian Standard)

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God's People Comforted

1 "Comfort, comfort My people," says your God. 2 Speak tenderly toa Jerusalem, and announce to her that her time of servitude is over, her iniquity has been pardoned, and she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness;b make a straight highway for our God in the desert. 4 Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanityc will see [it] together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 6 A voice was saying, "Cry out!" Anotherd said, "What should I cry out?" "All humanity is grass, and all its goodness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flowers fade when the breathe of the Lord blows on them;f indeed, the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever." 9 Zion, herald of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, herald of good news, raise your voice loudly. Raise it, do not be afraid! Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10 See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him. 11 He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries [them] in the fold of His [garment]. He gently leads those that are nursing. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span [of his hand]? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in scales? 13 Who has directedg the Spirit of the Lord, or who gave Him His counsel?h 14 Who did He consult with? Who gave Him understanding and taught Him the paths of justice? Who taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding? 15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are considered as a speck of dust on the scales; He lifts up the islands like fine dust. 16 Lebanon is not enough for fuel, or its animals enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are considered by Him as nothingness and emptiness. 18 Who will you compare God with? What likeness will you compare Him to? 19 To an idol?-[something that] a smelter casts, and a metalworker plates with gold and makes silver welds [for it]? 20 To one who shapes a pedestal, choosing wood that does not rot?i He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not fall over. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not considered the foundations of the earth? 22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He reduces princes to nothing and makes the judges of the earth to be irrational. 24 They are barely planted, barely sown, their stem hardly takes root in the ground when He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble. 25 "Who will you compare Me to, or who is My equal?" asks the Holy One. 26 Look upj and see: who created these? He brings out the starry host by number; He calls all of them by name. Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing.
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