Isaiah 41 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

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Victor from the east

1 Be quiet before me, coastlands. Let the nations renew their strength. Let them approach and speak. Let's draw near for a judgment. 2 Who has awakened one from the east and has authority to summon him to serve— giving him nations, conquering kings, making them like dust with his sword, like scattered straw with his bow? 3 He pursues them and passes untouched, needing no path for his feet. 4 Who has acted and who has done this, calling upon generation after generation since the beginning? I, the LORD, was first, and I will be the last! 5 The coastlands see and fear; the ends of the earth tremble; they draw near and arrive. 6 Each helps the other, each saying to the other, "Take courage!" 7 The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who smoothes with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the welding, "That's good," and strengthening it with nails so it won't move.

Israel as God’s servant

8 But you, Israel my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, offspring of Abraham, whom I love, 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant; I chose you and didn't reject you": 10 Don't fear, because I am with you; don't be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand. 11 All who rage against you will be shamed and disgraced. Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. 12 You will look for your opponents, and won't find them. Those who fight you will be of no account and will die. 13 I am the LORD your God, who grasps your strong hand, who says to you, Don't fear; I will help you. 14 Don't fear, worm of Jacob, people of Israel! I will help you, says the LORD. The holy one of Israel is your redeemer. 15 Look, I've made you into a new threshing tool with sharp teeth. You will thresh mountains and pulverize them; you will reduce hills to straw. 16 When you winnow them, the wind will carry them off; the tempest will scatter them. You will rejoice in the LORD and take pride in the holy one of Israel. 17 The poor and the needy seek water, and there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will respond to them; I, the God of Israel, won't abandon them. 18 I will open streams on treeless hilltops and springs in valleys. I will make the desert into ponds and dry land into cascades of water. 19 I will plant in the desert cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees; I will put in the wilderness cypress, elm, and pine as well, 20 so that they will see and know and observe and comprehend that the LORD's hand has done this, and the holy one of Israel has created it.

Other gods challenged

21 Present your case, says the LORD. Bring forward your evidence, says Jacob's king. 22 Let the idolsa approach and tell us what will happen. The prior things—what are they? Announce them, and we'll think about them and know their significance. Or proclaim to us what is to come! 23 Report things that will happen in the future, then we'll know that you are gods. Do good! Or do bad! Then we will all be afraid and fearful. 24 Look! You are nobody, and your deeds are nothing. Whoever chooses you is disgusting. 25 I woke up one from the north and he came; from the east, one who calls my name. He tramples governors like mud, as a potter treads clay. 26 Who announced this from the start so that we would know; from an earlier time so we would say, "That's right"? Truly, no one announced it, no one proclaimed it, and no one heard your words. 27 I first said it to Zion, "Look, here they are"; to Jerusalem I now send a herald. 28 But I look, and there's no one among them, no counselor; and when I ask, no one can answer. 29 Look, all of them are frauds; their deeds amount to nothing; their images are a total delusion.
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