Isaiah 40:1-26 NIV

Comfort for God's People

1 Comfort, comfort1 my people, says your God.

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2 Speak tenderly2 to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service3 has been completed,4 that her sin has been paid for,5 that she has received from the LORD's hand double6 for all her sins.

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3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way7 for the LORD a; make straight8 in the wilderness a highway for our God.b9

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    • a 40:3 - Or "A voice of one calling in the desert: / "Prepare the way for the LORD"
    • b 40:3 - Hebrew; Septuagint "make straight the paths of our God"
      4 Every valley shall be raised up,10 every mountain and hill11 made low; the rough ground shall become level,12 the rugged places a plain.

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      5 And the glory13 of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.14 For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."15

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      6 A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass,16 and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

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      7 The grass withers17 and the flowers fall, because the breath18 of the LORD blows19 on them. Surely the people are grass.

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      8 The grass withers and the flowers20 fall, but the word21 of our God stands22 forever.23"

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      9 You who bring good tidings24 to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem,c25 lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!"26

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        • c 40:9 - Or "O Zion, bringer of good tidings, / go up on a high mountain. / O Jerusalem, bringer of good tidings"
          10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes27 with power,28 and his arm29 rules30 for him. See, his reward31 is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.

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          11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:32 He gathers the lambs in his arms33 and carries them close to his heart;34 he gently leads35 those that have young.36

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          12 Who has measured the waters37 in the hollow of his hand,38 or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?39 Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?40

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          13 Who has understood the mindd41 of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?42

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            • d 40:13 - Or "Spirit "; or "spirit"
              14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge43 or showed him the path of understanding?44

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              15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales;45 he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.46

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              16 Lebanon47 is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals48 enough for burnt offerings.

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              17 Before him all the nations49 are as nothing;50 they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.51

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              18 To whom, then, will you compare God?52 What image53 will you compare him to?

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              19 As for an idol,54 a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith55 overlays it with gold56 and fashions silver chains for it.

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              20 A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood57 that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol58 that will not topple.59

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              21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?60 Has it not been told61 you from the beginning?62 Have you not understood63 since the earth was founded?64

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              22 He sits enthroned65 above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.66 He stretches out the heavens67 like a canopy,68 and spreads them out like a tent69 to live in.70

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              23 He brings princes71 to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.72

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              24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root73 in the ground, than he blows74 on them and they wither,75 and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.76

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              25 "To whom will you compare me?77 Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.78

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              26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:79 Who created80 all these? He who brings out the starry host81 one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength,82 not one of them is missing.83

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