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Isaiah 44 (Lexham English Bible)

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Yahweh Blesses Chosen Israel

1 "But now hear, Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. 2 Thus says Yahweh, who made you, and who formed you ina [the] womb and will help you: you must not fear, my servant Jacob, and Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour out water on a thirsty [land] and streams on dry ground. I will pour my spirit out on your descendantsb and my blessing on your offspring. 4 And they shall sprout {among}c [the] grass like willows by a watercourse of water. 5 This [one] will say, 'I belong to Yahweh!' And that [one] will be called by the name of Jacob, and another will write [on] his hand 'Yahweh's' and {take the name}d of Israel."

Yahweh the Only God

6 Thus says Yahweh, the king of Israel, and its redeemer, Yahweh of hosts: "I [am the] first, and I [am the] last, and there is no god besides me. 7 And who [is] like me? Let him proclaime [it]! And let him declare it and set it in order for me {since I established an eternal people}f and things that are to come, and let them tell them [the things] that are coming. 8 You must not tremble,g and you must not be paralyzed with fear. Have I not made you hear from of oldh and declared [it], and you [are] my witnesses? Is there a god besides me? And there is no rock! I know none!"

Idolatry Is Ridiculous

9 All those who form an idol [are] nothing, and their delightful things do not profit. And their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be ashamed. 10 Who would form a god and cast an image of [which] he cannot profit? 11 Look! all his companions shall be ashamed, and [the] artisans [are] human! Let all of them assemble; let them stand up. They shall tremble;i they shall be ashamed together. 12 [The] {ironsmith}j works in the coals [with his] tool and forms it with hammers. And he makes it with {his strong arm};k indeed, he becomes hungry, and {he lacks}l strength; he does not drink water, and he is faint. 13 [The] {woodworker}m stretches out a line; he makes an outline [of] it with [a] marker. He makes it with [a] knife and makes an outline [of] it with [a] compass. He makes it like [the] image of a man, like [the] beauty of a human, to dwell [in] a temple.n 14 Cutting down cedars for himself, he {chooses}o a holm tree and an oak, and he lets it grow strong for him among [the] trees of [the] forest. He plants a cedar, and [the] rain makes [it] grow. 15 And it {becomes fuel for a human},p and he takes some of it and grows warm; also, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also, he makes a god and bows in worship; he makes himself an image and bows down to it! 16 He burns half of it in [the] fire; he eats meat over half of it; he roasts a roast and is satisfied. Also he grows warm and says, "Ah! I am warm! I see [the] fire!" 17 And he makes the remainder of it into a god! He bows down to his idol, and he bows in worship and prays to him, and he says, "Save me, for you [are] my god!" 18 They do not know, and they do not understand, for their eyes [are] besmeared {so that they cannot see},q their {minds}r {so that they have no insight}.s 19 And {no one takes it to heart},t and [there is] no knowledge and no understanding to say, "I burned half of it in [the] fire and also I baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat, and I have eaten. And I shall make [the] rest of it into an abomination! I shall bow down to a block of wood!" 20 [He] feeds [on] ashes; a {deceived mind}u misleads him. And he cannot save {himself},v and he cannot say, "Is [this] not an illusion in my right hand?"

Yahweh Remembers Israel

21 "Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you [are] my servant: I formed you; you [are] my servant; Israel, you will not be forgotten by me! 22 I have wiped your transgressions out like [a] cloud and your sins like mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you!" 23 Sing for joy, heavens, for Yahweh has done [it]! Shout, depths of [the] earth! Break forth, mountains, [in] rejoicing, forest and every tree in it, for Yahweh has redeemed Jacob, and he will show his glory in Israel!

Jerusalem Restored through Cyrus

24 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, and he who formed you inw [the] womb: "I [am] Yahweh, who made everything, who stretched out [the] heavens alone, who spread out the earth--who [was] with me?-- 25 who frustratesx [the] signs of oracle priests and makes a fool of diviners, who drives [the] wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish, 26 who keepsy the word of his servant and carries out the plan of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,' and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be rebuilt, and I will restore its ruins'; 27 who says to the deep, 'Dry up! And I will cause your rivers to dry up'; 28 who says of Cyrus, 'My shepherd,' and he shall carry out all my wishesz; and saying of Jerusalem, 'It shall be rebuilt,' and [the] temple, 'It shall be founded.'"
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