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Isaiah 40 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 "Comfort, oh comfort my people," says your God. 1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 "Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of - forgiven! She's been punished enough and more than enough, and now it's over and done with." 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
3 Thunder in the desert! "Prepare for God's arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God. 3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
4 Fill in the valleys, level off the hills, Smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
5 Then God's bright glory will shine and everyone will see it. Yes. Just as God has said." 5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
6 A voice says, "Shout!" I said, "What shall I shout?" "These people are nothing but grass, their love fragile as wildflowers. 6 A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers, the wildflowers fade, if God so much as puffs on them. Aren't these people just so much grass? 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8 True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God's Word stands firm and forever." 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
9 Climb a high mountain, Zion. You're the preacher of good news. Raise your voice. Make it good and loud, Jerusalem. You're the preacher of good news. Speak loud and clear. Don't be timid! Tell the cities of Judah, "Look! Your God!" 9 You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!"
10 Look at him! God, the Master, comes in power, ready to go into action. He is going to pay back his enemies and reward those who have loved him. 10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11 Like a shepherd, he will care for his flock, gathering the lambs in his arms, Hugging them as he carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture. The Creator of All You Can See or Imagine 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12 Who has scooped up the ocean in his two hands, or measured the sky between his thumb and little finger, Who has put all the earth's dirt in one of his baskets, weighed each mountain and hill? 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who could ever have told God what to do or taught him his business? 13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?
14 What expert would he have gone to for advice, what school would he attend to learn justice? What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows, showed him how things work? 14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket, a mere smudge on a window. Watch him sweep up the islands like so much dust off the floor! 15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 There aren't enough trees in Lebanon nor enough animals in those vast forests to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for his worship. 16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 All the nations add up to simply nothing before him - less than nothing is more like it. A minus. 17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
18 So who even comes close to being like God? To whom or what can you compare him? 18 To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?
19 Some no-god idol? Ridiculous! It's made in a workshop, cast in bronze, Given a thin veneer of gold, and draped with silver filigree. 19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.
20 Or, perhaps someone will select a fine wood - olive wood, say - that won't rot, Then hire a woodcarver to make a no-god, giving special care to its base so it won't tip over! 20 A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple.
21 Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening? Haven't you heard these stories all your life? Don't you understand the foundation of all things? 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 God sits high above the round ball of earth. The people look like mere ants. He stretches out the skies like a canvas - yes, like a tent canvas to live under. 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He ignores what all the princes say and do. The rulers of the earth count for nothing. 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 Princes and rulers don't amount to much. Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted, They shrivel when God blows on them. Like flecks of chaff, they're gone with the wind. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 "So - who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?" says The Holy. 25 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name - so magnificent! so powerful! - and never overlooks a single one? 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, "God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me"? 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?
28 Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind. 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.