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Isaiah 41 (Today's New International Version)

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The Helper of Israel

1 "Be silent1 before me, you islands!2 Let the nations renew their strength!3 Let them come forward4 and speak; let us meet together5 at the place of judgment. 2 "Who has stirred6 up one from the east,7 calling him in righteousness8 to his servicea ?9 He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust10 with his sword, to windblown chaff11 with his bow.12 3 He pursues them and moves on unscathed,13 by a path his feet have not traveled before. 4 Who has done this and carried it through, calling14 forth the generations from the beginning?15 I, the LORD--with the first of them and with the last16--I am he.17" 5 The islands18 have seen it and fear; the ends of the earth19 tremble. They approach and come forward; 6 they help each other and say to their companions, "Be strong!20" 7 The metalworker21 encourages the goldsmith,22 and the one who smooths with the hammer spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, "It is good." The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.23 8 "But you, Israel, my servant,24 Jacob, whom I have chosen,25 you descendants of Abraham26 my friend,27 9 I took you from the ends of the earth,28 from its farthest corners I called29 you. I said, 'You are my servant';30 I have chosen31 you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear,32 for I am with you;33 do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen34 you and help35 you; I will uphold you36 with my righteous right hand.37 11 "All who rage38 against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;39 those who oppose40 you will be as nothing and perish.41 12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.42 Those who wage war against you will be as nothing43 at all. 13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand44 and says to you, Do not fear; I will help45 you. 14 Do not be afraid,46 you worm47 Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help48 you," declares the LORD, your Redeemer,49 the Holy One50 of Israel. 15 "See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,51 new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains52 and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff.53 16 You will winnow54 them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale55 will blow them away.56 But you will rejoice57 in the LORD and glory58 in the Holy One59 of Israel. 17 "The poor and needy search for water,60 but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst.61 But I the LORD will answer62 them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake63 them. 18 I will make rivers flow64 on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert65 into pools of water,66 and the parched ground into springs.67 19 I will put in the desert68 the cedar and the acacia,69 the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers70 in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress71 together,72 20 so that people may see and know,73 may consider and understand,74 that the hand75 of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One76 of Israel has created77 it. 21 "Present your case,78" says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King.79 22 "Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen.80 Tell us what the former things81 were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come,82 23 tell us what the future holds, so we may know83 that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad,84 so that we will be dismayed85 and filled with fear. 24 But you are less than nothing86 and you can do nothing;87 those who choose you are detestable.88 25 "I have stirred89 up one from the north,90 and he comes-- one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads91 on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay. 26 Who told of this from the beginning,92 so we could know, or beforehand, so we could say, 'He was right'? No one told of this, no one foretold93 it, no one heard any words94 from you. 27 I was the first to tell95 Zion, 'Look, here they are!' I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.96 28 I look but there is no one97-- no one among the gods to give counsel,98 no one to give answer99 when I ask them. 29 See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing;100 their images101 are but wind102 and confusion.
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