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Isaiah 44 (Today's New International Version)

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Israel the Chosen

1 "But now listen, Jacob, my servant,1 Israel, whom I have chosen.2 2 This is what the LORD says-- he who made3 you, who formed you in the womb,4 and who will help5 you: Do not be afraid,6 Jacob, my servant,7 Jeshurun,a8 whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water9 on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;10 I will pour out my Spirit11 on your offspring, and my blessing12 on your descendants.13 4 They will spring up like grass14 in a meadow, like poplar trees15 by flowing streams.16 5 Some will say, 'I belong17 to the LORD'; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand,18 'The LORD's,'19 and will take the name Israel.

The Lord,= Not Idols

6 "This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King20 and Redeemer,21 the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last;22 apart from me there is no God.23 7 Who then is like me?24 Let them proclaim it. Let them declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let them foretell25 what will come. 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim26 this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God27 besides me? No, there is no other Rock;28 I know not one." 9 All who make idols29 are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.30 Those who would speak up for them are blind;31 they are ignorant, to their own shame.32 10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,33 which can profit nothing?34 11 People like that will be put to shame;35 skilled workers are only human beings. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and shame.36 12 The blacksmith37 takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm.38 He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.39 13 The carpenter40 measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in human form,41 human form in all its glory, that it may dwell in a shrine.42 14 He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine,43 and the rain made it grow. 15 It is used as fuel44 for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships45 it; he makes an idol and bows46 down to it. 16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.47" 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships.48 He prays49 to it and says, "Save50 me! You are my god!" 18 They know nothing, they understand51 nothing; their eyes52 are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding53 to say, "Half of it I used for fuel;54 I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable55 thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"56 20 Such people feed on ashes,57 a deluded58 heart misleads them; they cannot save themselves, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?5960" 21 "Remember61 these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant.62 I have made you, you are my servant;63 Israel, I will not forget you.64 22 I have swept away65 your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return66 to me, for I have redeemed67 you." 23 Sing for joy,68 you heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, you earth69 beneath. Burst into song, you mountains,70 you forests and all your trees,71 for the LORD has redeemed72 Jacob, he displays his glory73 in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 "This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer,74 who formed75 you in the womb:76 I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens,77 who spread out the earth78 by myself, 25 who foils79 the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners,80 who overthrows the learning of the wise81 and turns it into nonsense,82 26 who carries out the words83 of his servants and fulfills84 the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem,85 'It shall be inhabited,' of the towns of Judah, 'They shall be rebuilt,' and of their ruins,86 'I will restore them,'87 27 who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry, and I will dry up88 your streams,' 28 who says of Cyrus,89 'He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem,90 "Let it be rebuilt," and of the temple,91 "Let its foundations92 be laid." '
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