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Isaiah 41; Isaiah 42; 1 Thessalonians 1

1 "Be silent before Me, islands! And let peoples renew their strength. Let them approach, then let them testify; let us come together for the trial. 2 Who has stirred him up from the east? He calls righteousness to his feet. The Lord hands nations over to him, and he subdues kings. He makes [them] like dust [with] his sword, like wind-driven stubble [with] his bow. 3 He pursues them, going on safely, hardly touching the path with his feet. 4 Who has performed and done [this], calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last-I am He." 5 The islands see and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and arrive. 6 Each one helps the other, and says to another, "Take courage!" 7 The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who flattens with the hammer [supports] the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good." He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over. 8 But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, My friend- 9 I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are My servant; I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand. 11 Be sure that all who are enraged against you will be ashamed and disgraced; those who contend with you will become as nothing and will perish. 12 You will look for those who contend with you, but you will not find them. Those who war against you will become absolutely nothing. 13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. 14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel: I will help you- the Lord's declaration. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 See, I will make you into a sharp threshing board, new, with many teeth. You will thresh mountains and pulverize [them], and make hills like chaff. 16 You will winnow them and a wind will carry them away, and a gale will scatter them. But you will rejoice in the Lord; you will boast in the Holy One of Israel. 17 The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, do not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the barren heights, and springs in the middle of the plains. I will turn the desert into a pool of water and dry land into springs of water. 19 I will plant cedars in the desert, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees. I will put cypress trees in the desert, elms and box trees together, 20 so that all may see and know, consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 "Submit your case," says the Lord. "Present your arguments," says Jacob's King. 22 "Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on it and know the outcome. Or tell us the future. 23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do [something] good or bad, then we will be in awe and perceive. 24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable. 25 "I have raised up one from the north, and he has come, one from the east who invokes My name. He will march over rulers as if they were mud, like a potter who treads the clay. 26 Who told about this from the beginning, so that we might know, and from times past, so that we might say: He is right? No one announced it, no one told it, no one heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion: Look! Here they are! and I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem. 28 When I look, there is no one; there is no counselor among them; when I ask them, they have nothing to say. 29 Look, all of them are a delusion; their works are nonexistent; their images are wind and emptiness.
1 "This is My Servant; I strengthen Him, [this is] My Chosen One; I delight in Him. I have put My Spirit on Him; He will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry out or shout or make His voice heard in the streets. 3 He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick; He will faithfully bring justice. 4 He will not grow weak or be discouraged until He has established justice on earth. The islands will wait for His instruction." 5 This is what God the Lord says- who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and life to those who walk on it- 6 "I, the Lord, have called you for a righteous [purpose], and I will hold you by your hand. I will keep you, and I make you a covenant for the people [and] a light to the nations, 7 in order to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, [and] those sitting in darkness from the prison house. 8 I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols. 9 The past events have indeed happened. Now I declare new events; I announce them to you before they occur." 10 Sing a new song to the Lord; [sing] His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea with all that fills it, you islands with your inhabitants. 11 Let the desert and its cities shout, the settlements where Kedar dwells [cry aloud]. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy; let them cry out from the mountaintops. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands. 13 The Lord advances like a warrior; He stirs up His zeal like a soldier. He shouts, He roars aloud, He prevails over His enemies. 14 "I have kept silent from ages past; I have been quiet and restrained Myself. [But now,] I will groan like a woman in labor, gasping breathlessly. 15 I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation. I will turn rivers into islands, and dry up marshes. 16 I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them, and rough places into level ground. This is what I will do for them, and I will not forsake them. 17 They will be turned back [and] utterly ashamed- those who trust in idols and say to metal-plated images: You are our gods! 18 "Listen, you deaf! Look, you blind, so that you may see. 19 Who is blind but My servant, or deaf like My messenger I am sending? Who is blind like [My] dedicated one, or blind like the servant of the Lord? 20 Though seeing many things, you do not obey. Though [his] ears are open, he does not listen." 21 The Lord was pleased, because of His righteousness, to magnify [His] instruction and make it glorious. 22 But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in holes or imprisoned in dungeons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them, and loot, with no one saying "Give [it] back!" 23 Who among you will pay attention to this? Let him listen and obey in the future. 24 Who gave Jacob to the robber, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord? Have we not sinned against Him? They were not willing to walk in His ways, and they would not listen to His instruction. 25 So He poured out on Jacob His furious anger and the power of war. It surrounded him with fire, but he did not know [it]; it burned him, but he paid no attention.
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy: To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace. 2 We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers. 3 We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 knowing your election, brothers loved by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we were among you for your benefit, 6 and you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with the joy from the Holy Spirit. 7 As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For the Lord's message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out, so we don't need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
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