1‘Comfort my people,’ says your God. ‘Comfort them.2Speak tenderly to the people of Jerusalem. Announce to them that their hard labour has been completed. Tell them that their sin has been paid for. Tell them the LORD has punished them enough for all their sins.’3A messenger is calling out, ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD. Make a straight road through it for our God.4Every valley will be filled in. Every mountain and hill will be made level. The rough ground will be smoothed out. The rocky places will be made flat.5Then the glory of the LORD will appear. And everyone will see it together. The LORD has spoken.’6Another messenger says, ‘Cry out.’ And I said, ‘What should I cry?’ ‘Cry out, “All people are like grass. They don’t stay faithful to me any longer than wildflowers last.7The grass dries up. The flowers fall to the ground. That happens when the LORD makes his wind blow on them. So people are just like grass.8The grass dries up. The flowers fall to the ground. But what our God says will stand for ever.” ’9Zion, you are bringing good news to your people. Go up on a high mountain and announce it. Jerusalem, you are bringing good news to them. Shout the message loudly. Shout it out loud. Don’t be afraid. Say to the towns of Judah, ‘Your God is coming!’10The LORD and King is coming with power. He rules with a powerful arm. He has set his people free. He is bringing them back as his reward. He has won the battle over their enemies.11He takes care of his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms. He carries them close to his heart. He gently leads those that have little ones.12Who has measured the oceans by using the palm of his hand? Who has used the width of his hand to mark off the sky? Who has measured out the dust of the earth in a basket? Who has weighed the mountains on scales? Who has weighed the hills in a balance?13Who can ever understand the Spirit of the LORD? Who can ever give him advice?14Did the LORD have to ask anyone to help him understand? Did he have to ask someone to teach him the right way? Who taught him what he knows? Who showed him how to understand?15The nations are only a drop in a bucket to him. He considers them as nothing but dust on the scales. He weighs the islands as if they were only fine dust.16Lebanon doesn’t have enough trees to keep his altar fires burning. It doesn’t have enough animals to sacrifice as burnt offerings to him.17To him, all the nations don’t amount to anything. He considers them to be worthless. In fact, they are less than nothing in his sight.18So who will you compare God with? Is there any other god like him?19Will you compare him with a statue of a god? Anyone who works with metal can make a statue. Then another worker covers it with gold and makes silver chains for it.20But someone who is too poor to bring that kind of offering will choose some wood that won’t rot. Then they look for a skilled worker. They pay the worker to make a statue of a god that won’t fall over.21Don’t you know who made everything? Haven’t you heard about him? Hasn’t it been told to you from the beginning? Haven’t you understood it ever since the earth was made?22God sits on his throne high above the earth. Its people look like grasshoppers to him. He spreads out the heavens like a cover. He sets it up like a tent to live in.23He takes the power of princes away from them. He reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.24They are planted. They are scattered like seeds. They put down roots in the ground. But as soon as that happens, God blows on them and they dry up. Then a violent storm sweeps them away like straw.25‘So who will you compare me with? Who is equal to me?’ says the Holy One.26Look up towards the sky. Who created everything you see? The LORD causes the stars to come out at night one by one. He calls out each one of them by name. His power and strength are great. So none of the stars is missing.27Family of Jacob, why do you complain, ‘The LORD doesn’t notice our condition’? People of Israel, why do you say, ‘Our God doesn’t pay any attention to our rightful claims’?28Don’t you know who made everything? Haven’t you heard about him? The LORD is the God who lives for ever. He created everything on earth. He won’t become worn out or get tired. No one will ever know how great his understanding is.29He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those who are weak.30Even young people become worn out and get tired. Even the best of them trip and fall.31But those who trust in the LORD will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not grow weak.
English Standard Version
Comfort for God’s People
1Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. (Isa 51:12; Lu 2:25)2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (2Ch 36:22; Jer 25:12; Ho 2:14)3A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Ps 68:4; Isa 57:14; Mal 3:1; Mt 3:3; Mr 1:3; Lu 3:4; Joh 1:23)4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (Isa 49:11; Lu 3:5)5And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isa 1:20; Lu 3:6)
The Word of God Stands Forever
6A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. (Job 14:2; Ps 102:11; Ps 103:15; Jas 1:10; 1Pe 1:24)7The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.8The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Jas 1:11)
The Greatness of God
9Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” (Isa 52:7)10Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. (Isa 59:16; Isa 62:11; Lu 11:22; Re 22:12)11He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Nu 11:12; Eze 34:23; Zec 11:7; Mt 18:12; Lu 15:5; Joh 10:11; Joh 21:15; Ac 20:28)12Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? (Pr 30:4)13Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? (Ro 11:34; 1Co 2:16)14Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? (Job 21:22)15Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. (Isa 29:5; Isa 41:1)16Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. (Ps 50:10)17All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. (Ps 62:9; Isa 41:12; Da 4:35)18To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? (Isa 40:25; Isa 46:5; Ho 13:2; Ac 17:29)19An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. (Isa 40:18)20He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move. (Isa 44:9; Isa 46:6; Jer 10:3)21Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? (Isa 40:28; Ac 14:17; Ro 1:19)22It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; (Nu 13:33; Job 9:8; Ps 104:2)23who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. (Job 12:21; Ps 107:40)24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. (Ps 83:13; Isa 41:2)25To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. (Isa 40:18)26Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. (Ps 147:4)27Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? (Isa 49:4; Isa 49:14)28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (Ps 121:4; Ps 147:5)29He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.30Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;31but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Ex 19:4; Ps 103:5)