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Comfort for God’s People

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare1 is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries:2 “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every 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.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Word of God Stands Forever

6 A voice says, “Cry!” And I said,3 “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty4 is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

9 Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news;5 lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news;6 lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
11 He 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.
12 Who 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?
13 Who has measured7 the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel?
14 Whom 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?
15 Behold, 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.
16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
18 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?
19 An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains.
20 He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood8 that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.
21 Do 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?
22 It 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;
23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
24 Scarcely 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.
25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift 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.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have 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.
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but 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.
1 Or hardship
2 Or A voice of one crying
3 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says
4 Or all its constancy
5 Or O herald of good news to Zion
6 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
7 Or has directed
8 Or He chooses valuable wood

Comfort for God’s People

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
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 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord1; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.2
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 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem,3 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 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
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 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 can fathom the Spirit4 of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
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 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 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
19 As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.
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 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 brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
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 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
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 gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
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.
1 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for the Lord
2 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
3 Or Zion, bringer of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, bringer of good news
4 Or mind
5 Or O herald of good news to Zion
6 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
7 Or has directed
8 Or He chooses valuable wood
1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD' hand double for all her sins.
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it .
6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand , and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.
20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.
21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.
25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things , that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
1 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for the Lord
2 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
3 Or Zion, bringer of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, bringer of good news
4 Or mind
5 Or O herald of good news to Zion
6 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
7 Or has directed
8 Or He chooses valuable wood

God Comforts His People

1 “Comfort my people,” says your God. “Comfort them.
2 Speak tenderly to the people of Jerusalem. Announce to them that their hard service has been completed. Tell them that their sin has been paid for. Tell them I have punished them enough for all of their sins.”
3 A messenger is calling out, “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord. Make a straight road through it for our God.
4 Every 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.
5 Then the glory of the Lord will appear. And everyone will see it. The Lord has spoken.”
6 Another messenger says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What should I cry?” “Cry out, ‘All people are like grass. They don't last any longer than flowers in the field.
7 The 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.
8 The grass dries up. The flowers fall to the ground. But what our God says will stand forever.’ ”
9 Zion, 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!”
10 The Lord and King is coming with power. His powerful arm will rule for him. He has set his people free. He is bringing them back as his reward. He has won the battle over their enemies.
11 He 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.
12 Who 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?
13 Who can ever understand what is in the Lord's mind? Who can ever give him advice?
14 Did 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?
15 The 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.
16 Lebanon doesn't have enough trees to keep his altar fires burning. It doesn't have enough animals to sacrifice as burnt offerings to him.
17 To him, all of the nations don't amount to anything. He considers them to be worthless. In fact, they are less than nothing in his sight.
18 So who will you compare God to? Is there any other god like him?
19 Will you compare him to a statue of a god? Any skilled worker can make a statue. Then another worker covers it with gold and makes silver chains for it.
20 But someone who is too poor to bring that kind of offering will choose some wood that won't rot. Then he looks for a skilled worker. He pays the worker to make a statue of a god that won't fall over.
21 Don'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?
22 God sits on his throne high above the earth. Its people look like grasshoppers to him. He spreads the heavens out like a cover. He sets it up like a tent to live in.
23 He takes the power of princes away from them. He reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 They 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 windstorm sweeps them away like straw.
25 “So who will you compare me to? Who is equal to me?” says the Holy One.
26 Look up toward the sky. Who created everything you see? The Lord causes the stars to come out at night one by one. He gives each one of them a name. His power and strength are great. So none of the stars is missing.
27 Family of Jacob, why do you say, “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”?
28 Don't you know who made everything? Haven't you heard about him? The Lord is the God who lives forever. He created everything on earth. He won't become worn out or get tired. No one will ever know how great his understanding is.
29 He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those who are weak.
30 Even young people become worn out and get tired. Even the best of them trip and fall.
31 But 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.
1 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for the Lord
2 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
3 Or Zion, bringer of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, bringer of good news
4 Or mind
5 Or O herald of good news to Zion
6 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
7 Or has directed
8 Or He chooses valuable wood
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