41 “Listen to me in silence, you coastlands! 1
Let the nations find renewed strength!
Let them approach and then speak;
let us come together for debate! 2
2 Who stirs up this one from the east? 3
Who 4 officially commissions him for service? 5
He hands nations over to him, 6
and enables him to subdue 7 kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
like windblown straw with his bow. 8
3 He pursues them and passes by unharmed; 9
he advances with great speed. 10
4 Who acts and carries out decrees? 11
Who 12 summons the successive generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am present at the very beginning,
and at the very end – I am the one. 13
5 The coastlands 14 see and are afraid;
the whole earth 15 trembles;
they approach and come.
6 They help one another; 16
one says to the other, ‘Be strong!’
7 The craftsman encourages the metalsmith,
the one who wields the hammer encourages 17 the one who pounds on the anvil.
He approves the quality of the welding, 18
and nails it down so it won’t fall over.”
8 “You, my servant Israel,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham my friend, 19
9 you whom I am bringing back 20 from the earth’s extremities,
and have summoned from the remote regions –
I told you, “You are my servant.”
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!
Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! 21
I strengthen you –
yes, I help you –
yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! 22
11 Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated;
your adversaries 23 will be reduced to nothing 24 and perish.
12 When you will look for your opponents, 25 you will not find them;
your enemies 26 will be reduced to absolutely nothing.
13 For I am the Lord your God,
the one who takes hold of your right hand,
who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’
14 Don’t be afraid, despised insignificant Jacob, 27
men of 28 Israel.
I am helping you,” says the Lord,
your protector, 29 the Holy One of Israel. 30
15 “Look, I am making you like 31 a sharp threshing sledge,
new and double-edged. 32
You will thresh the mountains and crush them;
you will make the hills like straw. 33
16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;
the wind will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the Lord;
you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.
17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched from thirst.
I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers; 34
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.
18 I will make streams flow down the slopes
and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.
I will turn the desert into a pool of water
and the arid land into springs.
19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;
I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.
20 I will do this so 35 people 36 will observe and recognize,
so they will pay attention and understand
that the Lord’s power 37 has accomplished this,
and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.” 38
21 “Present your argument,” says the Lord.
“Produce your evidence,” 39 says Jacob’s king. 40
22 “Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen!
Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, 41
so we may examine them 42 and see how they were fulfilled. 43
Or decree for us some future events!
23 Predict how future events will turn out, 44
so we might know you are gods.
Yes, do something good or bad,
so we might be frightened and in awe. 45
24 Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent;
the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting. 46
25 I have stirred up one out of the north 47 and he advances,
one from the eastern horizon who prays in my name. 48
He steps on 49 rulers as if they were clay,
like a potter treading the clay.
26 Who decreed this from the beginning, so we could know?
Who announced it 50 ahead of time, so we could say, ‘He’s correct’?
Indeed, none of them decreed it!
Indeed, none of them announced it!
Indeed, no one heard you say anything!
27 I first decreed to Zion, ‘Look, here’s what will happen!’ 51
I sent a herald to Jerusalem. 52
28 I look, but there is no one,
among them there is no one who serves as an adviser,
that I might ask questions and receive answers.
29 Look, all of them are nothing, 53
their accomplishments are nonexistent;
their metal images lack any real substance. 54
42 “Here is my servant whom I support,
my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.
I have placed my spirit on him;
he will make just decrees 2 for the nations. 3
2 He will not cry out or shout;
he will not publicize himself in the streets. 4
3 A crushed reed he will not break,
a dim wick he will not extinguish; 5
he will faithfully make just decrees. 6
4 He will not grow dim or be crushed 7
before establishing justice on the earth;
the coastlands 8 will wait in anticipation for his decrees.” 9
5 This is what the true God, 10 the Lord, says –
the one who created the sky and stretched it out,
the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it, 11
the one who gives breath to the people on it,
and life to those who live on it: 12
6 “I, the Lord, officially commission you; 13
I take hold of your hand.
I protect you 14 and make you a covenant mediator for people, 15
and a light 16 to the nations, 17
7 to open blind eyes, 18
to release prisoners 19 from dungeons,
those who live in darkness from prisons.
8 I am the Lord! That is my name!
I will not share my glory with anyone else,
or the praise due me with idols.
9 Look, my earlier predictive oracles have come to pass; 20
now I announce new events.
Before they begin to occur,
I reveal them to you.” 21
10 Sing to the Lord a brand new song!
Praise him 22 from the horizon of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, 23
you coastlands 24 and those who live there!
11 Let the desert and its cities shout out,
the towns where the nomads of Kedar live!
Let the residents of Sela shout joyfully;
let them shout loudly from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give the Lord the honor he deserves; 25
let them praise his deeds in the coastlands. 26
13 The Lord emerges like a hero,
like a warrior he inspires himself for battle; 27
he shouts, yes, he yells,
he shows his enemies his power. 28
14 “I have been inactive 29 for a long time;
I kept quiet and held back.
Like a woman in labor I groan;
I pant and gasp. 30
15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up; 31
I will dry up all their vegetation.
I will turn streams into islands, 32
and dry up pools of water. 33
16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; 34
I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. 35
I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,
and level out the rough ground. 36
This is what I will do for them.
I will not abandon them.
17 Those who trust in idols
will turn back and be utterly humiliated, 37
those who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’”
18 “Listen, you deaf ones!
Take notice, 38 you blind ones!
19 My servant is truly blind,
my messenger is truly deaf.
My covenant partner, 39 the servant of the Lord, is truly blind. 40
20 You see 41 many things, but don’t comprehend; 42
their ears are open, but do not hear.”
21 The Lord wanted to exhibit his justice
by magnifying his law and displaying it. 43
22 But these people are looted and plundered;
all of them are trapped in pits 44
and held captive 45 in prisons.
They were carried away as loot with no one to rescue them;
they were carried away as plunder, and no one says, “Bring that back!” 46
23 Who among you will pay attention to this?
Who will listen attentively in the future? 47
24 Who handed Jacob over to the robber?
Who handed Israel over to the looters? 48
Was it not the Lord, against whom we sinned?
They refused to follow his commands;
they disobeyed his law. 49
25 So he poured out his fierce anger on them,
along with the devastation 50 of war.
Its flames encircled them, but they did not realize it; 51
it burned against them, but they did notice. 52
43 Now, this is what the Lord says,
the one who created you, O Jacob,
and formed you, O Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect 1 you.
I call you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;
when you pass 2 through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not harm 3 you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, 4 your deliverer.
I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,
Ethiopia and Seba 5 in place of you.
4 Since you are precious and special in my sight, 6
and I love you,
I will hand over people in place of you,
nations in place of your life.
5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
From the east I will bring your descendants;
from the west I will gather you.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’
Bring my sons from distant lands,
and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,
7 everyone who belongs to me, 7
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed – yes, whom I made!
8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,
those who are deaf, even though they have ears!
9 All nations gather together,
the peoples assemble.
Who among them announced this?
Who predicted earlier events for us? 8
Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right;
let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’
10 You are my witnesses,” says the Lord,
“my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may consider 9 and believe in me,
and understand that I am he.
No god was formed before me,
and none will outlive me. 10
11 I, I am the Lord,
and there is no deliverer besides me.
12 I decreed and delivered and proclaimed,
and there was no other god among you.
You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “that I am God.
13 From this day forward I am he;
no one can deliver from my power; 11
I will act, and who can prevent it?”
14 This is what the Lord says,
your protector, 12 the Holy One of Israel: 13
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and make them all fugitives, 14
turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs. 15
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, 16
the one who created Israel, your king.”
16 This is what the Lord says,
the one who made a road through the sea,
a pathway through the surging waters,
17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction, 17
together with a mighty army.
They fell down, 18 never to rise again;
they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:
18 “Don’t remember these earlier events; 19
don’t recall these former events.
19 “Look, I am about to do something new.
Now it begins to happen! 20 Do you not recognize 21 it?
Yes, I will make a road in the desert
and paths 22 in the wilderness.
20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,
the jackals and ostriches,
because I put water in the desert
and streams in the wilderness,
to quench the thirst of my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself,
so they might praise me.” 23
22 “But you did not call for me, O Jacob;
you did not long 24 for me, O Israel.
23 You did not bring me lambs for your burnt offerings;
you did not honor me with your sacrifices.
I did not burden you with offerings;
I did not make you weary by demanding 25 incense.
24 You did not buy me aromatic reeds; 26
you did not present to me 27 the fat of your sacrifices.
Yet you burdened me with your sins;
you made me weary with your evil deeds. 28
25 I, I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake;
your sins I do not remember.
26 Remind me of what happened! Let’s debate!
You, prove to me that you are right! 29
27 The father of your nation 30 sinned;
your spokesmen 31 rebelled against me.
28 So I defiled your holy princes,
and handed Jacob over to destruction,
and subjected 32 Israel to humiliating abuse.”