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Isaiah 40 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Israel’s Punishment Will End

40 Your God says,

“Comfort, comfort my people.
Speak kindly to ·the people of Jerusalem [L Jerusalem]
    and tell them
that their time of ·service [or warfare] is finished,
    that ·they have paid for their sins [or her sins are pardoned],
that ·the Lord has punished Jerusalem [L she has received from the Lord]
    ·twice [double] for every sin they did.”
This is the voice of one who calls out:
“Prepare in the ·desert [wilderness]
    the way for the Lord.
Make a straight road in the ·dry lands [arid plain]
    for our God.
Every valley will be ·raised up [elevated],
    and every mountain and hill will be made ·flat [level; low].
The rough ground will be ·made level [smoothed out],
    and the rugged ground will be made ·smooth [into a plain].
Then the glory of the Lord [C his manifest presence] will be ·shown [revealed],
    and all ·people [flesh] together will see it.
·The Lord himself said these things [L For the mouth of the Lord has spoken].”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
Then I[a] said, “What shall I cry out?”

“Say all ·people [flesh] are like the grass,
    and all their glory[b] is like the flowers of the field.
The grass ·dies [withers] and the flowers fall
    when the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are like grass.
The grass ·dies [withers] and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God will ·live [endure; stand] forever.”
·Jerusalem [L Zion], ·you have good news to tell [herald of good news].
    Go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, ·you have good news to tell [herald of good news].
    Shout out loud the good news.
Shout it out and don’t be afraid.
    Say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God.”
10 Look, the Lord God is coming with power
    ·to rule all the people [L his arm rules for him].
Look, ·he will bring reward for his people [L his reward is with him];
    ·he will have their payment with him [L his payment/prize is before him].
11 He ·takes care of his people [L tends his flock] like a shepherd.
    He gathers them like lambs in his arms
    and carries them ·close to him [on his chest/bosom].
He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.

God Is Supreme

12 Who has measured the ·oceans [L waters] in the ·palm [hollow] of his hand?
    Who has used ·his hand [L a span; C the distance between the extended thumb and little finger] to measure the ·sky [heavens]?
Who has used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth
    and ·scales to weigh the mountains and [L a balance (to weigh) the] hills?
13 Who has ·known [comprehended; or directed; or measured] the ·mind [or Spirit] of the Lord
    or been able to ·give him advice [instruct him as counselor; Job 38:2; Rom. 11:34]?
14 Whom did he ·ask for help [take counsel from]?
    Who taught him the ·right way [path/way of justice/judgment]?
Who taught him knowledge
    and showed him the way to understanding?

15 [L Look; T Behold] The nations are like one small drop in a bucket;
    they are ·no more than [regarded as] the dust on his measuring scales.
    ·To him the islands are no more than fine dust on his scales [L He weighs/or lifts the coastlands/islands like fine dust].
16 ·All the trees in Lebanon are not enough [L Lebanon is not sufficient] for the altar fires,
    and all the animals in Lebanon are not enough for burnt offerings.
17 ·Compared to the Lord [L Before him] all the nations are worth nothing;
    to him they are ·less than nothing [L nothing and void/empty].

18 To whom can you compare God?
    To what image can you compare him?
19 An idol is ·formed [cast] by a craftsman,
    and a goldsmith ·covers [overlays] it with gold
    and ·makes [forms; refines] silver chains for it.
20 A poor person cannot ·buy those expensive statues [make such an offering],
    so he finds a tree that will not rot.
Then he finds a skilled craftsman
    to make it into an idol that will not fall over.

21 ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] know. ·Surely you have [L Have you not…?] heard.
    ·Surely [L Has not…?] from the beginning someone told you.
    ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] understand ·how the earth was created [or from the foundations of the earth].
22 ·God sits on his throne [L He sits] above the ·circle [horizon] of the earth,
    and ·compared to him, [L its] people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the ·skies [heavens] like a ·piece of cloth [canopy; curtain]
    and spreads them out like a tent to ·sit under [or live in].
23 He makes rulers ·unimportant [nothing]
    and the judges of this world ·worth nothing [insignificant; useless].
24 ·They are like plants that are placed in the ground [L Indeed, they are barely planted],
    ·like seeds that are planted [L indeed, they are barely sown].
·As soon as they begin to grow strong [L Indeed, they barely take root],
    he blows on them and they ·die [wither],
and the ·wind [storm; whirlwind] blows them away like ·chaff [straw].

25 The Holy One [1:4], says, “To whom can you compare me?
    Is anyone equal to me?”
26 Look up to the ·skies [heavens].
    Who created ·all these stars [L these]?
He leads out the ·army [hosts] of heaven one by one
    and calls ·all the stars [L them all] by name.
Because ·he is strong and powerful [L of his great strength and mighty power],
    not one of them is missing.

27 ·People of Jacob [L Jacob], why do you complain?
    ·People of Israel [L Israel], why do you say,
“The Lord does not see ·what happens to me [L my way/path];
    he ·does not care if I am treated fairly [disregards my cause]”?
28 ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] know.
    ·Surely you have [L Have you not…?] heard.
The Lord is the ·God who lives forever [everlasting God],
    who created ·all [L the ends of] the ·world [earth].
He does not become tired or ·need to rest [weary].
    No one can ·understand [fathom; comprehend] how great his ·wisdom [knowledge] is.
29 He gives strength to those who are tired
    and more power to those who are weak.
30 Even ·children [youths; young people] become tired and ·need to rest [weary],
    and young ·people [men] ·trip and fall [fall in exhaustion].
31 But the people who ·trust [hope in; wait on] the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up ·as an eagle in the sky [L with wings like eagles];
    they will run and not ·need rest [grow weary];
they will walk and not ·become tired [T faint].

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:6 I The Dead Sea Scrolls and come Greek copies read “I.” Some Hebrew copies read “he,” meaning a second voice responds to the first.
  2. Isaiah 40:6 glory Some Greek copies read “glory.” Hebrew copies read “loyalty.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 40 New International Version (NIV)

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God.
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.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b]
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

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.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.

You who bring good news to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c]
    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 Spirit[d] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord
  2. Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good news
  4. Isaiah 40:13 Or mind
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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