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Isaiah 41 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel Assured of God’s Help

41 “Keep silence before Me, O coastlands,
And let the people renew their strength!
Let them come near, then let them speak;
Let us come near together for judgment.

“Who raised up one from the east?
Who in righteousness called him to His feet?
Who gave the nations before him,
And made him rule over kings?
Who gave them as the dust to his sword,
As driven stubble to his bow?
Who pursued them, and passed [a]safely
By the way that he had not gone with his feet?
Who has performed and done it,
Calling the generations from the beginning?
‘I, the Lord, am the first;
And with the last I am He.’ ”

The coastlands saw it and feared,
The ends of the earth were afraid;
They drew near and came.
Everyone helped his neighbor,
And said to his brother,
[b]“Be of good courage!”
So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith;[c]
He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil,
Saying, [d]“It is ready for the soldering”;
Then he fastened it with pegs,
That it might not totter.

“But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

11 “Behold, all those who were incensed against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
They shall be as nothing,
And those who strive with you shall perish.
12 You shall seek them and not find them—
[e]Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.
13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob,
You men of Israel!
I will help you,” says the Lord
And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth;
You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them;
You shall rejoice in the Lord,
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.
19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree,
The myrtle and the oil tree;
I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine
And the box tree together,
20 That they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
“Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob.
22 “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen;
Let them show the former things, what they were,
That we may [f]consider them,
And know the latter end of them;
Or declare to us things to come.
23 Show the things that are to come hereafter,
That we may know that you are gods;
Yes, do good or do evil,
That we may be dismayed and see it together.
24 Indeed you are nothing,
And your work is nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

25 “I have raised up one from the north,
And he shall come;
From the [g]rising of the sun he shall call on My name;
And he shall come against princes as though mortar,
As the potter treads clay.
26 Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?
And former times, that we may say, ‘He is righteous’?
Surely there is no one who shows,
Surely there is no one who declares,
Surely there is no one who hears your words.
27 The first time I said to Zion,
‘Look, there they are!’
And I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings.
28 For I looked, and there was no man;
I looked among them, but there was no counselor,
Who, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
29 Indeed they are all [h]worthless;
Their works are nothing;
Their molded images are wind and confusion.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:3 Lit. in peace
  2. Isaiah 41:6 Lit. Be strong
  3. Isaiah 41:7 refiner
  4. Isaiah 41:7 Or The soldering is good
  5. Isaiah 41:12 Lit. Men of your strife
  6. Isaiah 41:22 Lit. set our heart on them
  7. Isaiah 41:25 East
  8. Isaiah 41:29 So with MT, Vg.; DSS, Syr., Tg. nothing; LXX omits first line
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 41 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Israel Encouraged

41 Listen to Me in silence, you coastlands,
And let the peoples gain new strength;
Let them come forward, then let them speak;
Let’s come together for judgment.
Who has stirred one from the east
Whom He calls in righteousness to His [a]feet?
He turns nations over to him
And subdues kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
Like the wind-driven chaff with his bow.
He pursues them, passing on in safety,
By a way he had not been [b]traversing with his feet.
Who has performed and accomplished it,
Summoning the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”

The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
The ends of the earth tremble;
They have approached and have come.
Each one helps his neighbor
And says to his brother, “Be strong!”
So the craftsman encourages the smelter,
And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil,
Saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
And he fastens it with nails,
So that it will not totter.
“But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
You whom I have [c]taken from the ends of the earth
And called from its remotest parts,
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have 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 also help you,
I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
11 Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.
12 You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them,
Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent.
13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you people of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your [d]Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I turned you into a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges;
You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
And the storm will scatter them;
But you will rejoice in the Lord,
You will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy are seeking water, but there is none,
And their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them Myself;
As the God of Israel I will not abandon them.
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights,
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land fountains of water.
19 I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia, the myrtle, and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert,
Together with the elm tree and the cypress,
20 So that they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 [e]Present your case,” the Lord says.
“Bring forward your evidence,”
The King of Jacob says.
22 Let them bring them forward and declare to us what is going to take place;
As for the former events, declare what they were,
So that we may consider them and know their outcome.
Or announce to us what is coming;
23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward,
So that we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, do good or evil, that we may be afraid and fear together.
24 Behold, you are less than nothing,
And your work is less than nothing!
He who chooses you is an abomination.

25 “I have put one from the north into motion, and he has come;
From the rising of the sun he will call on My name;
And he will come upon rulers as upon [f]mortar,
As the potter treads on clay.”
26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know?
Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”?
There was no one at all who declared,
There was no one at all who proclaimed,
There was no one at all who heard your words.
27 Previously I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’
And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a messenger of good news.’
28 But when I look, there is no one,
And there is no counselor [g]among them
Who, if I ask, can give an answer.
29 Behold, all of them are [h]false;
Their works are nothing,
Their cast metal images are wind and emptiness.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Lit foot
  2. Isaiah 41:3 Lit going
  3. Isaiah 41:9 Lit seized
  4. Isaiah 41:14 Or Redeemer, the Holy One
  5. Isaiah 41:21 Lit Bring near
  6. Isaiah 41:25 I.e., the building material
  7. Isaiah 41:28 Lit out of those
  8. Isaiah 41:29 Another reading is nothing
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 41 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Israel Encouraged

41 “Listen to Me in silence, you islands and coastlands,
And let the nations gain their strength;
Let them come near, then let them speak;
Let us come together for judgment [and decide the issue between us concerning the enemy from the east].

“Who has stirred up and put into action one from the east [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great]
Whom He calls in righteousness to His service and whom victory meets at every step?
The Lord turns nations over to him
And subdues kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
Like wind-driven chaff with his bow.

“He (Cyrus) pursues them and passes along safely,
By a way his feet had not traveled before.

“Who has performed and done this,
Calling forth [and guiding the destinies of] the generations [of the nations] from the beginning?
‘I, the Lord—the first, and with the last [existing before history began, the ever-present, unchanging God]—I am He.’”


The islands and coastlands have seen and they fear;
The ends of the earth tremble;
They have drawn near and have come.

They each help his neighbor
And say to his brother [as he fashions his idols], “Be of good courage!”

So the craftsman encourages the goldsmith,
And he who smooths metal with the smith’s hammer encourages him who beats the anvil,
Saying of the soldering (welding), “That is good”;
And he fastens the idol with nails,
So that it will not totter nor be moved.

“But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The offspring of Abraham My friend,

You whom I [the Lord] have [a]taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not rejected you [even though you are exiled].
10 
‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you;
I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’
11 
“Indeed, all those who are angry with you will be put to shame and humiliated;
Those who strive against you will be as nothing and will perish.
12 
“You shall search for those who quarrel with you, but will not find them;
They who war against you will be as nothing, as nothing at all.
13 
“For I the Lord your God keep hold of your right hand; [I am the Lord],
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
14 
“Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 
“In fact, I have made of you a new, sharp [b]threshing implement with sharp edges;
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 
“You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
And a high wind will scatter them;
But you will rejoice in the Lord,
You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 
“The poor and needy are seeking water, but there is none;
Their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them Myself;
I, the God of Israel, will not neglect them.
18 
“I will open rivers on the barren heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a reed-pool of water
And the dry land springs of water.
19 
“I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia, the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
20 
So that they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
That the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 
“Present your case [for idols made by men’s hands],” says the Lord.
“Produce your evidence [of divinity],”
Says the king of Jacob.
22 
Let them bring forward [their evidence] and tell us what is going to happen.
Regarding the former events, tell what they were,
That we may consider them and know their outcome;
Or announce to us the things that are going to come.
23 
Tell us the things that are to come afterward,
That we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, you should do something good or do evil, [c]that we may be afraid and fear [you] together [as we observe the miracle].
24 
Hear this! You [idols] are less than nothing,
And your work is worthless;
The worshiper who chooses you [as a god] is repulsive.

25 
“I have stirred up and put into action [d]one from the north [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great], and he has come;
From the rising of the sun he will call on My Name [in prayer].
And he will trample on [the Babylonian] officials as on mortar,
Even as a potter treads clay.”
26 
Who [among the idols] has declared this from the beginning, so that we could know?
Or from earlier times, so that we could say, “He is [unquestionably] right!”?
In fact, there was no one who declared it,
Indeed, there was no one who proclaimed it;
There was no one at all who heard you speak [for you pagan gods are speechless].
27 
“I was first to say to Zion, ‘Listen carefully, here they are [the Jews who will be restored to their own land].’
And to Jerusalem, ‘I will provide a messenger (Isaiah) to bring the good news [[e]that Cyrus will be stirred up and put into action to save them].’
28 
“But when I look [on the pagan prophets and priests], there is no one [who could predict these events],
And there is no counselor [f]among them,
Who, if I ask, can give an answer.
29 
“In fact, all of these [pagan prophets and priests] are false;
Their works are worthless,
Their cast images are [merely] wind and emptiness.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:9 Lit seized.
  2. Isaiah 41:15 A heavy flat wooden sledge composed of several thick boards with sharp pieces of flint or metal embedded on one side. It was dragged over harvested stalks of grain to separate the kernels from the straw.
  3. Isaiah 41:23 Lit and let us be.
  4. Isaiah 41:25 Cyrus originally came from the east (Is 41:2), but defeated a number of kingdoms north of Babylon early in his reign.
  5. Isaiah 41:27 This prophecy was declared about a hundred and fifty years before it occurred.
  6. Isaiah 41:28 Lit out of those.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 41 New International Version (NIV)

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silent before me, you islands!
    Let the nations renew their strength!
Let them come forward and speak;
    let us meet together at the place of judgment.

“Who has stirred up one from the east,
    calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?
He hands nations over to him
    and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
    to windblown chaff with his bow.
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
    by a path his feet have not traveled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last—I am he.

The islands have seen it and fear;
    the ends of the earth tremble.
They approach and come forward;
    they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!
The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,
    and the one who smooths with the hammer
    spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.
One says of the welding, “It is good.”
    The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.

“But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
    new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
    and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
    and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy search for water,
    but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
    and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
    the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
    the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
    may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
    that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
    “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22 “Tell us, you idols,
    what is going to happen.
Tell us what the former things were,
    so that we may consider them
    and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,
23     tell us what the future holds,
    so we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
    so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing
    and your works are utterly worthless;
    whoever chooses you is detestable.

25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes—
    one from the rising sun who calls on my name.
He treads on rulers as if they were mortar,
    as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,
    or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?
No one told of this,
    no one foretold it,
    no one heard any words from you.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’
    I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28 I look but there is no one
    no one among the gods to give counsel,
    no one to give answer when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false!
    Their deeds amount to nothing;
    their images are but wind and confusion.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:2 Or east, / whom victory meets at every step
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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