Isaiah 44

LEB(i) 1 "But now hear, Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. 2 Thus says Yahweh, who made you, and who formed you in* the womb and will help you: you must not fear, my servant Jacob, and Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour out water on a thirsty land and streams on dry ground. I will pour my spirit out on your descendants* and my blessing on your offspring. 4 And they shall sprout among* the grass like willows by a watercourse of water. 5 This one will say, 'I belong to Yahweh!' And that one will be called by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand 'Yahweh's' and take the name* of Israel." 6 Thus says Yahweh, the king of Israel, and its redeemer, Yahweh of hosts: "I am the first, and I am the last, and there is no god besides me. 7 And who is like me? Let him proclaim* it! And let him declare it and set it in order for me since I established an eternal people* and things that are to come, and let them tell them the things that are coming. 8 You must not tremble,* and you must not be paralyzed with fear. Have I not made you hear from of old* and declared it, and you are my witnesses? Is there a god besides me? And there is no rock! I know none!" 9 All those who form an idol are nothing, and their delightful things do not profit. And their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be ashamed. 10 Who would form a god and cast an image of which he cannot profit? 11 Look! all his companions shall be ashamed, and the artisans are human! Let all of them assemble; let them stand up. They shall tremble;* they shall be ashamed together. 12 The ironsmith* works in the coals with his tool and forms it with hammers. And he makes it with his strong arm;* indeed, he becomes hungry, and he lacks* strength; he does not drink water, and he is faint. 13 The woodworker* stretches out a line; he makes an outline of it with a marker. He makes it with a knife and makes an outline of it with a compass. He makes it like the image of a man, like the beauty of a human, to dwell in a temple.* 14 Cutting down cedars for himself, he chooses* a holm tree and an oak, and he lets it grow strong for him among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar, and the rain makes it grow. 15 And it becomes fuel for a human,* and he takes some of it and grows warm; also, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also, he makes a god and bows in worship; he makes himself an image and bows down to it! 16 He burns half of it in the fire; he eats meat over half of it; he roasts a roast and is satisfied. Also he grows warm and says, "Ah! I am warm! I see the fire!" 17 And he makes the remainder of it into a god! He bows down to his idol, and he bows in worship and prays to him, and he says, "Save me, for you are my god!" 18 They do not know, and they do not understand, for their eyes are besmeared so that they cannot see,* their minds* so that they have no insight.* 19 And no one takes it to heart,* and there is no knowledge and no understanding to say, "I burned half of it in the fire and also I baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat, and I have eaten. And I shall make the rest of it into an abomination! I shall bow down to a block of wood!" 20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived mind* misleads him. And he cannot save himself,* and he cannot say, "Is this not an illusion in my right hand?" 21 "Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant: I formed you; you are my servant; Israel, you will not be forgotten by me! 22 I have wiped your transgressions out like a cloud and your sins like mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you!" 23 Sing for joy, heavens, for Yahweh has done it! Shout, depths of the earth! Break forth, mountains, in rejoicing, forest and every tree in it, for Yahweh has redeemed Jacob, and he will show his glory in Israel! 24 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, and he who formed you in* the womb: "I am Yahweh, who made everything, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth—who was with me?— 25 who frustrates* the signs of oracle priests and makes a fool of diviners, who drives the wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish, 26 who keeps* the word of his servant and carries out the plan of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,' and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be rebuilt, and I will restore its ruins'; 27 who says to the deep, 'Dry up! And I will cause your rivers to dry up'; 28 who says of Cyrus, 'My shepherd,' and he shall carry out all my wishes*; and saying of Jerusalem, 'It shall be rebuilt,' and the temple, 'It shall be founded.'"