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The book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 41, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 41

New English Translation

   The LORD Challenges the Nations
   1 "Listen to me in silence, you coastlands! Let the nations find renewed strength! Let them approach and then speak; let us come together for debate!
   2 Who stirs up this one from the east? Who officially commissions him for service? He hands nations over to him, and enables him to subdue kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, like windblown straw with his bow.
   3 He pursues them and passes by unharmed; he advances with great speed.
   4 Who acts and carries out decrees? Who 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.
   5 The coastlands see and are afraid; the whole earth trembles; they approach and come.
   6 They help one another; one says to the other, 'Be strong!'
   7 The craftsman encourages the metalsmith, the one who wields the hammer encourages the one who pounds on the anvil. He approves the quality of the welding, and nails it down so it won't fall over."
   The LORD Encourages His People
   8 "You, my servant Israel, Jacob whom I have chosen, offspring of Abraham my friend,
   9 you whom I am bringing back 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! I strengthen you - yes, I help you - yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand!
   11 Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated; your adversaries will be reduced to nothing and perish.
   12 When you will look for your opponents, you will not find them; your enemies 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, men of Israel. I am helping you," says the LORD, your protector, the Holy One of Israel.
   15 "Look, I am making you like a sharp threshing sledge, new and double-edged. You will thresh the mountains and crush them; you will make the hills like straw.
   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; 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 people will observe and recognize, so they will pay attention and understand that the LORD's power has accomplished this, and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being."
   The LORD Challenges the Pagan Gods
   21 "Present your argument," says the LORD. "Produce your evidence," says Jacob's king.
   22 "Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen! Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, so we may examine them and see how they were fulfilled. Or decree for us some future events!
   23 Predict how future events will turn out, so we might know you are gods. Yes, do something good or bad, so we might be frightened and in awe.
   24 Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent; the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting.
   25 I have stirred up one out of the north and he advances, one from the eastern horizon who prays in my name. He steps on 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 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!' I sent a herald to Jerusalem.
   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, their accomplishments are nonexistent; their metal images lack any real substance.

King James Version

   1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.
   2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.
   3 He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.
   4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
   5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.
   6 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.
   7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
   8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
   9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
   10 ¶ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
   11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
   12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.
   13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
   14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
   15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.
   16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
   17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
   18 I will open rivers in high places, 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, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir 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 hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
   21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.
   22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.
   23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.
   24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.
   25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.
   26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.
   27 The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.
   28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
   29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

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