Isaiah 41

1Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment. 2Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. 3He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. 4Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. 6Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved. 8But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. 13For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” 14Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; 16you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. 17When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18I will open rivers on the bare 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. 19I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, 20that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. 22Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. 23Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. 24Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you. 25I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. 26Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know, and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”? There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words. 27I was the first to say to Zion, “Behold, here they are!” and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news. 28But when I look, there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. 29Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.

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