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1 Comfort, comfort my people Comfort ... people: or Comfort, O my people, comfort;
— it is the voice of your God;

ISAIAH 2. (The Exile). Words of hope. Is.40.1-11 (Babylon) - 549bce
2 speak tenderly to Jerusalem speak ... Jerusalem: or bid Jerusalem be of good heart
and tell her this,
that she has fulfilled her term of bondage,
that her penalty is paid;
she has received at the LORD's hand
double double: or full measure for all her sins.

3 There is a voice that cries:
Prepare a road for the LORD through the wilderness,
clear a highway across the desert for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
every mountain and hill brought down;
rugged places shall be made smooth
and mountain-ranges become a plain.

5 Thus shall the glory of the LORD be revealed,
and all mankind together. shall see it;
for the LORD himself has spoken.

6 A voice says, 'Cry',
and another asks, 'What shall I cry?'
'That all mankind is grass,
they last no longer than a flower of the field.

7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the breath of: or a wind from the LORD blows upon them
prob. rdg, Heb adds surely the people are grass;

8 the grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God endures for evermore.'

9 You who bring Zion good news You ... news: or O Zion, bringer of good news, up with you to the mountain-top;
lift up your voice and shout,
you who bring good news to Jerusalem you ... Jerusalem: or O Jerusalem, bringer of good news,
lift it up fearlessly;
cry to the cities of Judah, 'Your God is here.'

10 Here is the Lord GOD coming in might,
coming to rule with his right arm.
His recompense comes with him,
he carries his reward before him.

11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd
and gather them together with his arm;
he will carry the lambs in his bosom
and lead the ewes to water.

12 Who has gauged the waters in the palm of his hand,
or with its span set limits to the heavens?
Who has held all the soil of earth in a bushel,
or weighed the mountains on a balance
and the hills on a pair of scales?

The LORD of the universe. Is.40.12-31
13 Who has set limits to the spirit of the LORD?
What counsellor stood at his side to instruct him?

14 With whom did he confer to gain discernment?
Who taught him how to do justice
or gave him lessons in wisdom?

15 Why, to him nations are but drops from a bucket,
no more than moisture on the scales;
coasts and islands weigh as light as specks of dust.

16 All Lebanon does not yield wood enough for fuel
or beasts enough for a sacrifice.

17 All nations dwindle to nothing before him,
he reckons them mere nothings, less than nought.

18 What likeness will you find for God
or what form to resemble his?

19 Is it an image which a craftsman sets up,
and a goldsmith covers with plate
and fits with studs of silver as a costly gift?

20 Or is it mulberry-wood that will not rot which a man chooses,
seeking out a skilful craftsman for it,
to mount an image that will not fall?

v41.6, transposed to this point
Each workman helps the others,
each man encourages his fellow.

v41.7, transposed to this point
The craftsman urges on the goldsmith,
the gilder urges the man who beats the anvil,
he declares the soldering to be sound;
he fastens the image with nails
so that it will not fall down.

21 Do you not know, have you not heard,
were you not told long ago,
have you not perceived ever since the world began,

22 that God sits throned on the vaulted roof of earth,
whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers Or locusts?
He stretches out the skies like a curtain,
he spreads them out like a tent to live in;

22 he reduces the great to nothing
and makes all earth's princes less than nothing.

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely have they taken root in the earth,
before he blows upon them and they wither away,
and a whirlwind carries them off like chaff.

25 To whom then will you liken me,
whom set up as my equal?
asks the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes to the heavens;
consider who created it all,
led out their host one by one
and called them all by their names;
through his great might, his might and power,
not one is missing.

27 Why do you complain, O Jacob,
and you, Israel, why do you say,
'My plight is hidden from the LORD
and my cause has passed out of God's notice'?

28 Do you not know, have you not heard?
The LORD, the everlasting God, creator of the wide world,
grows neither weary nor faint;
no man can fathom his understanding.

29 He gives vigour to the weary,
new strength to the exhausted.

30 Young men may grow weary and faint,
even in their prime they may stumble and fall;

31 but those who look to the LORD will win new strength,
they will grow wings like, eagles;
they will run and not be weary,
they will march on and never grow faint.

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