Isaiah 44

1And now, listen, Jacob, my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. 2Thus says the Lord, who made and formed you, your Helper from the womb: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant and my most righteous, whom I have chosen. 3For I will pour out waters upon the thirsty ground, and rivers upon the dry land. I will pour out my Spirit upon your offspring, and my benediction upon your stock. 4And they will spring up among the plants, like willows beside running waters. 5This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,” and that one will call himself by the name of Jacob, and yet another will write with his hand, “For the Lord,” and he will take the name Israel. 6Thus says the Lord, the King and Redeemer of Israel, the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last, and there is no God apart from me. 7Who is like me? Let him call out and announce it. And let him explain to me the order of things, since it is I who appointed the ancient people. The things of the near and the distant future, let him announce them. 8Do not be afraid, and do not be disturbed. From the time when I caused you to listen, I also announced it. You are my witnesses. Is there another God beside me, also a Maker, whom I have not known? 9All of those who create idols are nothing, and their most beloved things will not benefit them. These are their witnesses, for they do not see, and they do not understand, so that they might be confounded. 10Who has formed a god or cast a molten image, which is useful for nothing? 11Behold, all those who partake in this will be confounded. For these makers are men. They will all assemble together. They will stand and be terrified. And they will be confounded together. 12The maker of iron has wrought with his file. With coals and hammers, he has formed it, and he has wrought with the strength of his arm. He will hunger and grow faint. He will not drink water, and he will become weary. 13The maker of wood has extended his ruler. He has formed it with a plane. He has made it with corners, and he has smoothed its curves. And he has made the image of a man, a seemingly beautiful man, dwelling in a house. 14He has cut down cedars; he has taken the evergreen oak, and the oak that stood among the trees of the forest. He has planted the pine tree, which the rain has nourished. 15And it is used by men for fuel. He took from it and warmed himself. And he set it on fire and baked bread. But from the remainder, he made a god, and he adored it. He made an idol, and he bowed down before it. 16Part of it, he burned with fire, and with part of it, he cooked meat; he boiled food and was filled. And he was warmed, and so he said: “Ah, I am warm. I have gazed at the fire.” 17But from its remainder, he made a god and a graven image for himself. He bowed down before it, and he adored it, and he prayed to it, saying: “Free me! For you are my god.” 18They have neither known nor understood. For their eyes are obscured, lest they see with their eyes and understand with their heart. 19They do not consider in their mind, nor do they know, nor do they think to say: “I have burned part of it in the fire, and I have baked bread upon its coals. I have cooked flesh and I have eaten. And from its remainder, should I make an idol? Should I fall prostrate before the trunk of a tree?” 20Part of it is ashes. His foolish heart adores it. And he will not liberate his soul, and he will not say, “Perhaps there is a lie in my right hand.” 21Remember these things, O Jacob, O Israel. For you are my servant. I have formed you. You are my servant, Israel. Do not forget me. 22I have wiped away your iniquities like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to me, because I have redeemed you. 23Give praise, O heavens! For the Lord has shown mercy. Shout with joy, O ends of the earth! Let the mountains resound with praise, with the forest and all its trees. For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and Israel will be glorified. 24Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and your Maker from the womb: I am the Lord, who makes all things, who alone extends the heavens, who makes the earth firm. And there is no one with me. 25I make the signs of the diviners useless, and I turn the seers to madness. I turn the wise backwards, and make their knowledge into foolishness. 26I lift up the word of my servant, and I fulfill the counsel of my messengers. I say to Jerusalem, “You shall be inhabited,” and to the cities of Judah, “You shall be rebuilt,” and I will lift up its deserts. 27I say to the depths, “Be desolate,” and, “I will dry up your rivers.” 28I say to Cyrus, “You are my shepherd, and you will accomplish all that I will.” I say to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the Temple, “Your foundations shall be laid.”
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