Isaiah 44

Israel the Lord’s Chosen

1 “But now hear, aO Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2Thus says the Lord who made you,
bwho formed you from the womb and will help you:
cFear not, O Jacob my servant,
dJeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 eFor I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4They shall spring up among the grass
flike willows by flowing streams.
5 gThis one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”

Besides Me There Is No God

6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and hhis Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
iI am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7 jWho is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Or  Who like me can proclaim it?

Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
8Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
lAnd you are my witnesses!
mIs there a God besides me?
There is no nRock; I know not any.”

The Folly of Idolatry

9 oAll who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 pWho fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 qBehold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

12 rThe ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. sHe shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 tHe cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. uHe prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

18They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an vabomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 wHe feeds on xashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not ya lie in my right hand?”

The Lord Redeems Israel

21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are zmy servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
aaO Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 abI have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
23 acSing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
shout, O addepths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
aeand will be glorified
Or  will display his beauty
in Israel.
24 Thus says the Lord, agyour Redeemer,
ahwho formed you from the womb:
aiI am the Lord, who made all things,
ajwho alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
25who frustrates the signs of liars
and makes fools of diviners,
akwho turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
26 alwho confirms the word of his servant
and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
amand of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
and I will raise up their ruins’;
27 anwho says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
I will dry up your rivers’;
28who says of aoCyrus, ‘He is apmy shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
aqand of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”
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