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The Blue Letter Bible

Isaiah 40 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Comfort for God’s People

(cf. Luk 3:4–6 )
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:1 - Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:2 - Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare[fn] is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:3 - A voice cries:[fn]
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:4 - Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:5 - And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

The Word of God Stands Forever

Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:6 - A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said,[fn] “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty[fn] is like the flower of the field.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:7 - The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:9 - Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;[fn]
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;[fn]
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:10 - Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:11 - He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:12 - Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:13 - Who has measured[fn] the Spirit of the LORD,
or what man shows him his counsel?
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:14 - Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:15 - Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:16 - Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:17 - All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:18 - To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:19 - An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:20 - He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood[fn] that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:21 - Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:22 - It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:23 - who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:24 - Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:25 - To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:26 - Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
and because he is strong in power,
not one is missing.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:27 - Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:28 - Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:29 - He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:30 - Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
Unchecked Copy BoxIsa 40:31 - but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
ESV Footnotes
Or hardship
Or A voice of one crying
Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says
Or all its constancy
Or O herald of good news to Zion
Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
Or has directed
Or He chooses valuable wood

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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