Isaiah 44

Israel the Lord's Chosen 1But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
   Israel whom I have chosen!
2Thus says the LORD who made you,
   who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
   Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3For 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
   like willows by flowing streams.
5This 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 6Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
   and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
"I am the first and I am the last;
   besides me there is no god.
7Who 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?
   And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
   There is no Rock; I know not any."

The Folly of Idolatry 9All 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. 10Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11Behold, 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.

12The 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.Hebrew stylus He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14He 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. He 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 abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?" 20He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

The Lord Redeems Israel 21Remember these things, O Jacob,
   and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
   O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
   and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;
   shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
   O forest, and every tree in it!
For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
   and will be glorifiedOr will display his beauty in Israel.

24Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
   who formed you from the womb:
"I am the LORD, who made all things,
   who alone stretched out the heavens,
   who spread out the earth by myself,
25who frustrates the signs of liars
   and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
   and makes their knowledge foolish,
26who confirms the word of his servant
   and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited,'
   and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built,
   and I will raise up their ruins';
27who says to the deep, 'Be dry;
   I will dry up your rivers';
28who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd,
   and he shall fulfill all my purpose';
saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,'
   and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"