The Bible in Its Traditions

Isaiah 44:1–28

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Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen;

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Thus saith YHWH that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, who will help thee: Fear not, O Jacob My servant, and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Thus saith the Lord God that made thee, and he that formed thee from the womb; Thou shalt yet be helped: fear not, my servant Jacob; and beloved Israel, whom I have chosen.

Thus 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.

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For I will pour water upon the thirsty land, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring;

For I will give water to the thirsty that walk in a dry land: I will put my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessings upon thy children

For 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.

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And they shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the watercourses.

And they will spring up among the plants, like willows beside running waters.

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One shall say: 'I am YHWH'S'; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the YHWH, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

One shall say, I am God’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall write with his hand, I am God’s, and shall call himself by the name of Israel.

This 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.

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Thus saith YHWH, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the YHWH of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no God.

Thus 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.

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And who, as I, can proclaim--let him declare it, and set it in order for Me--since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and that shall come to pass, let them declare.

Who is like me? let him stand, and call, and declare, and prepare for me from the time that I made man for ever; and let them tell you the things that are coming before they arrive.

Who 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.

Fear ye not, neither be afraid; have I not announced unto thee of old, and declared it? And ye are My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? Yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.

Hide not yourselves, nor go astray: have ye not heard from the beginning, and have not I told you? ye are witnesses if there is a God beside me.

Do 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?

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They that fashion a graven image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit; and their own witnesses see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

All 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.

The makers of images are all of them vanity; and there is no profit in the works which they desire to make; the craftsmen who make them are witnesses, for they see not, nor hear, nor know.

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10  Who hath fashioned a god, or molten an image that is profitable for nothing?

10  that form a god, and all that grave worthless things

10  Therefore let them be ashamed, those who make gods or graven and molten images that are profitable for nothing.

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11  Behold, all the fellows thereof shall be ashamed; and the craftsmen skilled above men; let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together.

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12  The smith maketh an axe, and worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with his strong arm; yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth; he drinketh no water, and is faint.

12  For the artificer sharpens the iron; he fashions the idol with an axe, and fixes it with an awl, and fashions it with the strength of his arm: and he will be hungry and weak, and will drink no water.

12  The 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.

13  The carpenter stretcheth out a line; he marketh it out with a pencil; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compasses, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, to dwell in the house.

13  The artificer having chosen a piece of wood, marks it out with a rule, and fits it with glue, and makes it as the form of a man, and as the beauty of a man, to set it up in the house.

13  The 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.

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14  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the ilex and the oak, and strengtheneth for himself one among the trees of the forest; he planteth a bay-tree, and the rain doth nourish it.

14  He cuts wood out of the forest, which the Lord planted, even a pine tree, and the rain made it grow,

14  Then he makes it to stand in the house, a piece of wood which was cut down out of the forest, something which the rain has nourished,

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15  Then a man useth it for fuel; and he taketh thereof, and warmeth himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

15  And 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.

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16  He burneth the half thereof in the fire; with the half thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied; yea, he warmeth himself, and saith: 'Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire';

16  Half thereof he burns in the fire, and with half of it he bakes loaves on the coals; and having roasted flesh on it he eats, and is satisfied, and having warmed himself he says, I am comfortable, for I have warmed myself, and have seen the fire.

16  Part 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.”

17  And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image; he falleth down unto it and worshippeth, and prayeth unto it, and saith: 'Deliver me, for thou art my god.'

17  And the rest he makes a graven god, and worships, and prays, saying, Deliver me; for thou art my God.

17  But 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.”

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18  They know not, neither do they understand; for their eyes are bedaubed, that they cannot see, and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

18  They have no understanding to perceive; for they have been blinded so that they should not see with their eyes, nor perceive with their heart.

18  They have not known nor understood; for the vision of their eyes is shut that they cannot see, and the understanding of their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

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19  And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say: 'I have burned the half of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh and eaten it; and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?'

19  And one has not considered in his mind, nor known in his understanding, that he has burnt up half of it in the fire, and baked loaves on the coals thereof and has roasted and eaten flesh, and of the rest of it he has made an abomination, and they worship it.

19  They 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?”

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20  He striveth after ashes, a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say: 'Is there not a lie in my right hand?'

20  Part 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.”

20  Their imagination is dull; they are surely gone astray, and cannot deliver themselves, nor say, Our right hand has wrought falsehood.

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21  Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for thou art My servant; I have formed thee, thou art Mine own servant; O Israel, thou shouldest not forget Me.

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22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins; return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee.

22  For behold, I have blotted out as a cloud thy transgressions, and thy sin as darkness: turn to me, and I will redeem thee.

22  I have wiped away your iniquities like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to me, because I have redeemed you.

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23  Sing, O ye heavens, for YHWH hath done it; shout, ye lowest parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein; for the YHWH hath redeemed Jacob, and doth glorify Himself in Israel.

23  Rejoice, ye heavens; for God has had mercy upon Israel: sound the trumpet, ye foundations of the earth: ye mountains, shout with joy, ye hills, and all the trees therein: for God has redeemed Jacob, and Israel shall be glorified.

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24  Thus saith YHWH, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb: I am the YHWH, that maketh all things; that stretched forth the heavens alone; that spread abroad the earth by Myself;

24  Thus 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.

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25  That frustrateth the tokens of the imposters, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

25  Who else will frustrate the tokens of those that have divining spirits, and prophecies from the heart of man? turning the wise back, and making their counsel foolishness;

25  Who makes void the signs of the diviners and despises their divinations; who turns wise men backward and makes their knowledge foolish;

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26  That confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers; that saith of Jerusalem: 'She shall be inhabited'; and of the cities of Judah: 'They shall be built, and I will raise up the waste places thereof';

26  and confirming the word of his servant, and verifying the counsel of his messengers: who says to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Idumea, Ye shall be built, and her desert places shall spring forth.

26  I 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.

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27  That saith to the deep: 'Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers';

27  Who says to the deep, Thou shalt be dried up, and I will dry up the rivers.

27  I say to the depths, “Be desolate,” and, “I will dry up your rivers.”

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28  That saith of Cyrus: 'He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure'; even saying of Jerusalem: 'She shall be built'; and to the temple: 'My foundation shall be laid.'

28  Who bids Cyrus be wise, and he shall perform all my will: who says to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built, and I will lay the foundation of my holy house.

28  I 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.”