Hezekiah Receives Envoys From Babylon
39 At that time, Merodak[a] Baladan, son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, because he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was happy to receive the envoys, and he showed them his palace treasury—the silver and the gold, the spices and the precious oil, his whole armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace or in all his domain that Hezekiah did not show them.
3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men say? Where did they come from?”
Hezekiah replied, “They have come from a faraway country, from Babylon.”
4 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
Hezekiah said, “They have seen everything in my palace. There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the word of the Lord of Armies. 6 Listen carefully. The days are coming when whatever is in your house—everything that your fathers have stored up until today—will be carried away to Babylon. Not a thing will be left, says the Lord. 7 They will take away some of the sons who were born to you, your own children, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For Hezekiah also said, “There will be peace and stability during my days.”
Overview of the Lord’s Plan
40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call out to her.
Her warfare[b] really is over.
Her guilt is fully paid for.
Yes, she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice is calling out:
In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord.
In the wasteland make a level[c] highway for our God.
4 Every valley will be raised up,
and every mountain and hill will be made low.
The rugged ground will become level,
and the rough places will become a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all flesh together will see it.
Yes, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
6 A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry out?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty[d] is like a wildflower in the countryside.
7 Grass withers, flowers fade,
when the breath[e] of the Lord blows on them.
Yes, the people are grass.
8 Grass withers, flowers fade,
but the Word of our God endures forever.
9 Get up on a high mountain,
O Zion, you herald of good news.
Lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, you herald of good news.
Lift it up! Do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Look, God the Lord will come with strength,
and his arm is ruling for him.
Look, his reward is with him.
The result of his work is in front of him.
11 Like a shepherd he will care for his flock.
With his arm he will gather the lambs.
He will lift them up on his lap.
He will gently lead the nursing mothers.
The Lord Is Beyond Compare
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?
Who marked off the heavens with the width of his hand?
Who scooped up the dust of the earth with a measuring cup?
Who weighed the mountains with a balance
and the hills with scales?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord?
Who can teach him anything or serve as his advisor?
14 Who was his advisor to give him insight?
Who taught him the path of justice?
Who taught him knowledge?
Who showed him the way to complete understanding?
15 Indeed, nations are like a drop in a bucket,
and they are treated like powder on a scale.
Look, he lifts up islands like dust!
16 Not even the forests of Lebanon could provide enough wood to burn,
and its animals are not enough for a whole burnt offering.
17 All the nations are nothing to him.
By him they are regarded as worthless,
as less than nothing.
18 So to whom will you compare God?
What image can you compare to him?
19 A craftsman casts the idol,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold.
He forges silver chains for it.
20 He chooses mulberry wood as an offering,[f]
wood that will not rot.
He looks for a skillful craftsman
to erect an idol that will not fall over.
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood it from the founding of the earth?
22 He is the one who sits above the circle of the earth.
To him its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and he spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He is the one who reduces dignitaries to nothing.
He makes the judges of the world useless.
24 They have hardly been planted.
They have hardly been sown.
Their stem has hardly taken root in the earth.
Then he blows on them, and they dry up.
A driving storm carries them away like chaff.
25 To whom can you compare me as if we were equals?
says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and see who created these things.
See who brings out their army in great number
and calls them all by name.
Because of his great strength and mighty power,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you speak, O Jacob?
O Israel, why do you say,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and justice for me is ignored by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the eternal God.
He is the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired, and he will not become weary.
No one can find a limit to his understanding.
29 He is the one who gives strength to the weak,
and he increases the strength of those who lack power.
30 Young men grow tired and become weary.
Even strong men stumble and fall.
31 But those who wait for the Lord will receive new strength.
They will lift up their wings and soar like eagles.
They will run and not become weary.
They will walk and not become tired.
A Summons to Judgment
Prepare to present your case to me,[g] you coastlands,
and let the peoples renew their strength.
Let them come near. Yes, let them say,
“We will gather together for the verdict.”
A Mystery Man Is Summoned From the East
2 Who has aroused this one from the east?
In righteousness he summons him to his feet.
He gives nations to him
and causes him to rule over kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
like wind-driven stubble with his bow.
3 He pursues them and passes by safely.
His feet do not touch the ground.[h]
4 Who accomplished this and carried it out
by summoning generations from the beginning?
The Lord Controls History
I, the Lord, am the first,
and at the very end I will still be the one.
5 The coastlands see and fear.
The ends of the earth tremble.
They draw near. They come.
The Idol Makers Appear
6 Each one assists his neighbor,
and to his brother he says, “Be strong.”
7 The craftsman strengthens the refiner.
The one who flattens with the hammer
strengthens the one who strikes the anvil.
Concerning the soldering he says, “It is good.”
He fastens it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
The Lord Is Your Defender
8 But you, O Israel, my servant,
O Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring[i] of Abraham, whom I love,
9 whom I have snatched from the ends of the earth,
whom I have called from its corners—
I have said to you, “You are my servant.”
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
10 Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not be overwhelmed,[j] for I am your God.
I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 Just watch, they will be ashamed and humiliated—
all those who are angry with you.
They will become nothing and perish—
those men who oppose you.
12 You will look for them, but you will not find them—
those men who contend against you.
They will become absolutely nothing, less than nothing—
those men who battle against you.
13 For I am the Lord your God.
I am the one who is holding on to your right hand.
I am the one who says to you, “Do not fear. I myself am helping you.”
14 Do not fear, you worm, Jacob, you few men of Israel.[k]
I myself am helping you, declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 Look, I am making you into a sharp, new threshing sledge
with double-edged blades.
You will thresh mountains and crush them.
You will turn hills into chaff.
16 You will winnow them,
and a wind will lift them up.
A strong wind will scatter them.
But you, you will rejoice in the Lord.
In the Holy One of Israel you will be confident.
- Isaiah 39:1 Merodak is probably a derogatory form of the name Marduk, the chief god of Babylon.
- Isaiah 40:2 Or hard labor
- Isaiah 40:3 Or straight
- Isaiah 40:6 The Hebrew literally reads mercy or faithfulness.
- Isaiah 40:7 The word also means wind and Spirit.
- Isaiah 40:20 Or the poor person chooses wood as an offering
- Isaiah 41:1 Or be silent before me. The Hebrew root used here does often mean be silent, but the context seems to require a preparation for legal action. There is a Hebrew homonym that means fabricate. This meaning fits the context. The Greek Old Testament and the parallelism also support this meaning.
- Isaiah 41:3 Literally he does not enter a path with his feet. This seems to mean that he moves so fast that his feet don’t touch the ground, or that he goes in new paths where he has never gone before, or that he quickly gains new territory.
- Isaiah 41:8 Literally the seed
- Isaiah 41:10 Or dismayed
- Isaiah 41:14 Or you insect, Israel. The Isaiah Dead Sea Scroll reads dead ones.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, who are believers in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
4 He did this when he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ. He did this in accordance with the good purpose of his will, 6 and for the praise of his glorious grace, which he has graciously given us in the one he loves.
7 In him we also have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in keeping with the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. 9 He made known to us the mystery of his will in keeping with his good purpose, which he planned in Christ. 10 This was to be carried out when the time had fully come, in order to bring all things together in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have also obtained an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in keeping with the purpose of his will. 12 He did this so that his glory would be praised as a result of us, who were the first to hope in Christ.
13 In him, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and in him, when you also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own possession, so that his glory would be praised.
A Prayer for Knowledge and Strength
15 This is why, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep praying that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, will give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation in knowing Christ fully. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope to which he has called you, just how rich his glorious inheritance among the saints is, 19 and just how surpassingly great his power is for us who believe. 20 It is as great as the working of his mighty strength, which God worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule, authority, power, and dominion, and above every name that is given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 God also placed all things under his feet and made him head over everything for the church. 23 The church is his body, the fullness of him[b] who fills everything in every way.
How Awesome Are Your Deeds!
For the choir director. A song. A psalm.
Introduction: The Praise of the World
1 Shout praise to God, all the earth!
2 Make music to the glory of his name!
Make his praise glorious!
3 Say to God, “How awesome[a] are your deeds!”
Because of your great power your enemies must cower before you.
4 All the earth bows down to you.
They make music to you.
They make music to your name. Interlude
God’s Awesome Deeds Deliver His People
5 Come and see the works of God.
How awesome his deeds for all people!
6 He turned the sea into dry land.
They crossed through the river on foot.
Let us rejoice in him there.
7 He rules by his power forever.
His eyes watch the nations. Interlude
Do not let the rebellious rise up against him.
8 Bless our God, you peoples.
Let the sound of his praise be heard.
9 He is the one who has preserved our lives.
He did not let our feet slip.
10 Indeed, you tested us, God.
You refined us as silver is refined.
11 You led us into a trap.
You laid a burden on our backs.
12 You let men ride over our heads.
We went through fire and through water,
but you brought us out to a well-watered place.
His People’s Praise
13 I will come to your house with whole burnt offerings.
I will fulfill my vows to you,
14 which my lips uttered,
which my mouth spoke during my trouble.
15 I will offer fat animals to you as whole burnt offerings,
along with the smoke from rams. Interlude
I will offer cattle with goats.
16 Come, listen, all you who fear God,
and let me tell what he has done to save my life.
17 To him I cried out with my mouth.
High praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had contemplated evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened,
19 but God has surely listened.
He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, who has not turned aside my prayer
or turned aside his mercy from me!
- Psalm 66:3 Or astonishing
25 Your father and your mother will find joy,
and she who gave birth to you will celebrate.
26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes be pleased with my ways,
27 because a prostitute is a deep pit,
and an immoral woman is a narrow well.
28 She is also like a robber waiting to ambush someone,
and she multiplies unfaithful men among the people.