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Isaiah chapter 41

New International Version

1 Be silent before me, you islands! Let the nations renew their strength! Let them come forward and speak; let us meet together at the place of judgment. 2 Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow. 3 He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before.
4 Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD--with the first of them and with the last--I am he.' 5 The islands have seen it and fear; the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward; 6 they help each other and say to their companions, 'Be strong!'
7 The metalworker encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, 'It is good.' The other nails down the idol so it will not topple. 8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, 9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,' declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17 The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. 19 I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 Present your case,' says the LORD. 'Set forth your arguments,' says Jacob's King. 22 Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, 23 tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable. 25 I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes-- one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay. 26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know, or beforehand, so we could say, 'He was right'? No one told of this, no one foretold it, no one heard any words from you. 27 I was the first to tell Zion, 'Look, here they are!' I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news. 28 I look but there is no one-- no one among the gods to give counsel, no one to give answer when I ask them. 29 See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion.
English Standard Version

1 Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment. 2 Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. 3 He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. 4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. 6 Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7 The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved. 8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12 You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. 13 For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” 14 Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; 16 you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. 17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, 20 that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. 23 Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. 24 Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you. 25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. 26 Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know, and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”? There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion, “Behold, here they are!” and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news. 28 But when I look, there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. 29 Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.
King James Version

1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment. 2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. 3 He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. 4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. 6 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. 7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. 8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: 20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. 24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. 25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay. 26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. 27 The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. 28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counseller, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. 29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.
New American Standard Bible

1 'Listen to Me in silence, you coastlands, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let’s come together for judgment. 2 Who has stirred one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He turns nations over to him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, Like the wind-driven chaff with his bow. 3 He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been traversing with his feet. 4 Who has performed and accomplished it, Summoning the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’?' 5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid; The ends of the earth tremble; They have approached and have come. 6 Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother, 'Be strong!' 7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, 'It is good'; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter. 8 'But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, 9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth And called from its remotest parts, And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 11 Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. 12 You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. 13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ 14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you people of Israel; I will help you,' declares the LORD, 'and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I turned you into a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And make the hills like chaff. 16 You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will boast in the Holy One of Israel. 17 'The poor and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them Myself; As the God of Israel I will not abandon them. 18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land fountains of water. 19 I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia, the myrtle, and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert, Together with the elm tree and the cypress, 20 So that they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 'Present your case,' the LORD says. 'Bring forward your evidence,' The King of Jacob says. 22 Let them bring them forward and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, So that we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; 23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward, So that we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may be afraid and fear together. 24 Behold, you are less than nothing, And your work is less than nothing! He who chooses you is an abomination. 25 'I have put one from the north into motion, and he has come; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, As the potter treads on clay.' 26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, 'He is right!'? There was no one at all who declared, There was no one at all who proclaimed, There was no one at all who heard your words. 27 'Previously I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’ And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a messenger of good news.’ 28 But when I look, there is no one, And there is no counselor among them Who, if I ask, can give an answer. 29 Behold, all of them are false; Their works are nothing, Their cast metal images are wind and emptiness.
New Living Translation

1 'Listen in silence before me, you lands beyond the sea. Bring your strongest arguments. Come now and speak. The court is ready for your case.
2 'Who has stirred up this king from the east, rightly calling him to God's service? Who gives this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their kings underfoot? With his sword, he reduces armies to dust. With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind. 3 He chases them away and goes on safely, though he is walking over unfamiliar ground. 4 Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.'
5 The lands beyond the sea watch in fear. Remote lands tremble and mobilize for war. 6 The idol makers encourage one another, saying to each other, 'Be strong!' 7 The carver encourages the goldsmith, and the molder helps at the anvil. 'Good,' they say. 'It's coming along fine.' Carefully they join the parts together, then fasten the thing in place so it won't fall over.
8 'But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, 9 I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, 'You are my servant.' For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. 10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
11 'See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing. 12 You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing. 13 For I hold you by your right hand--I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you. 14 Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don't be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.' 15 You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains. 16 You will toss them into the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. Then you will rejoice in the LORD. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 'When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them. 18 I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground. 19 I will plant trees in the barren desert--cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine. 20 I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means--that it is the LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.
21 'Present the case for your idols,' says the LORD. 'Let them show what they can do,' says the King of Israel. 22 'Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what's going to happen. 23 Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything--good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. 24 But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves.
25 'But I have stirred up a leader who will come from the north. I have called him by name from the east. I will give him victory over kings and princes. He will trample them as a potter treads on clay.
26 'Who told you from the beginning that this would happen? Who predicted this, making you admit that he was right? No one said a word! 27 I was the first to tell Zion, 'Look! Help is on the way!' I will send Jerusalem a messenger with good news. 28 Not one of your idols told you this. Not one gave any answer when I asked. 29 See, they are all foolish, worthless things. All your idols are as empty as the wind.
Christian Standard Bible

1 "Be silent before me, coasts and islands! And let peoples renew their strength. Let them approach; let them testify; let's come together for the trial. 2 Who has stirred up someone from the east? In righteousness he calls him to serve. The Lord hands nations over to him, and he subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, like wind-driven stubble with his bow. 3 He pursues them, going on safely, hardly touching the path with his feet.
4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I am the Lord, the first and with the last--I am he." 5 The coasts and islands see and are afraid, the whole earth trembles. They approach and arrive. 6 Each one helps the other, and says to another, "Take courage! "
7 The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who flattens with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good." He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over. 8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, my friend -- 9 I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are my servant; I have chosen you; I haven't rejected you.
10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. 11 Be sure that all who are enraged against you will be ashamed and disgraced; those who contend with you will become as nothing and will perish. 12 You will look for those who contend with you, but you will not find them. Those who war against you will become absolutely nothing. 13 For I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, who says to you, "Do not fear, I will help you.
14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel. I will help you" -- this is the Lord's declaration. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 See, I will make you into a sharp threshing board, new, with many teeth. You will thresh mountains and pulverize them and make hills into chaff.
16 You will winnow them and a wind will carry them away, a whirlwind will scatter them. But you will rejoice in the Lord; you will boast in the Holy One of Israel. 17 The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I will answer them. I am the Lord, the God of Israel. I will not abandon them. 18 I will open rivers on the barren heights, and springs in the middle of the plains. I will turn the desert into a pool and dry land into springs. 19 I will plant cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees in the wilderness. I will put juniper, elm, and cypress trees together in the desert.
20 so that all may see and know, consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 "Submit your case," says the Lord. "Present your arguments," says Jacob's King. 22 "Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future. 23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do something good or bad, then we will be in awe when we see it.
24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable. 25 "I have stirred up one from the north, and he has come, one from the east who invokes my name. He will march over rulers as if they were mud, like a potter who treads the clay. 26 Who told about this from the beginning, so that we might know, and from times past, so that we might say, 'He is right'? No one announced it, no one told it, no one heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion, 'Look! Here they are! ' And I gave Jerusalem a herald with good news. 28 When I look, there is no one; there is no counselor among them; when I ask them, they have nothing to say. 29 Look, all of them are a delusion; their works are nonexistent; their images are wind and emptiness.

What does Isaiah chapter 41 mean?

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