Isaiah Chapter 42 to 44 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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The Lord’s Special Servant

42 “Look at my Servant! I support him. He is the one I chose. And I am very pleased with him. I put my Spirit in him. He will judge the nations fairly. 2He will not speak loudly in the streets. He will not cry out or yell. 3{He will be gentle.} He will not break even a crushed reed.* He will not put out even a weak flame. He will judge fairly and find the truth. 4He will not become weak or be crushed until he brings justice to the world. And people in faraway places will trust his teachings.”

The Lord Is Ruler and Maker of the World

5The Lord, the {true} God, said these things. (The Lord made the skies. The Lord spread the skies over the earth. He also made everything on the earth. The Lord breathes life into all people on earth. The Lord gives a spirit to every person that walks on the earth.) 6“I, the Lord, called you to do right. I will hold your hand. And I will protect you. You will be the sign that shows {I have} an Agreement with the people. You will be a light to shine for all people. 7You will open the eyes of the blind people, and they will be able to see. Many people are in prison; you will free those people. Many people live in darkness; you will lead them out of that prison. 8“I am the Lord. My name is YAHWEH. I will not give my glory to another. I will not let statues (false gods) take the praise that should be mine. 9In the beginning, I said some things would happen, and those things happened! And now, before it happens, I am telling you about some things that will happen in the future.”

A Song of Praise to God

10Sing a new song to the Lord, all you people in faraway countries, all you people that sail on the seas, all you animals in the oceans, all you people in faraway places, praise the Lord! 11Deserts and cities, villages of Kedar,* praise the Lord! People living in Sela, sing for joy! Sing from the top of your mountain. 12Give glory to the Lord. Praise him all you people in faraway lands! 13The Lord will go out like a strong soldier. He will be like a man ready to fight a war. He will become very excited. He will cry out and shout loudly, and he will defeat his enemies.

God Is Very Patient

14“For a long time I have said nothing. I controlled myself and didn’t say anything. But now I will cry out like a woman giving birth to a child. I will breathe very hard and loud. 15I will destroy the hills and mountains. I will dry up all the plants that grow there. I will change rivers to dry land. I will dry up pools of water. 16Then I will lead the blind people in a way they never knew. I will lead the blind people to places they have never been before. I will change darkness into light for them. And I will make the rough ground smooth. I will do the things I promised! And I will not leave my people. 17But some of the people stopped following me. Those people have statues that are covered with gold. They tell those statues, ‘You are my gods.’ Those people trust their false gods. But those people will be disappointed!

Israel Refused to Listen to God

18“You deaf people should hear me! You blind people should look and see me! 19In all the world, my servant* is the most blind! The messenger I send {to the world} is the most deaf. The one I made the Agreement with —the servant of the Lord—is the most blind. 20My servant sees what he should do, but he does not obey me. He can hear with his ears, but he refuses to listen to me.” 21The Lord wants his servant to be good. The Lord wants him to honor his wonderful teachings.* 22But look at the people. Other people have defeated them and have stolen things from them. All the young men are afraid. They are locked in the prisons. People have taken their money from them. And there is no person to save them. Other people took their money. And there was no person to say, “Give it back!” 23Did any of you people listen to {God’s} words? No! But you should listen very closely to his words {and think about what happened}. 24Who let people take the wealth from Jacob and Israel? The Lord allowed them to do this! We sinned against the Lord. So the Lord allowed people to take away our wealth. The people of Israel did not want to live the way the Lord wanted. The people of Israel did not listen to his teaching. 25So the Lord became angry at them. The Lord caused powerful wars against them. It was like the people of Israel had fire all around them. But they did not know what was happening. It was like they were burning. But they did not try to understand the things that were happening.

reed A plant that grows near water. Kedar A country east of Israel. my servant Here this probably means the people of Israel. Verse 21 Or, “The Lord will make his teachings very wonderful. He will do this because he is good.”

God Is Always with His People

43 Jacob, the Lord made you! Israel, the Lord made you! And now the Lord says, “Don’t be afraid! I saved you. I named you. You are mine. 2When you have troubles, I am with you. When you cross rivers, you will not be hurt. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not hurt you. 3Why? Because I, the Lord, am your God. I, the Holy One of Israel, am your Savior. I gave Egypt to pay for you. I gave Ethiopia and Seba to make you mine. 4You are very important to me, so I will honor you. I love you, and I will give all people and nations so you can live.”

God Will Bring His Children Home

5“So don’t be afraid! I am with you. I will gather your children and bring them to you. I will gather them from the east and from the west. 6I will tell the north: Give my people to me! I will tell the south: Don’t keep my people in prison! Bring my sons and daughters to me from the faraway places! 7Bring to me all the people that are mine—the people that have my name. I made those people for myself. I made those people, and they are mine.”

Israel Is God’s Witness to the World

8{God says,} “Bring out the people that have eyes but are blind. Bring out the people that have ears but are deaf.* 9All people and all nations should also be gathered together. Maybe {one of their false gods} wants to tell about what happened in the beginning. They should bring their witnesses. The witnesses should speak the truth. This will show they are right.” 10The Lord says, “You people are my witnesses. You are the servant that I chose. I chose you so you would help people to believe me. I chose you so you would understand that ‘I Am He’—{I am the true God}. There was no God before me, and there will be no God after me. 11I myself am the Lord. And there is no other Savior—{I am the only One}. 12I am the One who spoke to you. I saved you. I told you those things. It was not some stranger that was with you. You are my witnesses, and I am God.” (The Lord himself said these things.) 13“I have always been God. When I do something, no person can change what I have done. And no person can save people from my power.” 14The Lord, the Holy One of Israel, saves you. And the Lord says, “I will send armies to Babylon for you. Many people will be captured. Those people, the Chaldeans, will be taken away in their own boats. (The Chaldeans are very proud of those boats.) 15I am the Lord your Holy One. I made Israel. I am your king.”

God Will Save His People Again

16The Lord will make roads through the sea. Even through rough waters he will make a path for his people. And the Lord says, 17“The people that fight against me with their chariots,* horses, and armies will be defeated. They will never rise again. They will be destroyed. They will be stopped like the flame of a candle* is stopped. 18So don’t remember the things that happened in the beginning. Don’t think about the things that happened a long time ago. 19Why? Because I will do new things! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I really will make a road in the desert. I really will make rivers in the dry land. 20Even the wild animals will be thankful to me. The large animals and birds will honor me. They will honor me when I put water in the desert. They will honor me when I make rivers in the dry land. I will do this to give water to my people—the people I chose. 21These are the people I made. And these people will sing songs to praise me. 22“Jacob, you did not pray to me. Why? Because you, Israel, have become tired of me. 23You have not brought your sheep as sacrifices* to me. You have not honored me. You have not given sacrifices to me. I did not force you to give sacrifices to me. I did not force you to burn incense* until you became tired. 24So you did not use your money to buy things to honor me. But you did force me to be like your slave. You sinned until the bad things you did made me very tired. 25“I, I am the One who wipes away all your sins. I do this to please myself. I will not remember your sins. 26But you should remember me. We should meet together and decide what is right. You should tell the things {you have done} and show you are right. 27Your first father sinned. And your lawyers have done things against me. 28I will make your holy rulers not holy. I will cause Jacob to be completely mine.* Bad things will happen to Israel.”

blind … deaf This probably means the people of Israel that would not believe God. See Isaiah 6:9–10. chariots Small wagons used for war. candle Literally, “lamp.” These were small clay bowls filled with oil. A string or strip of cloth was placed in the bowl and lit to produce light. sacrifices Gifts to God. Sometimes these were special kinds of animals that were killed and burned on an altar. incense A kind of spice that smells good when it is burned. It was burned as a gift to God. cause Jacob to be completely mine This means that only God can have this special thing. He gets it, or it must die so no one else will.

The Lord Is the Only God

44 “Jacob, you are my servant. Listen to me! Israel, I chose you. Hear the things I say! 2I am the Lord, and I made you. I am the One who made you to be what you are. I have helped you since the time you were in your mother’s body. Jacob, my servant, don’t be afraid. Jeshurun,* I chose you. 3“I will pour water for thirsty people. I will make streams flow on dry land. I will pour my Spirit on your children—it will be like a stream of water flowing over your family. 4They will grow among the people in the world. They will be like trees growing beside streams of water. 5“One person will say, ‘I belong to the Lord.’ Another person will use the name ‘Jacob.’ Another person will sign his name ‘I am the Lord’s.’ And another person will use the name ‘Israel.’” 6The Lord is the king of Israel. The Lord All-Powerful saves Israel. The Lord says, “I am the only God. There are no other gods. I am the Beginning and the End. 7There is no other God like me. If there is, then that god should speak now. That god should come and show proof that he is like me. That god should tell me what has happened since the time I made these ancient people. That god should give signs to show that he knows what will happen in the future. 8Don’t be afraid! Don’t worry! I have always told you what will happen. You are my witnesses. There is no other God—I am the only One. There is no other ‘Rock* ’—I know I am the only One.”

False Gods Are Useless

9Some people make statues (false gods)—but they are worthless. People love those statues—but the statues are useless. Those people are the witnesses of the statues—but they can’t see. They know nothing—they don’t know enough to be ashamed {of the things they do}. 10Who made these false gods? Who made these useless statues? 11Workers made those gods! And all those workers are people—{not gods}. If all of those people would come together {and discuss these things}, then they would all be ashamed and afraid. 12One worker uses his tools to heat iron over hot coals. This man uses his hammer to beat the metal, and the metal becomes a statue. This man uses his own powerful arms. But when the man becomes hungry, he loses his power. If the man does not drink water, he becomes weak. 13Another worker uses his string line* and compass* to draw lines on the wood. {This shows where he should cut}. Then the man uses his chisels* and cuts a statue from the wood. He uses his calipers* to measure the statue. This way, the worker makes the wood look exactly like a man. And this statue of a man does nothing but sit in its house. 14A man cuts down cedar, cypress, or maybe oak trees. (That man did not make the trees grow—those trees grew by their own power in the forest. If a man plants a pine tree, the rain makes the tree grow.) 15Then that man uses the tree to burn in his fire. The man cuts the tree into small pieces of wood. And he uses the wood to cook and keep him warm. The man starts a fire with some of the wood and bakes his bread. But the man still uses part of that wood to make a god—and the man worships that god! That god is a statue that the man made—but the man bows down before the statue! 16The man burns half of the wood in the fire. The man uses the fire to cook his meat and eats the meat until he is full. The man burns the wood to keep himself warm. The man says, “Good! Now I am warm, and I can see because there is light from the fire.” 17But a little wood is left, so the man makes a statue from that wood and calls it his god. He bows down before this god and worships it. The man prays to the god and says, “You are my god, save me!” 18Those people don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand! It is like their eyes are covered so they can’t see. Their hearts (minds) don’t try to understand. 19Those people have not thought about these things. The people don’t understand, so they have never thought to themselves, “I burned half of the wood in the fire. I used the hot coals to bake my bread and cook my meat. Then I ate the meat. And I used the wood that was left to make this terrible thing. I am worshiping a block of wood!” 20That man does not know what he is doing. He is confused, so his heart leads him the wrong way. That man can’t save himself. And he can’t see that he is doing wrong. That man will not say, “This statue I am holding is a false god.”

The Lord, the True God, Helps Israel

21“Jacob, remember these things! Israel, remember, you are my servant. I made you. You are my servant. So Israel, don’t forget me. 22Your sins were like a big cloud. But I wiped away those sins. Your sins are gone, like a cloud that disappeared into thin air. I rescued and protected you, so come back to me!” 23The skies are happy because the Lord did great things. The earth is happy, even deep down under the earth! The mountains sing with thanks to God. All the trees in the forest are happy! Why? Because the Lord saved Jacob. The Lord did great things for Israel. 24The Lord made you what you are. The Lord did this while you were still in your mother’s body. The Lord says, “I, the Lord, made everything! I put the skies there myself! I spread the earth before me.” 25False prophets* tell lies, but the Lord shows their lies are false. The Lord makes foolish people of the men that do magic. The Lord confuses even wise men. They think they know much, but the Lord makes them look foolish. 26The Lord sends his servants to tell messages to the people. And the Lord makes those messages true. The Lord sends messengers to tell the people the things they should do. And the Lord shows their advice is good.

God Chooses Cyrus to Rebuild Judah

The Lord says to Jerusalem, “People will live in you again!” The Lord says to the cities of Judah, “You will be built again!” The Lord says to the cities that were destroyed, “I will make you cities again!” 27The Lord tells the deep waters, “Become dry! I will make your streams dry too!” 28The Lord says to Cyrus,* “You are my shepherd. You will do the things I want. You will say to Jerusalem, ‘You will be built again!’ You will tell the temple,* ‘Your foundations will be built again!’”  

Jeshurun Another name for Israel. It means “good” or “honest.” Rock A name for God. It shows he is a strong place of safety. string line In ancient times, this was a piece of string with wet paint on it. This was used to make straight lines on wood or stone. compass A tool used to draw circles and copy measurements. chisels Sharp tools used to carve wood or stone. calipers A special measuring tool, like a compass. False prophets People that lie, saying they received a special message from God. Cyrus A king of Persia. He ruled about 550–530 B.C. temple A special building for worshiping God. God commanded the Jews to worship him at the temple in Jerusalem.

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