Isaiah 44
Contemporary English Version

The Lord's Promise to Israel

1People of Israel,

I have chosen you

as my servant.

2I am your Creator.

You were in my care

even before you were born.

Israel, don't be terrified!

You are my chosen servant,

my very favorite.+

3I will bless the thirsty land

by sending streams of water;

I will bless your descendants

by giving them my Spirit.

4They will spring up like grass+

or like willow trees

near flowing streams.

5They will worship me

and become my people.

They will write my name

on the back of their hands.+

6 I am the Lord All-Powerful,

the first and the last,

the one and only God.

Israel, I have rescued you!

I am your King.

7Can anyone compare with me?

If so, let them speak up

and tell me now.

Let them say what has happened

since I made my nation

long ago,

and let them tell

what is going to happen.+

8Don't tremble with fear!

Didn't I tell you long ago?

Didn't you hear me?

I alone am God—

no one else is a mighty rock.+

Idols Can't Do a Thing

The Lord said:

9Those people who make idols

are nothing themselves,

and the idols they treasure

are just as worthless.

Worshipers of idols are blind,

stupid, and foolish.

10Why make an idol or an image

that can't do a thing?

11Everyone who makes idols

and all who worship them

are mere humans,

who will end up

sadly disappointed.

Let them face me in court

and be terrified.

Idols and Firewood

12A metalworker shapes an idol

by using a hammer+

and heat from the fire.

In his powerful hand

he holds a hammer,

as he pounds the metal

into the proper shape.

But he gets hungry and thirsty

and loses his strength.

13Some woodcarver measures

a piece of wood,

then draws an outline.

The idol is carefully carved

with each detail exact.

At last it looks like a person

and is placed in a temple.

14Either cedar, cypress, oak,

or any tree from the forest

may be chosen.

Or even a pine tree planted

by the woodcarver

and watered by the rain.

15 Some of the wood is used

to make a fire for heating

or for cooking.

One piece is made into an idol,

then the woodcarver bows down

and worships it.

16He enjoys the warm fire

and the meat that was roasted

over the burning coals.

17Afterwards, he bows down

to worship the wooden idol.

“Protect me!” he says.

“You are my god.”

18Those who worship idols are stupid and blind! 19They don't have enough sense to say to themselves, “I made a fire with half of the wood and cooked my bread and meat on it. Then I made something worthless with the other half. Why worship a block of wood?”

20How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes?+ No one can save themselves like that. Don't they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?

The Lord Won't Forget His People

21People of Israel,

you are my servant,

so remember all of this.

Israel, I created you,

and you are my servant.

I won't forget you.+

22Turn back to me!

I have rescued you

and swept away your sins

as though they were clouds.

Sing Praises to the Lord

23Tell the heavens and the earth

to start singing!

Tell the mountains

and every tree in the forest

to join in the song!

The Lord has rescued his people;

now they will worship him.

The Lord Created Everything

24Israel, I am your Lord,

the source of your life,

and I have rescued you.

I created everything

from the sky above

to the earth below.

25 I make liars of false prophets

and fools of fortunetellers.

I take human wisdom

and turn it into nonsense.

26I will make the message

of my prophets come true.

They are saying, “Jerusalem

will be filled with people,

and the Lord will rebuild

the towns of Judah.”

27I am the one who commands

the sea and its streams

to run dry.

28 I am also the one who says,

“Cyrus will lead my people

and obey my orders.

Jerusalem and the temple

will be rebuilt.”


44.2 my very favorite: Or “Jeshurun.”
44.4 like grass: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
44.5 write … hands: To show that they belong to the Lord and to Israel.
44.7 Let them say … happen: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
44.8 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10.
44.12 by using a hammer: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
44.20 How … ashes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
44.21 I won't forget you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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