International Standard Version
1"Comfort! Yes, comfort my people," says your God.
2"Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her heavy service has been completed, that her penalty has been paid, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins."
3A voice cries out: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; and in the desert a straight highway for our God.'
4Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be lowered; the rough ground will become level, and the mountain ridges made a plain.
5Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all humanity will see it at once; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
6A voice says, "Cry out!" So I asked, "What am I to cry out?" "All humanity is grass, and all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field.
7Grass withers and flowers fade away when the LORD's breath blows on them; surely the people are like grass.
8Grass withers and flowers fade away, when the LORD's breath blows on them, but the word of our God will stand forever. "
9"Climb up a high mountain, you messenger of good news to Zion! Lift up your voice with strength, you messenger to Jerusalem! Lift it up! Don't be afraid! Say to the towns of Judah, 'Here is your God!'
10Look! The Lord GOD comes with strength, and his arm rules for him. Look! His reward is with him, and his payment accompanies him.
11Like a shepherd, he tends his flock. He gathers the lambs in his arms, carries them close to his heart, and gently leads the mother sheep."
12"Who has measured the waters of the sea in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens by the width of his hand? Who has enclosed the dust of the earth in a measuring bowl, or weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
13Who has fathomed the Spirit of the LORD, or as his counselor has taught him?
14With whom did he consult to enlighten and instruct him on the path of justice? Or who taught him knowledge and showed him the way of wisdom?
15"Look! The nations are like a drop in a bucket, and are reckoned as dust on the scales. Look! He even lifts up the islands like powder!
16Lebanon would not provide enough fuel, nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17All the nations are as nothing before him— they are reckoned by him as nothing and chaos.
18"To whom, then, will you compare me, the One who is God? Or to what image will you liken me?
19To an idol? A craftsman makes the image, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts silver chains.
20To the impoverished person? He prepares an offering— wood that won't rot— Or to the one who chooses a skilled craftsman and seeks to erect an idol that won't topple?"
21"You know, don't you? You have heard, haven't you? Hasn't it been told you from the beginning? Haven't you understood from the foundations of the earth?
22He's the one who sits above the disk of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He's the one who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in,
23who brings princes to nothing, and makes void the rulers of the earth.
24No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner have their stems taken root in the earth, than he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest sweeps them away like stubble.
25"To whom, then, will you compare me, and to whom should I be equal?" asks the Holy One.
26"Lift your eyes up to heaven and see who created all these— the one who leads out their vast array of stars by number, calling them all by name— because of his great might and his powerful strength — and not one is missing."
27"Jacob, why do you say— and Israel, why do you complain— 'My predicament is hidden from the LORD, and my cause is ignored by my God.'?
28Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The LORD is the eternal God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary; and his understanding cannot be fathomed.
29He's the one who gives might to the faint, renewing strength for the powerless.
30Even boys grow tired and weary, and young men collapse and fall,
31but those who keep waiting for the LORD will renew their strength. Then they'll soar on wings like eagles; they'll run and not grow weary; they'll walk and not grow tired."