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Comfort for God's People

1Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare11Or time of service is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins.

3A voice cries:22Or A voice of one crying
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Word of God Stands Forever

6A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said,33Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty44Or all its constancy is like the flower of the field.
7The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

9Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;55Or O herald of good news to Zion
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;66Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

12Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
13Who has measured77Or has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
or what man shows him his counsel?
14Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
15Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
16Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
20He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood88Or He chooses valuable wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.

21Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.

27Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.


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10. Behold, the Lord Jehovah. He adorns this short sentence by many words, because some explanation was needed; and he again uses the word Behold for the sake of certainty, in order to impart greater confidence to the hearts of good men. Thus he shews more clearly how great advantage they derive from the presence of God. And first, he says, that he will come with strength, and that strength not unemployed, but accompanied by such an effect as we shall perceive.

And his arm shall be powerful to him 114114     “With strong (hand), or, against the strong.” — Eng. Ver. “Against the strong one, that is, against (foreign) nations to punish them.” — Jarchi. Vitringa gives the same version, though with a different explanation, and quotes the authorities of Junius and Piscator, while he states that all the ancient interpreters, among whom he enumerates the Septuagint, Jerome, and the Chaldee Paraphrast, render the phrase with strength.Ed. לו (lo), which we have translated to him, is translated by others of himself; or, perhaps, it will be thought preferable to translate it, “He is powerful, or reigns for himself.” The meaning is, that God is sufficient for himself, and does not need the assistance of any one.

Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before his face. By the repetition of the words “reward” and “work,” he states more clearly what has been already expressed; for it is very customary with Hebrew writers to express the same thing in two different ways. “Reward” does not here denote what is due to merits, but the justice of God, by which he testifies that he is a rewarder to all who truly and sincerely call upon him. (Hebrews 11:6.) That this is the signification of the word שכר (sachar) is known to all who are moderately acquainted with the Hebrew language. The meaning may be thus summed up: “God will not come to be beheld by us as unemployed, but to display his power, and to make us feel it;” and thus, instead of the word “work,” the word “effect” would not be inapplicable. Many persons attempt an ingenious exposition of these words, and enter into childish discussion about the words “work” and “reward,” as if the “work” were a merit on which a “reward” is bestowed. But nothing was farther from the view of the Prophet; for he repeats the same thing, as we have already said, and declares the result of the coming of the Lord, from which believers will derive the highest advantage.




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