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Israel Assured of God’s Help


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.



Who has roused a victor from the east,

summoned him to his service?

He delivers up nations to him,

and tramples kings under foot;

he makes them like dust with his sword,

like driven stubble with his bow.


He pursues them and passes on safely,

scarcely touching the path with his feet.


Who has performed and done this,

calling the generations from the beginning?

I, the L ord, am first,

and will be with the last.


The coastlands have seen and are afraid,

the ends of the earth tremble;

they have drawn near and come.


Each one helps the other,

saying to one another, “Take courage!”


The artisan encourages the goldsmith,

and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil,

saying of the soldering, “It is good”;

and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.


But you, Israel, my servant,

Jacob, whom I have chosen,

the offspring of Abraham, my friend;


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”;


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 uphold you with my victorious right hand.



Yes, all who are incensed against you

shall be ashamed and disgraced;

those who strive against you

shall be as nothing and shall perish.


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.


For I, the L ord your God,

hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Do not fear,

I will help you.”



Do not fear, you worm Jacob,

you insect Israel!

I will help you, says the L ord;

your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.


Now, I will make of you a threshing sledge,

sharp, new, and having teeth;

you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,

and you shall make the hills like chaff.


You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away,

and the tempest shall scatter them.

Then you shall rejoice in the L ord;

in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.



When the poor and needy seek water,

and there is none,

and their tongue is parched with thirst,

I the L ord will answer them,

I the God of Israel will not forsake them.


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.


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,


so that all may see and know,

all may consider and understand,

that the hand of the L ord has done this,

the Holy One of Israel has created it.


The Futility of Idols


Set forth your case, says the L ord;

bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.


Let them bring them, and tell us

what is to happen.

Tell us the former things, what they are,

so that we may consider them,

and that we may know their outcome;

or declare to us the things to come.


Tell us what is to come hereafter,

that we may know that you are gods;

do good, or do harm,

that we may be afraid and terrified.


You, indeed, are nothing

and your work is nothing at all;

whoever chooses you is an abomination.



I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,

from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.

He shall trample on rulers as on mortar,

as the potter treads clay.


Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,

and beforehand, so that we might say, “He is right”?

There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,

none who heard your words.


I first have declared it to Zion,

and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.


But when I look there is no one;

among these there is no counselor

who, when I ask, gives an answer.


No, they are all a delusion;

their works are nothing;

their images are empty wind.


4. Who hath appointed? Although Isaiah has exhibited in this passage nothing more than the example of Abraham, yet he undoubtedly intended to remind the people of all the benefits which the fathers had received in ancient times; as if he had said, “Call to remembrance what is your origin, whence I raised up your father Abraham, by what path I led him; and yet this was not the termination of my favors, for since that time I have never ceased to enrich you with every kind of blessings.” When he asks therefore who he is, he does not speak merely of a single performance, but adds other benefits, which followed at various times, and which the people ought also to remember.

Calling the nations from the beginning. This must relate to the constant succession of ages. In the Hebrew language דור (dor) means not only “an age,” or the duration of human life, but the men who lived at that time. Thus one generation is distinguished from another, as fathers from their children, and grandchildren from their grandfathers; for posterity will call us the former generation, and will call our ancestors a generation more remote and ancient. Again, because any one age would consume mankind, if it were not renewed by offspring, the Prophet shows that God multiplies men by an uninterrupted course, so that they succeed each other. Hence it follows, that he presides over all ages, that we may not think that this world is governed by chance, while the providence of God is clearly seen in the succession of ages. But because, in consequence of various changes, the world appears to revolve by blind impulse, the Prophet declares by these words that those manifold events were known “from the beginning”’ of the world, which amounts to this, that amidst that variety which time brings, God reigns, and accomplishes by a uniform course what he decreed from the beginning.

I Jehovah. At length he asserts more plainly that God is the author of these blessings, that Abraham conquered enemies, (Genesis 14:16,) that he lived among wicked men without suffering harm, that he put kings to flight, (Psalm 105:14,) that the Lord avenged him, when Abimelech (Genesis 20:18) and also Pharaoh (Genesis 12:17) had violently seized his wife. Besides, he shows that it ought to be ascribed to him, that other blessings of various kinds had been bestowed on every generation; for his power had been manifested not only to the race of Abraham, but to the whole world.

Am the first, and likewise with the last. This relates not only to the eternity of essence, but to the government which he exercises on earth; as if he had said, that God does not grow old by any length of time, and never will surrender his authority; for he does not sit unemployed in heaven, but from his throne, on the contrary, he regulates the affairs of this world. But although the world put in his place an innumerable crowd of gods, yet he declares that he sustains no loss, because he will always continue to be like himself.

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