Isaiah 40
Contemporary English Version

Encourage God's People

1Our God has said:

“Encourage my people!

Give them comfort.

2Speak kindly to Jerusalem

and announce:

Your slavery is past;

your punishment is over.

I, the Lord, made you pay

double for your sins.”

3 Someone is shouting:

“Clear a path in the desert!

Make a straight road

for the Lord our God.

4Fill in the valleys;

flatten every hill

and mountain.

Level the rough

and rugged ground.

5Then the glory of the Lord

will appear for all to see.

The Lord has promised this!”

6 Someone told me to shout,

and I asked,

“What should I shout?”

We humans are merely grass,

and we last no longer

than wild flowers.

7At the Lord's command,

flowers and grass disappear,

and so do we.

8Flowers and grass fade away,

but what our God has said

will never change.

Your God Is Here!

9There is good news

for the city of Zion.

Shout it as loud as you can+

from the highest mountain.

Don't be afraid to shout

to the towns of Judah:

“Your God is here!”

10 Look! The powerful Lord God

is coming to rule

with his mighty arm.

He brings with him

what he has taken in war,

and he rewards his people.

11 The Lord cares for his nation,

just as shepherds care

for their flocks.

He carries the lambs

in his arms,

while gently leading

the mother sheep.

Who Compares with God?

12Did any of you measure

the ocean by yourself

or stretch out the sky

with your own hands?

Did you put the soil

of the earth in a bucket

or weigh the hills and mountains

on balance scales?

13 Has anyone told the Lord+

what he must do

or given him advice?

14Did the Lord ask anyone

to teach him wisdom

and justice?

Who gave him knowledge

and understanding?

15 To the Lord, all nations

are merely a drop in a bucket

or dust on balance scales;

all of the islands

are but a handful of sand.

16The cattle on the mountains

of Lebanon

would not be enough to offer

as a sacrifice to God,

and the trees would not

be enough for the fire.

17God thinks of the nations

as far less than nothing.

18 Who compares with God?

Is anything like him?

19Is an idol at all like God?

It is made of bronze

with a thin layer of gold,

and decorated with silver.

20 Or special wood may be chosen+

because it doesn't rot—

then skilled hands

take care to make an idol

that won't fall on its face.

God Rules the Whole Earth

21Don't you know?

Haven't you heard?

Hasn't it been clear

since the time of creation?+

22God is the one who rules

the whole earth,

and we that live here

are merely insects.

He spread out the heavens

like a curtain or an open tent.

23God brings down rulers

and turns them into nothing.

24They are like flowers

freshly sprung up

and starting to grow.

But when God blows on them,

they wilt and are carried off

like straw in a storm.

25The holy God asks,

“Who compares with me?

Is anyone my equal?”

26 Look at the evening sky!

Who created the stars?

Who gave them each a name?

Who leads them like an army?

The Lord is so powerful

that none of the stars

are ever missing.

The Lord Gives Strength

27You people of Israel say,

“God pays no attention to us!

He doesn't care if we

are treated unjustly.”

But how can you say that?

28Don't you know?

Haven't you heard?

The Lord is the eternal God,

Creator of the earth.

He never gets weary or tired;

his wisdom cannot be measured.

29The Lord gives strength

to those who are weary.

30Even young people get tired,

then stumble and fall.

31But those who trust the Lord

will find new strength.

They will be strong like eagles

soaring upward on wings;

they will walk and run

without getting tired.


40.9 There … can: Or “City of Jerusalem, you have good news. Shout it as loud as you can.”
40.13 the Lord: Or “the Lord's Spirit.”
40.20 Or … chosen: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Two kinds of idols seem to be described: bronze idols covered with gold (verse 19) and wooden idols (verse 20).
40.21 Hasn't … creation: Or “Isn't it clear that God created the world?”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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