Old Testament

Isaiah 44
The Lord Comforts His People
441But now listen, O Jacob my servant,
O Israel, whom I have chosen.
2This is what the Lord, your Maker, says,
the Lord who formed you from the womb, who will help you.
Do not be afraid, my servant Jacob,
Jeshurun,[] whom I have chosen,
3because I will pour out water upon a thirsty land,
and streams of water upon dry ground.
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4They will spring up like a tree in a grassy meadow,[]
like willows beside flowing streams.
5One person will say, “I belong to the Lord.”
Another will be called by the name of Jacob.
Another will write on his hand, “Belonging to the Lord,”
and he will take the name of Israel.
The Lord Confronts Idols
6This is what the Lord, the King of Israel,
Israel's Redeemer, the Lord of Armies, says.
I am the first, and I am the last.
Except for me there is no god.
7For who is like me? Let him declare it.
Let him recite for me in order the things that took place
since the time I established an ancient people.
Or let them declare what is yet to come,
and what is going to take place.
8Do not tremble, and do not be frightened.
Did I not announce this to you,
and declare it already long ago?
You are my witnesses.
Is there any god except me?
There is no other Rock. I am not aware of any other.
9All those who form an idol are good for nothing.
All the things which delight them provide no benefit.
As for their witnesses—they do not see.
They know nothing, so they will be ashamed.
10Who is this who forms a god or casts a metal image that can provide no profit? 11Look at him! All his associates will be ashamed. The craftsmen are merely men. Let them all gather themselves and take a stand. They will be terrified and ashamed together.
12A blacksmith uses a cutting tool and makes an idol over hot coals. With hammers he shapes it. He makes it with his strong arm, but he becomes hungry and has no strength left. He does not drink water, and so he grows faint.
13A woodworker stretches out a measuring line. He marks the lines with a stylus. He shapes the idol with chisels. He marks it with a compass. Then he carves it till it is shaped like a person, like a splendid man to inhabit a shrine.
14He goes to cut down cedars for himself, or he chooses a holm tree[] or an oak, and he lets it grow strong among the trees of a forest. Or he plants a cedar, and rain causes it to grow tall, 15but it becomes fuel for a man to burn. He takes part of it to warm himself. He lights a fire to bake bread, and then from the rest he makes a god and worships it. He carves an idol and bows down to it. 16Half of it he burns in a fire—over that half he eats meat. He roasts meat and is satisfied. So he is warm and says, “Ah! I am warm. I see the light of the fire.” 17Then from what is left he makes a god to serve as his idol. He bows down to it. He worships it, and he prays to it, “Save me, because you are my god.”
18They are ignorant. They do not understand, because their eyes are plastered shut,[] and they cannot see. Their hearts are unable to gain insight. 19A person does not take this to heart, so he has no knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I burn in the fire, and I bake bread on its coals. I roast meat, and I eat. Should I make the rest of it into a disgusting idol? Should I bow down to a piece of wood?” 20He is like a sheep grazing on ashes. A deceived mind leads him astray. He will not save his life, nor will he say, “Isn't what I am holding in my right hand a fraud?”
Israel Will Be Restored
21Remember these things, O Jacob, because you are my servant, Israel. I am forming you to be my servant. You, Israel, you will never be forgotten by me.[] 22I am blowing away your rebellious deeds like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to me, because I am redeeming you.
23Shout for joy, you heavens, because of what the Lord is doing.
Make a joyful shout, you depths of the earth.
Burst forth with shouts of joy, you mountains,
you forest and every tree in it,
because the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
and in Israel he will display his beauty.
24This is what the Lord, your Redeemer,
the Lord who formed you from the womb, says.
I am the Lord, the one who does all things,
who stretched out the heavens by myself,
who hammered out the earth.
(Who was with me then?)
25I frustrate the signs of the deceivers
and make fools of the fortune tellers.[]
I overturn the wisdom of the wise
and turn their knowledge into foolishness.
26He is the one who fulfills the word of his servants,
who completes the plan announced by his messengers,
who says about Jerusalem, “It will be inhabited,”
and about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt,
and I will raise up their ruins.”
27He is the one who says to the deep ocean, “Dry up,”
the one who says, “I will dry up your rivers.”
28He is the one who says about Cyrus, “He is my shepherd,
and he will complete everything I desire.”
He is the one who says about Jerusalem, “It will be rebuilt,”
and who says to the temple, “Your foundations will be laid.”


  • 44:2 Jeshurun is another name for Israel. It means the upright one.
  • 44:4 The translation follows the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and some other manuscripts. The standard Hebrew text reads spring up between the grass.
  • 44:14 Also called an evergreen oak
  • 44:18 Or he has blinded their eyes
  • 44:21 Or you must not forget me
  • 44:25 Or omen readers