Be comforted, my people
1 Be comforted, my people,
1 be strengthened, says your God.
2 Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, proclaim to her
2 that her time of bondage is at an end,
2 that her guilt has been paid for,
2 that from the hand of Yahweh
2 she has received double punishment
2 for all her iniquity.
3 A voice cries,
3 “In the wilderness prepare the way for Yahweh.
3 Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley will be raised up;
4 every mountain and hill will be laid low.
4 The stumbling blocks shall become level
4 and the rugged places smooth.
5 The glory of Yahweh will be revealed,
5 and all mortals together will see it;
5 for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry.”
6 and I say, “What shall I cry?”
6 “All flesh is grass,
6 and all its beauty as the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower wilts,
7 when the breath of Yahweh blows upon it.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
8 but the word of our God will forever stand.”
9 Go up onto the high mountain, messenger of Zion,
9 lift up your voice with strength,
9 fear not to cry aloud when you tell Jerusalem
9 and announce to the cities of Judah:
9 Here is your God!
10 Here comes your God with might;
10 his strong arm rules for him;
10 his reward is with him,
10 and here before him is his booty.
11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock:
11 he gathers the lambs in his arms,
11 he carries them in his bosom,
11 gently leading those that are with young.
The great God
12 Who has measured the waters of the sea in a cupped hand,
12 or the breadth of the sky in the span of a hand?
12 Who has collected the sands of the earth?
12 Who has weighed the mountains in scales
12 and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has probed the spirit of Yahweh
13 or as a counselor advised him?
14 Whom has he consulted to enlighten him,
14 and help him to decide?
14 Who gave him knowledge
14 and taught him the ways of success?
15 The nations before him are like a drop on the brim of the bucket,
15 or like dust on the scales.
15 The islands weigh no more than powder.
16 Lebanon is not enough to burn as altar fire,
16 nor will its animals provide a holocaust.
17 All nations before him are as nothing,
17 all emptiness, all vanity in his eyes.
18 To whom, then, will you liken God?
18 With whose image will you compare him?
19 To an idol cast by a craftsman,
19 covered with gold by a goldsmith
19 and adorned with silver chains?
20 Or to wood that will not rot, chosen and fashioned by a skilled craftsman into an image that cannot move?
21 Have you not known?
21 Have you not heard?
21 Has it not been told you from the beginning,
21 that you may understand how the earth was founded?
22 He sits far above the vault of the earth,
22 with its inhabitants like grasshoppers;
22 he stretches out the heavens as a curtain
22 and spreads them out like a tent where he dwells.
23 He reduces the princes to naught,
23 and the rulers of the earth to nothingness.
24 No sooner are they planted or sown,
24 no sooner do they take root in the ground,
24 than he blows on them, and they wither,
24 a storm sweeps them away like stubble.
25 To whom, then, will you liken me
25 or make me equal? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and see:
26 who has created all this?
26 He has ordered them as a starry host
26 and called them each by name.
26 So mighty is his power,
26 so great his strength,
26 that not one of them is missing.
27 How can you say, O Jacob,
27 how can you complain, O Israel,
27 that your destiny is hidden from me,
27 that your rights are ignored by Yah weh?
28 Have you not known, have you not heard
28 that Yahweh is an everlasting God,
28 the Creator of the ends of the earth?
28 He does not grow tired or weary,
28 his knowledge is without limit.
29 He gives strength to the enfeebled,
29 he gives vigor to the wearied.
30 Youth may grow tired and faint,
30 young men will stumble and fall,
31 but those who hope in Yahweh
31 will renew their strength.
31 They will soar as with eagle’s wings;
31 they will run and not grow weary;
31 they will walk and never tire.