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Isaiah Chapter 41 | Parsha: Lekh Lekha

1Stand silent before Me, coastlands,
And let nations renew their strength.
Let them approach to state their case;
Let us come forward together for argument.

2Who has roused a victor from the East,
Summoned him to His service?
Has delivered up nations to him,
And trodden sovereigns down?
Has rendered their swords like dust,
Their bows like wind-blown straw?

3He pursues them, he goes on unscathed;
No shackle is placed on his feet.

4Who has wrought and achieved this?
He who announced the generations from the start—
I, the Lord, who was first
And will be with the last as well.

5The coastlands look on in fear,
The ends of earth tremble.
They draw near and come;

6Each one helps the other,
Saying to his fellow, “Take courage!”

7The woodworker encourages the smith;
He who flattens with the hammer
[Encourages] him who pounds the anvil.
He says of the riveting, “It is good!”
And he fixes it with nails,
That it may not topple.

8But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
Seed of Abraham My friend—

9You whom I drew from the ends of the earth
And called from its far corners,
To whom I said: You are My servant;
I chose you, I have not rejected you—

10Fear not, for I am with you,
Be not frightened, for I am your God;
I strengthen you and I help you,
I uphold you with My victorious right hand.

11Shamed and chagrined shall be
All who contend with you;
They who strive with you
Shall become as naught and shall perish.

12You may seek, but shall not find
Those who struggle with you;
Less than nothing shall be
The men who battle against you.

13For I the Lord am your God,
Who grasped your right hand,
Who say to you: Have no fear;
I will be your help.

14Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O men of Israel:

—declares the Lord—

15I will make of you a threshing board,
A new thresher, with many spikes;
You shall thresh mountains to dust,
And make hills like chaff.

16You shall winnow them
And the wind shall carry them off;
The whirlwind shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the Lord,
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17The poor and the needy
Seek water, and there is none;
Their tongue is parched with thirst.
I the Lord will respond to them.
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

18I will open up streams on the bare hills
And fountains amid the valleys;
I will turn the desert into ponds,
The arid land into springs of water.

19I will plant cedars in the wilderness,
Acacias and myrtles and oleasters;
I will set cypresses in the desert,
Box trees and elms as well—

20That men may see and know,
Consider and comprehend
That the Lord’s hand has done this,
That the Holy One of Israel has wrought it.

21Submit your case, says the Lord;
Offer your pleas, says the King of Jacob.

22Let them approach and tell us what will happen.
Tell us what has occurred,
And we will take note of it;
Or announce to us what will occur,
That we may know the outcome.

23Foretell what is yet to happen,
That we may know that you are gods!
Do anything, good or bad,
That we may be awed and see.

24Why, you are less than nothing,
Your effect is less than nullity;
One who chooses you is an abomination.

25I have roused him from the north, and he has come,
From the sunrise, one who invokes My name;
And he has trampled rulers like mud,
Like a potter treading clay.

26Who foretold this from the start, that we may note it;
From aforetime, that we might say, “He is right”?
Not one foretold, not one announced;
No one has heard your utterance!

27The things once predicted to Zion—
Behold, here they are!
And again I send a herald to Jerusalem.

28But I look and there is not a man;
Not one of them can predict
Or can respond when I question him.

29See, they are all nothingness,
Their works are nullity,
Their statues are naught and nil.

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