1 "Be silent before me, you islands! ¶ Let the nations renew their strength! ¶ Let them come forward and speak; ¶ let us meet together at the place of judgment.
2 "Who has stirred up one from the east, ¶ calling him in righteousness to his service [^1] ? ¶ He hands nations over to him ¶ and subdues kings before him. ¶ He turns them to dust with his sword, ¶ to windblown chaff with his bow.
3 He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before.
4 Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? ¶ I, the LORD —with the first of them ¶ and with the last —I am he."
5 The islands have seen it and fear; ¶ the ends of the earth tremble. ¶ They approach and come forward;
6 they help each other ¶ and say to their companions, "Be strong!"
7 The metalworker encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer ¶ spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. ¶ One says of the welding, "It is good." ¶ The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.
8 "But you, Israel, my servant, ¶ Jacob, whom I have chosen, ¶ you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. ¶ I said, 'You are my servant'; ¶ I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. ¶ I will strengthen you and help you; ¶ I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 "All who rage against you ¶ will surely be ashamed and disgraced; ¶ those who oppose you ¶ will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. ¶ Those who wage war against you ¶ will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand ¶ and says to you, Do not fear; ¶ I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, ¶ for I myself will help you," declares the LORD, ¶ your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 "See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. ¶ You will thresh the mountains and crush them, ¶ and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. ¶ But you will rejoice in the LORD ¶ and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 "The poor and needy search for water, ¶ but there is none; ¶ their tongues are parched with thirst. ¶ But I the LORD will answer them; ¶ I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. ¶ I will turn the desert into pools of water, ¶ and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. ¶ I will set junipers in the wasteland, ¶ the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, ¶ that the hand of the LORD has done this, ¶ that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21 "Present your case," says the LORD. ¶ "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King.
22 "Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. ¶ Tell us what the former things were, ¶ so that we may consider them ¶ and know their final outcome. ¶ Or declare to us the things to come,
23 tell us what the future holds, ¶ so we may know that you are gods. ¶ Do something, whether good or bad, ¶ so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; ¶ whoever chooses you is detestable.
25 "I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes — ¶ one from the rising sun who calls on my name. ¶ He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, ¶ as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know, or beforehand, so we could say, 'He was right'? ¶ No one told of this, ¶ no one foretold it, ¶ no one heard any words from you.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, 'Look, here they are!' I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28 I look but there is no one — no one among the gods to give counsel, ¶ no one to give answer when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; ¶ their images are but wind and confusion.