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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 44

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1But hear, now, O Jacob My servant, Israel whom I have chosen! 2Thus said the LORD, your Maker, Your Creator who has helped you since birth: Fear not, My servant Jacob, Jeshurun c A name for Israel; see note on Num. 23.10; cf. Deut. 32.15; 33.5, 26. whom I have chosen, 3Even as I pour water on thirsty soil, And rain upon dry ground, So will I pour My spirit on your offspring, My blessing upon your posterity. 4And they shall sprout like d Lit. “in among.” grass, Like willows by watercourses. 5One shall say, “I am the LORD's,” Another shall use the name of “Jacob,” Another shall mark his arm “of the LORD” e It was customary to mark a slave with the owner's name. And adopt the name of “Israel.”

6Thus said the LORD, the King of Israel, Their Redeemer, the LORD of Hosts: I am the first and I am the last, And there is no god but Me. 7 f Meaning of verse uncertain. Who like Me can announce, Can foretell it—and match Me thereby? Even as I told the future to an ancient people, So let him foretell coming events to them. 8Do not be frightened, do not be shaken! Have I not from of old predicted to you? I foretold, and you are My witnesses. Is there any god, then, but Me? “There is no other rock; I know none!”

9The makers of idols All work to no purpose; And the things they treasure Can do no good, As they themselves can testify. They neither look nor think, And so they shall be shamed. 10Who would fashion a god Or cast a statue That can do no good? 11Lo, all its adherents shall be shamed; They are craftsmen, are merely human. Let them all assemble and stand up! They shall be cowed, and they shall be shamed.

12 a The meaning of parts of vv. 12–13 is uncertain. The craftsman in iron, with his tools, Works it b I.e., the image he is making. over charcoal And fashions it by hammering, Working with the strength of his arm. Should he go hungry, his strength would ebb; Should he drink no water, he would grow faint.

13The craftsman in wood measures with a line And marks out a shape with a stylus; He forms it with scraping tools, Marking it out with a compass. He gives it a human form, The beauty of a man, to dwell in a shrine. 14For his use he cuts down cedars; He chooses plane trees and oaks. He sets aside trees of the forest; Or plants firs, and the rain makes them grow. 15All this serves man for fuel: He takes some to warm himself, And he builds a fire and bakes bread. He also makes a god of it and worships it, Fashions an idol and bows down to it! 16Part of it he burns in a fire: On that part he roasts c Transposing the Heb. verbs for clarity. meat, He eats c Transposing the Heb. verbs for clarity. the roast and is sated; He also warms himself and cries, “Ah, I am warm! I can feel d Lit. “see.” the heat!” 17Of the rest he makes a god—his own carving! He bows down to it, worships it; He prays to it and cries, “Save me, for you are my god!”

18They have no wit or judgment: Their eyes are besmeared, and they see not; Their minds, and they cannot think. 19They do not give thought, They lack the wit and judgment to say: “Part of it I burned in a fire; I also baked bread on the coals, I roasted meat and ate it— Should I make the rest an abhorrence? Should I bow to a block of wood?” 20He pursues ashes! a Lit. “He shepherds ashes.” A deluded mind has led him astray, And he cannot save himself; He never says to himself, “The thing in my hand is a fraud!” 21Remember these things, O Jacob For you, O Israel, are My servant: I fashioned you, you are My servant— O Israel, never forget Me. b Emendation yields “them,” these things. 22I wipe away your sins like a cloud, Your transgressions like mist— Come back to Me, for I redeem you.

23Shout, O heavens, for the LORD has acted; Shout aloud, O depths of the earth! Shout for joy, O mountains, O forests with all your trees! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, Has glorified Himself through Israel.

24Thus said the LORD, your Redeemer, Who formed you in the womb: It is I, the LORD, who made everything, Who alone stretched out the heavens And unaided c Lit. “with none beside me,” or (following many Heb. mss., kethib, and ancient versions) “who was with me?” spread out the earth; 25Who annul the omens of diviners, And make fools of the augurs; Who turn sages back And make nonsense of their knowledge; 26But confirm the word of My d Heb. “His.” servant And fulfill the prediction of My d Heb. “His.” messengers. It is I who say of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,” And of the towns of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt; And I will restore their ruined places.” 27[I,] who said to the deep, “Be dry; I will dry up your floods,” 28Am the same who says of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd; a I.e., the king whom I have designated. He shall fulfill all My purposes! He shall say of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be rebuilt,’ And to the Temple: ‘You shall be founded again.’‐”

Notes:

c A name for Israel; see note on Num. 23.10; cf. Deut. 32.15; 33.5, 26.

d Lit. “in among.”

e It was customary to mark a slave with the owner's name.

f Meaning of verse uncertain.

a The meaning of parts of vv. 12–13 is uncertain.

b I.e., the image he is making.

c Transposing the Heb. verbs for clarity.

d Lit. “see.”

a Lit. “He shepherds ashes.”

b Emendation yields “them,” these things.

c Lit. “with none beside me,” or (following many Heb. mss., kethib, and ancient versions) “who was with me?”

d Heb. “His.”

a I.e., the king whom I have designated.

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