Isaiah 41
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Keep silence before Me, O islands, and let the peoples renew their strength; let them draw near, then let them speak; let us come near together to judgment.

א  הַחֲרִישׁוּ אֵלַי אִיִּים וּלְאֻמִּים יַחֲלִיפוּ כֹחַ יִגְּשׁוּ אָז יְדַבֵּרוּ יַחְדָּו לַמִּשְׁפָּט נִקְרָבָה.

2  Who hath raised up one from the east, at whose steps victory attendeth? He giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings; his sword maketh them as the dust, his bow as the driven stubble.

ב  מִי הֵעִיר מִמִּזְרָח צֶדֶק יִקְרָאֵהוּ לְרַגְלוֹ יִתֵּן לְפָנָיו גּוֹיִם וּמְלָכִים יַרְדְּ יִתֵּן כֶּעָפָר חַרְבּוֹ כְּקַשׁ נִדָּף קַשְׁתּוֹ.

3  He pursueth them, and passeth on safely; the way with his feet he treadeth not.

ג  יִרְדְּפֵם יַעֲבוֹר שָׁלוֹם אֹרַח בְּרַגְלָיו לֹא יָבוֹא.

4  Who hath wrought and done it? He that called the generations from the beginning. I, Hashem, who am the first, and with the last am the same.

ד  מִי פָעַל וְעָשָׂה קֹרֵא הַדֹּרוֹת מֵרֹאשׁ אֲנִי יְהוָה רִאשׁוֹן וְאֶת אַחֲרֹנִים אֲנִי הוּא.

5  The isles saw, and feared; the ends of the earth trembled; they drew near, and came.

ה  רָאוּ אִיִּים וְיִרָאוּ קְצוֹת הָאָרֶץ יֶחֱרָדוּ קָרְבוּ וַיֶּאֱתָיוּן.

6  They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother: ‘Be of good courage.’

ו  אִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ יַעְזֹרוּ וּלְאָחִיו יֹאמַר חֲזָק.

7  So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smiteth the anvil, saying of the soldering: ‘It is good’; and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

ז  וַיְחַזֵּק חָרָשׁ אֶת צֹרֵף מַחֲלִיק פַּטִּישׁ אֶת הוֹלֶם פָּעַם אֹמֵר לַדֶּבֶק טוֹב הוּא וַיְחַזְּקֵהוּ בְמַסְמְרִים לֹא יִמּוֹט.

8  But thou, Yisrael, My servant, Yaakov whom I have chosen, the seed of Avraham My friend;

v’-a-TAH yis-ra-AYL av-DEE ya-a-KOV a-SHER b’-khar-TEE-kha ZE-ra av-ra-HAM o-ha-VEE

ח  וְאַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדִּי יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר בְּחַרְתִּיךָ זֶרַע אַבְרָהָם אֹהֲבִי.

41:8   The seed of Avraham My friend

Out of all of Israel’s ancestor’s, Abraham is singled out as ‘ohavee’ (אֹהֲבִי), which means “my friend,” or more literally, “my lover.” The commentator, Rashi, explains that unlike everyone else who followed, Abraham did not serve God out of familial obligation or fear, but searched after Him like a lover for his beloved. We, too, should strive to serve God out of love and not fear.

Comment

9  Thou whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the uttermost parts thereof, and said unto thee: ‘Thou art My servant, I have chosen thee and not cast thee away’;

ט  אֲשֶׁר הֶחֱזַקְתִּיךָ מִקְצוֹת הָאָרֶץ וּמֵאֲצִילֶיהָ קְרָאתִיךָ וָאֹמַר לְךָ עַבְדִּי אַתָּה בְּחַרְתִּיךָ וְלֹא מְאַסְתִּיךָ.

10  Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I strengthen thee, yea, I help thee; yea, I uphold thee with My victorious right hand.

י  אַל תִּירָא כִּי עִמְּךָ אָנִי אַל תִּשְׁתָּע כִּי אֲנִי אֱלֹהֶיךָ אִמַּצְתִּיךָ אַף עֲזַרְתִּיךָ אַף תְּמַכְתִּיךָ בִּימִין צִדְקִי.

11  Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they that strove with thee shall be as nothing, and shall perish.

יא  הֵן יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיִכָּלְמוּ כֹּל הַנֶּחֱרִים בָּךְ יִהְיוּ כְאַיִן וְיֹאבְדוּ אַנְשֵׁי רִיבֶךָ.

12  Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee; they that warred against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.

יב  תְּבַקְשֵׁם וְלֹא תִמְצָאֵם אַנְשֵׁי מַצֻּתֶךָ יִהְיוּ כְאַיִן וּכְאֶפֶס אַנְשֵׁי מִלְחַמְתֶּךָ.

13  For I Hashem thy God hold thy right hand, who say unto thee: ‘Fear not, I help thee.’

יג  כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מַחֲזִיק יְמִינֶךָ הָאֹמֵר לְךָ אַל תִּירָא אֲנִי עֲזַרְתִּיךָ.

14  Fear not, thou worm Yaakov, and ye men of Yisrael; I help thee, saith Hashem, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Yisrael.

יד  אַל תִּירְאִי תּוֹלַעַת יַעֲקֹב מְתֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲנִי עֲזַרְתִּיךְ נְאֻם יְהוָה וְגֹאֲלֵךְ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

15  Behold, I make thee a new threshing-sledge having sharp teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

טו  הִנֵּה שַׂמְתִּיךְ לְמוֹרַג חָרוּץ חָדָשׁ בַּעַל פִּיפִיּוֹת תָּדוּשׁ הָרִים וְתָדֹק וּגְבָעוֹת כַּמֹּץ תָּשִׂים.

16  Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in Hashem, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Yisrael.

טז  תִּזְרֵם וְרוּחַ תִּשָּׂאֵם וּסְעָרָה תָּפִיץ אוֹתָם וְאַתָּה תָּגִיל בַּיהוָה בִּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל תִּתְהַלָּל.

17  The poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I Hashem will answer them, I the God of Yisrael will not forsake them.

יז  הָעֲנִיִּים וְהָאֶבְיוֹנִים מְבַקְשִׁים מַיִם וָאַיִן לְשׁוֹנָם בַּצָּמָא נָשָׁתָּה אֲנִי יְהוָה אֶעֱנֵם אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אֶעֶזְבֵם.

18  I will open rivers on the high hills, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

יח  אֶפְתַּח עַל שְׁפָיִים נְהָרוֹת וּבְתוֹךְ בְּקָעוֹת מַעְיָנוֹת אָשִׂים מִדְבָּר לַאֲגַם מַיִם וְאֶרֶץ צִיָּה לְמוֹצָאֵי מָיִם.

19  I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia-tree, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane-tree, and the larch together;

יט  אֶתֵּן בַּמִּדְבָּר אֶרֶז שִׁטָּה וַהֲדַס וְעֵץ שָׁמֶן אָשִׂים בָּעֲרָבָה בְּרוֹשׁ תִּדְהָר וּתְאַשּׁוּר יַחְדָּו.

20  That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Hashem hath done this, and the Holy One of Yisrael hath created it.

כ  לְמַעַן יִרְאוּ וְיֵדְעוּ וְיָשִׂימוּ וְיַשְׂכִּילוּ יַחְדָּו כִּי יַד יְהוָה עָשְׂתָה זֹּאת וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרָאָהּ.

21  Produce your cause, saith Hashem; bring forth your reasons, saith the King of Yaakov.

כא  קָרְבוּ רִיבְכֶם יֹאמַר יְהוָה הַגִּישׁוּ עֲצֻמוֹתֵיכֶם יֹאמַר מֶלֶךְ יַעֲקֹב.

22  Let them bring them forth, and declare unto us the things that shall happen; the former things, what are they? Declare ye, that we may consider, and know the end of them; or announce to us things to come.

כב  יַגִּישׁוּ וְיַגִּידוּ לָנוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר תִּקְרֶינָה הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת מָה הֵנָּה הַגִּידוּ וְנָשִׂימָה לִבֵּנוּ וְנֵדְעָה אַחֲרִיתָן אוֹ הַבָּאוֹת הַשְׁמִיעֻנוּ.

23  Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods; yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

כג  הַגִּידוּ הָאֹתִיּוֹת לְאָחוֹר וְנֵדְעָה כִּי אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם אַף תֵּיטִיבוּ וְתָרֵעוּ וְנִשְׁתָּעָה ונרא (וְנִרְאֶה) יַחְדָּו.

24  Behold, ye are nothing, and your work a thing of nought; an abomination is he that chooseth you.

כד  הֵן אַתֶּם מֵאַיִן וּפָעָלְכֶם מֵאָפַע תּוֹעֵבָה יִבְחַר בָּכֶם.

25  I have roused up one from the north, and he is come, from the rising of the sun one that calleth upon My name; and he shall come upon rulers as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.

כה  הַעִירוֹתִי מִצָּפוֹן וַיַּאת מִמִּזְרַח שֶׁמֶשׁ יִקְרָא בִשְׁמִי וְיָבֹא סְגָנִים כְּמוֹ חֹמֶר וּכְמוֹ יוֹצֵר יִרְמָס טִיט.

26  Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say that he is right? Yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that announceth, yea, there is none that heareth your utterances.

כו  מִי הִגִּיד מֵרֹאשׁ וְנֵדָעָה וּמִלְּפָנִים וְנֹאמַר צַדִּיק אַף אֵין מַגִּיד אַף אֵין מַשְׁמִיעַ אַף אֵין שֹׁמֵעַ אִמְרֵיכֶם.

27  A harbinger unto Tzion will I give: ‘Behold, behold them’, and to Yerushalayim a messenger of good tidings.

כז  רִאשׁוֹן לְצִיּוֹן הִנֵּה הִנָּם וְלִירוּשָׁלִַם מְבַשֵּׂר אֶתֵּן.

28  And I look, but there is no man; even among them, but there is no counsellor, that, when I ask of them, can give an answer.

כח  וְאֵרֶא וְאֵין אִישׁ וּמֵאֵלֶּה וְאֵין יוֹעֵץ וְאֶשְׁאָלֵם וְיָשִׁיבוּ דָבָר.

29  Behold, all of them, their works are vanity and nought; their molten images are wind and confusion.

כט  הֵן כֻּלָּם אָוֶן אֶפֶס מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם רוּחַ וָתֹהוּ נִסְכֵּיהֶם.

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Isaiah 40
Isaiah 42

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Isaiah 41