God's Servant Saves God's People

An EasyEnglish Bible Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) on Isaiah chapters 38-55


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A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

Isaiah wrote his book in the Hebrew language. Words in brackets, ( … ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.


PART 4: Chapters 38-55 God's Servant saves God's people

Hezekiah’s mistake and God’s promises (chapters 38-40)

Chapter 38

Hezekiah becomes ill

v1 At that time, Hezekiah was very ill. He nearly died. And Isaiah the *prophet, (who was) the son of Amoz, went to (Hezekiah). And (Isaiah) said to (Hezekiah), ‘This is what the *LORD says. “Make everything ready for your son, because you will die. You will not get better.” ’ v2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and he prayed to the *LORD. v3 And he said, ‘Please remember, LORD, that I have been your good servant. (I have) always obeyed to you. I have worked for you with all my power. You have seen that I did good things.’ And Hezekiah wept sad *tears. v4 Then the *LORD told Isaiah (again what) to say. v5 ‘Go and say this to Hezekiah. “This is what the *LORD says. (The LORD) is the God of your *ancestor David. I have heard what you prayed. I have seen your tears. So, I will let you be alive for 15 more years. v6 I will save you from the power of the king of Assyria. Also, I will keep this city safe, this city (Jerusalem).” ’ v7 And (Isaiah said), ‘This is a message to you from the *LORD. (It is a message) that the LORD will do what he has promised (to do). v8 You can see the shadow of the sun when it falls on the stairs. (They are the stairs) that (King) Ahaz built. I will cause the shadow to go back ten steps (on these stairs).’ And the shadow did go back ten steps!

v9 (This is) a *poem that Hezekiah the king of Judah wrote. He wrote it after he got better from his illness.

            v10      I said, ‘I hope that I will not really go through the gates of *Sheol during the best days of my life.

            I hope that (death) will not take from me my other years.’

            v11      I said, ‘I will not see the *LORD (again).

            (I will not) live on this earth and (see) the LORD.

            I will never see these people (again).

            I will never be with the people that are living in this world.

            v12      (The *LORD) has knocked down my house and he has taken it from me.

            (He did it) as (easily as someone packs away) the *tent of a sheep farmer.

            (He has) caused my life to come to an end.

            It is like when someone finishes making a carpet. He rolls it up.

            It is like when someone has made some cloth.

            He cuts it away from the machine that he uses to make the cloth.

            (In a) day and (in a) night God brought me to my end.

            v13      I waited quietly until the dawn.

            Then, like a *lion (does), (God) broke all my bones.

            (In a) day and (in a) night God brought me to my end.

            v14      I cried like a small bird, (perhaps) a *thrush.

            I made a sad noise like a *dove makes.

            My eyes became weak (while I looked) to the skies.

            *Lord, save me from my trouble!

            v15      I do not know what I can say. (The *LORD) has spoken to me

            and (the LORD) has done (all this to me).

            I will live quietly, because I felt so sad (inside me).

            v16      *Lord, by these things, (people) have life.

            By all these things, my *spirit has life.

            You gave me back my health and you have let me live.

            v17      Really, it was good for me to have such trouble.

            Your love did not let the *Pit kill me,

            because you threw all my *sins behind your back.

            v18      (People that are in) *Sheol cannot thank you.

            Dead (people) cannot sing and *praise you.

            People that go down to the *Pit cannot enjoy your love.

            v19      People that are alive and not dead can thank you.

            I am doing it today.

            A father tells his children about your love.

            v20      The *LORD will save me (from death).

            Then we will sing in the *temple of the LORD every day of our lives.

            (We will sing with the music of) *stringed instruments.’

v21 Now Isaiah said (this earlier). ‘Make a hot cake of *figs and put it on the bad place on (Hezekiah’s) skin. Then he will get better.’ v22 And Hezekiah had asked, ‘What will show me that I will be able to go up to the *temple of the *LORD?’

Chapter 39

Hezekiah’s mistake

v1 When this happened, Merodach-Baladan was the king of Babylon. He was the son of Baladan. (Merodach-Baladan) sent Hezekiah letters and a gift. He had heard that (Hezekiah) was ill. But (now he heard) that Hezekiah was better. v2 Hezekiah was happy to meet the officers that (the king of Babylon) had sent. (Hezekiah) showed to them the places where he stored (his valuable things). He showed them what was there. (He showed them) *silver and gold, *spices and very good oil. (He showed them) all his arms and everything else that was valuable. There was nothing in his beautiful house or in his whole country that Hezekiah did not show them. v3 Then Isaiah the *prophet went to King Hezekiah and (Isaiah) said to him, ‘What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?’ Then Hezekiah said, ‘They came to me from the far country called Babylon.’ v4 And (Isaiah) asked, ‘What did they see in your house?’ So Hezekiah said, ‘They saw everything (that is) in my house. There is nothing among my valuable things that I did not show to them.’ v5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear what the *LORD of Everything says to you.

v6 “This is what will certainly happen. (Soldiers from Babylon) will take everything (that is) in your beautiful house to Babylon. They will take everything that your *ancestors have stored here until now. They will leave nothing (here)”, says the *LORD.

v7 “And some of your own sons, your grandsons (and their sons, too), will go to Babylon. (Soldiers from Babylon) will cause them to go there. And they will become *eunuchs in the beautiful house of the king of Babylon.” ’ v8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The words that you said from the *LORD are good.’ But what he really thought was, ‘There will be no war. And it will be safe while I am alive.’

Chapter 40

God’s promises

v1 ‘Say kind words to my people. Say kind words (to them)’, says your God.

v2 ‘Speak to the minds of the people in Jerusalem and tell this to them:

·           (Your) life as soldiers in a war has finished.

·           (God has) excused (your) *sins.

·           And the *LORD’s hand has *punished you twice for all (your) sins.’

v3 A voice is shouting, ‘Prepare a road for the *LORD in the sandy places. Make a straight road on higher ground for our God in the *Arabah.

v4 (God’s servants will) raise up (the lower parts of) every valley. And (they will) make every mountain and hill lower. The ground that nobody has dug will become like a garden. And (they will make) the hilly places flat.

v5 Then, (people will) see the *glory of the *LORD. Everybody that lives on the earth will see it together. These are words that the LORD himself has spoken.’

v6 A voice is saying, ‘Shout (something) aloud!’ But I say, ‘What shall I shout?’ (The voice answered), ‘Everybody is like grass and all their *glory is like a flower in the field.

v7 Grass will die and a flower will fall (to the ground). (This will happen) because the *LORD’s *breath will blow on them. Surely, everybody (is like) grass.

v8 Grass will die and a flower will fall (to the ground). But a word that our God (speaks) will be true for all time.

v9 You, (the servant that is) bringing good news to *Zion, go up on to a high mountain. You, (the servant that is) bringing good news to Jerusalem, shout loudly with your voice. (Shout) aloud, and do not be afraid. Say to the towns in Judah, “Here is your God!”

v10 Look! Your master, the *LORD, is coming with power. And his arm will rule (the people) for him. Look (again)! He (is bringing) his gifts with him. And he will pay something (to his people).’

Verse 10 ‘his arm will rule’ may mean ‘he will rule by his power’. But ‘the arm of the LORD’ means something special in Isaiah's book. See Isaiah 53:1. Many Bible students say that it is a special name for Christ.

v11 ‘He will love his sheep like a *shepherd does. He will carry the young sheep in his arms. And he will hold them near to his heart. He will carefully lead (the sheep) that have young (sheep).’

A shepherd is a sheep farmer. He is a like a picture of somebody that is careful for his people. God often sees his people as sheep that need a shepherd.

v12 (He is the God) who has (done these things):

·           (He) measured (all) the waters (in the sea) in (one of) his hand(s).

·           (He saw that) the skies were as wide as (one of) his hands.

·           (He) put (all) the dirt of the earth into a bucket.

·           (He) weighed the mountains on the *scales.

·           (He weighed) the hills in a *balance.

v13-14 (There is nobody) who has (done these things).

·           (Nobody) understood the mind of the *LORD.

·           (Nobody,) as his *helper, told him what to do.

·           (Nobody) told (God) what to do when the LORD asked him.

·           (Nobody) taught him the proper way to do things.

·           (Nobody) taught him what things to know about.

·           (Nobody) showed him the way to understand things.

v15 Surely, the countries are like a small quantity (of water) in a bucket. They are like a small bits of dirt on the *scales. (The *LORD) weighs the islands like small bits of dirt.

v16 (A tree from) Lebanon is not enough to make a fire for his *altar. Neither are its animals enough to burn on the altars (to make God happy).

v17 All the countries in the world are like nothing in front of (the *LORD). He thinks about them like they had no value. (They seem) less than nothing.

v18      You cannot find anyone else that is like God.

            You cannot say that he is like any false god.

v19 An able man makes a false god. An able worker covers it with gold. He also makes something from *silver for it.

v20 Some people are too poor to give a gift like that. They choose a wood that will not soon fall into pieces. They will look for an able man that will make a false god (from the wood). (But that false god) cannot move.

v21 (Think about the things in verses 22-24.)

·           You should know (these things).

·           You should have heard (these things).

·           (Somebody) should have told (them) to you from the beginning.

·           You should have understood (them) since (God) made the earth.

v22 (God) sits on a special seat where the earth and the sky meet. And the people (on the earth seem) like small insects (to him). He hangs out the skies like a curtain. And he makes them like a *tent (that he can) live in.

v23 He is the (God) that makes kings into nothing. He takes away (the power) from world leaders, so that they have none.

v24 (Those leaders are like plants.) As soon as (somebody) plants them, (God) will blow on them. And as soon as (somebody) puts them into the ground, they will die. As soon as they put *roots down, a strong wind will blow them away like dead plants.

v25 The *Holy (God) says (these things):

·           ‘You cannot say that I am like anybody.

·           Nobody is as good as (or better than) I am.’

v26 Turn your eyes up and look at the skies. (He is the God) who *created them. (God) made the very large number (of stars) and he gave each one of them a name. He did not forget to give a name to any of them, because of (his) great power. (God) is very, very strong.

v27 You people of Jacob (*Jewish people) say, ‘The *LORD has forgotten what I am doing.’ And you people of Israel say, ‘My God is not fair to me.’ But you should not say those things.

v28 You surely know this. You surely have listened to it! The *LORD is the God that will always be alive. He is the *Creator of (even) the parts of the earth that are very far away. He will never become tired or lose his *strength. Nobody will ever understand his mind.

v29 He makes tired people strong and he gives more *strength to weak people.

v30 Even young people get tired and they lose their *strength. And young men will fall over (something) and they will fall (to the ground).

v31 But people who hope (for help from) the *LORD will get back (their) *strength. They will fly high on *wings like (large birds called) eagles. They will run and they will not become tired. They will walk and they will not fall over.

Chapter 41

God is the *Judge of the World

v1 ‘You islands, be quiet when you come to me. And everybody must become strong again. They must move towards the front (of the *court) and they must speak. We must meet together so that (I, the *LORD) can be your *judge.

v2 (The *LORD) will awake a man in the east (as from sleep). The good (God) will ask the man to follow (the LORD).

·           (The LORD) will give (many) countries to him.

·           (The LORD) will cause kings to go down on their knees in front of him.

·           (The LORD) will make (people) into dead bodies with that man’s *sword.

·           (The LORD) will make) them like dry dead bits of plants. That man’s bow will blow them away.

v3 He (the *LORD’s servant) will run after them, but he himself will move on safely. He will go on a path (very quickly). His feet (will almost not touch the ground) while he travels.

v4 (I am the God) who will do this. And I will cause it to happen’, (says the *LORD). ‘(I am the God) who told you about everything from the beginning. I, the LORD, am the first (person). But I am he (who will be) with people at the end.’

v5 The (people on the) islands heard this and they were afraid. It frightened the people at the far places of the earth very much. They came near (to each other). They met together.

v6 Each (country) helped the other (country). Each person said to his brother, ‘Be strong!’

v7 The careful worker let the worker who makes things out of gold hope. The man with a hammer said to the man with the large bit of iron, ‘What you have put together is good.’ Then he made (the *idol) safe with bits of iron so that it could not fall over.

v8 ‘But you, Israel, are my servant. Jacob, I have chosen you. You are the *descendants of my friend Abraham.’

Verse 8 ‘Jacob’ means the people in Israel and Judah, who were *descendants of Jacob. The *Hebrew word for descendants means ‘seed’. This means descendants who believe God. They love him and they obey him.

v9 ‘I brought you from the ends of the earth. I brought you from its far corners. I have said, “You are my servant. I have chosen you. I have not refused to say that you are mine.

v10 So do not be afraid, because I am with you. Do not be sad, because I am your God. I will make you strong and I will help you. Really, I will hold you with my right hand. (It is strong and) it wins wars.”

v11 Everybody that is angry with you will surely be ashamed. They will lose their good name. Those that fight you will become like nothing. And they will die.

v12 Even if you look for your enemies, you will not find them. The people that fight against you will *disappear.

v13 (This will happen) because I am the *LORD. (I am) your God. I will hold on to your right hand. And I will say to you, “Do not be afraid. I will help you.”

v14 Do not be afraid, you *worm Jacob, you (people of) little Israel. I myself will help you.’ This is what the *LORD says. He is your *Redeemer. (He is the) *Holy (God) of Israel.

Jacob here means the *Jews, who were *descendants of Jacob.

v15 ‘Look! I will cause you to become like a machine that *threshes. It will be new and sharp, with many sharp metal points that are like teeth. You will thresh the mountains and you will break the hills. They will become (like) *chaff.

v16 You will make them into separate (small pieces). Then the wind will pick them up and a strong wind will blow them away. But you will be happy with the *LORD. You will (have some of the) *glory of the *Holy (God) of Israel.

v17 Poor people and people who need (water) look for water. But there is none. Their mouths are dry because they need a drink. I, the *LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not forget them.

v18 I will make rivers on hills where nothing grows. And (I will make) wells of water in the valleys. I will make pools of water in the sandy places. And (I will make) wells where the ground is dry.

v19 I will put these kinds of trees into the sandy places: cedar, acacia, myrtle and olive. And I will put together into the *Arabah these kinds of trees: pine, fir and cypress.

v20 Then people will see this. They will know that the hand of the *LORD has done it. They will think about it. And they will understand that the *Holy (God) of Israel has *created it.’

Verse 19 These trees are not usually together in the same place.

v21 The *LORD says, ‘Tell me the reasons (for your thoughts).’ *Jacob’s king says, ‘Say what you believe.

v22 Bring (your *idols) into (*court). Cause them to tell us what will happen (in future years). Tell us about past things. Then we can think about them. And we will know what happened. Or tell us about events that will happen.

v23 Tell us what will happen in future years. Then we will know that (your *idols) are gods. Do something good or bad that will make us sad and afraid at the same time.

v24 But your (*idols) are less than nothing. And the things that you have made are really worth nothing. Anybody that chooses you is really very bad!’

v25 ‘I will awake somebody from the north. And he will come from (the direction of) the sun when it rises. He will tell my name to people (by what he does). He will walk on the rulers (of the people) like they were *mortar. And like a person who makes pots, he will make shapes with the *clay.

v26 Tell me who told (this) to you from the beginning. Then we would know (what would happen). Or (tell me who told this to you. They told it to you) before it happened. Then we could say, “He was right.”

v27 Remember, I (God) was the first (person) to tell this to *Zion. “Look, they are here!” I gave to Jerusalem somebody that brought good news.

v28 I looked, but there is nobody (among the people). There is nobody to teach them what to do. There is nobody to answer (the questions that) I ask them.

v29 Look! All (the *idols) are false. What they do comes to nothing. Their idols are only like wind and they confuse people.’


Here is the shape of chapter 41.



Verse 1 God, as the *judge, tells the people in all the countries in the world that they must come to his *court.


Verses 2-4 God, as an important person in the *court, asks the question, ‘Who decides what happens in the world?’



Verses 5-7 The countries

of the world say that they

will believe in their false gods.


Verses 8-20 God, both as master and as *redeemer, promises to help his people.



Verses 21-24 God, as an important person in the *court, says that the *idols cannot explain anything.



Verses 25-29 God, as *judge, will send someone from the north to rule many countries.



Chapter 42

The First Servant Song

The Song: God speaks about his servant

v1 ‘Look at my servant, to whom I will give a lot of help. I chose him and he gives pleasure to my Spirit. I will put my Spirit on him and he will be a fair *judge for every country.

v2 He will not talk loudly, nor scream. And he will not shout with a loud voice in the streets.

v3 He will not break a *reed that somebody has bent. And he will not put out a fire that has almost stopped burning. He will always be kind (to his people) and he will be a fair *judge.

v4 Nothing will cause him to make a mistake. Also, he will always be brave, until there is *justice (everywhere) on the earth. The islands will hope for what he has promised (to happen).’

Verse 4 We think that the word ‘islands’ here means countries near to Judah.

God speaks to his servant

v5 God (is) the *LORD. This is what he says. (He is the God) who *created the skies. He hung them up (like a curtain). He made the shape of the whole earth. (He made) everything that grows in it. He gives (air) to its people so that they can *breathe. And he causes everybody to live that walks on (the earth).

v6 (He says), ‘I (am) the *LORD. I have asked you (to work for) *Righteousness. I will hold your hand. I will keep you safe. And I will cause you to be a *Covenant for the people. (You will be like) a light for the countries that are not *Jewish.

v7 (You will) cause *blind eyes to see. You will make the *prisoners free from (their) prison. And you will make free those people who sit in a dark prison, deep in the ground.

v8 I am the *LORD. That is my name. I will not give my *glory to anybody else. (I will) not let people *praise *idols. (They should praise) me.

v9 Everything (that I promised) in past years has happened. Now I will tell you about new things. Before they happen, I will talk about them to you.’

Words from Isaiah

v10 Sing a new song to the *LORD, you people that go down to the sea. And everything that is in (the sea), (sing a new song). *Praise him from the far places of the earth, you islands and everybody that lives in them.

Verse 10 We think that the word ‘islands’ here means countries near to Judah.

v11 (The people in) the sandy places and in the towns near them should use their voices (to *praise God). The places (where the people) of Kedar live should be very happy. The people in Sela should sing because they are so happy. They should shout from the tops of their mountains.

v12 They should give *glory to the *LORD and they should *praise him in the islands.

v13 The *LORD will march out like a strong man. He will awake like a soldier who is ready (to fight). He will shout the war song loudly. And then he will beat his enemies.

God speaks again

v14 ‘I have been quiet for a long time. I have held myself back and I have done nothing. I am like a woman that is having a baby. I cry. I try to *breathe. And I breathe out with difficulty, all at the same time.

v15 I will make the mountains and hills into empty places. And I will make all the plants (that grow) there dry. I will make rivers into islands and I will make all the pools dry.

v16 I will lead *blind people by ways that they did not know. I will be their guide along paths that are new to them. I will make the dark places in front of them into light places. And I will make the *rough places flat. These are the things that I will do. I will not leave (my people by themselves).

v17 I will turn back (people) that believe in *idols. And (people that) say to idols, “You are our gods” will be ashamed.

v18 Listen (to me), you (people) who are not able to hear! You *blind (people), look and see!

v19 Who is *blind? (Only) my servant (Israel is blind). Who is not able to hear? The man with the message that I send. (He is not able to hear.) Of all people, the person that believes me is really blind! Of all people, the servant of the *LORD is really blind!

v20 You have seen many things, but you have not thought about them. He (Israel) has opened his ears (to listen), but he hears nothing.’

More words from Isaiah

v21 It gave pleasure to the *LORD to make his great and fair rules. (He did this) because he was *righteous.

v22 But (an enemy) has robbed this people and he has taken things from them. (The enemy) has caught them all in holes in the ground or he has hidden them in prisons. (The enemy) took this people and nobody has saved them. They themselves are what the robber took. And nobody said, ‘Send them back.’

v23 Not many among you will listen to this! Not many (of you) will think about it in the future!

v24 Who gave Jacob (for the enemy) to rob? Who gave Israel’s people to those who robbed them? (The answer is) that it was the *LORD. We have *sinned against him. They would not walk in his ways. Also, they did not obey his rules.

Verse 24 Jacob here means God’s people, who were *descendants of Jacob.

v25 So (the *LORD) was very, very angry with them. (He caused) a very, very bad war. (He was so angry that) it was like a fire round them. But they did not understand (what he was doing). (The war) killed their people. But they did not know what it meant.

About the Servant of the *LORD

          Many Bible students, perhaps hundreds, have written about ‘the servant of the *LORD’. The words come in other places in the *Old Testament, but it comes most importantly in Isaiah chapters 41-55. The word LORD, with 4 capital letters, translates the *Hebrew word YHWH. Some people pronounce it JEHOVAH. Nobody is sure what YHWH means. It may mean the same as God’s name in Exodus 3:14: ‘I AM THAT WHICH I AM’ or ‘I AM BECAUSE I AM’. It tells us that God is always alive!

          There are 4 parts of Isaiah that Bible students call ‘Servant Songs’. They are Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9 and 52:13-53:12. In Acts 8:30-35, we can read part of the story of a man from Ethiopia. Philip heard him read from the 4th Servant Song. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The man did not understand, so Philip explained it to him. The question the man asked was this. ‘Is the *prophet (Isaiah) speaking about himself, or about somebody else?’ Philip’s answer was, ‘Somebody else, Jesus’. Also, Matthew tells us that Isaiah wrote about Jesus in the first Servant Song, Matthew 12:14-21.

          But the servant in Isaiah chapters 41-55 (not only the 4 Servant Songs) is not always Jesus. Also, *Jewish Bible students do not have the same answers as Christians. Lastly, the servant in some places in Isaiah chapters 41-55 is one person (or group of persons). But in other places it is somebody else. Here are some of the answers that Bible students have given.

          1) Usually, *Jewish Bible students say that the servant is nearly always the country called Israel.

          Christians agree that in some places, like Isaiah 41:18-20, Israel is called the servant of the *LORD. Even in Babylon, after God has *punished Israel, Israel continues to be God’s servant, as in Isaiah 43:21.

          2) In Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 the servant is King Cyrus of Persia. Isaiah 44:28 calls him the *LORD’s ‘shepherd’. And 45:1 says that the LORD has ‘anointed’ him. A shepherd is a sheep farmer. He is a like a picture of somebody that is careful for his people. ‘Anointed’ means ‘someone poured oil on him’. Oil in the Bible often means God’s *Holy Spirit. This gives the anointed person something to do and it gives him the authority and power to do it. The kings that lived after Cyrus are also God’s servants, Darius and Artaxerxes.

          3) But Jesus is also a shepherd (John 10:11) and God has anointed him with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16).

          And Christians believe that Isaiah 53 can only be about Jesus. Also, it is true that Isaiah 42:1 may be about both Israel and the kings of Persia. But it is mostly about Jesus.

          So, when we read the words ‘the servant of *YHWH’, they can mean several things:

·        the country called Israel

·        the *prophet Isaiah

·        the rulers of Persia

·        Jesus Christ.

          ‘Christ’ is the Greek word for ‘*anointed’. Greek is a language. For Christians, the servant of *YHWH is JESUS THE ANOINTED! He is doing what Israel, Isaiah and Cyrus did 2700 years ago.

God *redeems Israel (chapters 43-45)

Chapter 43

v1 But now, this is what the *LORD says. He (is the LORD) who *created you, *Jacob. And he (is the God) who gave shape to you, Israel. (He says this.) ‘Do not be afraid, because I have *redeemed you. I have called you by (your) name. You are mine.

v2 I will be with you, when you go through (dangerous) waters. (And when you go through) rivers they will not carry you away. When you walk through fire it will not burn you. And the fire will not make a fire out of you.

v3 I will save you, because I, the *LORD, am your God. (I am) the *Holy (God) of Israel. I gave Egypt to *ransom you and I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

v4 I think that you are valuable and very good. Because of this, and because I love you, (I will do this). I will take men for you and I will take people for your life.

v5 Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will bring your child(ren) from the east and I will fetch you from the west.

v6 I will say to (people in) the north, “Give them back!” And I will say to (people in) the south, “Do not stop them from coming back.” Bring my sons from far (places) and my daughters from the ends of the earth.

v7 (Bring) everyone who is called by my name. I *created them. I gave them a shape and yes, I made them for my *glory.

v8 Lead out those (people) with eyes who are *blind. (Lead out) those (people) with ears who cannot hear.

v9 Bring every country together. And bring together all the people. Perhaps some of them said that this would happen. And (perhaps some of them) told us about what happened a long time ago. (If they did,) they should bring their *witnesses. (They could) *prove that they were right. Then other people will hear it and they will say, “It is true.”

v10 You are my *witnesses’, says the *LORD. ‘You are my servant whom I have chosen. (I chose you) so that you may know (me). Also, (I wanted you to) believe that I am (God). And (I wanted you) to understand (that I am God). That is why (I chose you). Before me, nobody made a god. And there will not be (a God) after me.

v11 I, only I, am the *LORD. And, without me, there is nobody to save (you).

v12 It was I, and not a foreign god among you, that showed (this to you). And I saved (you) and I told (this to you). You are my *witnesses that I am God’, says the *LORD.

v13 ‘Yes! From a long time ago, I am (God). Nobody can save himself from my power. When I do something, nobody can change it.’

v14 This is what the *LORD says. (The LORD) is your *redeemer (and he is) the Holy (God) of Israel. (He says), ‘I will send (an army) to Babylon because of you, (Israel). And I will make all the people from Babylon into *prisoners. (They will be) in their ships. They think that they are very good.

v15 I am the *LORD (who is) your Holy (God). (I am) Israel’s *Creator and your King.’

v16-17 This is what the *LORD says. (He is the LORD who did these things:)

·           He made a road through the sea.

·           (He made) a path through the great waters.

·           He drew *chariots and (their) horses, the army and (its) leaders, out (into the sea).

·           (He caused them) to lie there so that they would never get up again. He put them out and he blew them out, like a light.

v18 (The *LORD says,) ‘Forget what happened a long time ago. Do not think about that.

v19 Look! I will do something that is new! Now it appears quickly. Surely, you can see it. I am making a road in the sandy places. And (I am making) streams in the wild places.

v20 The wild animals, *jackals and *owls, give me *praise. (They do this) because I give them water in the sandy places and streams in the wild places. (I want) my people that I have chosen to be able to drink. (That is why I do this.)

v21 (They are) the people that I made for myself. (I did it) so that they could *praise me aloud.

v22 You did not pray to me, *Jacob. You have not worked for me, Israel.

v23 (It was) not to me that you brought sheep. (You did not) burn them to offer them to me. What you put at one side did not give me *praise. I have not caused you to carry heavy *grain to offer to me. I have not made you tired because I demanded *incense (from you).

v24 You did not bring (the plant called) calamus, which had a nice smell, for me. You did not give large amounts of meat from the animals that you burned to me. Instead, you caused me to carry your *sins like a heavy weight. And you have made me tired every time that you did not obey me.

v25 I, (but yes,) I am he who sweeps away your *sins. (I do it) to keep my good name. I will not remember that you have not obeyed me.

v26 Remember with me (what happened a long time ago). We should talk about it together. You think that you have not sinned. Tell me why you think that.

v27 Your first *ancestor did not obey me. And the people that spoke (to me) on behalf of you *sinned against me.

v28 So I made your *holy leaders ashamed. Then I destroyed everything in *Jacob (that I did not like). (Also, people) laughed in a bad way at Israel.

Chapter 44

v1 But now listen (and obey me), my servant *Jacob. (Listen to me) Israel, whom I have chosen.’

v2 This is what the *LORD says. He (is the LORD) who made you. He gave you a shape when you were still inside your mother. And he will help you. (He says), ‘Do not be afraid, *Jacob my servant and *Jeshurun, whom I chose.

v3 (Do not be afraid) for these reasons:

·           I will pour water on to land that is very dry.

·           I will pour streams (of water) on to dry ground.

·           I will pour out my Spirit on to your children.

·           I will do good things for your children’s children.

v4 They will grow up like grass in a field. (They will grow) like tall trees by streams of water.

v5 One (of them) will say, “I (belong) to the *LORD.” And another (person) will call (himself) by the name *Jacob. Then another (person) will write on his hand, “(I belong to) the LORD”, and he will call (himself) Israel.’

v6 This is what the *LORD says. (He is) the King and *Redeemer of Israel and (he is) the LORD of Everything. (He says,) ‘I am the first (God) and I am the last (God). There is no God without me.

v7 Is there (any God) like me? (If there is), he should say so. He must say it. And he should tell me (this):

·           What has happened since I made my people a long (time) ago?

·           What will happen in future years?

Yes! He should say what will happen!

v8 Do not move and do not be afraid. I told you this long ago. And I said that it would happen. You are my *witnesses. Is there any God without me? No! There is no (other) Rock. I do not know about any (other God).’

Verse 8 ‘Rock’ is a name for God.

v9 Everybody that makes an *idol (is) of no value. And the things that they have pleasure in will bring no help. Their *witnesses cannot see (anything). Also, they will be ashamed, because they know nothing. v10 Everybody who has made the shape of a god has made (only) an *idol. It will not help them. v11 Really, everybody like them will be ashamed. People who make (these things) are only human. They should all come and they should stand together (by their *idols). They will be very much afraid. Also, they will quickly understand what fools they are.

v12 A man that works with iron (takes) a tool. He holds (the iron) in the fire (with the tool). Then he uses a hammer. He gives (the iron) a shape. He has made (an *idol) with his strong arms. But (then) he becomes hungry and he is not strong. He drinks no water and he feels weak. v13 A man that works with wood measures (it) with a *ruler. Then he draws a shape with a pencil. He uses one tool to give (the wood) its first shape. He uses another tool to make the shape better. Then he causes its shape to seem like a man. (He has made) a beautiful human (shape). It will remain in a house. v14 (A man went) to cut down *cedar trees for himself. He had taken *cypress and *oak (trees). And he had let them grow for himself, among the trees in the forest. He had planted a *pine tree and the rain had caused it to grow. v15 It is (wood) for (the) man to burn. So he takes some of it and he makes himself warm. Yes, and now he lights a fire and he bakes bread. And then he makes a god and he *worships it. He makes an *idol and he goes down on his knees in front of it. v16 Half (of the wood) he burnt in the fire. He made his meal with (that) half. He cooked his meat. And he ate as much as he wanted. He also made himself warm and he said, ‘Good! I am warm. I can see the fire.’ v17 From the other half he makes a god. (It is) his *idol. He goes on his knees in front of it and he *worships it. And he prays to it and he says, ‘Save me, because you are my god.’

v18 These people know nothing. They understand nothing. (This is) because something is covering their eyes. So, they cannot see (anything). Their minds cannot understand (anything). v19 Nobody really thinks about it. Nobody knows about it, or understands it. (Nobody) says, ‘I burnt half of it in the fire. I even baked bread with the wood from it. I cooked meat and I ate (it). (Perhaps) I will make something to *worship from what is still there. (Perhaps) I will go down on my knees in front of a piece of wood.’ v20 It is like he is eating ashes. His mind has made a mistake. And it leads him away (from what is true). He cannot save himself. He does not understand that the thing in his right hand is a false (god).

v21 ‘*Jacob, remember these things, because you, Israel, are my servant. I caused you (to be) my servant. Israel, I will not forget you.

v22 I have swept away your *sins like (the wind sweeps away) a cloud. The wrong things that you have done (have *disappeared) like clouds in the morning. Return to me, because I have *redeemed you.’

v23 Skies above (us), sing because you are so happy. (Sing), because the *LORD has done this! Earth beneath (us), shout as loudly (as you can). You mountains, start to sing. (Do the same), you forests and all your trees! (Do this), because the LORD has *redeemed *Jacob. He has shown his *glory in Israel.

v24 This is what the *LORD says. He is your *Redeemer. He gave you a shape (when you were still) inside your mother. ‘I am the LORD, who has made everything. I alone hung out the skies (like a curtain). I made the earth by myself.

v25 I will destroy the messages of the false *prophets. Some people try to say what will happen in future years. I will cause them to seem like fools. Some people think that they are clever. They think that they know everything. But I will change that. (What they know) will mean nothing. My servants say what I will do. My prophets say what will happen. I will do (all those things).

v26 I say about Jerusalem, “People will live there (again).” (I say) about the towns in Judah, “(People) will build them.” (And I say) about the (places that the enemy) destroyed, “I will build them again.”

v27 I said to the watery deep (sea), “Be dry! And I made your streams dry.”

v28 I say about Cyrus, “He is (like) my shepherd (sheep farmer). And he will do everything that gives me pleasure.” (Cyrus) will say about Jerusalem, “Build it again!” And (he will say) about the *temple, “Lay out the stones to build it on.” ’

Chapter 45

v1 The *LORD will say this to Cyrus, whom he has *anointed. I will hold his right hand. Then he will beat the countries where he goes. He will take their (war) arms from kings. He will open doors in front of him, so that the gates will not be closed. (He will say,)

v2 ‘I will go in front of you and I will make the mountains flat. I will break down *bronze gates and I will cut through iron *bars.

v3 Also, I will give to you the valuable things (that people hide) in dark places. (I will give to you) the valuable things that they store secretly. Then you will know that I am the *LORD. (I am) the God of Israel who will cause you to come. He will call you by (your) name.

v4 I will cause you to come. I have called you by (your) name, because of my servant Jacob and because of Israel. I have chosen you (Israel). And I will give you a good name, even if you will not recognise me.

v5 I am the *LORD and there is no other (LORD). There is no God without me. I will make you strong, even if you will not recognise me.

v6 Then, from east to west, people will know this. There is no (God) without me.

In *Hebrew, the word ‘east’ is ‘where the sun rises’. And the word ‘west’ is ‘where the sun goes down’.

v7 I made the light and I *created the dark. I cause (people) to do well and I create trouble. I (am) the *LORD. I do all these things.’

v8 I will ask the skies to send down good things. They will come down like rain. And I will prepare the earth to receive my power to save. That power will become great, like a plant that is growing. And good things will grow with it. I, (who am) the Lord, will cause this to happen.

v9 Bad (things will happen) to people who quarrel with their *Maker. (They are like) bits of pot (that are lying) among other bits of pot on the ground. The *clay does not say to the person who makes the pots, ‘What are you making?’ And the things that you make (do not say), ‘He has no hands.’

v10 Bad (things will happen) to people who say to their fathers, ‘What have you been father to?’ Or (bad things will happen to people) that say to their mothers, ‘What have you *given birth to?’

v11 The *LORD says this about things that will happen in the future. (The LORD is) the *Holy (God) of Israel and he is its Maker. (He says this:)

‘You should not ask me questions about my children.

You should not tell me what to do with what my hands have made.

v12 It is I who made the earth. Then I *created the people on it. (It was) I who, with my own hands, hung up the skies (like a curtain). I put all (the stars) in their places.

v13 My good help will make (Cyrus) into a great leader. I will make all his paths straight. He will build again my city (Jerusalem) and he will make my *exiles free. He will not get money or gifts because (he will do) this’, says the *LORD of Everything.

v14 This is what the *LORD is saying. ‘This is what will come to you and what will become yours.

·           everything that (the people in) Egypt make

·           everything that (the people in) Cush sell

·           the tall people from Sabea.

They will walk behind you. Metal lines (will tie them up) when they come to you. They will go down on their knees in front of you. They will pray to you. They will say, “Surely God is with you. And there is no other God.” ’

v15 It is true. You are a God that hides himself! (You are) the God that makes Israel safe!

v16 Everybody that makes *idols will be ashamed. And nobody will give them *praise. Together, they will have no praise.

v17 The *LORD will make Israel safe. (Israel) will be safe for all time. You will never be ashamed. And you will always have *praise. This will always be true.

v18 This is because the *LORD says it. He (is the LORD that) *created the skies. He is God. He made the earth and he gave to it its shape. He built it. He did not create it to be empty. He made it for people to live in. He says, ‘I am the LORD. And there is nobody else (that is LORD).

v19 I have not spoken secretly. (I have not spoken) from somewhere that is a dark country. I did not say to the people whose *ancestor is Jacob, “Look for me, but do not find me.” I am the *LORD. I speak what is true. I say what is right.

v20 Bring (yourselves) together! And come and put yourselves into a group. You (are) people that are running away from (other) countries. Some people that carry *idols that they made from wood. Those people do not know anything. (They are people that) pray to (false) gods. (Those gods) cannot make them safe.

v21 Speak! Tell us (what will happen)! Also, decide this together. Who said a long time ago that this would happen? Who said it in past years? It was I, the *LORD! There is no God without me. I am a *righteous God that saves (my people). There is (no other) God but me.

v22 Turn to me and I will make you safe. (Do this), everybody on the earth. (Do this) because I am God. I am God and there is no other (God but me).

v23 I, myself, have given you a promise. Because I am honest I have said this. I will change nothing that I have said. Everybody will go down on their knees in front of me. People will say their promises in every language in my (name).

v24 People will say this about me. “Only with the *LORD are things that are *righteous and strong.” Everybody that was angry with (God) will come to (God). They will be ashamed.

v25 With the *LORD, everybody that has Israel for an *ancestor will be *righteous and they will be very, very happy.’

God will send Cyrus to beat Babylon (chapters 46-47)

Chapter 46

v1 *Bel bends down. *Nebo lies low. Animals that can carry heavy things carry these *idols. (The animals) carry the idols, which are very heavy. They are very heavy for tired (animals).

v2 (The false gods) fall down and they lie together. (The animals) cannot carry the heavy weights. (The false gods) themselves go away (into another country) as slaves.

v3 ‘Listen to me, you people (that live) in *Jacob. (Listen to me), everyone that remains from the people in Israel. I have helped you since you began to live inside (your mother). And I have carried you since you were born.

v4 (I will do this) even until you are old. (Then) you will have grey hairs. I am he who will supply everything. I (will supply everything) that you need. I have made you and I will carry you. I will supply everything that you need. And I will save you.

v5 No (god) is like me! (*Bel, or *Nebo) are not as good as me. You cannot say that any god is like me. You cannot say that I am the same (as them).

v6 Some (people) pour out gold from a bag. And they weigh out *silver on the *scales. Then they pay someone who can work with gold. He makes it into a god. Then they bend down and they *worship it!

v7 They lift it on to their shoulders and they carry it. They put it in its place and it stands there. It cannot move from that place. If anyone shouts out to it, it does not answer. It cannot save anybody from his troubles.

v8 Remember this and fix it in (your) mind. Do not forget it, you people that fight against me.

v9 Remember the things that happened long ago. I am God and there is no other (God). I am God and there is nobody like me.

v10 I told (you) at the beginning what will happen at the end. (I told you) from long ago about future things that will happen. I am the Person that says (this). My purpose will not change. And I will do everything that I want (to do).

v11 I will send someone from the east like a bird that catches small animals. And (I will get) a man from a country that is far away. He will cause my purposes to happen. I really will do the things that I have promised to do. I have made a *plan and I will really will cause it to happen.

v12 Listen to me, you people that will not change your minds. (Listen), you people who are not *righteous in any way.

v13 Soon, I will come to do what is right. I am not far away. I will not wait any longer to come and save you. I will save (the people in) Zion (Jerusalem). (I will make) Israel beautiful.’

Chapter 47

v1 ‘Get down (on to the ground) and sit in the dirt, *Virgin *Daughter of Babylon. Sit on the ground without a high seat, *Daughter of the people in *Chaldea. Nobody will say that you are quiet and pretty again.

v2 Use a stone to break (*grain) into flour. *Uncover your face. Lift up your skirt and make your legs *bare. Walk through streams (of water).

v3 Everybody will see that you are *bare. Nothing will hide your sex parts. I will *punish (you) and I will not leave anybody out.’

v4 Our *Redeemer is the Holy (God) of Israel. His name is the *LORD of Everything. (He says this.)

v5 ‘*Daughter of the people in *Chaldea, sit and make no noise. And go into dark (places). Nobody will call you the queen of *kingdoms again.

v6 I was angry with my people (Judah). I made what was mine not clean. I gave them into your power, but you were not kind them. You even made the old people into slaves.

v7 You said, “I will always continue to be queen. (I will) always (be queen)!” But you did not think about these things. You did not think about what might happen (to you).

v8 Now, listen (to me), you (women) that love pleasure. You do not say what is true about your *safety. And you say (this) to yourself. “(Here) I am, and there is nobody except me. I will never be a *widow and I will never lose (my) children.”

v9 Both of these things will happen to you in one moment. (They will happen) in only one day. You will lose your children and you will become a *widow. It will all happen to you, even if you (try to stop it) with much *magic and powerful *magic words.

v10 You have believed this: The bad things that you have done would help you. And you have said, “Nobody sees me (when I do them).” But you are clever and you know so much. It has caused you to make mistakes. This happened when you said to yourself, “(Here) I am, and there is nobody except me.”

v11 Then bad things will happen to you. And you will not know what *magic words (will remove them). So they will destroy you and you will have no *ransom for them. They will destroy you quickly, in a way that you have known nothing about.

v12 Continue, then, with your *magic! (Continue to say) your many *magic words! You have worked a lot with them since you were children. Perhaps you will cause the *magic things really to happen. Perhaps you will frighten (your enemies)!

v13 All the things that you have learned have made you very tired! The people that (look at) different parts of the skies should stand up. Those people that study the stars should (stand up). They say what will happen each month. Cause them to save you from what will happen to you.

v14 Surely, they are like dry grass! Fire will burn them (away). They cannot save themselves from the heat of the fires. This is not the wood that will bake their bread. (It is) not a fire to sit by.

v15 This is (all) that they (have done) on your behalf. You worked with them since you were children. They were your friends. (But now) each of them continues to make mistakes. There is nobody to save you.’

Chapter 48

God will send Cyrus to make his people free from Babylon

v1 ‘Listen to this, you people of *Jacob. Your name is Israel and you belong to the family of Judah. You (are people) that promise in the name of the *LORD. Also, you ask the God of Israel for help. But you do not (do these things) honestly and fairly.

v2 They even call themselves (people who live) in the *holy city. And they hope that the God of Israel will help them. His name is the *LORD of Everything.

v3 I said (a) long (time) ago the things (that would) soon (happen). I myself said that they would happen. And I caused (everybody) to know (about them). Then, quickly, I did something and they happened!

v4 (This is why) I did it. I knew that it would be difficult to cause you to think differently. It seems that your necks have become (as hard) as iron! The front of your head is like *bronze!

v5 So I told you these things long ago. Before they happened, I told you about them. Then you could not say, “My *idol did them. My wood idol and my metal god decided that they would happen.”

v6 You heard (these things). Now look at them all. Agree that it is true! From now, I will tell you new things. They will be things that you do not know. (They will be things that I) hid from you.

v7 (I) *created them now. I did not (create them) a long (time) ago. You did not hear about them before today. So you cannot say, “Yes. I knew about them.”

v8 You have not heard them and you have not understood them. From (a) long (time) ago your ear has not listened to them. I know well that you do not always obey me. (People) said that you fought against (me) from (your) birth.

v9 I will not be angry immediately, because of the name that I have. (So that people will give) me *praise, I will not be angry with you. Then (nobody) will kill you.

v10 I have made you clean, but not as (people make) *silver (clean). I have let you have much trouble. It is like I put you in a fire. This has been to check how good you are.

v11 I do this on my own behalf, (yes), on my own behalf! Really, I cannot let people say bad things about me. And (so), I will not give my *praise to another (person or god).

v12 Listen to me, (you people of) *Jacob! (Listen to me, you people of) Israel. I have asked you to follow me. I am (your God). I am the first (God) and (I am) the last (God).

v13 My own hand put out the parts that are under the earth. And my right hand hung up the skies. When I speak to them, they all stand (up) together.

v14 All of you, come together and listen (to me). Not one (of your *idols) said what would happen. The *LORD has chosen a friend to help him. (This friend) will do what God wants to happen against Babylon. His arm (will be against) the people in *Chaldea.

v15 I, (yes,) I have spoken. Also, I have asked him to follow me. I will bring him (to Babylon). And he will do well in what he has to do.

v16 Come near to me and listen to this. From the first time that I spoke (about it), it was not a secret. When it happens, I will be there.

And now the *LORD and Master has sent me with his Spirit’, (says God’s servant).

v17 This is what the *LORD says. He is your *Redeemer, the Holy (God) of Israel. ‘I am the LORD your God. I will teach you what is the best (thing) for you. I will send you in the way that you should go.

v18 I told you what you should do. You should have listened to what I said. Then your *peace would be like a river. Also, the good things that you do would be like the *waves in the sea.

v19 Your children, and your children’s children, would be as many as there are little bits in some sand. Nobody would ever forget their names. Nobody would kill them in front of me.

v20 Leave Babylon! Run from the people in *Chaldea! Talk about it with happy shouts. Talk about it and send (the news) to the ends of the earth. Say that the *LORD has *redeemed *Jacob his servant.’

v21 They did not need a drink when he led them through sandy places. He caused water to pour from a rock for them. He broke the rock and water rushed out.

v22 ‘There is no *peace for bad people’, says the *LORD.

Chapter 49

The Second Servant Song

v1 Listen to me, (you) islands. And hear (this, you) countries that are far away. The *LORD chose me when I was inside my mother. From (when I was) inside her body he said my name.

Verse 1 We think that the word ‘islands’ here means countries near to Judah.

v2 And he made my mouth like a sharp *sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. And he made me into an *arrow (that he had caused) to shine. He hid me in his basket of arrows.

v3 He said to me, ‘You are my servant. (You are) Israel. In you I will show (to everybody) that I am beautiful.’

v4 But I said (that) my work had no purpose. I had done all that work for nothing. But the *LORD will be my *judge and my God (will know) the result of my work.

v5 And now the *LORD says (this). He (is the LORD) that made me inside my mother to be his servant.

·           (He did this) to bring *Jacob back to him.

·           Also, (he did it) to bring Israel to himself.

And I will have *praise in the eyes of the LORD. My God will make me strong. He says,

v6 ‘It is too small a thing for you, as my servant (to do these things):

·           Bring back the families of *Jacob.

·           And bring together the people of Israel that I have kept alive.

I will also make you (like) a light for the (people in other) countries. Then you will bring (the news) that I can save people to the ends of the earth.’

v7 This is what the *LORD says. (The LORD is) the *Redeemer and the *Holy (God) of Israel. (He says it) to him, (the servant). The country (Judah) thought that he was not important. And they did not like (him). (He was) the servant of rulers. (God says), ‘Kings will see you and they will rise up. Also, leaders will get on their knees (in front of you). (They will do this) because the LORD will always help (you). (He is) the Holy (God) of Israel, who has chosen you.’

v8 This is what the *LORD says. ‘When I am ready to do something for you, I will answer you. And in the day when I am ready to save you, I will help you. Also, I will keep you alive and I will cause you to be a *covenant for the people. You will make the country safe, and you will cause (people) to live in the empty places.

v9 You will say to the people (that are) in a prison, “Come out.” And (you will say) to those people that are in the dark, “Be free!”

They will eat food at the sides of the roads. And there will be food for them on every empty hill.

v10 They will not be hungry and they will not need a drink. The heat of the sun in the sandy places will not hurt them. He who loves them will be their guide. And he will lead them to water that comes up (from the ground).

v11 I will make all my mountains into roads. And I will build up all my roads on higher ground.

v12 Look! People will come from far away. And look! Some people will come from the north and some (will come) from the west. Some will (even) come from round Sinim.’

v13 (Everything in) the skies, shout because you are so happy! (Everything on) the earth, be very happy! Sing loudly, you mountains! (Do this) because the *LORD is being kind to his people. He will show his love to his people that are hurting.

v14 But *Zion said, ‘The *LORD has left me. The *Lord has forgotten me.’

v15 (The *LORD answered), ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast? Can she have no love for the child that came from inside her body? Yes, these (mothers) may forget, but I will not forget you.

v16 Look! I have written (your names) on my (own) hands. Your walls (of Jerusalem) are always in front of me.

v17 Your sons will hurry back (to you). People beat you and they destroyed you. But those people will leave you.

v18 Use your eyes and look all round you. All your (sons) will come (together). They will return to you. Because I am alive’, says the *LORD, ‘you will surely wear all of them as something beautiful. You will put them on as a woman does at the time of her marriage.

v19 (The enemy) broke you and they destroyed you. They made your land empty. But now your (land) will be too small for the people (that will come to) you. The people that destroyed you will be far away.

v20 Children were born to you while you were a *widow. They will say (this). “This place is too small for us. Give us more room to live in.”

v21 Then you will say in your mind, “I do not know how these (people) were born to me. I was a *widow and I could not have any (children). I was in *exile and (God had) thrown me away. So I do not know who *brought them up. Look, (he) left me alone. So I do not know where they have (come from).” ’

v22 The *LORD, (who is) the *Lord, says, ‘Look! I will point with my hand to (many) countries. I will lift up a mark to the people (in many countries). And they will bring your sons in their arms and they will carry your daughters on their shoulders.

v23 Then kings will be (like) fathers for you and their queens will be (like) mothers (to your children). They will go down on their knees in front of you. Their faces will look to the ground. And they will taste the dirt by your feet. Then you will know that I am the *LORD. I will not disappoint people that hope in me.

v24 You cannot take things away from strong soldiers. And you cannot save *prisoners from people that are right to keep them.’

v25 But this is what the *LORD says. ‘Yes! (I) can take the *prisoner from the strong soldier. And I will take back what the cruel man took away. I will fight with those people that fight with you. And I will make your children safe.

v26 I will cause the people that are cruel to you to eat their own bodies. They will become drunks with their own blood, like it was *wine. Then everybody will know that I, the *LORD, have made you safe. (I am) your *Redeemer, the Strong (God) of *Jacob.’

Chapter 50

v1 The *LORD says, ‘Your mother (Jerusalem) does not have a *divorce notice. (I mean) that I did not send her away with (a notice). I did not sell you to any of the people with whom I had a debt. I sold you because of your *sins. I sent your mother away because of wrong things (that she did).

v2 Nobody was there when I came. Nobody answered when I spoke to them. My arm was not too short to *ransom you. I was strong enough to save you. Look! With only a word I can make the sea dry. I can make rivers into sandy places. The fish in them will die because there is no water. And they will die because they need water.

v3 I can make the sky dark and I can cover it with hairy cloth.’

The Third Servant Song

v4 (The servant says,) ‘The *Lord, who is *LORD, has given to me a *tongue. It has learned (what to say). I know what to say to give hope (for something good) to very tired people. He wakes me every morning. He wakes my ear to listen, like someone that he is teaching.

v5 The *Lord, who is *LORD, has opened my ears. I have obeyed him and I have not turned back.

v6 I offered my back to the people that hit me. And (I offered) my face to the people that pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face when (they did these things). They laughed in a bad way at me and they *spat at me.

v7 The *Lord, who is *LORD, will help me. So, I will not be ashamed. I have made my face (hard) like a stone. So, I know that I will not be ashamed.

v8 He (the *LORD) says that I am right. He is near (to me). Some people are saying bad things about me. We should talk to each other! Some people have said that I have done wrong things. We should talk about it together!

v9 Look! The *Lord, who is *LORD, will help me. Some person may say that I have done wrong things. But people like that will all become like very old clothes. The *moths will eat them up!’

v10 Perhaps someone among you is afraid of the *LORD. And perhaps someone obeys the word of his servant. Some people walk in the dark and they have no light. They should believe in the LORD and they should hope for help from their God.

v11 But now, go and walk in the light of your fires. Everyone who has lit a fire (must do this). (So must) everybody that has got for themselves something on fire. (You must) go in the light of the fires that you have made. This is what you will receive from me. You will lie down in very great pain.

Copy God’s servant (Isaiah 51:1-52:12)

Chapter 51

v1 ‘Listen to me, you people that are trying to be very good (like my servant). And (listen to me,) you people that are coming to the *LORD. Think about the rock from which he cut you. And (think about) the rocky place from which he took you.

v2 Think about your father Abraham. And think about Sarah who gave you birth. When I spoke to (Abraham), there was only one (of him). Then I *blessed him and I made (from) him many (people).’

Verse 1 The ‘rock’ is like a picture of Abraham.

In verse 2, the word ‘father’ means ‘*ancestor’.

v3 Surely, the *LORD will be kind to *Zion. And he will make it strong again, when he looks at its buildings. (These are the people whose land the enemy) destroyed. He will make its sandy places like (the garden of) Eden. (He will make) its wild places like the garden of the LORD. (People will) be happy there. They will feel very happy there. (People will) hear songs that thank (God).

v4 ‘Listen to me, my people. And hear me, my country. The *law will go out from me. And what I fairly decide will be (like) a light to every country.

v5 The good things that I do (will be) near (to you). I will soon make you very safe. And my arm will decide fairly for every country. The islands will look to me and they will hope for my arm (to arrive).’

Many Christians believe that the Arm of the *LORD is a name for Jesus.

v6 ‘Lift up your eyes to the skies and look at the earth beneath (them). The skies will *disappear like smoke and the earth will become old like a coat. The people that live there will die in the same way. But the safe place that I give will be there always. The very good things that I do will never fail.’

Many translations have *righteousness for ‘very good things’. It is not only what God does. It is also what he is.

v7 ‘You people know that I am very good. (So) listen to me. You people have my *law in your minds. (Listen to me.) Some people say that you are wrong, But do not be afraid of those people. Do not let them make you afraid with their bad words.

v8 (Do not be afraid) because a *moth will (seem to) eat them up! (It will seem to eat them) like (it eats) clothes. A *grub will (seem to) eat them like (a *grub eats) clothes. But the very good things that I do will never have an end. The safe place that I (offer to you) will never have an end.’

v9 Awake, awake (you) arm of the *LORD! Put on *strength like (you put on) clothes! Awake, as you did in past days. (Awake) as you did for people many years ago. You cut Rahab into pieces. You pushed (your *sword) into that large animal.

v10 You made the sea and the deep waters dry. You made a road deep in the sea. The people that you *redeemed crossed over.

v11 And the people that the *LORD has *ransomed will return. And they will sing while they go into *Zion. And they will be so happy that it will always show on their faces. They will continue to be happy, so very happy. Then, they will no longer feel sad and they will not want to cry.

v12 ‘I, (the *LORD, yes,) I am he that (will always) make (everybody) strong.

You (people in *Zion, you) do not have to be afraid of men that will always die. They are (only) the sons of (other) men and they are only like grass.

v13 But (you all) forget the *LORD that made you! He put the skies in their place. And he made what is beneath the earth. (Do not) be afraid every day of your life, because your *oppressor is very angry. The oppressor wants to destroy things. But really he can do nothing, even if he is angry.

v14 The people that are so afraid will be made free. They will not die in a hole in the ground. They will not be without their bread, v15 because I am the *LORD your God. I am (the God) that moves the sea so that its waters make a great noise! His name is the *LORD of Everything. v16 I have put my words into your mouth, (my servant). And I have covered you with the shadow of my hand. (It is I) that will put the skies in their place. And I will make what is beneath the earth. And I will say to *Zion, “You are my people.” ’

v17 Awake, awake! Get up, (people in) Jerusalem! The LORD has been angry with you and he has punished you. When he punishes you it is like you are drinking something bad from a cup. You have drunk everything from the cup that makes people afraid (in front of God).

v18 There was nobody to be her guide, from all the sons that she gave birth to. There was nobody to lead her by the hand, from all the sons that she had taught.

v19 These two things have (destroyed) you. I do not know anyone who can make you strong again. (An enemy) broke and they destroyed (your buildings). The *sword (killed your people). And (they died because) there was no food. I do not know anyone who can make you happy again.

v20 Your sons have fallen down. They lie at the end of every street. (They are) like animals that something has caught. The *LORD was angry and the serious words of your God *punished them.

v21 So, hear this, you people that (God is) hurting. You are (like) drunks, but it is not because you have drunk *wine.

v22 This is what the *Lord who is your *LORD says. (He is) your God, that fights for his people. ‘Look! I have taken out from your hand the cup that makes you afraid. You will never drink again from that cup, the cup that contains my *anger.

v23 I will put it into the hands of the people that are cruel and *unkind to you. (They are) the people that said, “Lie down flat (on the ground), so that we can walk over you.” And you made your backs like the ground. (You made them) like a street that people could walk over.’

Chapter 52

v1 Awake, awake, *Zion! Put on *strength like (you put on) clothes. Put on your beautiful clothes, Jerusalem, the *holy city. People who are not God’s people will not come into you again.

‘People who are not God’s people’. Isaiah wrote ‘people who are not clean’. Here it means ‘not clean like God is clean’. This was because they met people like the people from Babylon. Those people did not love the *LORD God.

v2 Remove the dirt (from yourselves). Get up and sit on your special high seat, Jerusalem. Make yourself free from the *chains round your neck, *Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem) (who is now) (like someone) in a prison.

v3 (Do this) because the *LORD says, ‘You sold yourselves for nothing, and I will *redeem you without money.’ v4 And the *Lord who is *LORD says, ‘Firstly, my people went down to live in Egypt. Then, not long ago, Assyria was cruel to them. v5 And now, this is what I (have got) here’, says the *LORD. He says, ‘(An enemy) took my people away for nothing. And the rulers (of my people) are crying. And for all of every day (enemies) continue to say bad things about me. v6 So, my people will know my name. So, in that day, (my people) will know this. I said what would happen. Yes, I (said it)!’

v7 The feet of the people that bring good news will be beautiful. (They will be beautiful while they run) on the mountains. The people that bring good news will tell you, ‘There is no war and there is no danger.’ They will say to *Zion, ‘Your God rules (as king)!’

v8 Listen! The men that watch over (your city) are saying (something). They are (all) shouting together because they are so happy. When the *LORD returns to *Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.

v9 Sing aloud together, (you places in) Jerusalem that the enemy destroyed. (Do this) because the *LORD has made his people happy again. He has *redeemed Jerusalem.

v10 The *LORD has made his holy arm *bare. (He has done it) in front of the eyes of the people in every country. Now, all parts of the earth can see that our God makes people safe.

v11 Leave! Leave! Go out from there. Do not touch anything that is not clean. Go out from inside it! Those (people) that will carry the *LORD’s special things, be clean!

v12 But you will not go out quickly, or hurry away. (This is) because the *LORD will go in front of you. And the God of Israel will be like an army behind you.

The Fourth Servant Song (52:13-53:12)

v13 Look! Everything that my servant says will be good. (It will be) right. (I will) raise him up and I will lift him up (to an important place). And I will make him very important.

v14 (They) hit his body, so that it did not seem like (the body) of a man. (They) changed his shape, so that it was not like the shape of any human person. And when many people looked at him, they felt sick.

v15 But he will pour (water or something like water) on many countries! Kings will shut their mouths because of him. (Here are the reasons:)

·           They will see things that nobody told them about.

·           And they will understand things that they have not heard about.

Bible students do not really know why Isaiah used the word ‘pour’. Some students say that the word should be ‘startle’. This means ‘do something that surprises people’. We do not know what it means. And we do not know what the servant does! But it causes people to understand what happened to him.

Chapter 53

v1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the *LORD shown his Arm?

There are two answers to each question in this verse. They are: Who has believed our message? Nobody, unless it was the people that he poured something on. To whom has the *LORD shown his Arm? Nobody, if they look only at the human story of the servant. This human story is in verses 2 and 3.

‘our message’ may mean ‘God’s message’.

Many Christians believe that the Arm of the *LORD is a name for Jesus.

v2 (The Servant) grew up in front of him like a weak plant. And (he grew) from a *root in dry ground. He was not beautiful and he did not seem like a king. We had no interest in him. We looked at him. But there was nothing to cause us to want him.

v3 People did not like him. And they caused him to go away. (He was) a man who often felt very sad. And he knew what pain felt like. He was like someone from whom people hid their faces. People did not like him. And we decided that he was worth nothing.

v4 Surely, he lifted up our pain (from us)! And he took away the things that cause us to feel sad. But we thought that he had become ill. (We thought that) God had hit him very badly. And (we thought) that he was sick.

v5 They put a *sword into him, but we had done the wrong things. They hurt him and they broke him because of our *sins. (They gave) to him the *punishment (that brought) *peace to us. His *wounds have given us health.

v6 We have all gone away, like sheep. Each (of us) has turned to his own way. And the *LORD has put all our *sins on him.

v7 They were very cruel to him, but he was always quiet. And he did not open his mouth. They led him away like a *lamb to kill him. A sheep is quiet when they cut off its hairy coat. In the same way, he did not open his mouth.

v8 They took him to a *court. After this, they decided to take him (to die). And none of his people said that it was wrong. They did not let him stay in the country where people are alive. They hit him very badly because of the *sins of my people.

v9 They gave him a *grave with very bad people. And he was with a rich (man) in his deaths. (They did this), but he had done nothing to hurt people. Also, he had said nothing that was not true.

Verse 9 The word ‘deaths’ is plural in the *Hebrew Bible. Isaiah’s book is in the Hebrew Bible.

v10 But it was the *LORD’s idea to hurt him and to break him. (The LORD) caused (people) to hurt (him). The LORD offered his life for *sin, but (the servant) will see his seed. He will continue to live (after his death).

‘seed’ usually means ‘children’. But here it is a special Bible word for people that love Jesus.

v11 (Death) will hurt his *spirit. But, after that, what he sees will make him happy. My very good servant will make many (people) very good, because they know him. And he will carry their *sins (away).

v12 So, I will give to him many (peoples). And he will have the strong (people) as his gift. (The facts are these.) He poured out his life until he died. He let people count him in with bad people. Also, he carried the *sin of many (people) and he prayed for the very bad people.

Enjoy the results of the Servant’s work (chapters 54-55)

Chapter 54

v1 ‘Sing, woman that cannot have a child. (Sing), you who have never had a baby. Sing a song and shout! Then, you will be so happy! (Sing), you, who never had the pain of *giving birth (to a baby). (Do this), because the lonely woman will have more sons than the woman with a husband.’ This is what the *LORD is saying.

v2 ‘Make bigger the space that your *tent covers. Make the curtains of your tent wider. Do not make it smaller! Make the sides longer and make the *tent pegs stronger.

v3 (Do this), because you will become larger, both to the right (side) and to the *left (side). Your children (and their children) will cause people to go (from their own countries). (Your children) will live in the empty cities (of the people that go away).

v4 Do not be afraid. You will not be ashamed. Nobody will take away your good name. You will not seem to be *unimportant. Then, you will forget this: You were ashamed when you were young. You will not remember how bad you felt as a *widow.

v5 (This is) because your *Maker is now your husband. His name is the *LORD of Everything. The *Holy (God) of Israel is your *Redeemer. (People) call (him), “The God of all the earth”.

v6 (This is) because the *LORD has asked you (to come) back. (You were) like a wife (whose husband had) left (her) alone. (He has asked you to come to him, like a wife) who was not happy. (That) wife married when she was young. Then, (her husband) sent her away.’ This is what God is saying.

v7 ‘For a short time I left you alone. But (now), because I love you very much, I will bring you back.

v8 When I was angry, I hid my face from you, for a moment. But (now), with kind love that will always stay (with you), I will help you.’ This is what the *LORD, (who is) your *Redeemer, is saying.

v9 ‘This is like the waters of Noah for me. Then, I promised that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So, now I have promised not to be angry with you. I will not *punish you again.’

Verse 9 ‘waters of Noah’ The story is in Genesis chapters 6-9.

v10 ‘Even if the mountains move, my kind love for you will not fail. Even if (someone) removes the hills, no(body) will remove my *covenant of peace (with you).’ This is what the *LORD, who loves you, is saying.

v11 ‘(My city, that the enemy) hurt, storms hit you. No(body) made you strong. Look! I will build you (again) with *turquoise stones. (I will build you) on the top of very valuable blue stones called sapphires.’

The city is Jerusalem (for *Jews) or the New Jerusalem (for Christians). Isaiah does not use the name Jerusalem here. But he does write about ‘what is right’ (verse 14 zedek in the Hebrew language) and ‘*peace’ (verse 13 salem in Hebrew). Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem, Genesis 14:18. Isaiah wrote his book in the Hebrew language.

v12 ‘I will build your *castles with valuable red stones called rubies. (I will build) your gates with valuable stones that shine (in the light). (I will build) your walls with very valuable stones.

v13 The *LORD will teach all your sons. And your sons will have great *peace.

v14 (The *LORD) will build you on (a *base of) what is right. You will be far away from cruel (people). Really, you will have nothing to be afraid of. Nobody will ever frighten you again. (People that frighten you) will not come near to you.

v15 If anybody attacks you, I will not have sent them. You will beat anyone who attacks you.

v16 Look! I, I *created the man that works with iron. He causes the *coal to burn strongly. He makes arms that are good for their work. But it is I that have *created the destroyer. That (destroyer) can destroy everything.

v17 No arms that anybody will make will beat you. And you will show that this is true. Everything that people say against you is not true. This is what the servants of the *LORD will enjoy. And their *righteousness will be from me.’ These are the words of the LORD.

Chapter 55

v1 ‘*Hoy! Everyone that needs a drink, come to the waters! And the person without money, come (to me). Buy (food) and eat! Come and buy *wine and milk!

v2 Do not spend money on (that which is) not bread. And do not work for (things which) do not make (you) happy. Listen! Listen to me. And eat (what is) good! Then your *spirit will have pleasure in the best (things).

v3 Listen and come to me! Hear (me), so that your *spirit may live! Then I will make a *covenant (of peace) with you (all), that will never end. (It will be) the kind love that I promised to David.

v4 Look! I have made (David) someone that every country can listen to. (And I have made him) a leader and a ruler of all the countries.’

Verses 3 and 4 The promises that God made to David would become true in God’s Servant.

v5 ‘Surely, you will ask a country that you do not know to come to you. And a country that does not know you will hurry to you. (This will happen) because the *LORD (is) your God. (He is) the Holy (God) of Israel. And he has made you really great!’

v6 Come to the *LORD while you can find him. Talk to him while he is near (to you).

v7 The very bad (man) must stop doing bad things. And the very bad man (must stop having) his (bad) thoughts. He must turn to the *LORD, who will be kind to him. And (he must turn) to our God, because (God) will certainly excuse him.

v8 ‘(This is) because my thoughts are not your thoughts. And neither are your ways my ways.’ These are the words of the *LORD.

v9 ‘As the skies are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways. Also, my thoughts (are higher) than your thoughts (like that too).

v10 The rain and the snow come down from the skies. And they do not return (to them) until they have put water on to the earth. And they cause (plants) to grow in the earth. Then (the plants) become strong. Then they give seeds for the gardener and they give bread for the eater.

v11 It is the same with the word that I speak. It will not return to me empty. It will do what I want it to do. And it will cause to happen the purpose for which I sent it.

v12 You will go out and you will be happy. And you will follow (your leader). You will have *peace. The mountains and the hills will sing songs in front of you. And all the trees in the field(s) will hit their hands together!

v13 *Pine trees will grow in the place of *thorn bushes, and *myrtle bushes will grow in the place of *briars. This will make the *LORD famous. It will always be something that nobody will destroy.’

Word List

altar ~ a special table on which people offer gifts to God (or to their false god).

ancestors ~ fathers and grandfathers and people years ago that they were born to.

anger ~ what you feel when you are angry.

anointed ~ poured oil on (from a plant called the olive). The *Jews did this to show that God had chosen someone. The *Hebrew word is the one that we get our word ‘messiah’ from.

Arabah ~ the dry valley of the River Jordan, south-east of Jerusalem.

arrows ~ sticks with sharp points. Bows shoot them.

balance ~ a machine that weighs things.

bare ~ with no clothes on.

bars ~ thick lines that keep a person in a prison.

base ~ lowest part of something.

Bel ~ the name of a false god in Babylon.

bless ~ be very good to you, so that you have many children, animals and fruits.

blind ~ not able to see.

breath ~ the air that goes into and comes out of our mouths.

breathe ~ what we do when we take in or push out air through our noses.

briars ~ bushes with *thorns. (Some people spell this word briers.)

bring up (children) ~ feed them and keep them safe. Do that until they are men and women.

bronze ~ a strong, yellow metal.

castle ~ a strong building that is difficult to destroy.

cedar ~ a large, beautiful tree. It does not lose its leaves in winter.

chaff ~ dead part of a plant round the seed.

chains ~ metal lines and rings that tie people up.

Chaldea ~ another name for Babylon.

chaff ~ dry, dead bit of a plant.

chariot ~ soldiers rode in chariots. Horses pulled them.

clay ~ material from the earth. People use it to make pots.

coal ~ black material that people get from the ground. They use it to make very hot fires.

court ~ place where a *judge works. He says who is right and who is wrong.

covenant ~ when people agree something together; when God and a person or people agree to a special thing.

covenant of peace ~ what God has agreed to do. He will not fight against his people again.

create ~ make out of nothing except your own power. Only God can really create.

Creator ~ name for God. It tells us that he made (created) everything.

cypress ~ a very beautiful tree.

Daughter of a city ~ all the people that live in the city.

Daughter of Zion ~ the people that live in the city called Jerusalem. (Zion is the name of the hill in Jerusalem.)

descendants ~ people in your family who are born after you.

disappear ~ the opposite of appear.

divorce notice ~ paper that says that you are no longer married to your husband or wife. See Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

dove ~ a bird that makes a sad noise like ‘coo’.

eunuch ~ man with no sex part.

exile ~ people that an enemy takes to another country are ‘in exile’. They are away from home. We also call these people ‘exiles’.

fig ~ a fruit.

give birth ~ have a baby.

glory ~ something that a great person has. It nearly causes them to shine! God’s glory is difficult to describe. God’s glory is something that shines very, very much. It is too bright to look at. But it also describes what God does. What he does is great. God will not give any of his glory to idols, because they have not done anything, (Isaiah 41:29).

grain ~ fruit of a plant like grass, that people make bread from.

grapes ~ fruit that people use to make a drink with alcohol in it.

grave ~ hole in the ground where they bury dead people.

grub ~ a grub becomes an insect that can fly.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke.

helper ~ someone that gives you help.

holy ~ very, very good; only God is really holy; this makes him separate from people; or, holy means something that is used in *religion.

holy city ~ in Isaiah 48:2 and in other places, a name for Jerusalem.

hoy ~ a word that asks people to listen to the speaker.

idol ~ false god. People usually make them with metal or stone or wood.

incense ~ something that makes a special, nice smell when people burn it.

jackals ~ like dogs, but wild.

Jacob ~ sometimes in Isaiah's book it means the *Jewish people, who were *descendants of Jacob.

Jeshurun ~ a name for Israel. It means ‘somebody that always does what is right’.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that is a *Jew’s.

judge ~ to say whether something is right or wrong or fair; or the person who does that.

justice ~ what is right and fair.

kingdom ~ a country that a king or a queen rules over.

lamb ~ young sheep.

law ~ in Isaiah 51:4, the rules in the first 5 books of the Bible.

left (side) ~ the opposite of the right (side).

lion ~ a large and dangerous wild animal.

LORD ~ LORD is a special name of God. In the *Hebrew language it is YAHWEH. It may mean ‘always alive’. So LORD is a sign that the *Hebrew word is YAHWEH.

Lord ~ lord means master; Lord is a name for God. It is not the same as *LORD.

LORD of Everything ~ a special name for God that Isaiah often used. Some Bibles translate it as ‘*LORD of Angel Armies’. An angel is a servant of God that we usually cannot see.

magic ~ when bad *spirits give you help.

Maker ~ a name for God, who made everything.

mortar ~ material that makes stones into a wall.

moths ~ insects that eat clothes.

myrtle ~ a kind of tree.

Nebo ~ the name of a false god in Babylon.

oak ~ a tree; its leaves fall off in winter.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible, which the writers wrote before the life of Jesus.

oppressor ~ someone who is cruel and not kind to people.

owl ~ a bird that catches its food at night.

peace ~ when there is no war.

pine ~ a beautiful tree that does not lose its leaves in winter.

Pit ~ part of *Sheol where the worst people went. People never came out from the Pit.

plan ~ idea about what you want to do.

poem ~ a beautiful set of words.

praise ~ to tell someone that they are very good; or words that say that somebody is great, good or important.

prisoner ~ someone that is in a prison, or someone who cannot run away.

prophet ~ a prophet did two things. He told people what God had said to him. He told people what would happen in future years.

prove ~ show that something is true.

punish ~ hurt somebody because they have done something wrong.

punishment ~ what happens to us when somebody *punishes us.

ransom ~ pay to make someone safe.

redeem ~ pay to make someone in your family safe.

Redeemer ~ God. He *redeems when he saves people. He does it because they are part of his family.

reed ~ a plant that grows near water.

religion ~ how people *worship their God or false god.

righteous ~ very, very good. Only God is really righteous. He is called ‘The Righteous One’.

righteousness ~ is what people have who always obey God’s rules. They are very, very good.

root ~ part of a plant that is in the ground.

rough ~ like ground that nobody has dug. It is not flat.

ruler ~ a straight piece of wood that measures things.

safety ~ when someone is safe.

scales ~ a machine that weighs things.

Sheol ~ a place under the ground. A place where dead people went.

shepherd ~ a sheep farmer. God often sees his people as sheep that need a shepherd.

silver ~ a valuable metal.

sin ~ what we do when we do not obey God; or, we sin when we do not obey God.

spat ~ sent water out of the mouth very quickly.

spices ~ materials from plants. People use them to cause food to taste better.

spirit ~ the part of a person that is alive, which we cannot see; it can speak to other spirits; there are spirits that we cannot see; they can be good or bad.

strength ~ what you have when you are strong.

stringed instruments ~ you use your fingers to make music with stringed instruments. Examples are guitar and violin.

sword ~ a long knife that soldiers used to kill people.

tears ~ the water that comes from our eyes when we cry.

temple ~ like a large church. The Temple in Jerusalem was the House of God.

tent ~ a house that people make from animal skins, like goats’ skins. People can move them about easily.

thorn ~ a bush with sharp points on its branches.

thresh ~ get the good part of a plant and throw away the *chaff.

thrush ~ a bird about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long.

tongue ~ the thing in our mouths that tastes things and makes us able to speak.

turquoise stones ~ very valuable stones that are blue.

uncover ~ the opposite of cover.

unimportant ~ the opposite of important.

unkind ~ the opposite of kind.

virgin ~ a woman who has not had sex with anyone. We think that ‘Virgin Daughter of Babylon’ in Isaiah 47:1 means ‘all the people in Babylon’, mostly the leaders.

waves ~ the water in the sea makes waves when it moves.

widow ~ a woman whose husband has died.

wine ~ a drink that people make from *grapes. It contains alcohol.

wing ~ what a bird uses to fly with.

witness ~ someone who says what they saw happen.

worm ~ a small animal about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long. It lives under the ground.

worship ~ tell someone that they are very great; and tell them that you love them.

wounds ~ places where somebody has hit or cut a person.

YHWH ~ the *Hebrew name for God; sometimes called Jehovah; God’s name in Hebrew.

Zion ~ the name of a hill in Jerusalem. People often use it to mean all Jerusalem.

Book List

John R. Kohlenberger III ~ The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament ~ Zondervan, 1987

Sir Lancelot Brenton ~ The Septuagint with Apocrypha ~ Hendrickson, 1995

B. Davidson ~ Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon ~ Bagster, 1959

G. Abbott-Smith ~ Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament ~ T. & T. Clark, 1936

The Comparative Study Bible, NIV, NASB, AB, KJV ~ Zondervan

Various English Translations of the Bible, apart from those above, including:

The English Version for the Deaf ~ Baker, 1992

The Promise ~ Nelson, 1995

The New English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1970

The Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1957

The Revised Authorised Version ~ Bagster

The Living Bible ~ Tyndale, 1971

The Revised English Bible ~ Oxford-Cambridge, 1989

The New Revised Standard Version ~ Nelson, 1989

The New Living Translation ~ Tyndale, 1997

The Good News Bible ~ Collins, 1978

The Jerusalem Bible ~ Darton, Longman & Todd, 1968

The Four Prophets ~ J. B. Phillips ~ Bles, 1963

A Handbook on Isaiah ~ UBS Handbooks Helps for Translators Series (Draft Copy)


©1997-2007, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

September 2007

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