Words of Hope
1 “Comfort my people,” says our God. “Comfort them!
2 Encourage the people of Jerusalem.
Tell them they have suffered long enough
and their sins are now forgiven.
i 40.2: and their sins are now forgiven; or they have paid for what they did.
I have punished them in full for all their sins.”
A voice cries out,
“Prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord!
Clear the way in the desert for our God!
4 Fill every valley;
level every mountain.
The hills will become a plain,
and the rough country will be made smooth.
5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it.
The Lord himself has promised this.”
A voice cries out, “Proclaim a message!”
“What message shall I proclaim?” I ask.
“Proclaim that all human beings are like grass;
they last no longer than wild flowers.
7 Grass withers and flowers fade
when the Lord sends the wind blowing over them.
People are no more enduring than grass.
8 Yes, grass withers and flowers fade,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
9 Jerusalem, go up on a high mountain
and proclaim the good news!
Call out with a loud voice, Zion;
announce the good news!
j 40.9: Jerusalem, go up...news!; or Go up on a high mountain and proclaim the good news to Jerusalem! Call out with a loud voice and announce the good news to Zion!
Speak out and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah
that their God is coming!
The Sovereign Lord
is coming to rule with power,
bringing with him the people he has rescued.
k 40.10: the people he has rescued; or the rewards he has for his people.
He will take care of his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs together
and carry them in his arms;
he will gently lead their mothers.