Prepare the Way for the LORD
(Matthew 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:1–20; John 1:19–28)
1 “Comfort, comfort My people,”
says your God.
2 “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her forced labor has been completed;
her iniquity has been pardoned.
For she has received from the hand of the LORD
3 A voice of one calling:
“Prepare the way for the LORD in the wilderness; a
make a straight highway for our God in the desert. b
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill made low;
the uneven ground will become smooth,
and the rugged land a plain. c
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all humanity together will see it. d
The Enduring Word
(1 Peter 1:22–25)
6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I asked, “What should I cry out?”
“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall
when the breath of the LORD blows on them;
indeed, the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.” e
Here Is Your God!
9 Go up on a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news.
Raise your voice loudly,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news.
Lift it up, f
do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and His arm establishes His rule.
His reward is with Him,
and His recompense accompanies Him.
11 He tends His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart.
He gently leads the nursing ewes.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on a scale
or informed Him as His counselor? h
14 Whom did He consult to enlighten Him,
and who taught Him the paths of justice?
Who imparted knowledge to Him
and showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered a speck of dust on the scales;
He lifts up the islands i like fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for fuel,
nor its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him;
He regards them as nothingness and emptiness.
18 To whom will you liken God?
To what image will you compare Him?
19 To an idol that a craftsman casts
and a metalworker overlays with gold
and fits with silver chains?
20 To one bereft of an offering
who chooses wood that will not rot,
who seeks a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple?
21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the foundation of the earth?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its dwellers are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He brings the princes to nothing
and makes the rulers j of the earth meaningless.
24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown,
no sooner have their stems taken root in the ground,
than He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like stubble.
25 “To whom will you liken Me,
or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high:
Who created all these?
He leads forth the starry host by number;
He calls each one by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and why do you assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary;
His understanding is beyond searching out.
29 He gives power to the faint
and increases the strength of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall.
31 But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength;
they will mount up with wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint.
3 a Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for the LORD
3 b LXX make straight the paths of our God ; cited in Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, and John 1:23
4 c LXX Every valley shall be filled in, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. All the crooked ways shall become straight, and the rough places plains. Cited in Luke 3:5
5 d Literally and all flesh together will see it. Cited in Luke 3:6
8 e Cited in 1 Peter 1:24–25
9 f Or O herald of good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. O herald of good news to Jerusalem, lift it up,
13 g Or mind of the LORD ; see also LXX.
13 h Cited in Romans 11:34 and 1 Corinthians 2:16
15 i Or coastlands
23 j Or judges