23 “Then I pleaded with Adonai,
24 ‘Adonai Elohim, you have begun to reveal your greatness to your servant, and your strong hand — for what other god is there in heaven or on earth that can do the works and mighty deeds that you do?
25 Please! Let me go across and see the good land on the other side of the Yarden, that wonderful hill-country and the L’vanon!’
26 But Adonai was angry with me on account of you, and he didn’t listen to me. Adonai said to me, ‘Enough from you! Don’t say another word to me about this matter!
27 Climb up to the top of Pisgah and look out to the west, north, south and east. Look with your eyes — but you will not go across this Yarden.
28 However, commission Y’hoshua, encourage him and strengthen him; for he will lead this people across and enable them to inherit the land that you will see.’
29 So we stayed in the valley across from Beit-P‘or.
1 “Now, Isra’el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that Adonai, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
2 In order to obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it.
3 You saw with your own eyes what Adonai did at Ba‘al-P‘or, that Adonai destroyed from among you all the men who followed Ba‘al-P‘or;
4 but you who stuck with Adonai your God are still alive today, every one of you.
1 “Comfort and keep comforting my people,” says your God.
2 “Tell Yerushalayim to take heart; proclaim to her
that she has completed her time of service,
that her guilt has been paid off,
that she has received at the hand of Adonai
double for all her sins.”
3 A voice cries out:
“Clear a road through the desert for Adonai!
Level a highway in the ‘Aravah for our God!
4 Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill lowered,
the bumpy places made level
and the crags become a plain.
5 Then the glory of Adonai will be revealed;
all humankind together will see it,
for the mouth of Adonai has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Proclaim!”
And I answer, “What should I proclaim?”
“All humanity is merely grass,
all its kindness like wildflowers:
7 the grass dries up, the flower fades,
when a wind from Adonai blows on it.
Surely the people are grass!
8 The grass dries up, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Tziyon,
get yourself up on a high mountain;
you who bring good news to Yerushalayim,
cry out at the top of your voice!
Don’t be afraid to shout out loud!
Say to the cities of Y’hudah,
“Here is your God!
10 Here comes Adonai Elohim with power,
and his arm will rule for him.
Look! His reward is with him,
and his recompense is before him.
11 He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering his lambs with his arm,
carrying them against his chest,
gently leading the mother sheep.”
12 Who has counted the handfuls of water in the sea,
measured off the sky with a ruler,
gauged how much dust there is on the earth,
weighed the mountains on scales, or the hills in a balance?
13 Who has measured the Spirit of Adonai?
Who has been his counselor, instructing him?
14 Whom did he consult, to gain understanding?
Who taught him how to judge,
taught him what he needed to know,
showed him how to discern?
15 The nations are like a drop in a bucket,
they count like a grain of dust on the scales.
The islands weigh as little as specks of dust.
16 The L’vanon would not suffice for fuel
or its animals be enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are like nothing.
He regards them as less than nothing.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
By what standard will you evaluate him?
19 An image made by a craftsman,
which a goldsmith overlays with gold,
for which he then casts silver chains?
20 A man too poor to afford an offering
chooses a piece of wood that won’t rot,
then seeks out a skilled artisan
to prepare an image that won’t fall over.
21 Don’t you know? Don’t you hear?
Haven’t you been told from the start?
Don’t you understand how the earth is set up?
22 He who sits above the circle of the earth —
for whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers —
stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He reduces princes to nothing,
the rulers of the earth to emptiness.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely their stem taken root in the ground,
when he blows on them, they dry up,
and the whirlwind carries them off like straw.
25 “With whom, then, will you compare me?
With whom am I equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Turn your eyes to the heavens!
See who created these?
He brings out the army of them in sequence,
summoning each by name.
Through his great might and his massive strength,
not one of them is missing.