Isaiah 40:20

“He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

He that is so impouerished that he hath no oblation, chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh vnto him a cunning workeman, to prepare a grauen image that shall not be mooued.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

He who is too impoverished for {such} an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

He that is too impoverished for `such' an oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a skilful workman to set up a graven image, that shall not be moved.
- American Standard Version (1901)

The wise workman makes selection of the mulberry-tree of the offering, a wood which will not become soft; so that the image may be fixed to it and not be moved.
- Basic English Bible

He that is impoverished, so that he hath no offering, chooseth a tree that doth not rot; he seeketh unto him a skilled workman to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved.
- Darby Bible

He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh for himself a skillful workman to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved.
- Webster's Bible

He who is too impoverished for such an offering chooses a tree that will not rot. He seeks a skillful workman to set up an engraved image for him that will not be moved.
- World English Bible

He who is poor [by] heave-offerings, A tree not rotten doth choose, A skilful artizan he seeketh for it, To establish a graven image -- not moved.
- Youngs Literal Bible

A holm-oak is set apart, he chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning craftsman to set up an image, that shall not be moved.
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Isaiah 40:20


40:20 He - That can hardly procure money to buy a sacrifice. Chuseth - He is so mad upon his idols, that he will find money to procure the choicest materials, and the best artist to make his idol. An image - Which after all this cost, cannot stir one step out of its place to give you any help.


Discussion for Isaiah 40

  • Madi
    Joshua McAdow ..Thank you for obeying the Holy Ghost. I've been struggling with doing what's expected of me by my husband and being obedient to church standards and judgement that we attend, that I have come to a hault in Spiritual growth. I awoke this morning with sadness but after letting the Lord speak to my heart he directed me to Isaiah 40:31 and your comment. Thank you, Lord Bless you :)
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    I am encouraged as I wait upon the Lord today that "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
  • Helen
    Isaiah 40:31 has been a lifter to my soul. In one of my deepest despair this Scripture gave me
    peace and comfort for what I was going through. It gave me strength.
  • Joshua McAdow
    During the reading of God's Word something was brought to my attention that Jesus might be trying to tell someone right now. We are all going to fall in love with something beautiful in this life. That thing or person or concept will not last very long even in this life our time is short. But one thing is for sure God's Word will stay with us forever. If we invest in the temporary we will only gain temporary rewards. But there is opportunity to invest in something eternal. We ought to pick one thing today that we know is eternal like the sharing of God's Word even at the expense of something we else might do. Amen.
  • Steve morrow
    1 PETER 1:23 BEING BORN AGAIN NOT OF CORRUPTIBLE SEED BUT OF INCORRUPTIBLE BY THE WORD OF GOD WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOREVER --- 1:24 --- FOR ALL FLESH IS AS GRASS AND ALL THE GLORY OF MAN --AS THE FLOWER OF GRASS-- THE GRASS WITHERETH AND THE FLOWER THEREOF FALLETH AWAY --- 1:25 --- BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOREVER AND THIS IS THE WORD WHICH BY THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED UNTO YOU --- 1 CORINTHIANS 3:13 --- EVERY MANS WORK SHALL BE MADE MANIFEST FOR THE DAY SHALL DECLARE IT BECAUSE IT SHALL BE REVEALED BY FIRE AND THE FIRE SHALL TRY EVERY MANS WORK OF WHAT SORT IT IS --- 3:14 --- IF ANY MANS WORK ABIDE WHICH HE HATH BUILT THEREUPON HE SHALL RECEIVE A REWARD --- PSALM 127:1 --- EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE THEY LABOR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT EXCEPT THE LORD KEEP THE CITY THE WATCHMAN WAKETH BUT IN VAIN
  • BSP
    Verse 8: Some have tried to destroy God's Word throughout the centuries, but this verse shows that God's Word endures forever.

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