The carpenter makes an idol (Isa 44:13-44:13)

“The carpenter stretches a line.

He marks it out with a stylus.

He fashions it with planes.

He marks it with a compass.

He makes it into a human form.

It has human beauty.

He sets it up in a shrine.”

Second Isaiah has the carpenter seem to be more efficient. This carpenter artist stretches out a line on a piece of wood. He uses a stylus or pencil to mark it off. He then planes it down and marks it with a compass. He finally carves it into a human beauty, before he sets it in a shrine.

How can you compare God with idols? (Isa 40:18-40:20)

“To whom then will you liken God?

What likeness compares with him?

An idol?

A workman casts it.

A goldsmith overlays it with gold.

He casts for it silver chains.

As a gift,

One chooses mulberry wood.

Wood that will not rot.

He seeks out a skilful artisan

To set up an image

That will not topple.”

Second Isaiah wants to know how you can compare God to false idols. Now a workman casts the idol and puts gold and silver over it. Or he may choose a mulberry bush wood that would not rot. He then carves an image and makes it so that it will not fall. How are these things comparable to the one true God? This is a fairly common theme in the second half of Isaiah, so that it might have been a serious problem.