The Idols of Babylon and the One True God
46 oBel bows down; Nebo stoops;
their idols are on beasts and livestock;
these things you carry are borne
as burdens on weary beasts.
2 They stoop; they bow down together;
they cannot save the burden,
but pthemselves go into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
qwho have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
4 reven to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
5 s“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
6 tThose who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
uthen they fall down and worship!
7 vThey lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
wit cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, xyou transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 ydeclaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, z‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 acalling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
bI have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 cI bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
dI will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
The Humiliation of Babylon
47 eCome down and sit in the dust,
O virgin fdaughter of Babylon;
gsit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of hthe Chaldeans!
iFor you shall no more be called
tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones and jgrind flour,
kput off your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
pass through the rivers.
3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
and your disgrace shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
and I will spare no one.
4 lOur Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
is the Holy One of Israel.
5 mSit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of hthe Chaldeans;
for you shall no more be called
nthe mistress of kingdoms.
6 oI was angry with my people;
I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand;
pyou showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.
7 You said, “I shall be qmistress forever,”
so that you did not lay these things to heart
or remember their end.
8 Now therefore hear this, qyou lover of pleasures,
rwho sit securely,
who say in your heart,
s“I am, and there is no one besides me;
tI shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children”:
9 uThese two things shall come to you
in a moment, vin one day;
the loss of children and widowhood
shall come upon you in full measure,
win spite of your many sorceries
and the great power of your enchantments.
10 You felt secure in your wickedness;
you said, “No one sees me”;
your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
x“I am, and there is no one besides me.”
11 But evil shall come upon you,
which you will not know how to charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
for which you will not be able to atone;
yand ruin shall come upon you suddenly,
of which you know nothing.
12 zStand fast in your enchantments
and your many sorceries,
with which you have labored from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed;
perhaps you may inspire terror.
13 You are wearied with your many counsels;
let them stand forth and save you,
athose who divide the heavens,
who gaze at the stars,
who at the new moons make known
what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, bthey are like stubble;
cthe fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
no fire to sit before!
15 Such to you are those with whom you have labored,
who have done business with you from your youth;
they wander about, each in his own direction;
there is no one to save you.
Israel Refined for God’s Glory
48 Hear this, O house of Jacob,
dwho are called by the name of Israel,
and ewho came from the waters of Judah,
fwho swear by the name of the Lord
and confess the God of Israel,
but not in truth or right.
2 For they call themselves after the holy city,
gand stay themselves on the God of Israel;
the Lord of hosts is his name.
3 “The former things hI declared of old;
they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;
then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
4 Because I know that iyou are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
5 hI declared them to you from of old,
before they came to pass I announced them to you,
lest you should say, j‘My idol did them,
my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’
6 “You have heard; now see all this;
and will you not declare it?
From this time forth kI announce to you new things,
hidden things that you have not known.
7 They are created now, not long ago;
before today you have never heard of them,
lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
8 You have never heard, you have never known,
from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
and that lfrom before birth you were called a rebel.
9 m“For my name’s sake I defer my anger;
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
10 Behold, I have refined you, nbut not as silver;
11 pFor my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name2 be profaned?
qMy glory I will not give to another.
The Lord’s Call to Israel
12 “Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; rI am the first,
and I am the last.
13 My hand slaid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand sspread out the heavens;
twhen I call to them,
they stand forth together.
14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
uWho among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
vhe shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
and his arm shall be against wthe Chaldeans.
15 xI, even I, have spoken and called him;
I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.
16 yDraw near to me, hear this:
from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
from the time it came to be I have been there.”
And now zthe Lord God has sent me, and his Spirit.
17 Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.
18 aOh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
bThen your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
19 cyour offspring would have been like the sand,
and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
or destroyed from before me.”
declare this fwith a shout of joy, proclaim it,
send it out to the end of the earth;
say, g“The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
21 hThey did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
ihe made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock and the water gushed out.
22 j“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
The Servant of the Lord
49 Listen to me, kO coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples lfrom afar.
mThe Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 nHe made my mouth like a sharp sword;
oin the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
4 qBut I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
5 rAnd now the Lord says,
he mwho formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for sI am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
6 he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
that vmy salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
7 Thus says the Lord,
wthe Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
xto one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
y“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
The Restoration of Israel
8 Thus says the Lord:
in a day of salvation I have helped you;
I will keep you band give you
as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
cto apportion the desolate heritages,
9 dsaying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
eThey shall feed along the ways;
on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 fthey shall not hunger or thirst,
neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them gwill lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.
11 hAnd I will make all my mountains a road,
and my highways shall be raised up.
12 iBehold, these shall come from afar,
and these from the land of Syene.”3
13 kSing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord lhas comforted his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, m“The Lord has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 n“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, oI have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders make haste;4
pyour destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 qLift up your eyes around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
rAs I live, declares the Lord,
syou shall put them all on as an ornament;
you shall bind them on as a bride does.
19 “Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land—
tsurely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 uThe children of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears:
t‘The place is too narrow for me;
make room for me to dwell in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart:
‘Who has borne me these?
uI was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away,
but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
from where have these come?’”
22 Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
vand raise my signal to the peoples;
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 xKings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
yWith their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and zlick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
or the captives of a tyrant6 be rescued?
25 For thus says the Lord:
c“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
26 dI will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk ewith their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that fI am the Lord your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience
50 Thus says the Lord:
“Where is gyour mother’s certificate of divorce,
with which hI sent her away?
Or iwhich of my creditors is it
to whom I have sold you?
jBehold, for your iniquities you were sold,
and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2 kWhy, when I came, was there no man;
why, when I called, was there no one to answer?
lIs my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
oI make the rivers a desert;
ptheir fish stink for lack of water
and die of thirst.
3 qI clothe the heavens with blackness
and make sackcloth their covering.”
4 The Lord God has given rme
the tongue of those who are taught,
that sI may know how to sustain with a word
thim who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
5 uThe Lord God has opened my ear,
vand I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6 wI gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
xtherefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 yHe who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9 zBehold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys athe voice of his servant?
bLet him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on his God.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who equip yourselves with burning torches!
Walk by the light of your fire,
and by the torches that you have kindled!
cThis you have from my hand:
you shall lie down in torment.