Israel the Lord’s Chosen
44 “But now hear, bO Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the Lord who made you,
cwho formed you from the womb and will help you:
dFear not, O Jacob my servant,
eJeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 fFor I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They shall spring up among the grass
glike willows by flowing streams.
5 hThis one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Besides Me There Is No God
6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and ihis Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
j“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7 kWho is like me? Let him proclaim it.1
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
8 Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
lAnd you are my witnesses!
mIs there a God besides me?
There is no nRock; I know not any.”
The Folly of Idolatry
9 oAll who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 pWho fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 qBehold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
12 pThe ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil.2 He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. rHe shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 sHe cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. tHe prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an uabomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 vHe feeds on washes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not xa lie in my right hand?”
The Lord Redeems Israel
21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are ymy servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
zO Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 aI have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
23 bSing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
shout, O cdepths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
24 Thus says the Lord, eyour Redeemer,
fwho formed you from the womb:
g“I am the Lord, who made all things,
hwho alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
25 who frustrates the signs of liars
and makes fools of diviners,
iwho turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
26 jwho confirms the word of his servant
and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
kand of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
and I will raise up their ruins’;
27 lwho says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
I will dry up your rivers’;
28 who says of mCyrus, ‘He is nmy shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
oand of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”
Cyrus, God’s Instrument
45 Thus says the Lord to phis anointed, to Cyrus,
qwhose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and rto loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed:
2 “I will go before you
and slevel the exalted places,1
tI will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut through the bars of iron,
3 uI will give you the treasures of darkness
and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
the God of Israel, vwho call you by your name.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
and Israel my chosen,
vI call you by your name,
wI name you, though you do not know me.
5 xI am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
yI equip you, though you do not know me,
6 zthat people may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness;
I make well-being and acreate calamity;
I am the Lord, who does all these things.
8 b“Shower, O heavens, from above,
and clet the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
let the earth cause them both to sprout;
I the Lord have created it.
9 d“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
eDoes the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
or ‘Your work has no handles’?
10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
11 Thus says fthe Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
g“Ask me of things to come;
will you command me hconcerning my children and ithe work of my hands?2
12 jI made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands kthat stretched out the heavens,
and lI commanded all their host.
13 mI have stirred him up in righteousness,
nand I will make all his ways level;
ohe shall build my city
pand set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
says the Lord of hosts.
The Lord, the Only Savior
14 Thus says the Lord:
q“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and the Sabeans, men of stature,
shall come over to you rand be yours;
they shall follow you;
they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will plead with you, saying:
‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
no god besides him.’”
15 sTruly, you are a God who hides himself,
O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 tAll of them are put to shame and confounded;
the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord
with everlasting salvation;
uyou shall not be put to shame or confounded
to all eternity.
18 vFor thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he wdid not create it empty,
xhe formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 yI did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
I the Lord speak athe truth;
I declare what is right.
20 b“Assemble yourselves and come;
draw near together,
you survivors of the nations!
cThey have no knowledge
who dcarry about their wooden idols,
eand keep on praying to a god
that cannot save.
21 fDeclare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God gand a Savior;
there is none besides me.
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
hall the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 iBy myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in jrighteousness
a word that shall not return:
k‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’4
24 l“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and mstrength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
nall who were incensed against him.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”
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.”