Isaiah 46

Israel the Lord's Chosen

44  But now hear, bO Jacob my servant,

Israel whom I have chosen!

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.

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.

They shall spring up among the grass

glike willows by flowing streams.

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

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel

and ihis Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

jI am the first and I am the last;

besides me there is no god.

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.

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

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,

dand will be glorified3 in Israel.

24  Thus says the Lord, eyour Redeemer,

fwho formed you from the womb:

gI 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:

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,

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.

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.

xI am the Lord, and there is no other,

besides me there is no God;

yI equip you, though you do not know me,

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.

I form light and create darkness;

I make well-being and acreate calamity;

I am the Lord, who does all these things.

bShower, 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.

dWoe 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:

gAsk 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:

qThe 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,

zSeek me in vain.3

I the Lord speak athe truth;

I declare what is right.

20  bAssemble 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:

kTo me every knee shall bow,

every tongue shall swear allegiance.4

24  lOnly 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.

They stoop; they bow down together;

they cannot save the burden,

but pthemselves go into captivity.

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;

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.

sTo whom will you liken me and make me equal,

and compare me, that we may be alike?

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!

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.

Remember this and stand firm,

recall it to mind, xyou transgressors,

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, zMy 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.

Take the millstones and jgrind flour,

kput off your veil,

strip off your robe, uncover your legs,

pass through the rivers.

Your nakedness shall be uncovered,

and your disgrace shall be seen.

I will take vengeance,

and I will spare no one.

lOur Redeemerthe Lord of hosts is his name

is the Holy One of Israel.

mSit in silence, and go into darkness,

O daughter of hthe Chaldeans;

for you shall no more be called

nthe mistress of kingdoms.

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.

You said, I shall be qmistress forever,

so that you did not lay these things to heart

or remember their end.

Now therefore hear this, qyou lover of pleasures,

rwho sit securely,

who say in your heart,

sI am, and there is no one besides me;

tI shall not sit as a widow

or know the loss of children:

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,

xI 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.

For they call themselves after the holy city,

gand stay themselves on the God of Israel;

the Lord of hosts is his name.

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.

Because I know that iyou are obstinate,

and your neck is an iron sinew

and your forehead brass,

hI declared them to you from of old,

before they came to pass I announced them to you,

lest you should say, jMy idol did them,

my carved image and my metal image commanded them.

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.

They are created now, not long ago;

before today you have never heard of them,

lest you should say, Behold, I knew them.

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.

mFor 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;

oI have tried1 you in the furnace of affliction.

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.

20  dGo out from Babylon, flee from eChaldea,

declare this fwith a shout of joy, proclaim it,

send it out to the end of the earth;

say, gThe 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  jThere is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked.