Isaiah 45-48 New Revised Standard Version

<< Isaiah 44 | Isaiah 45-48 | Isaiah 49 >>

The Commission to Cyrus

45 1  Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him- and the gates shall not be closed: 2  I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3  I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 4  For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.

5  I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, 6  so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7  I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.

The LORD the Creator

8  Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it. 9  Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, "What are you making"? or "Your work has no handles"? 10  Woe to anyone who says to a father, "What are you begetting?" or to a woman, "With what are you in labor?"

11  Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? 12  I made the earth, and created humankind upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. 13  I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness, and I will make all his paths straight; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts. 14  Thus says the Lord: The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, tall of stature, shall come over to you and be yours, they shall follow you; they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, "God is with you alone, and there is no other; there is no god besides him." 15  Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. 16  All 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; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. 18  For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other. 19  I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, "Seek me in chaos." I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right.

Babylon's Idols and the LORD

20  Assemble yourselves and come together, draw near, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge- those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. 21  Declare 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? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me. 22  Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 23  By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." 24  Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed. 25  In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.

46 1  Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols are on beasts and cattle; these things you carry are loaded as burdens on weary animals. 2  They stoop, they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. 3  Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; 4  even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

5  To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, as though we were alike? 6  Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales- they hire a goldsmith, who makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship! 7  They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries out to it, it does not answer or save anyone from trouble. 8  Remember this and consider, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9  remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, 10  declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, "My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention," 11  calling a bird of prey from the east, the man for my purpose from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have planned, and I will do it. 12  Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from deliverance: 13  I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off, and my salvation will not tarry; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.

Judgment on Babylon

47 1  Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter Babylon! Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter Chaldea! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. 2  Take the millstones and grind meal, remove your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. 3  Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one. 4  Our Redeemer-the Lord of hosts is his name- is the Holy One of Israel. 5  Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter Chaldea! For you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms. 6  I was angry with my people, I profaned my heritage; I gave them into your hand, you showed them no mercy; on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.

7  You said, "I shall be mistress forever," so that you did not lay these things to heart or remember their end. 8  Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children"- 9  both these things shall come upon you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in 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, "I am, and there is no one besides me." 11  But evil shall come upon you, which you cannot charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, which you will not be able to ward off; and ruin shall come on you suddenly, of which you know nothing. 12  Stand 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 consultations; let those who study the heavens stand up and save you, those who gaze at the stars, and at each new moon predict what shall befall you. 14  See, they are like stubble, the 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 trafficked with you from your youth; they all wander about in their own paths; there is no one to save you.

Israel's Unfaithfulness Rebuked

48 1  Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and who came forth from the loins of Judah; who swear by the name of the Lord, and invoke the God of Israel, but not in truth or right. 2  For they call themselves after the holy city, and lean on the God of Israel; the Lord of hosts is his name. 3  The former things I declared long ago, they went out from my mouth and I made them known; then suddenly I did them and they came to pass. 4  Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass, 5  I declared them to you from long ago, before they came to pass I announced them to you, so that you would not say, "My idol did them, my carved image and my cast image commanded them." 6  You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forward I make you hear 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, so that you could not say, "I already 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 deal very treacherously, and that from birth you were called a rebel.

9  For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, so that I may not cut you off. 10  See, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tested you in the furnace of adversity. 11  For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for why should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. 12  Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called: I am He; I am the first, and I am the last. 13  My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they stand at attention. 14  Assemble, all of you, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The Lord loves him; he shall perform his purpose on Babylon, and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans. 15  I, even I, have spoken and called him, I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.

16  Draw 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 the 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 for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. 18  O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea; 19  your 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  Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it forth to the end of the earth; say, "The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!" 21  They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split open the rock and the water gushed out. 22  "There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked."

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