Isaiah 44-48 Revised Standard Version

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The LORD the Only God

44 1  "But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! 2  Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshu'run whom I have chosen. 3  For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring. 4  They shall spring up like grass amid waters, like willows by flowing streams. 5  This one will say, 'I am the Lord's,' another will call himself by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,' and surname himself by the name of Israel." 6  Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. 7  Who is like me? Let him proclaim it, let him declare and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come? Let them tell us what is yet to be. 8  Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any."

The Folly of Idolatry

9  All who make 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  Who fashions a god or casts an image, that is profitable for nothing? 11  Behold, all his fellows shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are but men; let them all assemble, let them stand forth, they shall be terrified, they shall be put to shame together. 12  The ironsmith fashions it and works it over the coals; he shapes it with hammers, and forges 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; he fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14  He cuts down cedars; or he chooses a holm 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 a graven image and falls down before it. 16  Half of it he burns in the fire; over the half he eats flesh, he roasts meat 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; he prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for thou art my god!" 18  They know not, nor do they discern; for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their minds, 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 flesh and have eaten; and shall I make the residue of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?" 20  He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

The LORD the Redeemer of Israel

21  Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. 22  I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23  Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel. 24  Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the Lord, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth--Who was with me? -- 25  who frustrates the omens of liars, and makes fools of diviners; who turns wise men back, and makes their knowledge foolish; 26  who confirms the word of his servant, and performs the counsel of his messengers; who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited,' and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins'; 27  who says to the deep, 'Be dry, I will dry up your rivers'; 28  who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfil all my purpose'; saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"

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 ungird the loins of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: 2  "I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron, 3  I 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, 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 gird you, though you do not know me, 6  that men 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 weal and create woe, I am the Lord, who 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 sprout forth, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also; I the Lord have created it. 9  "Woe to him who strives with his Maker, an earthen vessel with the potter! Does the clay say to him who fashions 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 travail?'"

11  Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? 12  I made the earth, and created man upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. 13  I have aroused him in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways; 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 Sabe'ans, men 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 only, and there is no other, no god besides him.'" 15  Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself, 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, draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge 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? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none 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; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. 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 beasts. 2  They stoop, they bow down together, they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. 3  "Hearken 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, and to gray hairs 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, that we may be alike? 6  Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales, hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship! 7  They lift it upon their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries to it, it does not answer or save him from his 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 none like me, 10  declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' 11  calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. 12  "Hearken 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, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chalde'ans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. 2  Take the millstones and grind meal, put off 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 man. 4  Our Redeemer--the Lord of hosts is his name--is the Holy One of Israel. 5  Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chalde'ans; 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 for ever," 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  These two things shall come to 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, for which you cannot atone; disaster shall fall upon you, which you will not be able to expiate; 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 counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. 14  Behold, 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 wander about each in his own direction; 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 confess the God of Israel, but not in truth or right. 2  For they call themselves after the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; the Lord of hosts is his name. 3  "The former things I declared of old, they went forth 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 of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you, lest you should say, 'My idol did them, my graven image and my molten image commanded them.' 6  "You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I make you hear new things, hidden things which 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 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, that I may not cut you off. 10  Behold, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. 11  For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. 12  "Hearken 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 call to them, they stand forth together. 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 Chalde'ans. 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 to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. 18  O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness 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 forth from Babylon, flee from Chalde'a, 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 thirsted not when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he cleft the rock and the water gushed out. 22  "There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked."

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