The Commission to Cyrus
45 1 The Lord says to the man of his selection, to Cyrus, whom I have taken by the right hand, putting down nations before him, and taking away the arms of kings; making the doors open before him, so that the ways into the towns may not be shut; 2 I will go before you, and make the rough places level: the doors of brass will be broken, and the iron rods cut in two: 3 And I will give you the stores of the dark, and the wealth of secret places, so that you may be certain that I am the Lord, who gave you your name, even the God of Israel. 4 Because of Jacob my servant, and Israel whom I have taken for myself, I have sent for you by name, giving you a name of honour, though you had no knowledge of me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God but me: I will make you ready for war, though you had no knowledge of me: 6 So that they may see from the east and from the west that there is no God but me: I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I am the giver of light and the maker of the dark; causing blessing, and sending troubles; I am the Lord, who does all these things.
The LORD the Creator
8 Let righteousness come down, O heavens, from on high, and let the sky send it down like rain: let the earth be open to give the fruit of salvation, causing righteousness to come up with it; I the Lord have made it come about. 9 Cursed is he who has an argument with his Maker, the pot which has an argument with the Potter! Will the wet earth say to him who is working with it, What are you doing, that your work has nothing by which it may be gripped? 10 Cursed is he who says to a father, To what are you giving life? or to a woman, What are you in birth-pains with?
11 The Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, says, Will you put a question to me about the things which are to come, or will you give me orders about my sons, and the work of my hands? 12 I have made the earth, forming man on it: by my hands the heavens have been stretched out, and all the stars put in their ordered places. 13 I have sent him out to overcome the nations, and I will make all his ways straight: I will give him the work of building my town, and he will let my prisoners go free, without price or reward, says the Lord of armies. 14 The Lord says, The workmen of Egypt, and the traders of Ethiopia, and the tall Sabaeans, will come over the sea to you, and they will be yours; they will go after you; in chains they will come over: and they will go down on their faces before you, and will make prayer to you, saying, Truly, God is among you; and there is no other God. 15 Truly, you have a secret God, the God of Israel is a Saviour! 16 All those who have gone against him will be put to shame; the makers of images will be made low. 17 But the Lord will make Israel free with an eternal salvation: you will not be put to shame or made low for ever and ever. 18 For this is the word of the Lord who made the heavens; he is God; the maker and designer of the earth; who made it not to be a waste, but as a living-place for man: I am the Lord, and there is no other. 19 I have not given my word in secret, in a place in the underworld; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, Go into a waste land to make request of me: I the Lord say what is true, my word is righteousness.
Babylon's Idols and the LORD
20 Come together, even come near, you nations who are still living: they have no knowledge who take up their image of wood, and make prayer to a god in whom is no salvation. 21 Give the word, put forward your cause, let us have a discussion together: who has given news of this in the past? who made it clear in early times? did not I, the Lord? and there is no God but me; a true God and a saviour; there is no other. 22 Let your hearts be turned to me, so that you may have salvation, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other. 23 By myself have I taken an oath, a true word has gone from my mouth, and will not be changed, that to me every knee will be bent, and every tongue will give honour. 24 Only in the Lord will Jacob overcome and be strong: together all those who were angry with him will be put to shame and come to destruction. 25 In the Lord will all the seed of Israel get their rights, and they will give glory to him.
46 1 Bel is bent down, Nebo is falling; their images are on the beasts and on the cattle: the things which you took about have become a weight to the tired beast. 2 They are bent down, they are falling together: they were not able to keep their images safe, but they themselves have been taken prisoner. 3 Give ear to me, O family of Jacob, and all the rest of the people of Israel, who have been supported by me from their birth, and have been my care from their earliest days: 4 Even when you are old I will be the same, and when you are grey-haired I will take care of you: I will still be responsible for what I made; yes, I will take you and keep you safe.
5 Who in your eyes is my equal? or what comparison will you make with me? 6 As for those who take gold out of a bag, and put silver in the scales, they give payment to a gold-worker, to make it into a god; they go down on their faces and give it worship. 7 They put him on their backs, and take him up, and put him in his fixed place, from which he may not be moved; if a man gives a cry for help to him, he is unable to give an answer, or get him out of his trouble. 8 Keep this in mind and be shamed; let it come back to your memory, you sinners. 9 Let the things which are past come to your memory: for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me; 10 Making clear from the first what is to come, and from past times the things which have not so far come about; saying, My purpose is fixed, and I will do all my pleasure; 11 Sending for a bird of strong flight from the east, the man of my purpose from a far country; I have said it, and I will give effect to it; the thing designed by me will certainly be done. 12 Give ear to me, you feeble-hearted, who have no faith in my righteousness: 13 My righteousness is near, it is not far off; salvation will come quickly; and I will make Zion free, and give Israel my glory.
Judgment on Babylon
47 1 Come and take your seat in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; come down from your seat of power, and take your place on the earth, O daughter of the Chaldaeans: for you will never again seem soft and delicate. 2 Take the crushing-stones and get the meal crushed: take off your veil, put away your robe, let your legs be uncovered, go through the rivers. 3 The shame of your unclothed condition will be seen by all: I will give punishment without mercy, 4 Says the Lord who takes up our cause; the Lord of armies is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 5 Be seated in the dark without a word, O daughter of the Chaldaeans: for you will no longer be named, The Queen of Kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people, I put shame on my heritage, and gave them into your hands: you had no mercy on them; you put a cruel yoke on those who were old;
7 And you said, I will be a queen for ever: you did not give attention to these things, and did not keep in mind what would come after. 8 So now take note of this, you who are given up to pleasure, living without fear of evil, saying in your heart, I am, and there is no one like me; I will never be a widow, or have my children taken from me. 9 But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day, the loss of children and of husband: in full measure they will come on you, for all your secret arts, and all your wonders. 10 For you had faith in your evil-doing; you said, No one sees me; by your wisdom and knowledge you have been turned out of the way: and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no other. 11 Because of this evil will come on you, which may not be turned away for any price: and trouble will overtake you, from which no money will give salvation: destruction will come on you suddenly, without your knowledge. 12 Go on now with your secret arts, and all your wonder-working, to which you have given yourself up from your earliest days; it may be that they will be of profit to you, or by them you may put fear into your attackers. 13 But your mind is troubled by the number of your guides: let them now come forward for your salvation: the measurers of the heavens, the watchers of the stars, and those who are able to say from month to month what things are coming on you. 14 Truly, they have become like dry stems, they have been burned in the fire; they are not able to keep themselves safe from the power of the flame: it is not a coal for warming them, or a fire by which a man may be seated. 15 Small profit have you had from those who, from your earliest days, got great profit out of you; they have gone in flight, every one straight before him, and you have no saviour.
Israel's Unfaithfulness Rebuked
48 1 Give ear to this, O family of Jacob, you who are named by the name of Israel, and have come out of the body of Judah; who take oaths by the name of the Lord, and make use of the name of the God of Israel, but not truly and not in good faith. 2 For they say that they are of the holy town, and put their faith in the God of Israel: the Lord of armies is his name. 3 I gave word in the past of the things which came about; they came from my mouth, and I made them clear: suddenly I did them, and they came about. 4 Because I saw that your heart was hard, and that your neck was an iron cord, and your brow brass; 5 For this reason I made it clear to you in the past, before it came I gave you word of it: for fear that you might say, My god did these things, and my pictured and metal images made them come about. 6 All this has come to your ears and you have seen it; will you not give witness to it? I am now making clear new things, even secret things, of which you had no knowledge. 7 They have only now been effected, and not in the past: and before this day they had not come to your ears; for fear that you might say, I had knowledge of them. 8 Truly you had no word of them, no knowledge of them; no news of them in the past had come to your ears; because I saw how false was your behaviour, and that your heart was turned against me from your earliest days.
9 Because of my name I will put away my wrath, and for my praise I will keep myself from cutting you off. 10 See, I have been testing you for myself like silver; I have put you through the fire of trouble. 11 For myself, even because of my name, I will do it; for I will not let my name be shamed; and my glory I will not give to another. 12 Give ear to me, Jacob, and Israel, my loved one; I am he, I am the first and I am the last. 13 Yes, by my hand was the earth placed on its base, and by my right hand the heavens were stretched out; at my word they take up their places. 14 Come together, all of you, and give ear; who among you has given news of these things? the Lord's loved one will do his pleasure with Babylon, and with the seed of the Chaldaeans. 15 I, even I, have given the word; I have sent for him: I have made him come, and have given effect to his undertakings.
16 Come near to me, and give ear to this; from the start I did not keep it secret; from the time of its coming into existence I was there: and now the Lord God has sent me, and given me his spirit. 17 The Lord who takes up your cause, the Holy One of Israel, says, I am the Lord your God, who is teaching you for your profit, guiding you by the way in which you are to go. 18 If only you had given ear to my orders, then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19 Your seed would have been like the sand, and your offspring like the dust: your name would not be cut off or come to an end before me. 20 Go out of Babylon, go in flight from the Chaldaeans; with the sound of song make it clear, give the news, let the word go out even to the end of the earth: say, The Lord has taken up the cause of his servant Jacob. 21 They had no need of water when he was guiding them through the waste lands: he made water come out of the rock for them: the rock was parted and the waters came flowing out. 22 There is no peace, says the Lord, for the evil-doers.