Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! a Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, "What are you making"? or "Your work has no handles"?
Woe to anyone who says to a father, "What are you begetting?" or to a woman, "With what are you in labor?"
Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Will you question me b about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
I made the earth, and created humankind upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
I have aroused Cyrus c 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.
Thus says the Lord: The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, d 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."
Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.
All of them are put to shame and confounded, the makers of idols go in confusion together.
But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.
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.
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.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)