1 This is what the LORD says about Cyrus, his anointed one: I have held him by his right hand so he could conquer the nations ahead of him, strip kings of their power, and open doors ahead of him so that the gates would not be shut. 2 I will go ahead of you, Cyrus, and smooth out the rough places. I will break down the bronze doors and cut through the iron bars. 3 I will give you treasures from dark places and hidden stockpiles. Then you will know that I, the LORD God of Israel, have called you by name. 4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, Israel, my chosen one, I have called you by name. I have given you a title of honor, although you don't know me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other. There is no other God besides me. I will strengthen you, although you don't know me, 6 so that from the east to the west people will know that there is no God except me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. 7 I make light and create darkness. I make blessings and create disasters. I, the LORD, do all these things. 8 Rain down from above, you heavens, and pour down righteousness, you skies. Let the earth open. Let salvation and righteousness sprout. Let them spring up. I, the LORD, have created them. 9 How horrible it will be for the one who quarrels with his maker. He is pottery among other earthenware pots. Does the clay ask the one who shapes it, "What are you making?" Does your work say to you, "There are no handles"? 10 How horrible it will be for the one who says to his father, "Why did you conceive me?" or to his mother, "Why did you go through labor pains for me?" 11 The LORD is the Holy One and the maker of Israel. This is what the LORD says: Ask me about what is going to happen to my children! Are you going to give me orders concerning my handiwork? 12 I made the earth and created humans on it. I stretched out the heavens with my own hands. I commanded all the stars [to shine]. 13 I prepared Cyrus for my righteous purpose. I will make all his roads straight. He will build my city and let my exiles go free without any payment or any reward, says the LORD of Armies. 14 This is what the LORD says: The products from Egypt, the merchandise from Sudan, and the important Sabaeans will come to you. They will belong to you. They will follow you. They will come to you in chains. They will bow to you and pray to you, "Certainly God is with you alone, and there is no other God." 15 Certainly, you are a God who has hidden himself. You are the God of Israel, the Savior! 16 Those who make idols will be ashamed and disgraced. They will go away completely disgraced. 17 Israel has been saved by the LORD forever. You will never again be ashamed or disgraced. 18 The LORD created the heavens. God formed the earth and made it. He set it up. He did not create it to be empty but formed it to be inhabited. This is what the LORD says: I am the LORD, and there is no other. 19 I haven't spoken privately or in some dark corner of the world. I didn't say to Jacob's descendants, "Search for me in vain!" I, the LORD, speak what is fair and say what is right. 20 Come here, you refugees from the nations. Ignorant people carry wooden idols and pray to gods that cannot save [anyone]. 21 Speak and present your case. Yes, let them consult one another. Who revealed this in the distant past and predicted it long ago? Wasn't it I, the LORD? There is no other God except me. There is no other righteous God and Savior besides me. 22 Turn to me and be saved, all who live at the ends of the earth, because I am God, and there is no other. 23 I have bound myself with an oath. A word has gone out from my righteous mouth that will not be recalled, "Every knee will bow to me and every tongue will swear [allegiance]." 24 It will be said of me, "Certainly, righteousness and strength are found in the LORD alone." All who are angry with him will come to him and be ashamed. 25 All the descendants of Israel will be declared righteous, and they will praise the LORD.
1 The god Bel bows down; the god Nebo stoops low. Their statues are seated on animals and cattle. The gods that you carry are burdens, a load for weary people. 2 These gods stoop low and bow down together. They aren't able to escape with heavy loads. They go away into captivity. 3 Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, the few people left of the nation of Israel. I've carried you since your birth. I've taken care of you from the time you were born. 4 Even when you're old, I'll take care of you. Even when your hair turns gray, I'll support you. I made you and will continue to care for you. I'll support you and save you. 5 To whom will you compare me and make me equal? To whom will you compare me so that we can be alike? 6 People pour gold out of their bags and weigh silver on scales. They hire a goldsmith. He makes it into a god. They bow down and worship it. 7 They lift it on their shoulders and carry it. They set the idol in its place, and it stands there. It doesn't move from its place. If they cry to it for help, it can't answer. It can't rescue them from their distress. 8 Remember this, and take courage. Recall your rebellious acts. 9 Remember the first events, because I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there's no one like me. 10 From the beginning I revealed the end. From long ago I told you things that had not yet happened, saying, "My plan will stand, and I'll do everything I intended to do." 11 I will call a bird of prey from the east. I will call someone for my plan from a faraway land. I have spoken, and I will bring it about. I have planned it, and I will do it. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn people who are far from being righteous. 13 I'll bring my righteousness near; it isn't far away. My salvation will not be delayed. I'll provide salvation for Zion and bring my glory to Israel.
1 Go, sit in the dirt, virgin princess of Babylon! Sit on the ground, not on a throne, princess of the Babylonians! You will no longer be called soft and delicate. 2 Take millstones and grind flour. Remove your veil. Take off your skirt. Uncover your legs, and cross the river. 3 People will see you naked. People will see your shame. I will take revenge. I won't spare anyone. 4 Our defender is the Holy One of Israel. His name is the LORD of Armies. 5 Go into the dark, and sit in silence, princess of the Babylonians! You will no longer be called the queen of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people. I dishonored those who belong to me. I put them under your control. You showed them no mercy. You placed a heavy burden on old people. 7 You said, "I will always be a queen." You didn't carefully consider these things or keep in mind how they would end. 8 Now then, listen to this, you lover of pleasure. You live securely and say to yourself, "I'm the only one, and there's no one else. I won't live as a widow. I won't suffer the loss of children." 9 In one day both of these will happen to you instantly: the loss of your children and your husband. All this will happen to you in spite of your evil magic and your many spells. 10 You feel safe in your wickedness and say, "No one can see me." Your wisdom and knowledge have led you astray, so you say to yourself, "I'm the only one, and there's no one else." 11 But evil will happen to you. You won't know how to keep it away. Disaster will strike you. You won't be able to stop it. Destruction will overtake you suddenly. You won't expect it. 12 Keep practicing your spells and your evil magic. You have practiced them ever since you were young. You may succeed. You may cause terror. 13 You are worn out by your many plans. Let your astrologers and your stargazers, who foretell the future month by month, come to you, rise up, and save you. 14 They are like straw. Fire burns them. They can't rescue themselves from the flames. There are no glowing coals to keep them warm and no fire for them to sit by. 15 This is how it will be for those who have worked with you, for those who have been with you ever since you were young. They will go their own ways, and there will be no one to save you.
1 Listen to this, descendants of Jacob! You are given the name of Israel. You are descended from Judah. You take oaths by the name of the LORD. You acknowledge the God of Israel, but you are not honest or sincere. 2 You call yourselves [citizens] of the holy city. You depend on the God of Israel. His name is the LORD of Armies. 3 From the beginning I revealed to you what would happen. These words came out of my mouth, and I made them known. Suddenly, I acted, and they happened. 4 I know that you are stubborn. Like iron, you are hardheaded. Like bronze, nothing gets through your thick skull. 5 That is why I revealed to you what would happen long ago. I told you about them before they happened. [I did this] so you couldn't say, "My gods have done these things. My carved idols and my metal idols have commanded them to happen." 6 You've heard these words. Now look at all this. Won't you admit it? From now on I will reveal to you new things, hidden things that you do not know. 7 They are created now, not in the past. You haven't heard about them before today, so you can't say that you already knew about them. 8 You have never heard about them. You have never known about them. Your ears have never been open to hear them before. I know that you've acted very treacherously and that you have been called a rebel since you were born. 9 For my name's sake I'll be patient. For my glory's sake I'll hold my anger back from you, rather than destroy you. 10 I have refined you, but not like silver. I have tested you in the furnace of suffering. 11 I am doing this for myself, only for myself. Why should my name be dishonored? I will not give my glory to anyone else. 12 Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called. I am the one. I am the first and the last. 13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth. My right hand stretched out the heavens. When I call for them, they both stand. 14 Gather together, all of you, and listen. What idol has revealed such things? The LORD loves Cyrus. He will carry out the LORD's plan against Babylon. He will use his strength against the Babylonians. 15 I alone have spoken. I have called him. I will bring him here, and he will succeed. 16 Come here. Listen to this: From the beginning I have spoken nothing in private. From the time it took place, I was there. Now the Almighty LORD has sent me and his Spirit. 17 This is what the LORD, your Defender, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the LORD your God. I teach you what is best for you. I lead you where you should go. 18 If only you had listened to my commands! Your peace would be like a river [that never runs dry]. Your righteousness would be like waves on the sea. 19 Your descendants would be like sand. Your children would be like its grains. Their names would not be cut off or wiped out in my presence. 20 Leave Babylon; flee from the Babylonians! Shout for joy as you tell it and announce it. Shout it out to the ends of the earth. Say that the LORD has reclaimed his servant Jacob. 21 They weren't thirsty when he led them through the deserts. He made water flow from a rock for them. He split a rock, and water gushed out. 22 "There is no peace for the wicked," says the LORD.