Isaiah 45; Isaiah 46; Isaiah 47; Isaiah 48

1 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his appointed king: "I hold your right hand and will help you defeat nations and take away other kings' power. I will open doors for you so city gates will not stop you. 2 I will go before you and make the mountains flat. I will break down the bronze gates of the cities and cut through their iron bars. 3 I will give you the wealth that is stored away and the hidden riches so you will know I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name. 4 I do these things for my servants, the people of Jacob, and for my chosen people, the Israelites. Cyrus, I call you by name, and I give you a title of honor even though you don't know me. 5 I am the Lord. There is no other God; I am the only God. I will make you strong, even though you don't know me, 6 so that everyone will know there is no other God. From the east to the west they will know I alone am the Lord. 7 I made the light and the darkness. I bring peace, and I cause troubles. I, the Lord, do all these things. 8 "Sky above, make victory fall like rain; clouds, pour down victory. Let the earth receive it, and let salvation grow, and let victory grow with it. I, the Lord, have created it. 9 "How terrible it will be for those who argue with the God who made them. They are like a piece of broken pottery among many pieces. The clay does not ask the potter, 'What are you doing?' The thing that is made doesn't say to its maker, 'You have no hands.' 10 How terrible it will be for the child who says to his father, 'Why are you giving me life?' How terrible it will be for the child who says to his mother, 'Why are you giving birth to me?'" 11 This is what the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker, says: "You ask me about what will happen. You question me about my children. You give me orders about what I have made. 12 I made the earth and all the people living on it. With my own hands I stretched out the skies, and I commanded all the armies in the sky. 13 I will bring Cyrus to do good things, and I will make his work easy. He will rebuild my city and set my people free without any payment or reward. The Lord All-Powerful says this." 14 The Lord says, "The goods made in Egypt and Cush and the tall people of Seba will come to you and will become yours. The Sabeans will walk behind you, coming along in chains. They will bow down before you and pray to you, saying, 'God is with you, and there is no other God.'" 15 God and Savior of Israel, you are a God that people cannot see. 16 All the people who make idols will be put to great shame; they will go off together in disgrace. 17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord, and that salvation will continue forever. Never again will Israel be put to shame. 18 The Lord created the heavens. He is the God who formed the earth and made it. He did not want it to be empty, but he wanted life on the earth. "I am the Lord. There is no other God. 19 I did not speak in secret or hide my words in some dark place. to look for me in empty places. I am the Lord, and I speak the truth; I say what is right. 20 "You people who have escaped from other nations, gather together and come before me; come near together. People who carry idols of wood don't know what they are doing. They pray to a god who cannot save them. 21 Tell these people to come to me. Let them talk about these things together. Who told you long ago that this would happen? Who told about it long ago? I, the Lord, said these things. There is no other God besides me. I am the only good God. I am the Savior. There is no other God. 22 "All people everywhere, follow me and be saved. I am God. There is no other God. 23 I will make a promise by my own power, and my promise is true; what I say will not be changed. I promise that everyone will bow before me and will promise to follow me. 24 People will say about me, 'Goodness and power come only from the Lord.'" Everyone who has been angry with him will come to him and be ashamed. 25 But with the Lord's help, the people of Israel will be found to be good, and they will praise him.
1 Bel and Nebo bow down. Their idols are carried by animals. The statues are only heavy loads that must be carried; they only make people tired. 2 These gods will all bow down. They cannot save themselves but will all be carried away like prisoners. 3 "Family of Jacob, listen to me! All you people from Israel who are still alive, listen! I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. 4 Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you. 5 "Can you compare me to anyone? No one is equal to me or like me. 6 Some people are rich with gold and weigh their silver on the scales. They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god. Then they bow down and worship it. 7 They put it on their shoulders and carry it. They set it in its place, and there it stands; it cannot move from its place. People may yell at it, but it cannot answer. It cannot save them from their troubles. 8 "Remember this, and do not forget it! Think about these things, you who turn against God. 9 Remember what happened long ago. Remember that I am God, and there is no other God. I am God, and there is no one like me. 10 From the beginning I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago I told you things that have not yet happened. When I plan something, it happens. What I want to do, I will do. 11 I am calling a man from the east to carry out my plan; he will come like a hawk from a country far away. I will make what I have said come true; I will do what I have planned. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn people, who are far from what is right. 13 I will soon do the things that are right. I will bring salvation soon. and bring glory to Israel."
1 The Lord says, "City of Babylon, go down and sit in the dirt. People of Babylon, sit on the ground. You are no longer the ruler. You will no longer be called tender or beautiful. 2 You must use large stones to grind grain into flour. Remove your veil and your nice skirts. Uncover your legs and cross the rivers. 3 People will see your nakedness; they will see your shame. I will punish you; I will punish every one of you." 4 Our Savior is named the Lord All-Powerful; he is the Holy One of Israel. 5 "Babylon, sit in darkness and say nothing. You will no longer be called the queen of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people, so I rejected those who belonged to me. I gave them to you, but you showed them no mercy. You even made the old people work very hard. 7 You said, 'I will live forever as the queen.' But you did not think about these things or consider what would happen. 8 "Now, listen, you lover of pleasure. You think you are safe. You tell yourself, 'I am the only important person. I will never be a widow or lose my children.' 9 Two things will happen to you suddenly, in a single day. You will lose your children and your husband. These things will truly happen to you, in spite of all your magic, in spite of your powerful tricks. 10 You do evil things, but you feel safe and say, 'No one sees what I do.' Your wisdom and knowledge have fooled you. You say to yourself, 'I am God, and no one is equal to me.' 11 But troubles will come to you, and you will not know how to stop them. Disaster will fall on you, and you will not be able to keep it away. You will be destroyed quickly; you will not even see it coming. 12 "Keep on using your tricks and doing all your magic that you have used since you were young. Maybe they will help you; maybe you will be able to scare someone. 13 You are tired of the advice you have received. So let those who study the sky -- those who tell the future by looking at the stars and the new moons -- let them save you from what is about to happen to you. 14 But they are like straw; fire will quickly burn them up. They cannot save themselves from the power of the fire. They are not like coals that give warmth nor like a fire that you may sit beside. 15 You have worked with these people, and they have been with you since you were young, but they will not be able to help you. Everyone will go his own way, and there will be no one left to save you."
1 The Lord says, "Family of Jacob, listen to me. You are called Israel, and you come from the family of Judah. and praise the God of Israel, but you are not honest or sincere. 2 You call yourselves people of the holy city, and you depend on the God of Israel, who is named the Lord All-Powerful. 3 Long ago I told you what would happen. I said these things and made them known; suddenly I acted, and these things happened. 4 I knew you were stubborn; your neck was like an iron muscle, and your head was like bronze. 5 So a long time ago I told you about these things; I told you about them before they happened so you couldn't say, 'My idols did this, and my wooden and metal statues made these things happen.' 6 "You heard and saw everything that happened, so you should tell this news to others. Now I will tell you about new things, hidden things that you don't know yet. 7 These things are happening now, not long ago; you have not heard about them before today. So you cannot say, 'We already knew about that.' 8 But you have not heard me; you have not understood. Even long ago you did not listen to me. I knew you would surely turn against me; you have fought against me since you were born. 9 But for my own sake I will be patient. People will praise me for not becoming angry and destroying you. 10 I have made you pure, but not by fire, as silver is made pure. I have purified you by giving you troubles. 11 I do this for myself, for my own sake. I will not let people speak evil against me, and I will not let some god take my glory. 12 "People of Jacob, listen to me. People of Israel, I have called you to be my people. I am God; I am the beginning and the end. 13 I made the earth with my own hands. With my right hand I spread out the skies. When I call them, they come together before me." 14 All of you, come together and listen. None of the gods said these things would happen. to attack the Babylonians; he will carry out his wishes against Babylon. 15 "I have spoken; I have called him. I have brought him, and I will make him successful. 16 Come to me and listen to this. From the beginning I have spoken openly. From the time it began, I was there." Now, the Lord God has sent me with his Spirit. 17 This is what the Lord, who saves you, the Holy One of Israel, says: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to do what is good, who leads you in the way you should go. 18 If you had obeyed me, you would have had peace like a full-flowing river. Good things would have flowed to you like the waves of the sea. 19 You would have had many children, as many as the grains of sand. They would never have died out nor been destroyed." 20 My people, leave Babylon! Tell this news with shouts of joy to the people; spread it everywhere on earth. Say, "The Lord has saved his servants, the people of Jacob." 21 They did not become thirsty when he led them through the deserts. He made water flow from a rock for them. He split the rock, and water flowed out. 22 "There is no peace for evil people," says the Lord.