Isaiah 45:14-48:22

45:14 This is what the Lord says:

“The profit of Egypt and the revenue of Ethiopia,

along with the Sabeans, those tall men,

will be brought to you and become yours.

They will walk behind you, coming along in chains.

They will bow down to you

and pray to you:

‘Truly God is with you; he has no peer;

there is no other God!’”

15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden,

O God of Israel, deliverer!

16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed;

those who fashion idols will all be humiliated.

17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by the Lord;

you will never again be ashamed or humiliated.

18 For this is what the Lord says,

the one who created the sky—

he is the true God,

the one who formed the earth and made it;

he established it,

he did not create it without order,

he formed it to be inhabited:

“I am the Lord, I have no peer.

19 I have not spoken in secret,

in some hidden place.

I did not tell Jacob’s descendants,

‘Seek me in vain!’

I am the Lord,

the one who speaks honestly,

who makes reliable announcements.

20 Gather together and come!

Approach together, you refugees from the nations.

Those who carry wooden idols know nothing,

those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.

21 Tell me! Present the evidence!

Let them consult with one another.

Who predicted this in the past?

Who announced it beforehand?

Was it not I, the Lord?

I have no peer, there is no God but me,

a God who vindicates and delivers;

there is none but me.

22 Turn to me so you can be delivered,

all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!

For I am God, and I have no peer.

23 I solemnly make this oath—

what I say is true and reliable:

‘Surely every knee will bow to me,

every tongue will solemnly affirm;

24 they will say about me,

“Yes, the Lord is a powerful deliverer.”’”

All who are angry at him will cower before him.

25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the Lord

and will boast in him.

46:1 Bel kneels down,

Nebo bends low.

Their images weigh down animals and beasts.

Your heavy images are burdensome to tired animals.

2 Together they bend low and kneel down;

they are unable to rescue the images;

they themselves head off into captivity.

3 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob,

all you who are left from the family of Israel,

you who have been carried from birth,

you who have been supported from the time you left the womb.

4 Even when you are old, I will take care of you,

even when you have gray hair, I will carry you.

I made you and I will support you;

I will carry you and rescue you.

5 To whom can you compare and liken me?

Tell me whom you think I resemble, so we can be compared!

6 Those who empty out gold from a purse

and weigh out silver on the scale

hire a metalsmith, who makes it into a god.

They then bow down and worship it.

7 They put it on their shoulder and carry it;

they put it in its place and it just stands there;

it does not move from its place.

Even when someone cries out to it, it does not reply;

it does not deliver him from his distress.

8 Remember this, so you can be brave.

Think about it, you rebels!

9 Remember what I accomplished in antiquity.

Truly I am God, I have no peer;

I am God, and there is none like me,

10 who announces the end from the beginning

and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred;

who says, ‘My plan will be realized,

I will accomplish what I desire;’

11 who summons an eagle from the east,

from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.

Yes, I have decreed,

yes, I will bring it to pass;

I have formulated a plan,

yes, I will carry it out.

12 Listen to me, you stubborn people,

you who distance yourselves from doing what is right.

13 I am bringing my deliverance near, it is not far away;

I am bringing my salvation near, it does not wait.

I will save Zion;

I will adorn Israel with my splendor.

47:1 “Fall down! Sit in the dirt,

O virgin daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground, not on a throne,

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, you will no longer be called delicate and pampered.

2 Pick up millstones and grind flour.

Remove your veil,

strip off your skirt,

expose your legs,

cross the streams.

3 Let your naked body be exposed.

Your shame will be on display!

I will get revenge;

I will not have pity on anyone,”

4 says our Protector—

the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name,

the Holy One of Israel.

5 “Sit silently! Go to a hiding place,

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’

6 I was angry at my people;

I defiled my special possession

and handed them over to you.

You showed them no mercy;

you even placed a very heavy burden on old people.

7 You said,

‘I will rule forever as permanent queen!’

You did not think about these things;

you did not consider how it would turn out.

8 So now, listen to this,

O one who lives so lavishly,

who lives securely,

who says to herself,

‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!

I will never have to live as a widow;

I will never lose my children.’

9 Both of these will come upon you

suddenly, in one day!

You will lose your children and be widowed.

You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies,

despite your many incantations

and your numerous amulets.

10 You were complacent in your evil deeds;

you thought, ‘No one sees me.’

Your self-professed wisdom and knowledge lead you astray,

when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’

11 Disaster will overtake you;

you will not know how to charm it away.

Destruction will fall on you;

you will not be able to appease it.

Calamity will strike you suddenly,

before you recognize it.

12 Persist in trusting your amulets

and your many incantations,

which you have faithfully recited since your youth!

Maybe you will be successful—

maybe you will scare away disaster.

13 You are tired out from listening to so much advice.

Let them take their stand—

the ones who see omens in the sky,

who gaze at the stars,

who make monthly predictions—

let them rescue you from the disaster that is about to overtake you!

14 Look, they are like straw

that the fire burns up;

they cannot rescue themselves

from the heat of the flames.

There are no coals to warm them,

no firelight to enjoy.

15 They will disappoint you,

those you have so faithfully dealt with since your youth.

Each strays off in his own direction,

leaving no one to rescue you.”

48:1 Listen to this, O family of Jacob,

you who are called by the name “Israel,”

and are descended from Judah,

who take oaths in the name of the Lord

and invoke the God of Israel—

but not in an honest and just manner.

2 Indeed, they live in the holy city;

they trust in the God of Israel,

whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

3 “I announced events beforehand,

I issued the decrees and made the predictions;

suddenly I acted and they came to pass.

4 I did this because I know how stubborn you are.

Your neck muscles are like iron

and your forehead like bronze.

5 I announced them to you beforehand;

before they happened, I predicted them for you,

so you could never say,

‘My image did these things,

my idol, my cast image, decreed them.’

6 You have heard; now look at all the evidence!

Will you not admit that what I say is true?

From this point on I am announcing to you new events

that are previously unrevealed and you do not know about.

7 Now they come into being, not in the past;

before today you did not hear about them,

so you could not say,

‘Yes, I know about them.’

8 You did not hear,

you do not know,

you were not told beforehand.

For I know that you are very deceitful;

you were labeled a rebel from birth.

9 For the sake of my reputation I hold back my anger;

for the sake of my prestige I restrain myself from destroying you.

10 Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have purified you in the furnace of misery.

11 For my sake alone I will act,

for how can I allow my name to be defiled?

I will not share my glory with anyone else!

12 Listen to me, O Jacob,

Israel, whom I summoned.

I am the one;

I am present at the very beginning

and at the very end.

13 Yes, my hand founded the earth;

my right hand spread out the sky.

I summon them;

they stand together.

14 All of you, gather together and listen!

Who among them announced these things?

The Lord’s ally will carry out his desire against Babylon;

he will exert his power against the Babylonians.

15 I, I have spoken—

yes, I have summoned him;

I lead him and he will succeed.

16 Approach me—listen to this!

From the very first I have not spoken in secret;

when it happens, I am there.”

So now, the Sovereign Lord has sent me, accompanied by his Spirit.

17 This is what the Lord, your Protector, says,

the Holy One of Israel:

“I am the Lord your God,

who teaches you how to succeed,

who leads you in the way you should go.

18 If only you had obeyed my commandments,

prosperity would have flowed to you like a river,

deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea.

19 Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand

and your children like its granules.

Their name would not have been cut off

and eliminated from my presence.

20 Leave Babylon!

Flee from the Babylonians!

Announce it with a shout of joy!

Make this known—

proclaim it throughout the earth!

Say, ‘The Lord protects his servant Jacob.

21 They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;

he makes water flow out of a rock for them;

he splits open a rock and water flows out.’

22 There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the Lord.