The Lord, the Only Savior
Thus says the Lord:
“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and the Sabeans, men 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 plead with you, saying:
‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
no god besides him.’”
Truly, you are a God who hides yourself,
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 empty,
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 vain.’
I the Lord speak the truth;
I declare what is right.
“Assemble yourselves and come;
draw near together, you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.
Declare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none besides me.
“Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
all who were incensed against him.
In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”
The Idols of Babylon and the One True God
Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;
their idols are on beasts and livestock;
these things you carry are borne
as burdens on weary beasts.
They stoop; they bow down together;
they cannot save the burden,
but themselves go into captivity.
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age
I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
“Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
I bring near my righteousness;
it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
The Humiliation of Babylon
Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no more be called
tender and delicate.
Take the millstones and grind flour,
put off your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
pass through the rivers.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
and your disgrace shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
and I will spare no one.
Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
is the Holy One of Israel.
Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans;
for you shall no more be called
the mistress of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people;
I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand;
you showed them no mercy;
on the aged
you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.
You said, “I shall be
so that you did not lay these things
to heart or remember their end.
Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
“I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children”:
These two things shall come to you
in a moment, in one day;
the loss of children and widowhood
shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
and the great power of your enchantments.
You felt secure in your wickedness,
you said, “No one sees me”;
your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
“I am, and there is no one besides me.”
But evil shall come upon you,
which you will not know how to charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
for which you will not be able to atone;
and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,
of which you know nothing.
Stand fast in your enchantments
and your many sorceries,
with which you have labored from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed;
perhaps you may inspire terror.
You are wearied with your many counsels;
let them stand forth and save you,
those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars,
who at the new moons make known
what shall come upon you.
Behold, they are like stubble;
the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
no fire to sit before!
Such to you are those
with whom you have labored,
who have done business with you from your youth;
they wander about each in his own direction;
there is no one to save you.
From this time forth I announce to you new things,
hidden things that you have not known.
They are created now, not long ago;
before today you have never heard of them,
lest you should say,
‘Behold, I knew them.’
You have never heard, you have never known,
from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
and that from before birth you were called a rebel.
“For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.
The Lord’s Call to Israel
“Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he;
I am the first, and I am the last.
My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.
“Assemble, all of you, and listen!
who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
I, even I, have spoken
and called him;
I have brought him,
and he will prosper in his way.
Holy Bible, English Standard Version,
as arranged in chronological order by F. Legard Smith