God Uses Cyrus
1 Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed,
Whom I have taken by the right hand,
To subdue nations before him
And to loose the loins of kings;
To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
2 "I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;
I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.
3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden wealth of secret places,
So that you may know that it is I,
The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
4 "For the sake of Jacob My servant,
And Israel My chosen one,
I have also called you by your name;
I have given you a title of honor
Though you have not known Me.
5 "I am the LORD, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
7 The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these.
God's Supreme Power
8 "Drip down, O heavens, from above,
And let the clouds pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit,
And righteousness spring up with it.
I, the LORD, have created it.
9 "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker--
An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth!
Will the clay say to the potter, `What are you doing?'
Or the thing you are making say, `He has no hands'?
10 "Woe to him who says to a father, `What are you begetting?'
Or to a woman, `To what are you giving birth?'"
11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
"Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons,
And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.
12 "It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it.
I stretched out the heavens with My hands
And I ordained all their host.
13 "I have aroused him in righteousness
And I will make all his ways smooth;
He will build My city and will let My exiles go free,
Without any payment or reward," says the LORD of hosts.
14 Thus says the LORD,
"The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush
And the Sabeans, men of stature,
Will come over to you and will be yours;
They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains
And will bow down to you;
They will make supplication to you:
`Surely, God is with you, and there is none else,
No other God.'"
15 Truly, You are a God who hides Himself,
O God of Israel, Savior!
16 They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them;
The manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation.
17 Israel has been saved by the LORD
With an everlasting salvation;
You will not be put to shame or humiliated
To all eternity.
18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited),
"I am the LORD, and there is none else.
19 "I have not spoken in secret,
In some dark land;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
`Seek Me in a waste place';
I, the LORD, speak righteousness,
Declaring things that are upright.
20 "Gather yourselves and come;
Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations;
They have no knowledge,
Who carry about their wooden idol
And pray to a god who cannot save.
21 "Declare and set forth your case;
Indeed, let them consult together.
Who has announced this from of old?
Who has long since declared it?
Is it not I, the LORD?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A righteous God and a Savior;
There is none except Me.
22 "Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 "I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
24 "They will say of Me, `Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.'
Men will come to Him,
And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame.
25 "In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
Will be justified and will glory."
Babylon's Idols and the True God
1Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over;
Their images are consigned to the beasts and the cattle.
The things that you carry are burdensome,
A load for the weary beast.
2 They stooped over, they have bowed down together;
They could not rescue the burden,
But have themselves gone into captivity.
3 "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been borne by Me from birth
And have been carried from the womb;
4 Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
5 "To whom would you liken Me
And make Me equal and compare Me,
That we would be alike?
6 "Those who lavish gold from the purse
And weigh silver on the scale
Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
They bow down, indeed they worship it.
7 "They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it;
They set it in its place and it stands there.
It does not move from its place.
Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer;
It cannot deliver him from his distress.
8 "Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
9 "Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, `My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.
12 "Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded,
Who are far from righteousness.
13 "I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off;
And My salvation will not delay.
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel.
Lament for Babylon
1 "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 longer be called tender and delicate.
2 "Take the millstones and grind meal.
Remove your veil, strip off the skirt,
Uncover the leg, cross the rivers.
3 "Your nakedness will be uncovered,
Your shame also will be exposed;
I will take vengeance and will not spare a man."
4 Our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel.
5 "Sit silently, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans,
For you will no longer be called
The queen of kingdoms.
6 "I was angry with My people,
I profaned My heritage
And gave them into your hand.
You did not show mercy to them,
On the aged you made your yoke very heavy.
7 "Yet you said, `I will be a queen forever.'
These things you did not consider
Nor remember the outcome of them.
8 "Now, then, hear this, you sensual one,
Who dwells securely,
Who says in your heart,
`I am, and there is no one besides me.
I will not sit as a widow,
Nor know loss of children.'
9 "But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day:
Loss of children and widowhood.
They will come on you in full measure
In spite of your many sorceries,
In spite of the great power of your spells.
10 "You felt secure in your wickedness and said,
`No one sees me,'
Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you;
For you have said in your heart,
`I am, and there is no one besides me.'
11 "But evil will come on you
Which you will not know how to charm away;
And disaster will fall on you
For which you cannot atone;
And destruction about which you do not know
Will come on you suddenly.
12 "Stand fast now in your spells
And in your many sorceries
With which you have labored from your youth;
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you may cause trembling.
13 "You are wearied with your many counsels;
Let now the astrologers,
Those who prophesy by the stars,
Those who predict by the new moons,
Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.
14 "Behold, they have become like stubble,
Fire burns them;
They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame;
There will be no coal to warm by Nor a fire to sit before!
15 "So have those become to you with whom you have labored,
Who have trafficked with you from your youth;
Each has wandered in his own way;
There is none to save you.