18 For the Lord, who created the heavens [a](He is God, who formed the earth and made it; He established it and did not create it to be a wasteland, but formed it to be inhabited) says this,
“I am the Lord, and there is no one else. 19 “I have not spoken in secret, In a corner of a land of darkness; I did not say to the descendants of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain [with no benefit for yourselves].’ I, the Lord, speak righteousness [the truth—trustworthy, a straightforward correlation between deeds and words], Declaring things that are upright.
20 “Assemble yourselves and come; Come together, you survivors of the nations! They are ignorant, Who carry around their wooden idols [in religious processions or into battle] And keep on praying to a god that cannot save them. 21 “Declare and present your defense of idols; Indeed, let them consult together. Who announced this [rise of Cyrus and his conquests] long before it happened? Who declared it long ago? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A [consistently and uncompromisingly] just and 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 [an oath] by Myself, The word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear [allegiance].
Isaiah 45:18Longer parenthetical passages such as this one are in the Hebrew text, and should not be confused with the general use of parentheses as a way to define or modify the previous word or group of words.
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