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Isaiah 45-47New Living Translation (NLT)

Cyrus, the Lord’s Chosen One

45 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
    whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
    Their fortress gates will be opened,
    never to shut again.
This is what the Lord says:

“I will go before you, Cyrus,
    and level the mountains.[a]
I will smash down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
    secret riches.
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

“And why have I called you for this work?
    Why did I call you by name when you did not know me?
It is for the sake of Jacob my servant,
    Israel my chosen one.
I am the Lord;
    there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
    though you don’t even know me,
so all the world from east to west
    will know there is no other God.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
    I create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times.
    I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.

“Open up, O heavens,
    and pour out your righteousness.
Let the earth open wide
    so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.
    I, the Lord, created them.

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
    Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
    ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
    ‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
    ‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
    ‘Why did you make me this way?’”

11 This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
    Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
    and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
    All the stars are at my command.
13 I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose,
    and I will guide his actions.
He will restore my city and free my captive people—
    without seeking a reward!
    I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

Future Conversion of Gentiles

14 This is what the Lord says:

“You will rule the Egyptians,
    the Ethiopians,[b] and the Sabeans.
They will come to you with all their merchandise,
    and it will all be yours.
They will follow you as prisoners in chains.
    They will fall to their knees in front of you and say,
‘God is with you, and he is the only God.
    There is no other.’”

15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior,
    you work in mysterious ways.
16 All craftsmen who make idols will be humiliated.
    They will all be disgraced together.
17 But the Lord will save the people of Israel
    with eternal salvation.
Throughout everlasting ages,
    they will never again be humiliated and disgraced.

18 For the Lord is God,
    and he created the heavens and earth
    and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in,
    not to be a place of empty chaos.
“I am the Lord,” he says,
    “and there is no other.
19 I publicly proclaim bold promises.
    I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner.
I would not have told the people of Israel[c] to seek me
    if I could not be found.
I, the Lord, speak only what is true
    and declare only what is right.

20 “Gather together and come,
    you fugitives from surrounding nations.
What fools they are who carry around their wooden idols
    and pray to gods that cannot save!
21 Consult together, argue your case.
    Get together and decide what to say.
Who made these things known so long ago?
    What idol ever told you they would happen?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    For there is no other God but me,
a righteous God and Savior.
    There is none but me.
22 Let all the world look to me for salvation!
    For I am God; there is no other.
23 I have sworn by my own name;
    I have spoken the truth,
    and I will never go back on my word:
Every knee will bend to me,
    and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.[d]
24 The people will declare,
    “The Lord is the source of all my righteousness and strength.”
And all who were angry with him
    will come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the Lord all the generations of Israel will be justified,
    and in him they will boast.

Babylon’s False Gods

46 Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon,
    bow as they are lowered to the ground.
They are being hauled away on ox carts.
    The poor beasts stagger under the weight.
Both the idols and their owners are bowed down.
    The gods cannot protect the people,
and the people cannot protect the gods.
    They go off into captivity together.

“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob,
    all you who remain in Israel.
I have cared for you since you were born.
    Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
    until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
    I will carry you along and save you.

“To whom will you compare me?
    Who is my equal?
Some people pour out their silver and gold
    and hire a craftsman to make a god from it.
    Then they bow down and worship it!
They carry it around on their shoulders,
    and when they set it down, it stays there.
    It can’t even move!
And when someone prays to it, there is no answer.
    It can’t rescue anyone from trouble.

“Do not forget this! Keep it in mind!
    Remember this, you guilty ones.
Remember the things I have done in the past.
    For I alone am God!
    I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future
    before it even happens.
Everything I plan will come to pass,
    for I do whatever I wish.
11 I will call a swift bird of prey from the east—
    a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding.
I have said what I would do,
    and I will do it.

12 “Listen to me, you stubborn people
    who are so far from doing right.
13 For I am ready to set things right,
    not in the distant future, but right now!
I am ready to save Jerusalem[e]
    and show my glory to Israel.

Prediction of Babylon’s Fall

47 “Come down, virgin daughter of Babylon, and sit in the dust.
    For your days of sitting on a throne have ended.
O daughter of Babylonia,[f] never again will you be
    the lovely princess, tender and delicate.
Take heavy millstones and grind flour.
    Remove your veil, and strip off your robe.
    Expose yourself to public view.[g]
You will be naked and burdened with shame.
    I will take vengeance against you without pity.”

Our Redeemer, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    is the Holy One of Israel.

“O beautiful Babylon, sit now in darkness and silence.
    Never again will you be known as the queen of kingdoms.
For I was angry with my chosen people
    and punished them by letting them fall into your hands.
But you, Babylon, showed them no mercy.
    You oppressed even the elderly.
You said, ‘I will reign forever as queen of the world!’
    You did not reflect on your actions
    or think about their consequences.

“Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom,
    living at ease and feeling secure.
You say, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.
    I will never be a widow or lose my children.’
Well, both these things will come upon you in a moment:
    widowhood and the loss of your children.
Yes, these calamities will come upon you,
    despite all your witchcraft and magic.

10 “You felt secure in your wickedness.
    ‘No one sees me,’ you said.
But your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray,
    and you said, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.’
11 So disaster will overtake you,
    and you won’t be able to charm it away.
Calamity will fall upon you,
    and you won’t be able to buy your way out.
A catastrophe will strike you suddenly,
    one for which you are not prepared.

12 “Now use your magical charms!
    Use the spells you have worked at all these years!
Maybe they will do you some good.
    Maybe they can make someone afraid of you.
13 All the advice you receive has made you tired.
    Where are all your astrologers,
those stargazers who make predictions each month?
    Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds.
14 But they are like straw burning in a fire;
    they cannot save themselves from the flame.
You will get no help from them at all;
    their hearth is no place to sit for warmth.
15 And all your friends,
    those with whom you’ve done business since childhood,
will go their own ways,
    turning a deaf ear to your cries.

Footnotes:

  1. 45:2 As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version; Masoretic Text reads the swellings.
  2. 45:14 Hebrew Cushites.
  3. 45:19 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 14:1.
  4. 45:23 Hebrew will confess; Greek version reads will declare allegiance to God. Compare Rom 14:11.
  5. 46:13 Hebrew Zion.
  6. 47:1 Or Chaldea; also in 47:5.
  7. 47:2 Hebrew Bare your legs; pass through the rivers.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Isaiah 45-47New International Version (NIV)

45 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
    those who are nothing but potsherds
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
    ‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus[b] in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

14 This is what the Lord says:

“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,[c]
    and those tall Sabeans
they will come over to you
    and will be yours;
they will trudge behind you,
    coming over to you in chains.
They will bow down before you
    and plead with you, saying,
‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other;
    there is no other god.’”

15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself,
    the God and Savior of Israel.
16 All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced;
    they will go off into disgrace together.
17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord
    with an everlasting salvation;
you will never be put to shame or disgraced,
    to ages everlasting.

18 For this is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens,
    he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
    he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
    but formed it to be inhabited
he says:
“I am the Lord,
    and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
    from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
    ‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the Lord, speak the truth;
    I declare what is right.

20 “Gather together and come;
    assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
    who pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
    let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
    who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is none but me.

22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
    will come to him and be put to shame.
25 But all the descendants of Israel
    will find deliverance in the Lord
    and will make their boast in him.

Gods of Babylon

46 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low;
    their idols are borne by beasts of burden.[d]
The images that are carried about are burdensome,
    a burden for the weary.
They stoop and bow down together;
    unable to rescue the burden,
    they themselves go off into captivity.

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
    and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

“With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
    To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?
Some pour out gold from their bags
    and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god,
    and they bow down and worship it.
They lift it to their shoulders and carry it;
    they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
    From that spot it cannot move.
Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer;
    it cannot save them from their troubles.

“Remember this, keep it in mind,
    take it to heart, you rebels.
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
    I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
    from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
    and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
    from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
    what I have planned, that I will do.
12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
    you who are now far from my righteousness.
13 I am bringing my righteousness near,
    it is not far away;
    and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
    my splendor to Israel.

The Fall of Babylon

47 “Go down, sit in the dust,
    Virgin Daughter Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
    queen city of the Babylonians.[e]
No more will you be called
    tender or delicate.
Take millstones and grind flour;
    take off your veil.
Lift up your skirts, bare your legs,
    and wade through the streams.
Your nakedness will be exposed
    and your shame uncovered.
I will take vengeance;
    I will spare no one.

Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name
    is the Holy One of Israel.

“Sit in silence, go into darkness,
    queen city of the Babylonians;
no more will you be called
    queen of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people
    and desecrated my inheritance;
I gave them into your hand,
    and you showed them no mercy.
Even on the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, ‘I am forever
    the eternal queen!’
But you did not consider these things
    or reflect on what might happen.

“Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure,
    lounging in your security
and saying to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.
I will never be a widow
    or suffer the loss of children.’
Both of these will overtake you
    in a moment, on a single day:
    loss of children and widowhood.
They will come upon you in full measure,
    in spite of your many sorceries
    and all your potent spells.
10 You have trusted in your wickedness
    and have said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you
    when you say to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11 Disaster will come upon you,
    and you will not know how to conjure it away.
A calamity will fall upon you
    that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee
    will suddenly come upon you.

12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells
    and with your many sorceries,
    which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
    perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!
    Let your astrologers come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
    let them save you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble;
    the fire will burn them up.
They cannot even save themselves
    from the power of the flame.
These are not coals for warmth;
    this is not a fire to sit by.
15 That is all they are to you—
    these you have dealt with
    and labored with since childhood.
All of them go on in their error;
    there is not one that can save you.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
  2. Isaiah 45:13 Hebrew him
  3. Isaiah 45:14 That is, the upper Nile region
  4. Isaiah 46:1 Or are but beasts and cattle
  5. Isaiah 47:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 5
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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