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Babylon’s Idols

46 Bel bows down;
    Nebo is stooping.
Their idols are on[a] animals[b] and on[c] cattle;
    your cargo[d] is carried as a burden on[e] weary animals.
They stoop;
    they bow down together.
They are not able to save the burden,
    but[f] they themselves go[g] in captivity.
“Listen to me, house of Jacob,
    and all the remnant of the house of Israel
who have been carried from the belly,
    who have been carried from the womb:
Even[h] to your old age I am he;
    even[i] to your advanced age I myself will support you.
I myself have made you,
    and I myself will carry you,
and I myself will support you,
    and I will save you.
To whom will you liken me,
    and count as equal,
and compare with me,
    as though[j] we were alike?
Those who lavish gold from the purse
    and weigh out silver in the balance scales;
hire a goldsmith[k]
    and he makes him a god;
they bow down,
    indeed they bow in worship.
They carry it on their shoulder;
    they support it and they set it in its place,
and it stands in position.
    It cannot be removed from its place;
even when he cries out to it, it does not answer.
    It does not save him from his trouble.
Remember this and pluck up courage!
    Call to mind,[l] you transgressors!
    Remember the former things from a long time ago,[m]
for I am God and there is none besides me,
    God and there is none like me,
10 who from the beginning declares the end,
    and from before, things that have not been done,
who says, ‘My plan shall stand,’
    and, ‘I will accomplish[n] all my wishes,’[o]
11 who calls a bird of prey from the east,
    the man of his[p] plan from a country from afar.
Indeed I have spoken; indeed I will bring it to being.
    I have formed it; indeed I will do it.
12 Listen to me, strong of heart,
    far from righteousness!
13 I bring my righteousness near; it is not far.
    And my salvation will not delay;
and I will put[q] salvation in Zion,
    for Israel my glory.”


  1. Isaiah 46:1 Literally “to”
  2. Isaiah 46:1 Hebrew “animal”
  3. Isaiah 46:1 Literally “to”
  4. Isaiah 46:1 Literally “things that are carried”
  5. Isaiah 46:1 Literally “to”
  6. Isaiah 46:2 Or “and”
  7. Isaiah 46:2 Literally “their inner self goes”
  8. Isaiah 46:4 Or “And”
  9. Isaiah 46:4 Or “And”
  10. Isaiah 46:5 Or “and”
  11. Isaiah 46:6 Literally “one who smelts”
  12. Isaiah 46:8 Literally “heart”
  13. Isaiah 46:9 Literally “forever”
  14. Isaiah 46:10 Or “do”
  15. Isaiah 46:10 Hebrew “wish”
  16. Isaiah 46:11 The reading tradition (Qere) has “my”
  17. Isaiah 46:13 Or “give”