God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness

14 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(A) the Holy One(B) of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon
    and bring down as fugitives(C) all the Babylonians,[a](D)
    in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the Lord,(E) your Holy One,
    Israel’s Creator,(F) your King.(G)

16 This is what the Lord says—
    he who made a way through the sea,
    a path through the mighty waters,(H)
17 who drew out(I) the chariots and horses,(J)
    the army and reinforcements together,(K)
and they lay(L) there, never to rise again,
    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:(M)
18 “Forget the former things;(N)
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!(O)
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness(P)
    and streams in the wasteland.(Q)
20 The wild animals(R) honor me,
    the jackals(S) and the owls,
because I provide water(T) in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21     the people I formed(U) for myself(V)
    that they may proclaim my praise.(W)

22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
    you have not wearied(X) yourselves for[b] me, Israel.(Y)
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,(Z)
    nor honored(AA) me with your sacrifices.(AB)
I have not burdened(AC) you with grain offerings
    nor wearied you with demands(AD) for incense.(AE)
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus(AF) for me,
    or lavished on me the fat(AG) of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
    and wearied(AH) me with your offenses.(AI)

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
    your transgressions,(AJ) for my own sake,(AK)
    and remembers your sins(AL) no more.(AM)
26 Review the past for me,
    let us argue the matter together;(AN)
    state the case(AO) for your innocence.
27 Your first father(AP) sinned;
    those I sent to teach(AQ) you rebelled(AR) against me.
28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
    I consigned Jacob to destruction[c](AS)
    and Israel to scorn.(AT)

Israel the Chosen

44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,(AU)
    Israel, whom I have chosen.(AV)
This is what the Lord says—
    he who made(AW) you, who formed you in the womb,(AX)
    and who will help(AY) you:
Do not be afraid,(AZ) Jacob, my servant,(BA)
    Jeshurun,[d](BB) whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water(BC) on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;(BD)
I will pour out my Spirit(BE) on your offspring,
    and my blessing(BF) on your descendants.(BG)
They will spring up like grass(BH) in a meadow,
    like poplar trees(BI) by flowing streams.(BJ)
Some will say, ‘I belong(BK) to the Lord’;
    others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand,(BL) ‘The Lord’s,’(BM)
    and will take the name Israel.

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King(BN) and Redeemer,(BO) the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;(BP)
    apart from me there is no God.(BQ)
Who then is like me?(BR) Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell(BS) what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim(BT) this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God(BU) besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock;(BV) I know not one.”

All who make idols(BW) are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.(BX)
Those who would speak up for them are blind;(BY)
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.(BZ)
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(CA)
    which can profit nothing?(CB)
11 People who do that will be put to shame;(CC)
    such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and shame.(CD)

12 The blacksmith(CE) takes a tool
    and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
    he forges it with the might of his arm.(CF)
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
    he drinks no water and grows faint.(CG)
13 The carpenter(CH) measures with a line
    and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
    and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,(CI)
    human form in all its glory,
    that it may dwell in a shrine.(CJ)
14 He cut down cedars,
    or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
    or planted a pine,(CK) and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel(CL) for burning;
    some of it he takes and warms himself,
    he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships(CM) it;
    he makes an idol and bows(CN) down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
    over it he prepares his meal,
    he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
    “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(CO)
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
    he bows down to it and worships.(CP)
He prays(CQ) to it and says,
    “Save(CR) me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand(CS) nothing;
    their eyes(CT) are plastered over so they cannot see,
    and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding(CU) to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;(CV)
    I even baked bread over its coals,
    I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable(CW) thing from what is left?
    Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”(CX)
20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(CY) a deluded(CZ) heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(DA)

21 “Remember(DB) these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.(DC)
I have made you, you are my servant;(DD)
    Israel, I will not forget you.(DE)
22 I have swept away(DF) your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return(DG) to me,
    for I have redeemed(DH) you.”

23 Sing for joy,(DI) you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
    shout aloud, you earth(DJ) beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,(DK)
    you forests and all your trees,(DL)
for the Lord has redeemed(DM) Jacob,
    he displays his glory(DN) in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 “This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(DO) who formed(DP) you in the womb:(DQ)

I am the Lord,
    the Maker of all things,
    who stretches out the heavens,(DR)
    who spreads out the earth(DS) by myself,
25 who foils(DT) the signs of false prophets
    and makes fools of diviners,(DU)
who overthrows the learning of the wise(DV)
    and turns it into nonsense,(DW)
26 who carries out the words(DX) of his servants
    and fulfills(DY) the predictions of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem,(DZ) ‘It shall be inhabited,’
    of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
    and of their ruins,(EA) ‘I will restore them,’(EB)
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
    and I will dry up(EC) your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus,(ED) ‘He is my shepherd
    and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem,(EE) “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple,(EF) “Let its foundations(EG) be laid.”’

45 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,(EH)
    to Cyrus,(EI) whose right hand I take hold(EJ) of
to subdue nations(EK) 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(EL)
    and will level(EM) the mountains[e];
I will break down gates(EN) of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.(EO)
I will give you hidden treasures,(EP)
    riches stored in secret places,(EQ)
so that you may know(ER) that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.(ES)
For the sake of Jacob my servant,(ET)
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge(EU) me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;(EV)
    apart from me there is no God.(EW)
I will strengthen you,(EX)
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting(EY)
people may know(EZ) there is none besides me.(FA)
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,(FB)
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;(FC)
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

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

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

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 43:14 Or Chaldeans
  2. Isaiah 43:22 Or Jacob; / surely you have grown weary of
  3. Isaiah 43:28 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  4. Isaiah 44:2 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel.
  5. Isaiah 45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.