43 Now this is what the Lord says. He created you, ·people of Jacob [L Jacob]; he formed you, ·people of Israel [L Israel]. He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have ·saved [ransomed; redeemed] you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you [C as at the Red/or Reed Sea; Ex. 13–14]. When you cross rivers, ·you will not drown [L they will not overflow you; C as when Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land; Josh. 3–4]. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned [Dan. 3:25–27], nor will the flames hurt you. 3 This is because I, the Lord, am your God, the Holy One of Israel [1:4], your Savior. I gave Egypt ·to pay for you [for your ransom], and I gave ·Cush [Ethiopia] and Seba ·to make you mine [in place of you]. 4 Because you are precious ·to me [L in my eyes], because I give you honor and love you, I will give other people in your place; I will give other nations ·to save [in exchange for] your life. 5 Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. I will bring your ·children [descendants; offspring; seed] from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will tell the north: Give my people to me. I will tell the south: Don’t ·keep my people in prison [or hold them back; restrain them]. Bring my sons from far away and my daughters from ·faraway places [L the end of the earth]. 7 Bring to me all the people who are ·mine [L called by my name], whom I ·made [created] for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Judah Is God’s Witness
8 Bring out the people who have eyes but ·don’t see [are blind] and those who have ears but ·don’t hear [are deaf; 42:19]. 9 All the nations gather together, and all the people ·come together [assemble]. ·Which of their gods [L Who among them] said this would happen? ·Which of their gods can tell what happened in the beginning [L …and caused us to hear former things]? Let them bring their witnesses to prove they were right. Then others will say, “It is true.” 10 The Lord says, “You are my witnesses and the servant I chose [42:1]. I chose you so you would know and believe me, so you would understand that I am ·the true God [L he]. There was no God ·created [formed] before me, and there will be ·no God [none] after me. 11 I myself am the Lord; I am the only Savior. 12 I myself have ·spoken [made known] to you, saved you, and ·told [proclaimed to] you these things. It was not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses, and I am God,” says the Lord. 13 “·I have always been God [L Indeed from the day, I am he; C “day” may mean the first day of creation or from this day forward]. No one can save people from my ·power [L hand]; when I do something, no one can ·change [undo; reverse] it.”
14 This is what the Lord, ·who saves you [your protector/redeemer; 41:14], the Holy One of Israel [1:4], says: “I will ·send armies [L send] to Babylon for you, and I will ·knock down all its locked gates [or bring them down as fugitives]. The ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] will ·shout their cries of sorrow [or flee in the ships they take such pride in]. 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One [1:4], the Creator of Israel, your King.”
God Will Save His People Again
16 This is what the Lord says. He is the one who made a road through the sea [v. 2] and a path through ·rough [strong; mighty] waters. 17 He is the one who ·defeated [L led out] the chariots and horses and the mighty armies [Ex. 14:4–9]. They ·fell together [lay down] and will never rise again. They were ·destroyed [extinguished] as a ·flame [L wick] is put out. 18 The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not ·think about [consider; dwell on] the past. 19 Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already ·happening [L sprouting/springing up]. Don’t you see it? I will make a ·road [path; way] in the ·desert [wilderness; C the return from Babylon is portrayed as a new Exodus] and ·rivers[a][streams] in the ·dry land [desert; wasteland]. 20 Even the wild animals will ·be thankful to [honor] me— the ·wild dogs [jackals] and ·owls [or ostriches]. They will honor me when I put water in the ·desert [wilderness] and ·rivers [streams] in the ·dry land [desert; wasteland] to give ·water [drink] to my people, ·the ones I chose [my chosen; 42:1]. 21 The people I ·made [L formed for myself] will ·sing songs to praise me [L declare/proclaim my praise].
22 “People of Jacob, you have not ·called to me [called upon me; asked for my help]; people of Israel, you have ·become tired of [or not wearied yourself for] me. 23 You have not brought me your ·sacrifices [burnt offerings; Lev. 1:1–17] of sheep nor honored me with your sacrifices. I did not ·weigh you down [burden you] with ·sacrifices to offer [grain/or gift; tribute offering; Lev. 2:1] or make you tired with incense to burn. 24 So you did not buy ·incense [fragrant calamus; aromatic cane] for me; you did not ·freely bring me [saturate/lavish me with] fat from your sacrifices. Instead you have ·weighed me down [burdened me] with your many sins; you have made me tired of your ·many wrongs [iniquities].
25 “I, I am the One who ·erases [blots out] all your ·sins [transgressions], for my sake; I will not remember your sins. 26 But you should ·remind [or review with] me. Let’s ·meet and decide what is right [argue/contend together]. Tell what you have done and show ·you are right [your innocence]. 27 Your first father sinned [C probably Jacob (58:14; 63:16), though possibly Abraham (51:2)], and your ·leaders [mediators; spokesmen] have ·turned [transgressed] against me. 28 So I will make your ·holy rulers [or princes of the sanctuary; C either rulers or priests] ·unholy [defiled; disgraced]. I will ·bring destruction on [devote to destruction; Josh. 2:10] ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob], and I will let Israel be ·insulted [reviled; scorned].”
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