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Isaiah 44:21-45:19 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Israel Is Not Forgotten

21 Remember these things, O Jacob,
    and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you, you are my servant;
    O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
    and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
    shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
    O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
    and will be glorified in Israel.

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
    who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
    who stretched out the heavens alone,
    who spread out the earth—Who was with me?[a]
25 who frustrates the omens of liars,
    and makes fools of diviners;
who turns wise men back,
    and makes their knowledge foolish;
26 who confirms the word of his servant,
    and performs the counsel of his messengers;
who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
    and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
    and I will raise up their ruins’;
27 who says to the deep, ‘Be dry,
    I will dry up your rivers’;
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
    and he shall fulfil all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem. ‘She shall be built,’
    and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
    and ungird the loins of kings,
to open doors before him
    that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
    and level the mountains,[b]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut asunder the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
    I surname you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I gird you, though you do not know me,
that men may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
    I make weal and create woe,
    I am the Lord, who do all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth,[c]
    and let it cause righteousness to spring up also;
    I the Lord have created it.

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker,
    an earthen vessel with the potter![d]
Does the clay say to him who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’
    or ‘Your work has no handles’?
10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
    or to a woman, ‘With what are you in travail?’”
11 Thus says the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Will you question me[e] about my children,
    or command me concerning the work of my hands?
12 I made the earth,
    and created man upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded all their host.
13 I have aroused him in righteousness,
    and I will make straight all his ways;
he shall build my city
    and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
    says the Lord of hosts.

14 Thus says the Lord:
“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia,
    and the Sabe′ans, men of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours,
    they shall follow you;
    they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying:
    ‘God is with you only, and there is no other,
    no god besides him.’”
15 Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself,
    O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame and confounded,
    the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord
    with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
    to all eternity.

18 For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
    (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
    (he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
    he formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret,
    in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
    ‘Seek me in chaos.’
I the Lord speak the truth,
    I declare what is right.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 44:24 Another reading is who spread out the earth by myself
  2. Isaiah 45:2 One ancient Ms Gk: Heb the swellings
  3. Isaiah 45:8 One ancient Ms: Heb that they may bring forth salvation
  4. Isaiah 45:9 Cn: Heb potsherds or potters
  5. Isaiah 45:11 Cn: Heb Ask me of things to come
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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