I have taken hold of your right hand to help you capture nations and remove kings from power. City gates will open for you; not one will stay closed. 2 As I lead you, I will level mountains[a] and break the iron bars on bronze gates of cities.
3 I will give you treasures hidden in dark and secret places. Then you will know that I, the Lord God of Israel, have called you by name. 4 Cyrus, you don’t even know me! But I have called you by name and highly honored you[b] because of Israel, my chosen servant.
5 Only I am the Lord! There are no other gods. I have made you strong, though you don’t know me. 6 Now everyone from east to west will learn that I am the Lord. No other gods are real. 7 I create light and darkness, happiness and sorrow. I, the Lord, do all of this.
8 Tell the heavens to send down justice like showers of rain. Prepare the earth for my saving power to sprout and produce justice that I, the Lord, create.[c]
The Lord’s Mighty Power
The Lord said:
9 Israel, you have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn’t ask, “Why did you make me this way? Where are the handles?” 10 Children don’t have the right to demand of their parents, “What have you done to make us what we are?”
11 I am the Lord, the Creator, the holy God of Israel. Do you dare question me about my own nation or about what I have done? 12 I created the world and covered it with people; I stretched out the sky and filled it with stars. 13 I have done the right thing by placing Cyrus in power, and I will make the roads easy for him to follow. I am the Lord All-Powerful! Cyrus will rebuild my city and set my people free without being paid a thing. I, the Lord, have spoken.
The Lord Alone Can Save
14 My people, I, the Lord, promise that the riches of Egypt and the treasures of Ethiopia[d] will belong to you. You will force into slavery those tall people of Seba.[e]
They will bow down and say, “The only true God is with you; there are no other gods.” 15 People of Israel, your God is a mystery, though he alone can save. 16 Anyone who makes idols will be confused and terribly disgraced. 17 But Israel, I, the Lord, will always keep you safe and free from shame.
Everyone Is Invited
18 The Lord alone is God! He created the heavens and made a world where people can live, instead of creating an empty desert. The Lord alone is God; there are no others. 19 The Lord did not speak in a dark secret place or command Jacob’s descendants to search for him in vain.
The Lord speaks the truth, and this is what he says 20 to every survivor from every nation: “Gather around me! Learn how senseless it is to worship wooden idols or pray to helpless gods.
21 “Why don’t you get together and meet me in court? Didn’t I tell you long ago what would happen? I am the only God! There are no others. I bring about justice, and have the power to save.
22 “I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved. I alone am God! No others are real. 23 I have made a solemn promise, one that won’t be broken: Everyone will bow down and worship me. 24 They will admit that I alone can bring about justice. Everyone who is angry with me will be terribly ashamed and will turn to me. 25 I, the Lord, will give victory and great honor to the people of Israel.”
45.2mountains: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “rising waves.”
45.4But. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
45.8Prepare. . . create: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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