New English Translation
45 “This is what the Lord says to his chosen one,[a]
2 ‘I will go before you
and level mountains.[d]
Bronze doors I will shatter
and iron bars[e] I will hack through.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,[f]
riches stashed away in secret places,
so you may recognize that I am the Lord,
the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
Israel, my chosen one,
I call you by name
and give you a title of respect, even though you do not submit[g] to me.
5 I am the Lord, I have no peer,[h]
there is no God but me.
I arm you for battle,[i] even though you do not recognize[j] me.
6 I do this[k] so people[l] will recognize from east to west
that there is no God but me;
I am the Lord, I have no peer.
7 I am[m] the one who forms light
and creates darkness;[n]
the one who brings about peace
and creates calamity.[o]
I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things.
8 O sky, rain down from above!
Let the clouds send down showers[p] of deliverance!
Let the earth absorb it[q] so salvation may grow,[r]
and deliverance may sprout up[s] along with it.
I, the Lord, create it.’”[t]
The Lord Gives a Warning
9 One who argues with his Creator is in grave danger,[u]
one who is like a mere[v] shard among the other shards on the ground!
The clay should not say to the potter,[w]
“What in the world[x] are you doing?
Your work lacks skill!”[y]
10 Danger awaits one who says[z] to his father,
“What in the world[aa] are you fathering?”
and to his mother,
“What in the world are you bringing forth?”[ab]
11 This is what the Lord says,
the Holy One of Israel,[ac] the one who formed him,
concerning things to come:[ad]
“How dare you question me[ae] about my children!
How dare you tell me what to do with[af] the work of my own hands!
12 I made the earth;
I created the people who live[ag] on it.
It was me—my hands[ah] stretched out the sky.[ai]
I give orders to all the heavenly lights.[aj]
13 It is me—I stir him up and commission him;[ak]
I will make all his ways level.
He will rebuild my city;
he will send my exiled people home,
but not for a price or a bribe,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The Lord is the Nations’ Only Hope
14 This is what the Lord says:
“The profit[al] of Egypt and the revenue[am] of Ethiopia,
along with the Sabeans, those tall men,
will be brought to you[an] and become yours.
They will walk behind you, coming along in chains.[ao]
They will bow down to you
and pray to you:[ap]
‘Truly God is with[aq] you; he has no peer;[ar]
there is no other God!’”
15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden,
O God of Israel, deliverer!
16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed;
those who fashion idols will all be humiliated.[as]
17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by the Lord;[at]
you will never again be ashamed or humiliated.[au]
18 For this is what the Lord says,
the one who created the sky—
he is the true God,[av]
the one who formed the earth and made it;
he established it,
he did not create it without order,[aw]
he formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord, I have no peer.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
in some hidden place.[ax]
I did not tell Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain!’[ay]
I am the Lord,
the one who speaks honestly,
who makes reliable announcements.[az]
20 Gather together and come!
Approach together, you refugees from the nations.
Those who carry wooden idols know nothing,
those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.
21 Tell me! Present the evidence![ba]
Let them consult with one another.
Who predicted this in the past?
Who announced it beforehand?
Was it not I, the Lord?
I have no peer, there is no God but me,
a God who vindicates and delivers;[bb]
there is none but me.
22 Turn to me so you can be delivered,[bc]
all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!
For I am God, and I have no peer.
23 I solemnly make this oath[bd]—
what I say is true and reliable:[be]
‘Surely every knee will bow to me,
every tongue will solemnly affirm;[bf]
24 they will say about me,
“Yes, the Lord is a powerful deliverer.”’”[bg]
All who are angry at him will cower before him.[bh]
25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the Lord
and will boast in him.[bi]
- Isaiah 45:1 tn Heb “anointed” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “his appointed king.”
- Isaiah 45:1 sn The “right hand” is a symbol of activity and strength; the Lord directs Cyrus’ activities and assures his success.
- Isaiah 45:1 tn Heb “and the belts of kings I will loosen”; NRSV “strip kings of their robes”; NIV “strip kings of their armor.”
- Isaiah 45:2 tc The form הֲדוּרִים (hadurim) is difficult. It may need to be emended to an original הָרָרִים (hararim, “mountains”), the reduplicated form of הָר (har, “mountain”). 1QIsaa and the LXX support an unambiguous text of “mountains.”
- Isaiah 45:2 tn That is, on the gates. Cf. CEV “break the iron bars on bronze gates.”
- Isaiah 45:3 tn Heb “treasures of darkness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “treasures from dark, secret places.”
- Isaiah 45:4 tn Or “know” (NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT); NIV “acknowledge.” The common verb יָדַע (yadaʿ) means “to know.” Among homophonous roots DCH includes יָדַע II meaning “be submissive, humbled; be quiet, at rest” (cf. Job 21:19; Prov 5:6; Jer 14:18; Hos 9:7).
- Isaiah 45:5 tn Heb “and there is none besides.” On the use of עוֹד (ʿod) here, see BDB 729 s.v. 1.c.
- Isaiah 45:5 tn Heb “gird you” (so NASB) or “strengthen you” (so NIV).
- Isaiah 45:5 tn Or “know” (NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT); NIV “have not acknowledged.”
- Isaiah 45:6 tn The words “I do this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Isaiah 45:6 tn Heb “they” (so KJV, ASV); TEV, CEV “everyone”; NLT “all the world.”
- Isaiah 45:7 tn The words “I am” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the participle at the beginning of v. 7 stands in apposition to “the Lord” in v. 6.
- Isaiah 45:7 tn On the surface v. 7a appears to describe God’s sovereign control over the cycle of day and night, but the following statement suggests that “light” and “darkness” symbolize “deliverance” and “judgment.”
- Isaiah 45:7 sn This verse affirms that God is ultimately sovereign over his world, including mankind and nations. In accordance with his sovereign will, he can cause wars to cease and peace to predominate (as he was about to do for his exiled people through Cyrus), or he can bring disaster and judgment on nations (as he was about to do to Babylon through Cyrus).
- Isaiah 45:8 tn Heb “let the clouds drip with”; KJV “let the skies pour down.”
- Isaiah 45:8 tn Heb “open up” (so NASB); NIV, NLT “open wide.”
- Isaiah 45:8 tc The plural verb should be emended to a singular form. The vav (ו) ending is probably virtually dittographic (note the yod at the beginning of the following word).
- Isaiah 45:8 tc The Hiphil verb form (תַצְמִיחַ, tatsmiakh) should probably be emended to a Qal (תִצְמַח, titsmakh). The יח sequence at the end of the form is probably due to dittography (note the following יַחַד, yakhad).
- Isaiah 45:8 tn The masculine singular pronominal suffix probably refers back to יָשַׁע (yashaʿ, “salvation”).
- Isaiah 45:9 tn Heb “Woe [to] the one who argues with the one who formed him.”
- Isaiah 45:9 tn The words “one who is like a mere” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and clarification.
- Isaiah 45:9 tn Heb “Should the clay say to the one who forms it,…?” The rhetorical question anticipates a reply, “Of course not!”
- Isaiah 45:9 tn The words “in the world” are supplied in the translation to approximate in English idiom the force of the sarcastic question.
- Isaiah 45:9 tn Heb “your work, there are no hands for it,” i.e., “your work looks like something made by a person who has no hands.”
- Isaiah 45:10 tn Heb “Woe [to] one who says” (NASB and NIV both similar); NCV “How terrible it will be.”
- Isaiah 45:10 tn See the note at v. 9. This phrase occurs a second time later in this verse.
- Isaiah 45:10 sn Verses 9-10 may allude to the exiles’ criticism that the Lord does not appear to know what he is doing.
- Isaiah 45:11 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
- Isaiah 45:11 tc The Hebrew text reads “the one who formed him, the coming things.” Among various suggestions, some have proposed an emendation of יֹצְרוֹ (yotsero, “the one who formed him”) to יֹצֵר (yotser, “the one who forms”; the suffixed form in the Hebrew text may be influenced by vv. 9-10, where the same form appears twice) and takes “coming things” as the object of the participle (either objective genitive or accusative): “the one who brings the future into being.”
- Isaiah 45:11 tn Heb “Ask me.” The rhetorical command sarcastically expresses the Lord’s disgust with those who question his ways.
- Isaiah 45:11 tn Heb “Do you command me about…?” The rhetorical question sarcastically expresses the Lord’s disgust with those who question his ways.
- Isaiah 45:12 tn The words “who live” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Isaiah 45:12 tn Heb “I, even my hands”; NASB “I stretched out…with My hands”; NRSV “it was my hands that stretched out.” The same construction occurs at the beginning of v. 13.
- Isaiah 45:12 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Isaiah 45:12 tn Heb “and to all their host I commanded.” See the notes at 40:26.
- Isaiah 45:13 tn Heb “I stir him up in righteousness”; NASB “I have aroused him.” See the note at 41:2. Cyrus (cf. 44:28) is in view here.
- Isaiah 45:14 tn Heb “labor,” which stands metonymically for the fruits of labor, either “monetary profit,” or “products.”
- Isaiah 45:14 tn Or perhaps, “merchandise” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NAB “the gain of Ethiopia”; CEV “the treasures of Ethiopia.”
- Isaiah 45:14 tn Heb “they will pass over to you”; NASB, NIV “will come over to you”; CEV “will belong to you.”
- Isaiah 45:14 sn Restored Israel is depicted here in typical ancient Near Eastern fashion as an imperial power that receives riches and slaves as tribute.
- Isaiah 45:14 sn Israel’s vassals are portrayed as so intimidated and awed that they treat Israel as an intermediary to God or sub-deity.
- Isaiah 45:14 tn Or perhaps, “among.” Cf. KJV, ASV “Surely God is in thee.”
- Isaiah 45:14 tn Heb “there is no other” (so NIV, NRSV). The same phrase occurs at the end of v. 18, in v. 21, and at the end of v. 22.
- Isaiah 45:16 tn “together they will walk in humiliation, the makers of images.”
- Isaiah 45:17 tn Heb “Israel will be delivered by the Lord [with] a permanent deliverance.”
- Isaiah 45:17 tn Heb “you will not be ashamed and you will not be humiliated for ages of future time.”
- Isaiah 45:18 tn Heb “he [is] the God.” The article here indicates uniqueness.
- Isaiah 45:18 tn Or “unformed.” Gen 1:2 describes the world as “unformed” (תֹהוּ, tohu) prior to God’s creative work, but God then formed the world and made it fit for habitation.
- Isaiah 45:19 tn Heb “in a place of a land of darkness” (ASV similar); NASB “in some dark land.”
- Isaiah 45:19 tn “In vain” translates תֹהוּ (tohu), used here as an adverbial accusative: “for nothing.”
- Isaiah 45:19 tn The translation above assumes that צֶדֶק (tsedeq) and מֵישָׁרִים (mesharim) are adverbial accusatives (see 33:15). If they are taken as direct objects, indicating the content of what is spoken, one might translate, “who proclaims deliverance, who announces justice.”
- Isaiah 45:21 tn Heb “Declare! Bring near!”; NASB “Declare and set forth your case.” See 41:21.
- Isaiah 45:21 tn Or “a righteous God and deliverer”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “a righteous God and a Savior.”
- Isaiah 45:22 tn The Niphal imperative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose after the preceding imperative. The Niphal probably has a tolerative sense, “allow yourselves to be delivered, accept help.”
- Isaiah 45:23 tn Heb “I swear by myself”; KJV, NASB “have sworn.”
- Isaiah 45:23 tn Heb “a word goes out from my mouth [in] truth and will not return.”
- Isaiah 45:23 tn Heb “swear” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “confess allegiance.”
- Isaiah 45:24 tn Heb “‘Yes, in the Lord,’ one says about me, ‘is deliverance and strength.’”
- Isaiah 45:24 tn Heb “will come to him and be ashamed.”
- Isaiah 45:25 tn Heb “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel will be vindicated and boast.”