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Isaiah 46New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 46

The Gods of Babylon

Bel bows down, Nebo[a] stoops,
    their idols set upon beasts and cattle;
They must be borne upon shoulders,
    a load for weary animals.
They stoop and bow down together;
    unable to deliver those who bear them,
    they too go into captivity.

Hear me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
My burden from the womb,
    whom I have carried since birth.
Even to your old age I am he,
    even when your hair is gray I will carry you;
I have done this, and I will lift you up,
    I will carry you to safety.

To whom would you liken me as an equal,
    compare me, as though we were alike?
There are those who pour out gold from a purse
    and weigh out silver on the scales;
They hire a goldsmith to make it into a god
    before which they bow down in worship.
They lift it to their shoulders to carry;
    when they set it down, it stays,
    and does not move from the place.
They cry out to it, but it cannot answer;
    it delivers no one from distress.

Remember this and be firm,
    take it to heart, you rebels;
    remember the former things, those long ago:
I am God, there is no other;
    I am God, there is none like me.
10 At the beginning I declare the outcome;
    from of old, things not yet done.
I say that my plan shall stand,
    I accomplish my every desire.

11 I summon from the east a bird of prey,[b]
    from a distant land, one to carry out my plan.
Yes, I have spoken, I will accomplish it;
    I have planned it, and I will do it.
12 Listen to me, you fainthearted,
    far from the victory of justice:
13 I am bringing on that victory, it is not far off,
    my salvation shall not tarry;
I will put salvation within Zion,
    give to Israel my glory.


  1. 46:1–4 Bel…Nebo: gods of Babylon; their complete helplessness is here contrasted with God’s omnipotence; whereas they must be carried about, the Lord carries Israel as a parent does a child.
  2. 46:11 From the east a bird of prey: Cyrus; cf. 41:2–4.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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