46 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden.[a] The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. 2 They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
5 “With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared? 6 Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it. 7 They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles.
8 “Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. 9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. 13 I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.
The Fall of Babylon
47 “Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, queen city of the Babylonians.[b] No more will you be called tender or delicate. 2 Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams. 3 Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one.”
4 Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.
5 “Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke. 7 You said, ‘I am forever— the eternal queen!’ But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.
8 “Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’ 9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells. 10 You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’ 11 Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. 13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. 14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by. 15 That is all they are to you— these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you.
48 “Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the Lord and invoke the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness— 2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and claim to rely on the God of Israel— the Lord Almighty is his name: 3 I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4 For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze. 5 Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’ 6 You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them?
“From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. 7 They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’ 8 You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth. 9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely. 10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
12 “Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. 13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.
14 “Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? The Lord’s chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians.[c] 15 I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.
16 “Come near me and listen to this:
“From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.”
And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me, endowed with his Spirit.
17 This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. 18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea. 19 Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me.”
20 Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.” 21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.
22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
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