Isaiah 48 Good News Translation (GNT)
God Is Lord of the Future
48 Listen to this, people of Israel,
you that are descended from Judah:
You swear by the name of the Lord
and claim to worship the God of Israel—
but you don't mean a word you say.
2 And yet you are proud to say
that you are citizens of the holy city
and that you depend on Israel's God,
whose name is the Lord Almighty.
3 The Lord says to Israel,
“Long ago I predicted what would take place;
then suddenly I made it happen.
4 I knew that you would prove to be stubborn,
as rigid as iron and unyielding as bronze.
5 And so I predicted your future long ago,
announcing events before they took place,
to keep you from claiming
that your idols and images made them happen.
6 “All I foretold has now taken place;
you have to admit my predictions were right.
Now I will tell you of new things to come,
events that I did not reveal before.
7 Only now am I making them happen;
nothing like this took place in the past.
If it had, you would claim that you knew all about it.
8 I knew that you couldn't be trusted,
that you have always been known as a rebel.
That is why you never heard of this at all,
why no word of it ever came to your ears.
9 “In order that people will praise my name,
I am holding my anger in check;
I am keeping it back and will not destroy you.
10 I have tested you in the fire of suffering,
as silver is refined in a furnace.
But I have found that you are worthless.
11 What I do is done for my own sake—
I will not let my name be dishonored
or let anyone else share the glory
that should be mine and mine alone.”
Cyrus, the Lord's Chosen Leader
12 The Lord says,
“Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called!
I am God, the first, the last, the only God!
13 My hands made the earth's foundations
and spread the heavens out.
When I summon earth and sky,
they come at once and present themselves.
14 “Assemble and listen, all of you!
None of the gods could predict
that the man I have chosen would attack Babylon;
he will do what I want him to do.
15 I am the one who spoke and called him;
I led him out and gave him success.
16 “Now come close to me and hear what I say.
From the beginning I have spoken openly
and have always made my words come true.”
(Now the Sovereign Lord has given me his power and sent me.)
The Lord's Plan for His People
17 The holy God of Israel,
the Lord who saves you, says:
“I am the Lord your God,
the one who wants to teach you for your own good
and direct you in the way you should go.
18 “If only you had listened to my commands!
Then blessings would have flowed for you
like a stream that never goes dry.
Victory would have come to you
like the waves that roll on the shore.
19 Your descendants would be as numerous as grains of sand,
and I would have made sure they were never destroyed.”
20 Go out from Babylon, go free!
Shout the news gladly; make it known everywhere:
“The Lord has saved his servant Israel!”
21 When the Lord led his people through a hot, dry desert,
they did not suffer from thirst.
He made water come from a rock for them;
he split the rock open, and water flowed out.
22 “There is no safety for sinners,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 48 New International Version (NIV)
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.
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.”