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The Lord Corrects His People

48 People of Israel,
you come from Jacob’s family
    and the tribe[a] of Judah.
You claim to worship me,
the Lord God of Israel,
    but you are lying.
You call Jerusalem your home
    and say you depend on me,
the Lord All-Powerful,
    the God of Israel.

Long ago I announced
    what was going to be,
then without warning,
    I made it happen.
I knew you were stubborn
    and hardheaded.
And I told you these things,
so that when they happened
    you would not say,
“The idols we worship did this.”

You heard what I said,
and you have seen it happen.
    Now admit that it’s true!
I will show you secrets
    you have never known.
Today I am doing something new,
something you cannot say
    you have heard before.
You have never been willing
    to listen to what I say;
from the moment of your birth,
    I knew you would rebel.

The Lord Warns Israel

I, the Lord, am true to myself;
I will be praised
for not punishing
    and destroying you.
10 I tested you in hard times
just as silver is refined
    in a heated furnace.[b]
11 I did this because of who I am.
I refuse to be dishonored[c]
    or share my praise
    with any other god.

12 Israel, my chosen people,
    listen to me.
I alone am the Lord,
    the first and the last.
13 With my own hand
I created the earth
    and stretched out the sky.
They obey my every command.

The Lord Speaks to the Nations

14 Gather around me, all of you!
    Listen to what I say.
Did any of your idols
    predict this would happen?
Did they say that my friend[d]
would do
what I want done
    to Babylonia?[e]
15 I was the one who chose him.
I have brought him this far,
    and he will be successful.
16 Come closer and listen!
I have never kept secret
    the things I have said,
and I was here
    before time began.

It Is Best To Obey the Lord

By the power of his Spirit
the Lord God has sent me
17     with this message:
People of Israel,
I am the holy Lord God,
    the one who rescues you.
For your own good,
I teach you,
and I lead you
    along the right path.
18 How I wish that you
    had obeyed my commands!
Your success and good fortune
would then have overflowed
    like a flooding river.
19 Your nation would be blessed
    with more people
than there are grains of sand
    along the seashore.
And I would never have let
    your country be destroyed.

20 Now leave Babylon!
    Celebrate as you go.
Be happy and shout
    for everyone to hear,
“The Lord has rescued
    his servant Israel!
21 He led us through the desert
and made water flow from a rock
    to satisfy our thirst.
22 But the Lord has promised
that none who are evil
    will live in peace.”


  1. 48.1 tribe: Hebrew “waters.”
  2. 48.10 furnace: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  3. 48.11 I refuse to be dishonored: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 48.14 my friend: Probably Cyrus (see 44.28; 45.1).
  5. 48.14 Babylonia: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.