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The Lord Appoints Cyrus

45 The Lord has chosen Cyrus to be king.
He has appointed him to conquer nations;
    he sends him to strip kings of their power;
    the Lord will open the gates of cities for him.
To Cyrus the Lord says,
“I myself will prepare your way,
    leveling mountains and hills.
I will break down bronze gates
    and smash their iron bars.
I will give you treasures from dark, secret places;
    then you will know that I am the Lord
    and that the God of Israel has called you by name.
I appoint you to help my servant Israel,
    the people that I have chosen.
I have given you great honor,
    although you do not know me.

“I am the Lord; there is no other god.
    I will give you the strength you need,
    although you do not know me.
I do this so that everyone
    from one end of the world to the other
    may know that I am the Lord
    and that there is no other god.
I create both light and darkness;
    I bring both blessing and disaster.
    I, the Lord, do all these things.
I will send victory from the sky like rain;
    the earth will open to receive it
    and will blossom with freedom and justice.
I, the Lord, will make this happen.”

The Lord of Creation and History

(A)Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker,
    a pot that is like all the others?
Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing?
    Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?
10 Do we dare say to our parents,
    “Why did you make me like this?”
11 The Lord, the holy God of Israel,
    the one who shapes the future, says:
“You have no right to question me about my children
    or to tell me what I ought to do!
12 I am the one who made the earth
    and created human beings to live there.
By my power I stretched out the heavens;
    I control the sun, the moon, and the stars.
13 I myself have stirred Cyrus to action
    to fulfill my purpose and put things right.
I will straighten out every road that he travels.
    He will rebuild my city, Jerusalem,
    and set my captive people free.
No one has hired him or bribed him to do this.”
The Lord Almighty has spoken.

14 The Lord says to Israel,

“The wealth of Egypt and Ethiopia[a] will be yours,
    and the tall men of Seba will be your slaves;
    they will follow you in chains.
They will bow down to you and confess,
    ‘God is with you—he alone is God.
15 The God of Israel, who saves his people,
    is a God who conceals himself.
16 Those who make idols will all be ashamed;
    all of them will be disgraced.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord,
    and her victory lasts forever;
    her people will never be disgraced.’”

18 The Lord created the heavens—
    he is the one who is God!
He formed and made the earth—
    he made it firm and lasting.
He did not make it a desolate waste,
    but a place for people to live.
It is he who says, “I am the Lord,
    and there is no other god.
19 I have not spoken in secret
    or kept my purpose hidden.
I did not require the people of Israel
    to look for me in a desolate waste.
I am the Lord, and I speak the truth;
    I make known what is right.”

The Lord of the World and the Idols of Babylon

20 The Lord says,

“Come together, people of the nations,
    all who survive the fall of the empire;
    present yourselves for the trial!
The people who parade with their idols of wood
    and pray to gods that cannot save them—
    those people know nothing at all!
21 Come and present your case in court;
    let the defendants consult one another.
Who predicted long ago what would happen?
Was it not I, the Lord, the God who saves his people?
    There is no other god.

22 “Turn to me now and be saved,
    people all over the world!
I am the only God there is.
23 (B)My promise is true,
    and it will not be changed.
I solemnly promise by all that I am:
    Everyone will come and kneel before me
    and vow to be loyal to me.

24 “They will say that only through me
    are victory and strength to be found;
    but all who hate me will suffer disgrace.
25 I, the Lord, will rescue all the descendants of Jacob,
    and they will give me praise.


  1. Isaiah 45:14 Hebrew Cush: Cush is the ancient name of the extensive territory south of the First Cataract of the Nile River. This region was called Ethiopia in Graeco-Roman times, and included within its borders most of modern Sudan and some of present-day Ethiopia (Abyssinia).

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped
to subdue nations before him
    and strip kings of their robes,
to open doors before him—
    and the gates shall not be closed:
I will go before you
    and level the mountains,[a]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and riches hidden in secret places,
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
    I surname you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    besides me there is no god.
    I arm you, though you do not know me,
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
    I make weal and create woe;
    I the Lord do all these things.

Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may spring up,[b]
    and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also;
    I the Lord have created it.

Woe to you who strive with your Maker,
    earthen vessels with the potter![c]
Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, “What are you making”?
    or “Your work has no handles”?
10 Woe to anyone who says to a father, “What are you begetting?”
    or to a woman, “With what are you in labor?”
11 Thus says the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Will you question me[d] about my children,
    or command me concerning the work of my hands?
12 I made the earth,
    and created humankind upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded all their host.
13 I have aroused Cyrus[e] in righteousness,
    and I will make all his paths straight;
he shall build my city
    and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,
    says the Lord of hosts.
14 Thus says the Lord:
The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia,[f]
    and the Sabeans, tall of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours,
    they shall follow you;
    they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying,
    “God is with you alone, and there is no other;
    there is no god besides him.”
15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
    O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame and confounded,
    the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord
    with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
    to all eternity.

18 For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
    (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
    (he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
    he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret,
    in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
    “Seek me in chaos.”
I the Lord speak the truth,
    I declare what is right.

Idols Cannot Save Babylon

20 Assemble yourselves and come together,
    draw near, you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge—
    those who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
    that cannot save.
21 Declare and present your case;
    let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
    Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is no one besides me.

22 Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth!
    For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
    a word that shall not return:
“To me every knee shall bow,
    every tongue shall swear.”

24 Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
    are righteousness and strength;
all who were incensed against him
    shall come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
    shall triumph and glory.


  1. Isaiah 45:2 Q Ms Gk: MT the swellings
  2. Isaiah 45:8 Q Ms: MT that they may bring forth salvation
  3. Isaiah 45:9 Cn: Heb with the potsherds, or with the potters
  4. Isaiah 45:11 Cn: Heb Ask me of things to come
  5. Isaiah 45:13 Heb him
  6. Isaiah 45:14 Or Nubia; Heb Cush

45 Thus says Adonai to Koresh, his anointed,
whose right hand he has grasped,
so that he subdues nations before him
and strips kings of their robes,
so that doors open in front of him,
and no gates are barred:
“I will go ahead of you,
levelling the hills,
shattering the bronze gates,
smashing the iron bars.
I will give you treasures
hoarded in the dark,
secret riches hidden away,
so that you will know that I, Adonai,
calling you by your name,
am the God of Isra’el.
It is for the sake of Ya‘akov my servant,
yes, for Isra’el my elect,
that I call you by your name
and give you a title, although you don’t know me.
I am Adonai; there is no other;
besides me there is no God.
I am arming you, although you don’t know me,
so that those from the east and those from the west
will know that there is none besides me —
I am Adonai; there is no other.
I form light, I create darkness;
I make well-being, I create woe;
I, Adonai, do all these things.

“Heavens above, rain down justice;
let the clouds pour it down.
Let the earth open,
so that salvation springs up,
and justice sprouts with it.
I, Adonai, have created it.”

Woe to anyone who argues with his maker,
like potsherds lying on the ground!
Does the clay ask the potter, “What are you doing?”
or, “What’s this you’re making, that has no hands?”
10 Woe to him who asks a father,
“Of what are you the father?”
or who asks a woman,
“To what are you giving birth?”

11 Thus says Adonai,
the Holy One of Isra’el, his Maker:
“You ask for signs concerning my children?
You give orders concerning the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth!
I created human beings on it!
I — my hands — stretched out the heavens,
and directed all their number.
13 I am stirring up Koresh to righteousness,
I am smoothing out all his paths.
He will rebuild my city;
and he will free my exiles,
taking neither ransom nor bribe,”
says Adonai-Tzva’ot.

14 Here is what Adonai says:
“The earnings of Egypt, the commerce of Ethiopia,
and men of stature from S’va
will come over to you and become yours;
they will come in chains and follow you.
They will prostrate themselves before you;
they will pray to you:
‘Surely God is with you; there is no other,
other gods are nothing.’”

15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
God of Isra’el, Savior!
16 The idol-makers will be ashamed,
disgraced, all of them;
they will go dishonored together.
17 But Isra’el, saved by Adonai
with an everlasting salvation,
you will never, ever, be ashamed or disgraced.

18 For thus says Adonai, who created the heavens,
God, who shaped and made the earth,
who established and created it not to be chaos,
but formed it to be lived in:
“I am Adonai; there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness.
I did not say to the descendants of Ya‘akov,
‘It is in vain that you will seek me.’
I, Adonai, speak rightly; I say what is true.
20 Assemble, come and gather together,
you refugees from the nations!
Those carrying their wooden idols are ignorant,
they pray to a god that cannot save.
21 Let them stand and present their case!
Indeed, let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
announced it in times gone by?
Wasn’t it I, Adonai?
There is no other God besides me,
a just God and a Savior;
there is none besides me.
22 Look to me, and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God;
there is no other.
23 In the name of myself I have sworn,
from my mouth has rightly gone out,
a word that will not return —
that to me every knee will bow
and every tongue will swear 24 about me
that only in Adonai
are justice and strength.”

All who rage against him
will come to him ashamed,
25 but all the descendants of Isra’el
will find justice and glory in Adonai.

The God Who Forms Light and Darkness

45 1-7 God’s Message to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whom he took by the hand
To give the task of taming the nations,
    of terrifying their kings—
He gave him free rein,
    no restrictions:
“I’ll go ahead of you,
    clearing and paving the road.
I’ll break down bronze city gates,
    smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances.
I’ll lead you to buried treasures,
    secret caches of valuables—
Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God,
    the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
It’s because of my dear servant Jacob,
    Israel my chosen,
That I’ve singled you out, called you by name,
    and given you this privileged work.
    And you don’t even know me!
I am God, the only God there is.
    Besides me there are no real gods.
I’m the one who armed you for this work,
    though you don’t even know me,
So that everyone, from east to west, will know
    that I have no god-rivals.
    I am God, the only God there is.
I form light and create darkness,
    I make harmonies and create discords.
    I, God, do all these things.

8-10 “Open up, heavens, and rain.
    Clouds, pour out buckets of my goodness!
Loosen up, earth, and bloom salvation;
    sprout right living.
    I, God, generate all this.
But doom to you who fight your Maker—
    you’re a pot at odds with the potter!
Does clay talk back to the potter:
    ‘What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!’
Would a sperm say to a father,
    ‘Who gave you permission to use me to make a baby?’
Or a fetus to a mother,
    ‘Why have you cooped me up in this belly?’”

11-13 Thus God, The Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker, says:
    “Do you question who or what I’m making?
    Are you telling me what I can or cannot do?
I made earth,
    and I created man and woman to live on it.
I handcrafted the skies
    and direct all the constellations in their turnings.
And now I’ve got Cyrus on the move.
    I’ve rolled out the red carpet before him.
He will build my city.
    He will bring home my exiles.
I didn’t hire him to do this. I told him.
    I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.”

14 God says:

“The workers of Egypt, the merchants of Ethiopia,
    and those statuesque Sabeans
Will all come over to you—all yours.
    Docile in chains, they’ll follow you,
Hands folded in reverence, praying before you:
    ‘Amazing! God is with you!
    There is no other God—none.’”

Look at the Evidence

15-17 Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes,
    God of Israel, Savior God.
Humiliated, all those others
    will be ashamed to show their faces in public.
Out of work and at loose ends, the makers of no-god idols
    won’t know what to do with themselves.
The people of Israel, though, are saved by you, God,
    saved with an eternal salvation.
They won’t be ashamed,
    they won’t be at loose ends, ever.

18-24 God, Creator of the heavens—
    he is, remember, God.
Maker of earth—
    he put it on its foundations, built it from scratch.
He didn’t go to all that trouble
    to just leave it empty, nothing in it.
    He made it to be lived in.
    This God says:

“I am God,
    the one and only.
I don’t just talk to myself
    or mumble under my breath.
I never told Jacob,
    ‘Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.’
I am God. I work out in the open,
    saying what’s right, setting things right.
So gather around, come on in,
    all you refugees and castoffs.
They don’t seem to know much, do they—
    those who carry around their no-god blocks of wood,
    praying for help to a dead stick?
So tell me what you think. Look at the evidence.
    Put your heads together. Make your case.
Who told you, and a long time ago, what’s going on here?
    Who made sense of things for you?
Wasn’t I the one? God?
    It had to be me. I’m the only God there is—
The only God who does things right
    and knows how to help.
So turn to me and be helped—saved!—
    everyone, whoever and wherever you are.
I am God,
    the only God there is, the one and only.
I promise in my own name:
    Every word out of my mouth does what it says.
    I never take back what I say.
Everyone is going to end up kneeling before me.
    Everyone is going to end up saying of me,
    ‘Yes! Salvation and strength are in God!’”

24-25 All who have raged against him
    will be brought before him,
    disgraced by their unbelief.
And all who are connected with Israel
    will have a robust, praising, good life in God!