New King James Version
Cyrus, God’s Instrument
45 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To (A)Cyrus, whose (B)right hand I have [a]held—
(C)To subdue nations before him
And (D)loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
2 ‘I will go before you
(E)And[b] make the [c]crooked places straight;
(F)I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
(G)That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who (H)call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
4 For (I)Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
5 I (J)am the Lord, and (K)there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
(L)I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 (M)That they may (N)know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and (O)create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
8 “Rain(P) down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.
I, the Lord, have created it.
9 “Woe to him who strives with (Q)his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
(R)Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
10 Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’
Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ ”
11 Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
(S)“Ask Me of things to come concerning (T)My sons;
And concerning (U)the work of My hands, you command Me.
12 (V)I have made the earth,
And (W)created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And (X)all their host I have commanded.
13 (Y)I have raised him up in righteousness,
And I will [d]direct all his ways;
He shall (Z)build My city
And let My exiles go free,
(AA)Not for price nor reward,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
The Lord, the Only Savior
14 Thus says the Lord:
(AB)“The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush
And of the Sabeans, men of stature,
Shall come over to you, and they shall be yours;
They shall walk behind you,
They shall come over (AC)in chains;
And they shall bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying, (AD)‘Surely God is in you,
And there is no other;
(AE)There is no other God.’ ”
15 Truly You are God, (AF)who hide Yourself,
O God of Israel, the Savior!
16 They shall be (AG)ashamed
And also disgraced, all of them;
They shall go in confusion together,
Who are makers of idols.
17 (AH)But Israel shall be saved by the Lord
With an (AI)everlasting salvation;
You shall not be ashamed or (AJ)disgraced
Forever and ever.
18 For thus says the Lord,
(AK)Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it [e]in vain,
Who formed it to be (AL)inhabited:
(AM)“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in (AN)secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
‘Seek Me [f]in vain’;
(AO)I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right.
20 “Assemble yourselves and come;
Draw near together,
You who have escaped from the nations.
(AP)They have no knowledge,
Who carry the wood of their carved image,
And pray to a god that cannot save.
21 Tell and bring forth your case;
Yes, let them take counsel together.
(AQ)Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I, the Lord?
(AR)And 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,
(AS)All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 (AT)I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every (AU)knee shall bow,
(AV)Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
[g]‘Surely in the Lord I have (AW)righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And (AX)all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
25 (AY)In the Lord all the descendants of Israel
Shall be justified, and (AZ)shall glory.’ ”
- Isaiah 45:1 strengthened or sustained
- Isaiah 45:2 Tg. I will trample down the walls; Vg. I will humble the great ones of the earth
- Isaiah 45:2 DSS, LXX mountains
- Isaiah 45:13 Or make all his ways straight
- Isaiah 45:18 Or empty, a waste
- Isaiah 45:19 Or in a waste place
- Isaiah 45:24 Or Only in the Lord are all righteousness and strength
God Uses Cyrus
45 This is what the Lord says to His anointed, to Cyrus [king of Persia],
Whose right hand I have held
To subdue nations before him,
And I will ungird the loins of kings [disarming them];
To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
“I will go before you and level the mountains;
I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness [the hoarded treasures]
And the hidden riches of secret places,
So that you may know that it is I,
The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you (Cyrus the Great) by your name.
“For the sake of Jacob My servant,
And of Israel My chosen,
I have also called you by your name;
I have given you an honorable name
Though you have not known Me.
“I am the Lord, and there is no one else;
There is no God except Me.
I will embrace and arm you, though you have not known Me,
That people may know from the rising to the setting of the sun [the world over]
That there is no one except Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing peace and creating disaster;
I am the Lord who does all these things.
God’s Supreme Power
“Rain down, O heavens, from above,
Let the clouds pour down righteousness [all the blessings of God];
Let the earth open up, let salvation bear fruit,
And righteousness spring up with it;
I, the Lord, have created it.
“Woe (judgment is coming) to him who quarrels with his Maker—
A [worthless] piece of broken pottery among other broken pieces [equally worthless]!
Shall the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’
Or does the thing say, ‘He has no hands’?(A)
“Woe (judgment is coming) to him who says to a father, ‘What are you fathering?’
Or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
11 For the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker says this,
“Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons,
And give Me orders concerning the work of My hands.
“I made the earth and created man upon it.
My hands, stretched out the heavens,
And I commanded all their host.
“I have stirred up Cyrus and put him into action in righteousness [to accomplish My purpose]
And I will make all his ways smooth;
He will build My city and let My exiles go,
Without any payment or reward,” says the Lord of hosts.
14 For this is what the Lord says,
“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush (ancient Ethiopia)
And the Sabeans, men of stature,
Will come over to you and they will be yours;
They will walk behind you, in chains [of subjection to you] they will come over,
And they will bow down before you;
They will make supplication to you, [humbly and earnestly] saying,
[a]‘Most certainly God is with you, and there is no other,
No other God [besides Him].’”(B)
Truly, You are a God who hides Himself,
O God of Israel, Savior!
They will be put to shame and also humiliated, all of them;
They who make idols will go away together in humiliation.
Israel has been saved by the Lord
With an everlasting salvation;
You will not be put to shame or humiliated
for all eternity.(C)
18 For the Lord, who created the heavens [b](He is God, who formed the earth and made it; He established it and did not create it to be a wasteland, but formed it to be inhabited) says this,
“I am the Lord, and there is no one else.
“I have not spoken in secret,
In a corner of a land of darkness;
I did not say to the descendants of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in vain [with no benefit for yourselves].’
I, the Lord, speak righteousness [the truth—trustworthy, a straightforward correlation between deeds and words],
Declaring things that are upright.(D)
“Assemble yourselves and come;
Come together, you survivors of the nations!
They are ignorant,
Who carry around their wooden idols [in religious processions or into battle]
And keep on praying to a god that cannot save them.
“Declare and present your defense of idols;
Indeed, let them consult together.
Who announced this [rise of Cyrus and his conquests] long before it happened?
Who declared it long ago?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A [consistently and uncompromisingly] just and righteous God and a Savior;
There is none except Me.
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
“I have sworn [an oath] by Myself,
The word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear [allegiance].(E)
“It shall be said of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’
To Him people will come,
And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame.(F)
“In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
Will be justified (declared free of guilt) and will glory [in God].”
- Isaiah 45:14 These words foretell the fact that salvation will be available to believing Gentiles, as well as Jews.
- Isaiah 45:18 Longer parenthetical passages such as this one are in the Hebrew text, and should not be confused with the general use of parentheses as a way to define or modify the previous word or group of words.
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,
“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.
* * *
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!
New Living Translation
Cyrus, the Lord’s Chosen One
45 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened,
never to shut again.
2 This is what the Lord says:
“I will go before you, Cyrus,
and level the mountains.[a]
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 “And why have I called you for this work?
Why did I call you by name when you did not know me?
It is for the sake of Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
5 I am the Lord;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times.
I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.
8 “Open up, O heavens,
and pour out your righteousness.
Let the earth open wide
so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.
I, the Lord, created them.
9 “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
11 This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.
13 I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose,
and I will guide his actions.
He will restore my city and free my captive people—
without seeking a reward!
I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
Future Conversion of Gentiles
14 This is what the Lord says:
“You will rule the Egyptians,
the Ethiopians,[b] and the Sabeans.
They will come to you with all their merchandise,
and it will all be yours.
They will follow you as prisoners in chains.
They will fall to their knees in front of you and say,
‘God is with you, and he is the only God.
There is no other.’”
15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior,
you work in mysterious ways.
16 All craftsmen who make idols will be humiliated.
They will all be disgraced together.
17 But the Lord will save the people of Israel
with eternal salvation.
Throughout everlasting ages,
they will never again be humiliated and disgraced.
18 For the Lord is God,
and he created the heavens and earth
and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in,
not to be a place of empty chaos.
“I am the Lord,” he says,
“and there is no other.
19 I publicly proclaim bold promises.
I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner.
I would not have told the people of Israel[c] to seek me
if I could not be found.
I, the Lord, speak only what is true
and declare only what is right.
20 “Gather together and come,
you fugitives from surrounding nations.
What fools they are who carry around their wooden idols
and pray to gods that cannot save!
21 Consult together, argue your case.
Get together and decide what to say.
Who made these things known so long ago?
What idol ever told you they would happen?
Was it not I, the Lord?
For there is no other God but me,
a righteous God and Savior.
There is none but me.
22 Let all the world look to me for salvation!
For I am God; there is no other.
23 I have sworn by my own name;
I have spoken the truth,
and I will never go back on my word:
Every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.[d]”
24 The people will declare,
“The Lord is the source of all my righteousness and strength.”
And all who were angry with him
will come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the Lord all the generations of Israel will be justified,
and in him they will boast.
The Passion Translation
God’s Shepherd, Cyrus
45 “This is what Yahweh says to his anointed one,[a]
Cyrus,[b] whose right hand I have grasped as my servant[c]
to conquer nations and dethrone their kings.[d]
For I will open doors before him
and no fortified gate will remain closed.
2 ‘I will march out in front of you and level every obstacle.[e]
I will shatter to pieces bronze doors
and slice through iron bars.
3 I will give you hidden treasures from dark, concealed places
and wealth waiting in secret sites
so that you recognize me, for it is I, Yahweh,
the God of Israel, who calls you by your name![f]
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name and give you a title of honor.
But you don’t even know me.
5 I am Yahweh, the only God there is,
and you’ll never find another.
I will strengthen you for victory,
even though you do not intimately know who I am.
6 Yet through you everyone will know who I really am.
Those from the rising sun in the east to the west,
everyone everywhere will know
that I am Yahweh, the one and only God,
and there is no other.[g]
7 I create light, and I make it dark.
I make bliss,[h] and I create adversity.[i]
I am Yahweh who does all these things.’
8 “Shower down righteousness, O heavens above.
Let the clouds drip with deliverance!
Let earth’s womb open and bear salvation’s[j] fruit,
with righteousness rising up beside it![k]
I, Yahweh, have created all of them!
9 Shame on the one who argues with his Creator,
like one clay pot among other pots arguing with the potter.
Should the clay say to the potter,
‘What in the world are you doing with me?
Your hands are clumsy’?[l]
10 Shame on the one who complains to a father,
‘Why in the world did you conceive me?’
Or to a mother, ‘Why in the world did you bring me to birth?’”
11 Listen to what Yahweh,
the Holy One of Israel, the One who shaped him, has to say:
“Why do you question me about the destiny of my children[m]
or tell me what to do with my children and what I have made?
12 I created the earth and populated it with people.
With my own hands, I spread out the cosmos
and then commanded the starry host to shine!
13 I am the one who raised him[n] up in righteousness!
I will make all his paths straight and level.
He will build my city and release my exiled people,
not because he was bribed or hired to do it,
declares the Almighty Yahweh!”
Yahweh, the Hope of the Nations
14 This is what Yahweh says to Cyrus:
“Egypt’s wealth, Cush’s[o] treasures, and the tall Sabeans[p]
will all be handed over to you.
In chains they will walk behind you.
They will be brought before you and they will bow down
and address you reverently, saying,
‘Truly God is with you. He alone is God, and there is no other.’”
15 Truly, O God of Israel, the Savior,
you are a God who hides himself.”[q]
16 All the idol-makers will be ashamed and disgraced,
and each one will walk away in confusion.
17 But Yahweh saves Israel with everlasting salvation!
You will not be put to shame nor disgraced for all eternity!
18 This is what Yahweh says, heaven’s Creator, who alone is God.
He created the earth, shaped it, and established it all by himself.
He made it fit and orderly and beautiful[r] for its inhabitants.
“I am Yahweh, and there is no other god.
19 I didn’t whisper in secret, in a realm of darkness.
I didn’t say to Jacob’s tribes,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I am Yahweh!
I speak the truth and declare to you what is right!
20 “Come together! Assemble yourselves!
Draw near, you refugees from among the nations.
Those who parade their powerless wooden idols
have no revelation knowledge.
They keep on praying to gods who cannot save them.
21 Declare what is to be and state your case.
Go ahead and take counsel together.
Who knew all about this and declared it long ago?
Was it not I, Yahweh? There is no god apart from me.
I am a righteous God and a Savior.
There is no one you can compare to me.
22 So turn your heart to me, face me now,
and be saved wherever you are,
even from the ends of the earth,
for I alone am God, and there is no other.
23 I make this solemn oath to you in my own name;
this word sent from my mouth in righteousness
will not return unfulfilled:
‘Truly every knee will bow before me
and every tongue will solemnly swear allegiance to me!’
24 All will say of me,
‘Yes! Only in Yahweh do I find righteousness and strength!’
And all who were angry with me
will come before me and regret it!
25 In Yahweh, all of Israel’s offspring will triumph[s] and shine!”
- Isaiah 45:1 Or “Messiah (Anointed One).” The Septuagint reads “To Cyrus, my Christ.” Cyrus becomes an amazing picture of Jesus, the Anointed One (Acts 10:38). Both Cyrus (44:28) and Jesus (Heb. 13:20) are called shepherds who will perform all God’s pleasure (John 8:29). God takes the right hand of both Cyrus and Christ (Heb. 10:12-13) and subdues nations before them (Ps. 2; Phil. 3:21). Both Cyrus and Christ have open doors before them (Rev. 3:7-8) and are given the treasures of darkness (Matt. 27:45), the hidden riches of secret places (Mark 1:35; Col. 2:3; Rev. 2:17).
- Isaiah 45:1 Cyrus, the Persian king, is mentioned twenty-two times in the Bible. His name means “the rays of the sun.” God calls him his “shepherd” (44:28) and his “anointed one.” On October 12, 539 BC, he conquered Babylon and its king, Nabonidus, and his son Belshazzar (Dan. 5:25-31). It is possible that Daniel, after the fall of Babylon, showed Cyrus the prophecies of Jer. 25:11-12 and 29:10.
- Isaiah 45:1 That is, God is about to take Cyrus as a partner to accomplish heaven’s purpose.
- Isaiah 45:1 Or “The belts of their kings I will loosen,” a Hebrew idiom for disarming or dethroning. Babylon was taken in one night by Cyrus. Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed. See Dan. 5:1-31.
- Isaiah 45:2 Or “every swelling,” a possible metaphor for what looms up in front of you.
- Isaiah 45:3 The Hebrew wording allows for this possible translation: “I, Yahweh, who calls you by your name, the gods (judges or mighty ones) of Israel.” The word for “gods” is elohim (plural) and is translated in some verses as “judges.” See Ps. 82:1, 6.
- Isaiah 45:6 There are four reasons God chose and favored Cyrus, the heathen king: (1) So that Cyrus would acknowledge the greatness of God. (2) To accomplish God’s purpose with Judah (Ps. 78:68-72). (3) So the nations would see that Yahweh is the only true God. (4) So Jerusalem would be rebuilt.
- Isaiah 45:7 This is the Hebrew word shalom and can be translated “prosperity, bliss, wholeness, completeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” Shalom comes from a root verb meaning “to be complete, perfect, and (paid in) full.”
- Isaiah 45:7 Or “woe, disaster, calamity (judgment), affliction, disturbance, distress, misery, trouble.”
- Isaiah 45:8 The Hebrew word for “salvation,” yesha’, is nearly identical to the Hebrew name Yeshua (Jesus).
- Isaiah 45:8 Or “and blossom with mercy” (LXX).
- Isaiah 45:9 Or “Your work has no hands (or handles).” This is a way of saying, “What you’re doing with me shows that you have no skill, like someone who has no hands forming me!”
- Isaiah 45:11 Or “Ask me about things to come concerning my children.”
- Isaiah 45:13 Although God has raised up Christ and us in righteousness, the context here points to Cyrus.
- Isaiah 45:14 Or “Ethiopia.”
- Isaiah 45:14 A people group once living in the southern parts of Arabia (modern-day Yemen).
- Isaiah 45:15 Or “a God who keeps himself hidden.” These words of Isaiah show us that God must be revealed by his Spirit to each heart.
- Isaiah 45:18 Or “He did not create it a chaos.”
- Isaiah 45:25 Or “will be made right again.” See Rom. 11:26-27.