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: 2 “I will go before you and level the mountains; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron. 3 “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. 4 “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. 5 “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, 6 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, 7 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
8 “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.
9 “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’? 10 “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. 12 “I made the earth and created man upon it. My hands, stretched out the heavens, And I commanded all their host. 13 “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].’” 15 Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16 They will be put to shame and also humiliated, all of them; They who make idols will go away together in humiliation. 17 Israel has been saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated for all eternity.
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. 19 “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.
20 “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. 21 “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. 22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. 23 “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]. 24 “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. 25 “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel Will be justified (declared free of guilt) and will glory [in God].”
Babylon’s Idols and the True God
46 Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over; Their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle. Your burdens [of idols] are loaded [on them], Burdens on the weary animals. 2 They stooped over, they have bowed down together; They could not rescue the burden [of their own idols], But have themselves gone into captivity.
3 “Listen to Me,” [says the Lord], “O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been carried by Me from your birth And have been carried [in My arms] from the womb, 4 Even to your old age I am He, And even to your advanced old age I will carry you! I have made you, and I will carry you; Be assured I will carry you and I will save you.
5 “To whom would you liken Me And make Me equal and compare Me, That we may be alike? 6 “Those who lavish gold from the bag And weigh out silver on the scales Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; They bow down, indeed they worship it. 7 “They lift it on their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle] and carry it; They set it in its place and there it remains standing. It cannot move from its place. Even if one cries to it [for help], the idol cannot answer; It cannot save him from his distress.
8 “Remember this, and take courage; Take it to heart, you rebellious and disloyal people. 9 “Remember [carefully] the former things [which I did] from ages past; For I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, And from ancient times the things which have not [yet] been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will do all that pleases Me and fulfills My purpose,’ 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, From a far country, the man (Cyrus) of My purpose. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, be assured I will do it.
12 “Listen to Me, you stiff-necked people, You who are far from righteousness (right standing with God). 13 “I bring near My righteousness [in the salvation of Israel], it is not far away; And My salvation will not delay. And I will grant salvation in Zion, And My glory for Israel.
Lament for Babylon
47 “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground [in abject humiliation]; there is no throne for you, O daughter of the [c]Chaldeans, For you will no longer be called tender and delicate. 2 “Take millstones [as a female slave does] and grind meal; Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, Uncover the leg, cross the rivers [at the command of your captors]. 3 “Your nakedness will be uncovered, Your shame will also be exposed; I will take vengeance and will spare no man.” 4 Our Redeemer [will do all this], the Lord of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel. 5 “Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; For you will no longer be called The queen of kingdoms. 6 “I was angry with My people, I profaned [Judah] My inheritance And gave them into your hand [Babylon]. You showed them no mercy; You made your yoke very heavy on the aged. 7 “And you said, ‘I shall be a queen forevermore.’ You did not consider these things, Nor did you [seriously] remember the [ultimate] outcome of such conduct.
8 “Now, then, hear this, you who live a luxuriant life, You who dwell safely and securely, Who say in your heart (mind), ‘I am [the queen], and there is no one besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, Nor know the loss of children.’ 9 “But these two things shall come to you abruptly, in one day: Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure In spite of your many [claims of power through your] sorceries, In spite of the great power of your enchantments. 10 “For you [Babylon] have trusted and felt confident in your wickedness; you have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and your knowledge have led you astray, And you have said in your heart (mind), ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ 11 “Therefore disaster will come on you; You will not know how to make it disappear [with your magic]. And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone [with all your offerings to your gods]; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly.
12 “Persist, then, [Babylon] in your enchantments And your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit [from them], Perhaps you may prevail and cause trembling. 13 “You [d]are wearied by your many counsels. Just let the astrologers, The stargazers, Those who predict by the new moons [each month] Stand up and save you from the things that will come upon you [Babylon]. 14 “In fact, they are like stubble; Fire burns them. They cannot save themselves from the power of the flame [much less save the nation], There is no blazing coal for warming Nor fire before which to sit! 15 “This is how they have become to you, those [astrologers and sorcerers] with whom you have labored, Those who have done business with you from your youth; Each has wandered in his own way. There is no one to save you.
48 “Hear this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel And who come from the [e]seed of Judah, You who swear [allegiance] by the name of the Lord And invoke the God of Israel, But not in truth (sincerity) nor in righteousness [with moral and spiritual integrity]. 2 “For they call themselves [citizens of Jerusalem] after the holy city And depend on the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is His name. 3 “I have declared the former things [which happened to Israel] in times past; They went forth from My mouth and I proclaimed them; Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4 “Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron tendon And your brow is bronze [both unyielding], 5 I have declared them to you long ago; Before they came to pass I announced them to you, So that you could not say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my cast image have commanded them.’ 6 “You have heard [these things foretold]; look at all this [that has been fulfilled]. And you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you [specific] new things from this time, Even [f]hidden things which you have not known. 7 “They are created now [called into being by the prophetic word] and not long ago; And before today you have not heard of them, So that you will not say, ‘Oh yes! I knew them.’ 8 “You have not heard, you have not known; Even from long ago your ear has not been open. For I [the Lord] knew that you [Israel] would act very treacherously; You have been called a transgressor and a rebel from birth. 9 “For the sake of My Name I refrain from My wrath, And for My praise I restrain Myself from you, So that I do not cut you off. 10 “Indeed, I have refined you, but not as [g]silver; I have tested and chosen you in the furnace of affliction. 11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it [I refrain and do not completely destroy you]; For how can My Name be defiled and profaned [as it would if My chosen people were completely destroyed]? And I will not give My glory to another [by permitting the worshipers of idols to triumph over you].
End of Captivity Promised
12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called; I am He, I am the First, I am the Last. 13 “My hand founded and established the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together [in obedience to carry out My decrees]. 14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them [the idols and Chaldean astrologers] has declared these things? The Lord loves him (Cyrus of Persia); he will do His pleasure and purpose against Babylon, And his arm will be against the Chaldeans [who reign in Babylon]. 15 “I, even I, have spoken; indeed, I have called Cyrus; I have brought him, and will make his way successful. 16 “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the beginning I have not spoken in secret, From the time that it happened, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His [Holy] Spirit.”
17 This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says,
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (benefit), Who leads you in the way that you should go. 18 “Oh, that you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a [flowing] river, And your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea. 19 “Your offspring would have been like the sand, And your descendants [in number] like the grains of sand; Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.”
20 Get out of Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans [who reign there]! Declare with a voice of jubilation, proclaim this, Send it out to the end 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 the waters flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the waters flowed. 22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 45:14These words foretell the fact that salvation will be available to believing Gentiles, as well as Jews.
Isaiah 45:18Longer 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.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.