Gods of Babylon

46 Bel(A) bows down, Nebo stoops low;
    their idols(B) are borne by beasts of burden.[a]
The images that are carried(C) about are burdensome,
    a burden for the weary.
They stoop and bow down together;
    unable to rescue the burden,
    they themselves go off into captivity.(D)

“Listen(E) to me, you descendants of Jacob,
    all the remnant(F) of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,(G)
    and have carried(H) since you were born.(I)
Even to your old age and gray hairs(J)
    I am he,(K) I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain(L) you and I will rescue you.

“With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
    To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?(M)
Some pour out gold from their bags
    and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith(N) to make it into a god,
    and they bow down and worship it.(O)
They lift it to their shoulders and carry(P) it;
    they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
    From that spot it cannot move.(Q)
Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer;(R)
    it cannot save(S) them from their troubles.

“Remember(T) this, keep it in mind,
    take it to heart, you rebels.(U)
Remember the former things,(V) those of long ago;(W)
    I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me.(X)
10 I make known the end from the beginning,(Y)
    from ancient times,(Z) what is still to come.(AA)
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,(AB)
    and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon(AC) a bird of prey;(AD)
    from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
    what I have planned,(AE) that I will do.(AF)
12 Listen(AG) to me, you stubborn-hearted,(AH)
    you who are now far from my righteousness.(AI)
13 I am bringing my righteousness(AJ) near,
    it is not far away;
    and my salvation(AK) will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,(AL)
    my splendor(AM) to Israel.

The Fall of Babylon

47 “Go down, sit in the dust,(AN)
    Virgin Daughter(AO) Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
    queen city of the Babylonians.[b](AP)
No more will you be called
    tender or delicate.(AQ)
Take millstones(AR) and grind(AS) flour;
    take off your veil.(AT)
Lift up your skirts,(AU) bare your legs,
    and wade through the streams.
Your nakedness(AV) will be exposed
    and your shame(AW) uncovered.
I will take vengeance;(AX)
    I will spare no one.(AY)

Our Redeemer(AZ)—the Lord Almighty(BA) is his name(BB)
    is the Holy One(BC) of Israel.

“Sit in silence,(BD) go into darkness,(BE)
    queen city of the Babylonians;(BF)
no more will you be called
    queen(BG) of kingdoms.(BH)
I was angry(BI) with my people
    and desecrated my inheritance;(BJ)
I gave them into your hand,(BK)
    and you showed them no mercy.(BL)
Even on the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, ‘I am forever(BM)
    the eternal queen!’(BN)
But you did not consider these things
    or reflect(BO) on what might happen.(BP)

“Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure,
    lounging in your security(BQ)
and saying to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.(BR)
I will never be a widow(BS)
    or suffer the loss of children.’
Both of these will overtake you
    in a moment,(BT) on a single day:
    loss of children(BU) and widowhood.(BV)
They will come upon you in full measure,
    in spite of your many sorceries(BW)
    and all your potent spells.(BX)
10 You have trusted(BY) in your wickedness
    and have said, ‘No one sees me.’(BZ)
Your wisdom(CA) and knowledge mislead(CB) you
    when you say to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11 Disaster(CC) will come upon you,
    and you will not know how to conjure it away.
A calamity will fall upon you
    that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee
    will suddenly(CD) come upon you.

12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells
    and with your many sorceries,(CE)
    which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
    perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!(CF)
    Let your astrologers(CG) come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
    let them save(CH) you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble;(CI)
    the fire(CJ) will burn them up.
They cannot even save themselves
    from the power of the flame.(CK)
These are not coals for warmth;
    this is not a fire to sit by.
15 That is all they are to you—
    these you have dealt with
    and labored(CL) with since childhood.
All of them go on in their error;
    there is not one that can save(CM) you.

Stubborn Israel

48 “Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob,
    you who are called by the name of Israel(CN)
    and come from the line of Judah,(CO)
you who take oaths(CP) in the name of the Lord(CQ)
    and invoke(CR) the God of Israel—
    but not in truth(CS) or righteousness—
you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city(CT)
    and claim to rely(CU) on the God of Israel—
    the Lord Almighty is his name:(CV)
I foretold the former things(CW) long ago,
    my mouth announced(CX) them and I made them known;
    then suddenly(CY) I acted, and they came to pass.
For I knew how stubborn(CZ) you were;
    your neck muscles(DA) were iron,
    your forehead(DB) was bronze.
Therefore I told you these things long ago;
    before they happened I announced(DC) them to you
so that you could not say,
    ‘My images brought them about;(DD)
    my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
You have heard these things; look at them all.
    Will you not admit them?

“From now on I will tell you of new things,(DE)
    of hidden things unknown to you.
They are created(DF) now, and not long ago;(DG)
    you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
    ‘Yes, I knew(DH) of them.’
You have neither heard nor understood;(DI)
    from of old your ears(DJ) have not been open.
Well do I know how treacherous(DK) you are;
    you were called a rebel(DL) from birth.
For my own name’s sake(DM) I delay my wrath;(DN)
    for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
    so as not to destroy you completely.(DO)
10 See, I have refined(DP) you, though not as silver;
    I have tested(DQ) you in the furnace(DR) of affliction.
11 For my own sake,(DS) for my own sake, I do this.
    How can I let myself be defamed?(DT)
    I will not yield my glory to another.(DU)

Israel Freed

12 “Listen(DV) to me, Jacob,
    Israel, whom I have called:(DW)
I am he;(DX)
    I am the first and I am the last.(DY)
13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,(DZ)
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;(EA)
when I summon them,
    they all stand up together.(EB)

14 “Come together,(EC) all of you, and listen:
    Which of the idols has foretold(ED) these things?
The Lord’s chosen ally(EE)
    will carry out his purpose(EF) against Babylon;(EG)
    his arm will be against the Babylonians.[c]
15 I, even I, have spoken;
    yes, I have called(EH) him.
I will bring him,
    and he will succeed(EI) in his mission.

16 “Come near(EJ) me and listen(EK) to this:

“From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret;(EL)
    at the time it happens, I am there.”

And now the Sovereign Lord(EM) has sent(EN) me,
    endowed with his Spirit.(EO)

17 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(EP) the Holy One(EQ) of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches(ER) you what is best for you,
    who directs(ES) you in the way(ET) you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention(EU) to my commands,
    your peace(EV) would have been like a river,(EW)
    your well-being(EX) like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants(EY) would have been like the sand,(EZ)
    your children like its numberless grains;(FA)
their name would never be blotted out(FB)
    nor destroyed from before me.”

20 Leave Babylon,
    flee(FC) from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy(FD)
    and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;(FE)
    say, “The Lord has redeemed(FF) his servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst(FG) when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow(FH) for them from the rock;
he split the rock
    and water gushed out.(FI)

22 “There is no peace,”(FJ) says the Lord, “for the wicked.”(FK)

The Servant of the Lord

49 Listen(FL) to me, you islands;(FM)
    hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born(FN) the Lord called(FO) me;
    from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.(FP)
He made my mouth(FQ) like a sharpened sword,(FR)
    in the shadow of his hand(FS) he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow(FT)
    and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant,(FU)
    Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.(FV)
But I said, “I have labored in vain;(FW)
    I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,(FX)
    and my reward(FY) is with my God.”(FZ)

And now the Lord says—
    he who formed me in the womb(GA) to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
    and gather Israel(GB) to himself,
for I am[d] honored(GC) in the eyes of the Lord
    and my God has been my strength(GD)
he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant(GE)
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.(GF)
I will also make you a light(GG) for the Gentiles,(GH)
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”(GI)

This is what the Lord says—
    the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel(GJ)
to him who was despised(GK) and abhorred by the nation,
    to the servant of rulers:
“Kings(GL) will see you and stand up,
    princes will see and bow down,(GM)
because of the Lord, who is faithful,(GN)
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen(GO) you.”

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favor(GP) I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;(GQ)
I will keep(GR) you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,(GS)
to restore the land(GT)
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,(GU)
to say to the captives,(GV) ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness,(GW) ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.(GX)
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,(GY)
    nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.(GZ)
He who has compassion(HA) on them will guide(HB) them
    and lead them beside springs(HC) of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
    and my highways(HD) will be raised up.(HE)
12 See, they will come from afar(HF)
    some from the north, some from the west,(HG)
    some from the region of Aswan.[e]

13 Shout for joy,(HH) you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;(HI)
    burst into song, you mountains!(HJ)
For the Lord comforts(HK) his people
    and will have compassion(HL) on his afflicted ones.(HM)

14 But Zion(HN) said, “The Lord has forsaken(HO) me,
    the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child(HP) she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!(HQ)
16 See, I have engraved(HR) you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls(HS) are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
    and those who laid you waste(HT) depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
    all your children gather(HU) and come to you.
As surely as I live,(HV)” declares the Lord,
    “you will wear(HW) them all as ornaments;
    you will put them on, like a bride.

19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate(HX)
    and your land laid waste,(HY)
now you will be too small for your people,(HZ)
    and those who devoured(IA) you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
    give us more space to live in.’(IB)
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?(IC)
I was bereaved(ID) and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.(IE)
    Who brought these(IF) up?
I was left(IG) all alone,(IH)
    but these—where have they come from?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord(II) says:

“See, I will beckon to the nations,
    I will lift up my banner(IJ) to the peoples;
they will bring(IK) your sons in their arms
    and carry your daughters on their hips.(IL)
23 Kings(IM) will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.(IN)
They will bow down(IO) before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust(IP) at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;(IQ)
    those who hope(IR) in me will not be disappointed.(IS)

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,(IT)
    or captives be rescued from the fierce[f]?

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives(IU) will be taken from warriors,(IV)
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;(IW)
I will contend with those who contend with you,(IX)
    and your children I will save.(IY)
26 I will make your oppressors(IZ) eat(JA) their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood,(JB) as with wine.
Then all mankind will know(JC)
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,(JD)
    your Redeemer,(JE) the Mighty One of Jacob.(JF)

Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience

50 This is what the Lord says:

“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce(JG)
    with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
    did I sell(JH) you?
Because of your sins(JI) you were sold;(JJ)
    because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
When I came, why was there no one?
    When I called, why was there no one to answer?(JK)
Was my arm too short(JL) to deliver you?
    Do I lack the strength(JM) to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke(JN) I dry up the sea,(JO)
    I turn rivers into a desert;(JP)
their fish rot for lack of water
    and die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with darkness(JQ)
    and make sackcloth(JR) its covering.”

The Sovereign Lord(JS) has given me a well-instructed tongue,(JT)
    to know the word that sustains the weary.(JU)
He wakens me morning by morning,(JV)
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.(JW)
The Sovereign Lord(JX) has opened my ears;(JY)
    I have not been rebellious,(JZ)
    I have not turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat(KA) me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;(KB)
I did not hide my face
    from mocking and spitting.(KC)
Because the Sovereign Lord(KD) helps(KE) me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,(KF)
    and I know I will not be put to shame.(KG)
He who vindicates(KH) me is near.(KI)
    Who then will bring charges against me?(KJ)
    Let us face each other!(KK)
Who is my accuser?
    Let him confront me!
It is the Sovereign Lord(KL) who helps(KM) me.
    Who will condemn(KN) me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
    the moths(KO) will eat them up.

10 Who among you fears(KP) the Lord
    and obeys(KQ) the word of his servant?(KR)
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,(KS)
trust(KT) in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,(KU)
go, walk in the light of your fires(KV)
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:(KW)
    You will lie down in torment.(KX)

Everlasting Salvation for Zion

51 “Listen(KY) to me, you who pursue righteousness(KZ)
    and who seek(LA) the Lord:
Look to the rock(LB) from which you were cut
    and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
look to Abraham,(LC) your father,
    and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
    and I blessed him and made him many.(LD)
The Lord will surely comfort(LE) Zion(LF)
    and will look with compassion on all her ruins;(LG)
he will make her deserts like Eden,(LH)
    her wastelands(LI) like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness(LJ) will be found in her,
    thanksgiving(LK) and the sound of singing.

“Listen to me, my people;(LL)
    hear me,(LM) my nation:
Instruction(LN) will go out from me;
    my justice(LO) will become a light to the nations.(LP)
My righteousness draws near speedily,
    my salvation(LQ) is on the way,(LR)
    and my arm(LS) will bring justice to the nations.
The islands(LT) will look to me
    and wait in hope(LU) for my arm.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,(LV)
    the earth will wear out like a garment(LW)
    and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation(LX) will last forever,(LY)
    my righteousness will never fail.(LZ)

“Hear me, you who know what is right,(MA)
    you people who have taken my instruction to heart:(MB)
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
    or be terrified by their insults.(MC)
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;(MD)
    the worm(ME) will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,(MF)
    my salvation through all generations.”

Awake, awake,(MG) arm(MH) of the Lord,
    clothe yourself with strength!(MI)
Awake, as in days gone by,
    as in generations of old.(MJ)
Was it not you who cut Rahab(MK) to pieces,
    who pierced that monster(ML) through?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,(MM)
    the waters of the great deep,(MN)
who made a road in the depths of the sea(MO)
    so that the redeemed(MP) might cross over?
11 Those the Lord has rescued(MQ) will return.
    They will enter Zion with singing;(MR)
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy(MS) will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.(MT)

12 “I, even I, am he who comforts(MU) you.
    Who are you that you fear(MV) mere mortals,(MW)
    human beings who are but grass,(MX)
13 that you forget(MY) the Lord your Maker,(MZ)
    who stretches out the heavens(NA)
    and who lays the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror(NB) every day
    because of the wrath of the oppressor,
    who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?(NC)
14     The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;(ND)
they will not die in their dungeon,
    nor will they lack bread.(NE)
15 For I am the Lord your God,
    who stirs up the sea(NF) so that its waves roar(NG)
    the Lord Almighty(NH) is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth(NI)
    and covered you with the shadow of my hand(NJ)
I who set the heavens in place,
    who laid the foundations of the earth,(NK)
    and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.(NL)’”

The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath

17 Awake, awake!(NM)
    Rise up, Jerusalem,
you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord
    the cup(NN) of his wrath,(NO)
you who have drained to its dregs(NP)
    the goblet that makes people stagger.(NQ)
18 Among all the children(NR) she bore
    there was none to guide her;(NS)
among all the children she reared
    there was none to take her by the hand.(NT)
19 These double calamities(NU) have come upon you—
    who can comfort you?(NV)
ruin and destruction,(NW) famine(NX) and sword(NY)
    who can[g] console you?
20 Your children have fainted;
    they lie at every street corner,(NZ)
    like antelope caught in a net.(OA)
They are filled with the wrath(OB) of the Lord,
    with the rebuke(OC) of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you afflicted(OD) one,
    made drunk,(OE) but not with wine.
22 This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
    your God, who defends(OF) his people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand
    the cup(OG) that made you stagger;
from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
    you will never drink again.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,(OH)
    who said to you,
    ‘Fall prostrate(OI) that we may walk(OJ) on you.’
And you made your back like the ground,
    like a street to be walked on.”(OK)

52 Awake, awake,(OL) Zion,
    clothe yourself with strength!(OM)
Put on your garments of splendor,(ON)
    Jerusalem, the holy city.(OO)
The uncircumcised(OP) and defiled(OQ)
    will not enter you again.(OR)
Shake off your dust;(OS)
    rise up,(OT) sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,(OU)
    Daughter Zion,(OV) now a captive.

For this is what the Lord says:

“You were sold for nothing,(OW)
    and without money(OX) you will be redeemed.(OY)

For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“At first my people went down to Egypt(OZ) to live;
    lately, Assyria(PA) has oppressed them.

“And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord.

“For my people have been taken away for nothing,
    and those who rule them mock,[h]
declares the Lord.
“And all day long
    my name is constantly blasphemed.(PB)
Therefore my people will know(PC) my name;(PD)
    therefore in that day(PE) they will know
that it is I who foretold(PF) it.
    Yes, it is I.”

How beautiful on the mountains(PG)
    are the feet of those who bring good news,(PH)
who proclaim peace,(PI)
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
    “Your God reigns!”(PJ)
Listen! Your watchmen(PK) lift up their voices;(PL)
    together they shout for joy.(PM)
When the Lord returns(PN) to Zion,(PO)
    they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy(PP) together,
    you ruins(PQ) of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted(PR) his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.(PS)
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm(PT)
    in the sight of all the nations,(PU)
and all the ends of the earth(PV) will see
    the salvation(PW) of our God.

11 Depart,(PX) depart, go out from there!
    Touch no unclean thing!(PY)
Come out from it and be pure,(PZ)
    you who carry the articles(QA) of the Lord’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste(QB)
    or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,(QC)
    the God of Israel will be your rear guard.(QD)

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

13 See, my servant(QE) will act wisely[i];
    he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.(QF)
14 Just as there were many who were appalled(QG) at him[j]
    his appearance was so disfigured(QH) beyond that of any human being
    and his form marred beyond human likeness(QI)
15 so he will sprinkle(QJ) many nations,[k]
    and kings(QK) will shut their mouths(QL) because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand.(QM)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 46:1 Or are but beasts and cattle
  2. Isaiah 47:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 5
  3. Isaiah 48:14 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 20
  4. Isaiah 49:5 Or him, / but Israel would not be gathered; / yet I will be
  5. Isaiah 49:12 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text Sinim
  6. Isaiah 49:24 Dead Sea Scrolls, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint and verse 25); Masoretic Text righteous
  7. Isaiah 51:19 Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text / how can I
  8. Isaiah 52:5 Dead Sea Scrolls and Vulgate; Masoretic Text wail
  9. Isaiah 52:13 Or will prosper
  10. Isaiah 52:14 Hebrew you
  11. Isaiah 52:15 Or so will many nations be amazed at him (see also Septuagint)