Isaiah 48

Chapter 48

A Plea to the Captives

1 Hear this, O house of Jacob,
you who are called by the name of Israel,
and who came forth from the stock of Judah,
who swear by the name of the Lord
and invoke the God of Israel
but not with righteousness or good faith,
2 even though you call yourselves citizens of the holy city
and rely on the God of Israel
whose name is the Lord of hosts.
3 Things that happened in the past
I foretold long before they occurred.
These predictions issued forth from my mouth,
and I made them known to you;
then suddenly I acted and they came to pass.
4 Because I know full well that you are obstinate,
with your neck an iron sinew
and your forehead firm as bronze,
5 I foretold these events to you long ago
and declared them to you before they happened
so that you could not assert, “My idols did them;
my carved statue and my molten image ordained them.”
6 You have heard what I said; now consider it
and admit the truth of what I have stated.
From now on I will reveal new things,
hidden things of which you have not been aware.
7 They have just been brought into existence, and not long ago;
before today you have never heard of them,
so that you cannot claim to have already known them.
8 You neither heard nor knew;
knowledge of them never reached your ears before now.
For I knew how treacherous you are
and that from your birth you were rebellious.
9 For the sake of my name I will restrain my anger;
for the sake of my honor I will be patient with you
lest I should be tempted to destroy you.
10 See, I have tested you,
but not in the manner that silver is tested;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my sake, for my own sake, I do this,
for why should my name be profaned?
I will not yield my glory to another.
12 Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I have called.
I am he; I am the first
and I am the last.
13 My hand laid the foundations of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summon them,
they all present themselves immediately.
14 Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among the idols has revealed what will happen—
that he whom I love[a] will do my will
against Babylon and the Chaldeans?
15 I myself have spoken and summoned him;
I have brought him,
and his mission will succeed.
16 Draw near to me and hear this:
From the very beginning
I have not spoken in secret.
From the time it came to be, I have been there.
Now the Lord God has sent me and his Spirit.
17 Thus says the Lord God,
your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord, your God
who teaches you what is for your own good
and who leads you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had listened to my commandments,
your prosperity would have been like a river
and your success like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been as numerous as the sand
and your offspring like its countless grains.
Their name would never be erased
or blotted out from my sight.
20 Go forth from Babylon! Flee from Chaldea!
Proclaim this with shouts of joy
and make it known.
Send the message to the ends of the earth and say,
“The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.”
21 Those whom he led through desert lands
never endured thirst.
He caused water to flow from the rock for them;
he split open the rock and waters streamed forth.
22 Thus says the Lord:
There is no peace for the wicked.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 48:14 He whom I love: Cyrus. The false gods have not been able to prevail.

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