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Cyrus Obeys the Lord’s Commands

45 The Lord said to Cyrus, his chosen one:

I have taken hold
    of your right hand
to help you capture nations
    and remove kings from power.
City gates will open for you;
    not one will stay closed.
As I lead you,
    I will level mountains[a]
and break the iron bars
    on bronze gates of cities.

I will give you treasures
hidden in dark
    and secret places.
Then you will know that I,
the Lord God of Israel,
    have called you by name.
Cyrus, you don’t even know me!
But I have called you by name
    and highly honored you[b]
because of Israel,
    my chosen servant.

Only I am the Lord!
    There are no other gods.
I have made you strong,
    though you don’t know me.
Now everyone from east to west
will learn that I am the Lord.
    No other gods are real.
I create light and darkness,
happiness and sorrow.
    I, the Lord, do all of this.

Tell the heavens
to send down justice
    like showers of rain.
Prepare the earth
    for my saving power
to sprout
and produce justice
    that I, the Lord, create.[c]

The Lord’s Mighty Power

The Lord said:

Israel, you have no right
    to argue with your Creator.
You are merely a clay pot
    shaped by a potter.
The clay doesn’t ask,
“Why did you make me this way?
    Where are the handles?”
10 Children don’t have the right
    to demand of their parents,
“What have you done
    to make us what we are?”

11 I am the Lord, the Creator,
    the holy God of Israel.
Do you dare question me
about my own nation
    or about what I have done?
12 I created the world
    and covered it with people;
I stretched out the sky
    and filled it with stars.
13 I have done the right thing
    by placing Cyrus in power,
and I will make the roads easy
    for him to follow.
I am the Lord All-Powerful!
    Cyrus will rebuild my city
    and set my people free
    without being paid a thing.
I, the Lord, have spoken.

The Lord Alone Can Save

14 My people, I, the Lord, promise
    that the riches of Egypt
and the treasures of Ethiopia[d]
    will belong to you.
You will force into slavery
    those tall people of Seba.[e]

They will bow down and say,
“The only true God is with you;
    there are no other gods.”
15 People of Israel,
your God is a mystery,
    though he alone can save.
16 Anyone who makes idols
will be confused
    and terribly disgraced.
17 But Israel, I, the Lord,
will always keep you safe
    and free from shame.

Everyone Is Invited

18 The Lord alone is God!
He created the heavens
    and made a world
where people can live,
instead of creating
    an empty desert.
The Lord alone is God;
    there are no others.
19 The Lord did not speak
    in a dark secret place
or command Jacob’s descendants
    to search for him in vain.

The Lord speaks the truth,
    and this is what he says
20 to every survivor
    from every nation:
“Gather around me!
Learn how senseless it is
    to worship wooden idols
    or pray to helpless gods.

21 “Why don’t you get together
    and meet me in court?
Didn’t I tell you long ago
    what would happen?
I am the only God!
    There are no others.
I bring about justice,
    and have the power to save.

22 “I invite the whole world
    to turn to me and be saved.
I alone am God!
    No others are real.
23 I have made a solemn promise,
    one that won’t be broken:
Everyone will bow down
    and worship me.
24 They will admit that I alone
    can bring about justice.
Everyone who is angry with me
will be terribly ashamed
    and will turn to me.
25 I, the Lord, will give
victory and great honor
    to the people of Israel.”

Footnotes

  1. 45.2 mountains: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “rising waves.”
  2. 45.4 But. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 45.8 Prepare. . . create: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 45.14 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
  5. 45.14 Seba: See the note at 43.3.

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