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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.

45 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,(A)
    to Cyrus,(B) whose right hand I take hold(C) of
to subdue nations(D) before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you(E)
    and will level(F) the mountains[a];
I will break down gates(G) of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.(H)
I will give you hidden treasures,(I)
    riches stored in secret places,(J)
so that you may know(K) that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.(L)
For the sake of Jacob my servant,(M)
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge(N) me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;(O)
    apart from me there is no God.(P)
I will strengthen you,(Q)
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting(R)
people may know(S) there is none besides me.(T)
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,(U)
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;(V)
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain(W) down my righteousness;(X)
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation(Y) spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel(Z) with their Maker,(AA)
    those who are nothing but potsherds(AB)
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,(AC)
    ‘What are you making?’(AD)
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?(AE)
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One(AF) of Israel, and its Maker:(AG)
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?(AH)
12 It is I who made the earth(AI)
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;(AJ)
    I marshaled their starry hosts.(AK)
13 I will raise up Cyrus[b](AL) in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.(AM)
He will rebuild my city(AN)
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,(AO)
    says the Lord Almighty.”

14 This is what the Lord says:

“The products(AP) of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,[c]
    and those tall Sabeans(AQ)
they will come over to you(AR)
    and will be yours;
they will trudge behind you,(AS)
    coming over to you in chains.(AT)
They will bow down before you
    and plead(AU) with you, saying,
‘Surely God is with you,(AV) and there is no other;
    there is no other god.(AW)’”

15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding(AX) himself,
    the God and Savior(AY) of Israel.
16 All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced;(AZ)
    they will go off into disgrace together.
17 But Israel will be saved(BA) by the Lord
    with an everlasting salvation;(BB)
you will never be put to shame or disgraced,(BC)
    to ages everlasting.

18 For this is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens,
    he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,(BD)
    he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,(BE)
    but formed it to be inhabited(BF)
he says:
“I am the Lord,
    and there is no other.(BG)
19 I have not spoken in secret,(BH)
    from somewhere in a land of darkness;(BI)
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,(BJ)
    ‘Seek(BK) me in vain.’
I, the Lord, speak the truth;
    I declare what is right.(BL)

20 “Gather together(BM) and come;
    assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant(BN) are those who carry(BO) about idols of wood,
    who pray to gods that cannot save.(BP)
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
    let them take counsel together.
Who foretold(BQ) this long ago,
    who declared it from the distant past?(BR)
Was it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no God apart from me,(BS)
a righteous God(BT) and a Savior;(BU)
    there is none but me.

22 “Turn(BV) to me and be saved,(BW)
    all you ends of the earth;(BX)
    for I am God, and there is no other.(BY)
23 By myself I have sworn,(BZ)
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity(CA)
    a word that will not be revoked:(CB)
Before me every knee will bow;(CC)
    by me every tongue will swear.(CD)
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance(CE) and strength.(CF)’”
All who have raged against him
    will come to him and be put to shame.(CG)
25 But all the descendants(CH) of Israel
    will find deliverance(CI) in the Lord
    and will make their boast in him.(CJ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.
  2. Isaiah 45:13 Hebrew him
  3. Isaiah 45:14 That is, the upper Nile region

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