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Babylonia’s Gods Are Helpless

The Lord said:

46 The gods Bel and Nebo[a]
    are down on their knees,
as wooden images of them
are carried away
    on weary animals.[b]
They are down on their knees
    to rescue the heavy load,
but the images are still taken
    to a foreign country.

You survivors in Israel,
    listen to me, the Lord.
Since the day you were born,
    I have carried you along.
I will still be the same
when you are old and gray,
    and I will take care of you.
I created you. I will carry you
    and always keep you safe.

Can anyone compare with me?
    Is anyone my equal?
Some people hire a goldsmith
    and give silver and gold
to be formed into an idol
    for them to worship.
They carry the idol
    on their shoulders,
then put it on a stand,
    but it cannot move.

They call out to the idol
    when they are in trouble,
but it doesn’t answer,
    and it cannot help.
Now keep this in mind,[c]
you sinful people.
    And don’t ever forget it.

The Lord Alone Is God

I alone am God!
There are no other gods;
    no one is like me.
Think about what happened
    many years ago.
10 From the very beginning,
I told what would happen
    long before it took place.

I kept my word 11 and brought
someone from a distant land
    to do what I wanted.
He attacked from the east,
    like a hawk swooping down.
Now I will keep my promise
    and do what I planned.

12 You people are stubborn
and far from being safe,
    so listen to me.
13 I will soon come to save you.
I am not far away
    and will waste no time;
I take pride in Israel
    and will save Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. 46.1 Bel and Nebo: Bel was another name for Marduk, the chief god of the Babylonians. Nebo was the son of Marduk and also an important god.
  2. 46.1 as. . . animals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 46.8 Now. . . mind: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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