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The False Gods of Babylon

46 The gods named Bel and Nebo are brought down in shame.
    The statues of them are being carried away on the backs of animals.
They used to be carried around by the people who worshiped them.
    But now they’ve become a heavy load for tired animals.
The gods named Bel and Nebo are brought down in shame together.
    They aren’t able to save their own statues.
    They themselves are carried off as prisoners.

The Lord says, “Family of Jacob, listen to me.
    Pay attention, you people of Israel who are left alive.
I have taken good care of you since your life began.
    I have carried you since you were born as a nation.
I will continue to carry you even when you are old.
    I will take good care of you even when your hair is gray.
    I have made you, and I will carry you.
I will take care of you, and I will save you.
    I am the Lord.

“Who will you compare me with?
    Who is equal to me?
What am I like?
    Who can you compare me with?
Some people pour out gold from their bags.
    They weigh out silver on the scales.
They hire someone who works with gold to make it into a god.
    They bow down to it and worship it.
They lift it up on their shoulders and carry it.
    They set it up in its place, and there it stands.
    It can’t move from that spot.
Someone might cry out to it.
    But it does not answer.
    It can’t save them from their troubles.
So remember this, you who refuse to obey me.
    Keep it in your minds and hearts.

“Remember what happened in the past.
    Think about what took place long ago.
I am God. There is no other God.
    I am God. There is no one like me.
10 Before something even happens, I announce how it will end.
    In fact, from times long ago I announced what was still to come.
I say, ‘My plan will succeed.
    I will do anything I want to do.’
11 I will send for a man from the east to carry out my plan.
    From a land far away, he will come like a bird that kills its food.
I will bring about what I have said.
    I will do what I have planned.
12 Listen to me, you stubborn people.
    Pay attention, you who now refuse to do what I have said is right.
13 The time is almost here for me to make everything right.
    It is not far away.
    The time for me to save you will not be put off.
I will save the city of Zion.
    I will bring honor to Israel.

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.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 46:1 Or are but beasts and cattle

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