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The Lord Corrects His People

48 People of Israel,
you come from Jacob’s family
    and the tribe[a] of Judah.
You claim to worship me,
the Lord God of Israel,
    but you are lying.
You call Jerusalem your home
    and say you depend on me,
the Lord All-Powerful,
    the God of Israel.

Long ago I announced
    what was going to be,
then without warning,
    I made it happen.
I knew you were stubborn
    and hardheaded.
And I told you these things,
so that when they happened
    you would not say,
“The idols we worship did this.”

You heard what I said,
and you have seen it happen.
    Now admit that it’s true!
I will show you secrets
    you have never known.
Today I am doing something new,
something you cannot say
    you have heard before.
You have never been willing
    to listen to what I say;
from the moment of your birth,
    I knew you would rebel.

The Lord Warns Israel

I, the Lord, am true to myself;
I will be praised
for not punishing
    and destroying you.
10 I tested you in hard times
just as silver is refined
    in a heated furnace.[b]
11 I did this because of who I am.
I refuse to be dishonored[c]
    or share my praise
    with any other god.

12 Israel, my chosen people,
    listen to me.
I alone am the Lord,
    the first and the last.
13 With my own hand
I created the earth
    and stretched out the sky.
They obey my every command.

The Lord Speaks to the Nations

14 Gather around me, all of you!
    Listen to what I say.
Did any of your idols
    predict this would happen?
Did they say that my friend[d]
would do
what I want done
    to Babylonia?[e]
15 I was the one who chose him.
I have brought him this far,
    and he will be successful.
16 Come closer and listen!
I have never kept secret
    the things I have said,
and I was here
    before time began.

It Is Best To Obey the Lord

By the power of his Spirit
the Lord God has sent me
17     with this message:
People of Israel,
I am the holy Lord God,
    the one who rescues you.
For your own good,
I teach you,
and I lead you
    along the right path.
18 How I wish that you
    had obeyed my commands!
Your success and good fortune
would then have overflowed
    like a flooding river.
19 Your nation would be blessed
    with more people
than there are grains of sand
    along the seashore.
And I would never have let
    your country be destroyed.

20 Now leave Babylon!
    Celebrate as you go.
Be happy and shout
    for everyone to hear,
“The Lord has rescued
    his servant Israel!
21 He led us through the desert
and made water flow from a rock
    to satisfy our thirst.
22 But the Lord has promised
that none who are evil
    will live in peace.”

Footnotes

  1. 48.1 tribe: Hebrew “waters.”
  2. 48.10 furnace: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  3. 48.11 I refuse to be dishonored: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 48.14 my friend: Probably Cyrus (see 44.28; 45.1).
  5. 48.14 Babylonia: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.

Stubborn Israel

48 “Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob,
    you who are called by the name of Israel(A)
    and come from the line of Judah,(B)
you who take oaths(C) in the name of the Lord(D)
    and invoke(E) the God of Israel—
    but not in truth(F) or righteousness—
you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city(G)
    and claim to rely(H) on the God of Israel—
    the Lord Almighty is his name:(I)
I foretold the former things(J) long ago,
    my mouth announced(K) them and I made them known;
    then suddenly(L) I acted, and they came to pass.
For I knew how stubborn(M) you were;
    your neck muscles(N) were iron,
    your forehead(O) was bronze.
Therefore I told you these things long ago;
    before they happened I announced(P) them to you
so that you could not say,
    ‘My images brought them about;(Q)
    my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
You have heard these things; look at them all.
    Will you not admit them?

“From now on I will tell you of new things,(R)
    of hidden things unknown to you.
They are created(S) now, and not long ago;(T)
    you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
    ‘Yes, I knew(U) of them.’
You have neither heard nor understood;(V)
    from of old your ears(W) have not been open.
Well do I know how treacherous(X) you are;
    you were called a rebel(Y) from birth.
For my own name’s sake(Z) I delay my wrath;(AA)
    for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
    so as not to destroy you completely.(AB)
10 See, I have refined(AC) you, though not as silver;
    I have tested(AD) you in the furnace(AE) of affliction.
11 For my own sake,(AF) for my own sake, I do this.
    How can I let myself be defamed?(AG)
    I will not yield my glory to another.(AH)

Israel Freed

12 “Listen(AI) to me, Jacob,
    Israel, whom I have called:(AJ)
I am he;(AK)
    I am the first and I am the last.(AL)
13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,(AM)
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;(AN)
when I summon them,
    they all stand up together.(AO)

14 “Come together,(AP) all of you, and listen:
    Which of the idols has foretold(AQ) these things?
The Lord’s chosen ally(AR)
    will carry out his purpose(AS) against Babylon;(AT)
    his arm will be against the Babylonians.[a]
15 I, even I, have spoken;
    yes, I have called(AU) him.
I will bring him,
    and he will succeed(AV) in his mission.

16 “Come near(AW) me and listen(AX) to this:

“From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret;(AY)
    at the time it happens, I am there.”

And now the Sovereign Lord(AZ) has sent(BA) me,
    endowed with his Spirit.(BB)

17 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(BC) the Holy One(BD) of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches(BE) you what is best for you,
    who directs(BF) you in the way(BG) you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention(BH) to my commands,
    your peace(BI) would have been like a river,(BJ)
    your well-being(BK) like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants(BL) would have been like the sand,(BM)
    your children like its numberless grains;(BN)
their name would never be blotted out(BO)
    nor destroyed from before me.”

20 Leave Babylon,
    flee(BP) from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy(BQ)
    and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;(BR)
    say, “The Lord has redeemed(BS) his servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst(BT) when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow(BU) for them from the rock;
he split the rock
    and water gushed out.(BV)

22 “There is no peace,”(BW) says the Lord, “for the wicked.”(BX)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 48:14 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 20

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