God Is Always with His People
43 Now this is what the Lord says.
He created you, ·people of Jacob [L Jacob];
he formed you, ·people of Israel [L Israel].
He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have ·saved [ransomed; redeemed] you.
I have called you by name, and you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you [C as at the Red/or Reed Sea; Ex. 13–14].
When you cross rivers, ·you will not drown [L they will not overflow you; C as when Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land; Josh. 3–4].
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned [Dan. 3:25–27],
nor will the flames hurt you.
3 This is because I, the Lord, am your God,
the Holy One of Israel [1:4], your Savior.
I gave Egypt ·to pay for you [for your ransom],
and I gave ·Cush [Ethiopia] and Seba ·to make you mine [in place of you].
4 Because you are precious ·to me [L in my eyes],
because I give you honor and love you,
I will give other people in your place;
I will give other nations ·to save [in exchange for] your life.
5 Don’t be afraid, because I am with you.
I will bring your ·children [descendants; offspring; seed] from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will tell the north: Give my people to me.
I will tell the south: Don’t ·keep my people in prison [or hold them back; restrain them].
Bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from ·faraway places [L the end of the earth].
7 Bring to me all the people who are ·mine [L called by my name],
whom I ·made [created] for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
Judah Is God’s Witness
8 Bring out the people who have eyes but ·don’t see [are blind]
and those who have ears but ·don’t hear [are deaf; 42:19].
9 All the nations gather together,
and all the people ·come together [assemble].
·Which of their gods [L Who among them] said this would happen?
·Which of their gods can tell what happened in the beginning [L …and caused us to hear former things]?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove they were right.
Then others will say, “It is true.”
10 The Lord says, “You are my witnesses
and the servant I chose [42:1].
I chose you so you would know and believe me,
so you would understand that I am ·the true God [L he].
There was no God ·created [formed] before me,
and there will be ·no God [none] after me.
11 I myself am the Lord;
I am the only Savior.
12 I myself have ·spoken [made known] to you, saved you, and ·told [proclaimed to] you these things.
It was not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses, and I am God,”
says the Lord.
13 “·I have always been God [L Indeed from the day, I am he; C “day” may mean the first day of creation or from this day forward].
No one can save people from my ·power [L hand];
when I do something, no one can ·change [undo; reverse] it.”
14 This is what the Lord, ·who saves you [your protector/redeemer; 41:14],
the Holy One of Israel [1:4], says:
“I will ·send armies [L send] to Babylon for you,
and I will ·knock down all its locked gates [or bring them down as fugitives].
The ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] will ·shout their cries of sorrow [or flee in the ships they take such pride in].
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One [1:4],
the Creator of Israel, your King.”
God Will Save His People Again
16 This is what the Lord says.
He is the one who made a road through the sea [v. 2]
and a path through ·rough [strong; mighty] waters.
17 He is the one who ·defeated [L led out] the chariots and horses
and the mighty armies [Ex. 14:4–9].
They ·fell together [lay down] and will never rise again.
They were ·destroyed [extinguished] as a ·flame [L wick] is put out.
18 The Lord says, “Forget what happened before,
and do not ·think about [consider; dwell on] the past.
19 Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already ·happening [L sprouting/springing up]. Don’t you see it?
I will make a ·road [path; way] in the ·desert [wilderness; C the return from Babylon is portrayed as a new Exodus]
and ·rivers[a] [streams] in the ·dry land [desert; wasteland].
20 Even the wild animals will ·be thankful to [honor] me—
the ·wild dogs [jackals] and ·owls [or ostriches].
They will honor me when I put water in the ·desert [wilderness]
and ·rivers [streams] in the ·dry land [desert; wasteland]
to give ·water [drink] to my people, ·the ones I chose [my chosen; 42:1].
21 The people I ·made [L formed for myself]
will ·sing songs to praise me [L declare/proclaim my praise].
22 “People of Jacob, you have not ·called to me [called upon me; asked for my help];
people of Israel, you have ·become tired of [or not wearied yourself for] me.
23 You have not brought me your ·sacrifices [burnt offerings; Lev. 1:1–17] of sheep
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I did not ·weigh you down [burden you] with ·sacrifices to offer [grain/or gift; tribute offering; Lev. 2:1]
or make you tired with incense to burn.
24 So you did not buy ·incense [fragrant calamus; aromatic cane] for me;
you did not ·freely bring me [saturate/lavish me with] fat from your sacrifices.
Instead you have ·weighed me down [burdened me] with your many sins;
you have made me tired of your ·many wrongs [iniquities].
25 “I, I am the One who ·erases [blots out] all your ·sins [transgressions], for my sake;
I will not remember your sins.
26 But you should ·remind [or review with] me.
Let’s ·meet and decide what is right [argue/contend together].
Tell what you have done and show ·you are right [your innocence].
27 Your first father sinned [C probably Jacob (58:14; 63:16), though possibly Abraham (51:2)],
and your ·leaders [mediators; spokesmen] have ·turned [transgressed] against me.
28 So I will make your ·holy rulers [or princes of the sanctuary; C either rulers or priests] ·unholy [defiled; disgraced].
I will ·bring destruction on [devote to destruction; Josh. 2:10] ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob],
and I will let Israel be ·insulted [reviled; scorned].”
- Isaiah 43:19 rivers A Dead Sea Scroll copy has “paths.”