Cyrus, the Lord's Chosen Leader
12 (A)The Lord says,
“Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called!
I am God, the first, the last, the only God!
13 My hands made the earth's foundations
and spread the heavens out.
When I summon earth and sky,
they come at once and present themselves.
14 “Assemble and listen, all of you!
None of the gods could predict
that the man I have chosen would attack Babylon;
he will do what I want him to do.
15 I am the one who spoke and called him;
I led him out and gave him success.
16 “Now come close to me and hear what I say.
From the beginning I have spoken openly
and have always made my words come true.”
(Now the Sovereign Lord has given me his power and sent me.)
The Lord's Plan for His People
17 The holy God of Israel,
the Lord who saves you, says:
“I am the Lord your God,
the one who wants to teach you for your own good
and direct you in the way you should go.
18 “If only you had listened to my commands!
Then blessings would have flowed for you
like a stream that never goes dry.
Victory would have come to you
like the waves that roll on the shore.
19 Your descendants would be as numerous as grains of sand,
and I would have made sure they were never destroyed.”
20 (B)Go out from Babylon, go free!
Shout the news gladly; make it known everywhere:
“The Lord has saved his servant Israel!”
21 When the Lord led his people through a hot, dry desert,
they did not suffer from thirst.
He made water come from a rock for them;
he split the rock open, and water flowed out.
22 (C)“There is no safety for sinners,” says the Lord.
Israel, A Light to the Nations
49 (D)Listen to me, distant nations,
you people who live far away!
Before I was born, the Lord chose me
and appointed me to be his servant.
2 (E)He made my words as sharp as a sword.
With his own hand he protected me.[a]
He made me like an arrow,
sharp and ready for use.
3 He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;
because of you, people will praise me.”
4 I said, “I have worked, but how hopeless it is!
I have used up my strength, but have accomplished nothing.”
Yet I can trust the Lord to defend my cause;
he will reward me for what I do.
5 Before I was born, the Lord appointed me;
he made me his servant to bring back his people,
to bring back the scattered people of Israel.
The Lord gives me honor;
he is the source of my strength.
6 (F)The Lord said to me,
“I have a greater task for you, my servant.
Not only will you restore to greatness
the people of Israel who have survived,
but I will also make you a light to the nations—
so that all the world may be saved.”
7 Israel's holy God and savior says
to the one who is deeply despised,
who is hated by the nations
and is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you released
and will rise to show their respect;
princes also will see it,
and they will bow low to honor you.”
This will happen because the Lord has chosen his servant;
the holy God of Israel keeps his promises.
The Restoration of Jerusalem
8 (G)The Lord says to his people,
“When the time comes to save you, I will show you favor
and answer your cries for help.
I will guard and protect you
and through you make a covenant with all peoples.
I will let you settle once again
in your land that is now laid waste.
9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Go free!’
and to those who are in darkness,
‘Come out to the light!’
They will be like sheep that graze on the hills;
10 (H)they will never be hungry or thirsty.
Sun and desert heat will not hurt them,
for they will be led by one who loves them.
He will lead them to springs of water.
11 “I will make a highway across the mountains
and prepare a road for my people to travel.
12 My people will come from far away,
from the north and the west,
and from Aswan[b] in the south.”
13 Sing, heavens! Shout for joy, earth!
Let the mountains burst into song!
The Lord will comfort his people;
he will have pity on his suffering people.
14 But the people of Jerusalem said,
“The Lord has abandoned us!
He has forgotten us.”
15 So the Lord answers,
“Can a woman forget her own baby
and not love the child she bore?
Even if a mother should forget her child,
I will never forget you.
16 Jerusalem, I can never forget you!
I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
17 “Those who will rebuild you are coming soon,
and those who destroyed you will leave.
18 Look around and see what is happening!
Your people are assembling—they are coming home!
As surely as I am the living God,
you will be proud of your people,
as proud as a bride is of her jewels.
19 “Your country was ruined and desolate—
but now it will be too small
for those who are coming to live there.
And those who left you in ruins
will be far removed from you.
20 Your people who were born in exile
will one day say to you,
‘This land is too small—
we need more room to live in!’
21 Then you will say to yourself,
‘Who bore all these children for me?
I lost my children and could have no more.
I was exiled and driven away—
who brought these children up?
I was left all alone—
where did these children come from?’”
22 (I)The Sovereign Lord says to his people:
“I will signal to the nations,
and they will bring your children home.
23 Kings will be like fathers to you;
queens will be like mothers.
They will bow low before you and honor you;
they will humbly show their respect for you.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
no one who waits for my help will be disappointed.”
24 Can you take away a soldier's loot?
Can you rescue the prisoners of a tyrant?
25 The Lord replies,
“That is just what is going to happen.
The soldier's prisoners will be taken away,
and the tyrant's loot will be seized.
I will fight against whoever fights you,
and I will rescue your children.
26 I will make your oppressors kill each other;
they will be drunk with murder and rage.
Then all people will know that I am the Lord,
the one who saves you and sets you free.
They will know that I am Israel's powerful God.”
50 (J)The Lord says,
“Do you think I sent my people away
like a man who divorces his wife?
Where, then, are the papers of divorce?
Do you think I sold you into captivity
like a man who sells his children as slaves?
No, you went away captive because of your sins;
you were sent away because of your crimes.
2 “Why did my people fail to respond
when I went to them to save them?
Why did they not answer when I called?
Am I too weak to save them?
I can dry up the sea with a command
and turn rivers into a desert,
so that the fish in them die for lack of water.
3 I can make the sky turn dark,
as if it were in mourning for the dead.”
The Obedience of the Lord's Servant
4 The Sovereign Lord has taught me what to say,
so that I can strengthen the weary.
Every morning he makes me eager
to hear what he is going to teach me.
5 The Lord has given me understanding,
and I have not rebelled
or turned away from him.
6 (K)I bared my back to those who beat me.
I did not stop them when they insulted me,
when they pulled out the hairs of my beard
and spit in my face.
7 But their insults cannot hurt me
because the Sovereign Lord gives me help.
I brace myself to endure them.
I know that I will not be disgraced,
8 (L)for God is near,
and he will prove me innocent.
Does anyone dare bring charges against me?
Let us go to court together!
Let him bring his accusation!
9 The Sovereign Lord himself defends me—
who, then, can prove me guilty?
All my accusers will disappear;
they will vanish like moth-eaten cloth.
10 All of you that honor the Lord
and obey the words of his servant,
the path you walk may be dark indeed,
but trust in the Lord, rely on your God.
11 All of you that plot to destroy others
will be destroyed by your own plots.
The Lord himself will make this happen;
you will suffer a miserable fate.
- Isaiah 48:12 : Isa 44:6; Rev 1:17; Isa 22:13
- Isaiah 48:20 : Rev 18:4
- Isaiah 48:22 : Isa 57:21
- Isaiah 49:1 : Jer 1:5
- Isaiah 49:2 : Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16
- Isaiah 49:6 : Isa 42:6; Luke 2:32; Acts 26:23; Isa 49:6; Acts 13:47
- Isaiah 49:8 : 2Cor 6:2
- Isaiah 49:10 : Rev 7:16; Rev 7:17
- Isaiah 49:22 : Bar 5:6
- Isaiah 50:1 : Bar 4:6
- Isaiah 50:6 : Matt 26:67; Mark 14:65
- Isaiah 50:8 : Rom 8:33; Rom 8:34
The New Life in Christ
17 In the Lord's name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless 18 and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. 19 They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint.
20 That was not what you learned about Christ! 21 You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22 (A)So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 (B)and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.
25 (C)No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. 26 (D)If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27 Don't give the Devil a chance. 28 If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working, in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor. 29 Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. 30 And do not make God's Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God's mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. 32 (E)Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
A Cry for Help[a]
69 Save me, O God!
The water is up to my neck;
2 I am sinking in deep mud,
and there is no solid ground;
I am out in deep water,
and the waves are about to drown me.
3 I am worn out from calling for help,
and my throat is aching.
I have strained my eyes,
looking for your help.
4 (A)Those who hate me for no reason
are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
My enemies tell lies against me;
they are strong and want to kill me.
They made me give back things I did not steal.
5 My sins, O God, are not hidden from you;
you know how foolish I have been.
6 Don't let me bring shame on those who trust in you,
Sovereign Lord Almighty!
Don't let me bring disgrace to those who worship you,
O God of Israel!
7 It is for your sake that I have been insulted
and that I am covered with shame.
8 I am like a stranger to my relatives,
like a foreigner to my family.
9 (B)My devotion to your Temple burns in me like a fire;
the insults which are hurled at you fall on me.
10 I humble myself[b] by fasting,
and people insult me;
11 I dress myself in clothes of mourning,
and they laugh at me.
12 They talk about me in the streets,
and drunkards make up songs about me.
13 But as for me, I will pray to you, Lord;
answer me, God, at a time you choose.
Answer me because of your great love,
because you keep your promise to save.
14 Save me from sinking in the mud;
keep me safe from my enemies,
safe from the deep water.
15 Don't let the flood come over me;
don't let me drown in the depths
or sink into the grave.
16 Answer me, Lord, in the goodness of your constant love;
in your great compassion turn to me!
17 Don't hide yourself from your servant;
I am in great trouble—answer me now!
18 Come to me and save me;
rescue me from my enemies.
5 Being wise is better than being strong;[a] yes, knowledge is more important than strength. 6 After all, you must make careful plans before you fight a battle, and the more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win.
- Proverbs 24:5 Some ancient translations Being wise is better than being strong; Hebrew A person is wise in strength.