14 This is what the Lord says,
the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
For your sake I am taking action against Babylon,
and I will bring down all the Chaldeans as refugees,
in the ships over which they rejoiced.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator, your King.
16 This is what the Lord says,
who makes a road through the sea
and a path through mighty waters,
17 who brings out the chariot and the horses,
the army and the strong warrior.
They will all lie down together.
They will not get up.
They are extinguished.
Like a wick they go out.
18 Do not remember the former[a] things.
Do not keep thinking about ancient things.
19 Watch, I am about to do a new thing.
Now it will spring up. Don’t you know about it?
Indeed I will make a road in the wilderness.
In the wasteland I will make rivers.
20 The wild animals, the jackals and ostriches, will honor me,
because I am providing water in the wilderness,
rivers in a parched wasteland,
water for my chosen people to drink.
21 This people that I formed for myself will declare my praise.
22 But you have not called on me, O Jacob.
Instead, you have become weary of me, O Israel.
23 You have not brought me sheep as your whole burnt offerings.
You did not glorify me with your sacrifices.
I did not make you serve me with a grain offering.
I did not make you weary with demands for incense.
24 You did not purchase fragrant cane for me with silver
or satisfy me with the fat from your sacrifices.
Instead you have made me serve because of your sins.
You have made me weary because of your guilt.
25 I, yes I, am he.
I blot out your rebellious deeds for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
26 Refresh my memory.
Let us review your case together.
Present your defense so that you may be acquitted.
27 Your first father sinned,
and your mediators rebelled against me.
28 Therefore I am repudiating the officials of the sanctuary,
and I am giving Jacob over to complete destruction
and Israel to insults.[b]
The Lord Comforts His People
But now listen, O Jacob my servant,
O Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 This is what the Lord, your Maker, says,
the Lord who formed you from the womb, who will help you.
Do not be afraid, my servant Jacob,
Jeshurun,[c] whom I have chosen,
3 because I will pour out water upon a thirsty land,
and streams of water upon dry ground.
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like a tree in a grassy meadow,[d]
like willows beside flowing streams.
5 One person will say, “I belong to the Lord.”
Another will be called by the name of Jacob.
Another will write on his hand, “Belonging to the Lord,”
and he will take the name of Israel.
The Lord Confronts Idols
6 This is what the Lord, the King of Israel,
Israel’s Redeemer, the Lord of Armies, says.
I am the first, and I am the last.
Except for me, there is no god.
7 For who is like me? Let him declare it.
Let him recite in order for me the things that took place
since the time I established an ancient people.
Or let them declare what is yet to come,
and what is going to take place.
8 Do not tremble, and do not be frightened.
Did I not announce this to you,
and declare it already long ago?
You are my witnesses.
Is there any god except me?
There is no other Rock. I am not aware of any other.
9 All those who form an idol are good for nothing.
All the things which delight them provide no benefit.
As for their witnesses—they do not see.
They know nothing, so they will be ashamed.
10 Who is this who forms a god or casts a metal image that can provide no profit? 11 Look at him! All his associates will be ashamed. The craftsmen are merely men. Let them all gather themselves and take a stand. They will be terrified and ashamed together.
12 A blacksmith uses a cutting tool and makes an idol over hot coals. With hammers he shapes it. He makes it with his strong arm, but he becomes hungry and has no strength left. He does not drink water, and so he grows faint.
13 A woodworker stretches out a measuring line. He marks the lines with a stylus. He shapes the idol with chisels. He marks it with a compass. Then he carves it till it is shaped like a person, like a splendid man to inhabit a shrine.
14 He goes to cut down cedars for himself, or he chooses a holm tree[e] or an oak, and he lets it grow strong among the trees of a forest. Or he plants a cedar, and rain causes it to grow tall, 15 but it becomes fuel for a man to burn. He takes part of it to warm himself. He lights a fire to bake bread, and then from the rest he makes a god and worships it. He carves an idol and bows down to it. 16 Half of it he burns in a fire—over that half he eats meat. He roasts meat and is satisfied. So he is warm and says, “Ah! I am warm. I see the light of the fire.” 17 Then from what is left he makes a god to serve as his idol. He bows down to it. He worships it, and he prays to it, “Save me, because you are my god.”
18 They are ignorant. They do not understand, because their eyes are plastered shut,[f] and they cannot see. Their hearts are unable to gain insight. 19 A person does not take this to heart, so he has no knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I burn in the fire, and I bake bread on its coals. I roast meat, and I eat. Should I make the rest of it into a disgusting idol? Should I bow down to a piece of wood?” 20 He is like a sheep grazing on ashes. A deceived mind leads him astray. He will not save his life, nor will he say, “Isn’t what I am holding in my right hand a fraud?”
Israel Will Be Restored
21 Remember these things, O Jacob, because you are my servant, Israel. I am forming you to be my servant. You, Israel, you will never be forgotten by me.[g] 22 I am blowing away your rebellious deeds like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to me, because I am redeeming you.
23 Shout for joy, you heavens, because of what the Lord is doing.
Make a joyful shout, you depths of the earth.
Burst forth with shouts of joy, you mountains,
you forest and every tree in it,
because the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
and in Israel he will display his beauty.
24 This is what the Lord, your Redeemer,
the Lord who formed you from the womb, says.
I am the Lord, the one who does all things,
who stretched out the heavens by myself,
who hammered out the earth.
(Who was with me then?)
25 I frustrate the signs of the deceivers
and make fools of the fortune tellers.[h]
I overturn the wisdom of the wise
and turn their knowledge into foolishness.
26 He is the one who fulfills the word of his servants,
who completes the plan announced by his messengers,
who says about Jerusalem, “It will be inhabited,”
and about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt,
and I will raise up their ruins.”
27 He is the one who says to the deep ocean, “Dry up,”
the one who says, “I will dry up your rivers.”
28 He is the one who says about Cyrus, “He is my shepherd,
and he will complete everything I desire.”
He is the one who says about Jerusalem, “It will be rebuilt,”
and who says to the temple, “Your foundations will be laid.”
Cyrus the Lord’s Anointed Shepherd
This is what the Lord says to his anointed one,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
by stripping kings of their weapons,
to open doors before him
so that the gates cannot be shut.
2 I myself will go before you,
and I will level high mountains.[i]
I will break bronze doors into pieces,
and I will cut through iron bars.
3 I will give you treasures hidden in darkness
and riches concealed in secret places,
so that you will acknowledge that I am the Lord,
the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
for the sake of Israel my chosen one,
I will call you by your name.
I will give you an honored name, though you do not know me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Except for me, there is no god.
I will equip you even though you do not know me,
6 so that people will know from the rising of the sun
to the place where it sets
that there is no one except me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I am the one who forms light and creates darkness,
the one who makes peace and creates disaster.
I am the Lord, the one who does all these things.
8 Shower down, you heavens, from above,
and let the clouds rain down righteousness.
Let the earth open up,
so that salvation will produce fruit.
Let righteousness sprout up along with it.
I, the Lord, am creating this.
Arguing With the Lord
9 Woe to anyone who argues against the potter who formed him.
He is just a potsherd among the broken pieces of pottery on the ground.
Does clay say to its potter, “What are you making?
Your work looks like something made by a potter with no hands”?
10 Woe to anyone who says to his father, “What have you fathered?”
or to a woman, “What are you giving birth to?”
- Isaiah 43:18 Or first
- Isaiah 43:28 Or condemnation
- Isaiah 44:2 Jeshurun is another name for Israel. It means the upright one.
- Isaiah 44:4 The translation follows the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and some other manuscripts. The standard Hebrew text reads spring up between the grass.
- Isaiah 44:14 Also called an evergreen oak
- Isaiah 44:18 Or he has blinded their eyes
- Isaiah 44:21 Or you must not forget me
- Isaiah 44:25 Or omen readers
- Isaiah 45:2 The translation mountains follows the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and the Greek Old Testament. The word in the standard Hebrew text occurs only here. It may mean rough places or walls.
The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed
3 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—[a]
2 Surely you have heard of the administration of God’s grace given to me for you, 3 namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation (as I have already written briefly). 4 When you read this, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. 5 This mystery was not made known to people in past generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and people who also share in the promise through the gospel.
7 I became a servant of this gospel, in keeping with the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. 8 To me—even though I am the very least of all the saints—was given this grace: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ 9 and to enlighten everyone about the administration of this mystery. In past ages this mystery remained hidden in God, who created all things. 10 He did this so that, through the church, the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was done according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him we can freely approach God with confidence through faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, because it is your glory.
Paul’s Prayer and Praise
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[b] 15 from whom the entire family in heaven and on earth receives its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he would strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner self, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 I pray that you would be able to comprehend, along with all the saints, how wide and long and high and deep his love is, 19 and that you would be able to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him, who is able, according to the power that is at work within us, to do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
The Procession of God
For the choir director. By David. A psalm. A song.
Judgment on God’s Enemies
1 May God arise. May his enemies scatter.
May those who hate him flee from his presence.
2 As smoke is blown away, may you blow them away.
As wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.
Blessing on God’s People
3 But the righteous rejoice and celebrate in the presence of God.
They will be happy and joyful.
4 Sing to God. Make music to his name.
Lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts.[a]
His name is the Lord.[b] Celebrate before him.
5 In his holy dwelling, God is a father for the fatherless
and a judge who defends widows.
6 God causes the lonely to dwell together as a household.
He leads out the prisoners with music,
but the rebellious dwell in a scorched land.
God Brings His People Into His Land
7 God, when you went out in front of your people,
when you marched through the wasteland, Interlude
8 the earth shook.
Yes, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, this one from Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
9 You dispersed plentiful showers, O God.
You strengthened your inheritance when it was weary.[c]
10 Your people settled in it.
In your goodness you provided for the oppressed, O God.
The Lord Defeats the Kings of the Land
11 The Lord provided the message.
The women who proclaimed it were a great army:[d]
12 “Kings with armies flee—they flee!”
The woman who stays home shares in the plunder.
13 Even while you lie among the campfires,
the wings of a dove are sheathed with silver,
and its feathers with yellow gold.[e]
14 When the Almighty scattered the kings there,
it snowed on Zalmon.
The Lord Makes His Dwelling in Zion
15 The mountain of Bashan is a mountain of God.
The mountain of Bashan is a mountain with many peaks.[f]
16 O mountains with many peaks, why do you look jealously
at the mountain God desires for his home?
Indeed, the Lord will dwell there forever.
17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
thousands upon thousands.
Among them the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.[g]
18 You ascended on high. You led captivity captive.
You received gifts among men,
so that even among the rebellious the Lord[h] God might dwell.
- Psalm 68:4 A variant in the Targum is rides on the clouds.
- Psalm 68:4 The Hebrew uses the short form Yah rather than the full form of the divine name, Yahweh, which is translated Lord.
- Psalm 68:9 Or when they were weary. The land may be described as weary because of lack of rain, or it may be the people of the land who are weary.
- Psalm 68:11 This seems to refer to the custom of women singing to greet victors returning from battle, as they did at the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20) or when David returned from victory over Goliath (1 Samuel 18:6).
- Psalm 68:13 The meaning is cryptic. The verses seem to refer to the division of plunder. The translation is relatively literal.
- Psalm 68:15 The meaning of several words in these verses is uncertain.
- Psalm 68:17 The Hebrew reads the Lord [is] among them, Sinai, in holiness. The translation follows the parallel in Deuteronomy 33:2 and the sense of the psalm.
- Psalm 68:18 The Hebrew uses the short form Yah rather than Yahweh, the full form of the divine name.
24 Do not envy evil people,
and do not wish to be with them,
2 because their hearts plan violence,
and their lips speak trouble.