Isaiah 48

God will send Cyrus to make his people free from Babylon

1 ‘Listen to this, you people of Jacob. Your name is Israel and you belong to the descendants of Judah. You are people who promise in the name of the Lord. Also, you ask the God of Israel for help. But you do not do those things honestly and fairly.

2 They even call themselves people who live in the holy city. And they hope that the God of Israel will help them. His name is the Lord of Many Armies.

3 I told you a long time ago about the things that would soon happen. I myself said that they would happen. And I caused everybody to know about them. Then, quickly, I caused those same things to happen!

4 This is why I did it. I want to cause you to think differently. But that will be difficult. I knew that it would be difficult. It seems that your minds have become like very hard iron! The front of your head seems like bronze!

5 So I told you things a long time ago. Before they happened, I told you about them. Then you could not say, “My idol did them. My idol of wood and my god of metal decided that they would happen.”

6 You heard those things. Now look at them all. Agree that I told you about them! From now, I will tell you new things. They will be things that you do not know. They will be things that I hid from you.

7 I created them now. I did not create them a long time ago. You did not hear about them before today. So you cannot say, “Yes, I knew about them.”

8 Nobody has told you about them and you have not understood them. From a long time ago your ear has not listened to them. I know well that you do not always obey me. People said that you fought against me from your birth.

9 I will not be angry immediately, because of the name that I have. So that people will praise me, I will not be angry with you. Then nobody will kill you.

10 I have made you clean, but not as people make silver clean. I have let you have a lot of trouble. It is like I put you in a fire. I want to check how good you are. That is why I have done those things to you.

11 I do that on behalf of myself, yes, on behalf of myself! Really, I cannot let people say bad things about me. And so, I will not give my praise to another person or god.

12 Listen to me, you people of Jacob! Listen to me, you people of Israel. I have asked you to follow me. I am (your God). I am first. I am also last.

13 My own hand put out the parts that are under the earth. And my right hand hung up the skies. When I speak to them, they all stand up together.

14 All of you, come together and listen to me. Not one of your idols said what would happen. The Lord has chosen a friend to help him. That friend will do what God wants to happen against Babylon. His arm will be against the people in Chaldea.

15 I, yes, I have spoken. Also, I have asked him to follow me. I will bring him (to Babylon). He will do what he has to do. And he will do it well.

16 Come near to me and listen to this. From the first time that I spoke about it, it was not a secret. When it happens, I will be there.

And now the Lord God has sent me with his Spirit,’ (says God's servant).

17 This is what the Lord says. He is your Redeemer, the Holy God of Israel. ‘I am the Lord your God. I will teach you what the best thing is for you. I will send you in the way that you should go.

18 I told you what you should do. You should have listened to what I said. Then your peace would be like a river. And more and more righteousness would come to you like the waves in the sea.

19 Your children, and your children's children, would be as many as there are little bits in the sand. I would never forget their names. And I would make it certain that enemies would never destroy their nation.

20 Leave Babylon! Run from the people in Chaldea! Talk about it with happy shouts. Talk about it and send the news to the ends of the earth. Say that the Lord has redeemed Jacob his servant.’

21 They did not need a drink when he led them through sandy places. He poured water from a rock for them. He broke the rock and water rushed out.

22 ‘There is no peace for bad people,’ says the Lord.