1“Hear this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel
And who come from the seed of Judah,
You who swear [allegiance] by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth (sincerity) nor in righteousness [with moral and spiritual integrity].
2For they call themselves [citizens of Jerusalem] after the holy city
And depend on the God of Israel;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
3I have declared the former things [which happened to Israel] in times past;
They went forth from My mouth and I proclaimed them;
Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4Because I know that you are obstinate,
And your neck is an iron tendon
And your brow is bronze [both unyielding],
5I have declared them to you long ago;
Before they came to pass I announced them to you,
So that you could not say, ‘My idol has done them,
And my carved image and my cast image have commanded them.’
6You have heard [these things foretold]; look at all this [that has been fulfilled].
And you, will you not declare it?
I proclaim to you [specific] new things from this time,
Even hidden things which you have not known.
7They are created now [called into being by the prophetic word] and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard of them,
So that you will not say, ‘Oh yes! I knew them.’
8You have not heard, you have not known;
Even from long ago your ear has not been open.
For I [the Lord] knew that you [Israel] would act very treacherously;
You have been called a transgressor and a rebel from birth.
9For the sake of My Name I refrain from My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain Myself from you,
So that I do not cut you off.
10Indeed, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested and chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
11For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it [I refrain and do not completely destroy you];
For how can My Name be defiled and profaned [as it would if My chosen people were completely destroyed]?
And I will not give My glory to another [by permitting the worshipers of idols to triumph over you].
End of Captivity Promised
12“Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called;
I am He, I am the First, I am the Last.
13My hand founded and established the earth,
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand together [in obedience to carry out My decrees].
14Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among them [the idols and Chaldean astrologers] has declared these things?
The Lord loves him (Cyrus of Persia); he will do His pleasure and purpose against Babylon,
And his arm will be against the Chaldeans [who reign in Babylon].
15I, even I, have spoken; indeed, I have called Cyrus;
I have brought him, and will make his way successful.
16Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
From the time that it happened, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His [Holy] Spirit.”
17This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says,
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (benefit),
Who leads you in the way that you should go.
18Oh, that you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a [flowing] river,
And your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.
19Your offspring would have been like the sand,
And your descendants [in number] like the grains of sand;
Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.”
20Get out of Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans [who reign there]!
Declare with a voice of jubilation, proclaim this,
Send it out to the end of the earth;
Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.”
21They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts.
He made the waters flow out of the rock for them;
He split the rock and the waters flowed.
22“There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.