Cyrus, liberator of Israel
1 Keep silent before me, O islands,
1 or be prepared to contend with me;
1 O nations, draw near and speak.
1 Let us meet together for judgment.
2 Who has called from the east
2 one that victory hails at every step?
2 Who has given him the nations to rule
2 and their kings to subdue?
2 His sword makes dust of them
2 and his arrows scatter them like chaff.
3 Unharmed he pursues them through paths
3 that his feet have scarcely touched.
4 Who really has done all this?
4 I, who call the generations from the beginning,
4 I, Yahweh, who am the first
4 and will be with the last.
5 The islands have seen it and feared,
5 the ends of the earth were scared.
6 (Each helps the other and says to his companion, “Take heart!” 7 So the craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who beats out with the hammer assures the other who strikes the anvil, saying, “It is ready for soldering”; and he fastens the idol with nails to hold it in place.)
Hope for a new exodus
8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, seed of Abraham my friend, 9 I have taken you from the ends of the earth. I have called you from the remotest corners, and I said,
9 “You are my servant, I have chosen you and will not cast you away.”
10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will give you strength, I will bring you help, I will uphold you with the right hand of my justice.
11 All who rage against you will be put to shame and disgrace; all who fight against you will perish and come to nothing.
12 You will seek, but will not find them; those enemies of yours, those who took up arms against you will be destroyed, brought to nothing.
13 For I, Yahweh, your God, take hold of your right hand and say to you: “Fear not, I am your assistance.”
14 Fear not, Jacob, poor worm, and you, people of Israel, so frail.
14 I am your redeemer, says Yahweh,
14 the Holy One of Israel, your helper.
15 I will make you a thresher, new and with sharp double teeth: you will thresh hills and mountains, crushing them and reducing them to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will carry them off and the storm will scatter them. But you will rejoice in Yahweh and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 The poor and the afflicted seek water, and find none.
17 Their tongues are parched with thirst.
17 But I, Yahweh, will hear them;
17 I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open up streams over the barren heights
18 and let the rivers flow through all the valleys;
18 I will turn the desert into lakes and brooks
18 and the thirsty earth
18 into a land of springs.
19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar,
19 the acacia, the myrtle and the olive;
19 I will plant in the wasteland fir, cypress and pine –
20 that all may see and know,
20 consider and understand,
20 that the hand of Yahweh has done this,
20 that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21 Present your case, says Yahweh.
21 Produce your evidence, says the King of Jacob.
22 Bring your idols and let them tell us what is going to happen. What have they foretold, so that we may consider them and reflect on the final outcome?
23 Let them foretell what is to come, that we may know that they are gods. Let them do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and terrified.
24 See, they are nothing,
24 their work is nothing,
24 and to choose them is foolishness.
25 From the north I have called him, and he comes;
25 from the east I have called him by his name.
25 He tramples kings and princes down
25 as if they were mortar,
25 as if he were a potter working the clay.
26 Has anyone announced this from the beginning, so we might know,
26 or foretold it long ago, so we might say, “It is true?”
26 No one among you foretold it,
26 no one proclaimed it.
26 No one heard a word from you.
27 I was the first to announce to Zion:
27 “Look, here they come!”
27 and I sent a messenger to Jerusalem.
28 But when I looked, there was no one, there was not a single counselor among them who, if asked, could give an answer.
29 All of them are nothing,
29 emptiness are their works;
29 their images are wind and nothingness.