1 But now listen, Jacob my servant,
1 Israel whom I have chosen.
2 This is what Yahweh says –
2 he who made you and will help you,
2 he who formed you from the womb:
2 Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
2 Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water upon the thirsty land
3 and streams on the dry ground.
3 I will pour my spirit upon your race
3 and my blessing upon your offspring.
4 They will spring up like grass,
4 like poplars beside the flowing streams.
5 One will say, “I belong to Yahweh”;
5 another will call himself by Jacob’s name.
5 On his hand another will write “Yah weh”
5 and take the name of Israel.
6 This is what the Lord says –
6 Israel’s King and Redeemer, Yahweh Sabaoth:
6 I am the first and the last,
6 there is no other God besides me.
7 Who then is like me?
7 Let him stand up and speak,
7 let him argue this out with me.
7 Who from the beginning has foretold the future,
7 and revealed to us what was to come?
8 Do not be afraid or troubled.
8 Have I not proclaimed
8 and foretold this long ago?
8 You are my witnesses;
8 is there a God besides me
8 or another Rock? I know of none.
Mockery against those who worship idols
9 Good-for-nothing are all idol makers, and useless are the works they prize so much. Their witnesses, blind and igno rant, will be put to shame. 10 Who ever fa shioned a god or cast an idol without hope of gain? See how its devo tees will be ridiculed, for its craftsmen are but humans. 11 Let them all assemble, let them come to court; they will be both terrified and scorned.
12 The blacksmith works on an iron image over the fire and beats it into shape with a ham mer. He gets hungry and tired; if there is no water to drink, he gets exhausted.
13 In like manner, the wood carver takes the measurement and marks the out line of an idol, carves it with chisels, giving it a bodily form and a human face that it may live in a shrine. 14 He cut down cedars or perhaps took an oak or cypress from the forest or maybe he planted a cedar which the rain caused to grow. 15 For the common people, that means fuel which they use to warm themselves and to cook their food. But the craftsman carves out of the tree trunk an idol which he worships and before which he bows down. 16 The remaining portion he burns to warm himself; over its live embers he roasts meat and is satisfied. He says, “Well and good, I feel warm and enjoy the light.” 17 The other portion which he has made into an idol he worships and bows before it, praying “Rescue me, for you are my god.”
18 They have no knowledge, no discernment. For they have shut their mind to un -derstanding, their heart to all reason. 19 Not one of them has the intelligence to reflect and the sense to say, “Half of the log I burned, and on its embers I baked bread and roasted meat. Shall I then make a dirty idol of what remains? Am I to worship a block of wood?”
20 Only one of deluded mind can hold on to ashes. Will he not save himself at least and confess, “What I hold is only a lie?”
21 Remember this, Jacob,
21 for you are my servant, O Israel,
21 I have formed you to be my servant; Israel, do not forget me.
22 I have blotted out your offenses as a thick cloud,
22 your sins as a mist.
22 Return to me for I am redeeming you.
23 Sing gladly, O heavens,
23 for Yahweh has done this.
23 Shout aloud, O earth below!
23 Burst into song, you mountains,
23 you forests with all your trees!
23 For Yahweh has redeemed Jacob
23 and shown his glory to Israel.
24 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer,
24 who formed you from the womb:
24 I am Yahweh who made all things,
24 I alone stretched out the heavens,
24 and spread out the earth. Who helped me?
25 I am he who thwarts the omens of false prophets,
25 who makes fools of diviners,
25 who turns the wise back
25 and makes nonsense of their knowledge.
26 I confirm the word of my servant
26 and carry out the plan announced by my messengers.
26 I am he who says of Jerusalem,
26 “It shall be inhabited,”
26 and of the towns of Judah,
26 “They shall be rebuilt; I will restore their ruins.”
27 I am he who says to the ocean, “Be dry,
27 I will dry up your wellsprings!”
28 I call on Cyrus, “My shepherd!”
28 and he goes to fulfill my will.
28 I say to Jerusalem, “Be rebuilt!”
28 and see: the cornerstone is laid.