Israel the chosen
1‘But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
2This is what the Lord says –
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun,#44:2 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel. whom I have chosen.
3For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5Some will say, “I belong to the Lord”;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, “The Lord’s,”
and will take the name Israel.
The Lord, not idols
6‘This is what the Lord says –
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come –
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.’
9All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.
12The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
‘Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.’
17From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
‘Save me! You are my god!’
18They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so that they cannot see,
and their minds closed so that they cannot understand.
19No-one stops to think,
no-one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
‘Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?’
20Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?’
21‘Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
22I have swept away your offences like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.’
23Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.
Jerusalem to be inhabited
24‘This is what the Lord says –
your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord,
the Maker of all things,
who stretches out the heavens,
who spreads out the earth by myself,
25who foils the signs of false prophets
and makes fools of diviners,
who overthrows the learning of the wise
and turns it into nonsense,
26who carries out the words of his servants
and fulfils the predictions of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,”
of the towns of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt,”
and of their ruins, “I will restore them,”
27who says to the watery deep, “Be dry,
and I will dry up your streams,”
28who says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, ‘Let it be rebuilt,’
and of the temple, ‘Let its foundations be laid.’ ”