1 BUT NOW [in spite of past judgments for Israel's sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.
3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt [to the Babylonians] for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba [a province of Ethiopia] in exchange [for your release].
4 Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.
5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east [where they are dispersed] and gather you from the west. [Acts 18:10.]
6 I will say to the north, Give up! and to the south, Keep not back. Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth–
7 Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.
8 Bring forth the blind people who have eyes and the deaf who have ears.
9 Let all the nations be gathered together and let the peoples be assembled. Who among [the idolaters] could predict this [that Cyrus would be the deliverer of Israel] and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses, that they may be justified, or let them hear and acknowledge, It is the truth. [Ps. 123:3, 4.]
10 You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know Me, believe Me and remain steadfast to Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.
12 I have declared [the future] and have saved [the nation in times of danger], and I have shown [that I am God]–when there was no strange and alien god among you; therefore you are My witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God.
13 Yes, from the time of the first existence of day and from this day forth I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. I will work, and who can hinder or reverse it?
14 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent [one] to Babylon, and I will bring down all of them as fugitives, [with] all their nobles, even the Chaldeans, into the ships over which they rejoiced.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.
16 Thus says the Lord, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters,
17 Who brings forth chariot and horse, army and mighty warrior. They lie down together, they cannot rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a lampwick:
18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
20 The beasts of the field honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen, [Isa. 41:17, 18; 48:21.]
21 The people I formed for Myself, that they may set forth My praise [and they shall do it].
22 Yet you have not called upon Me [much less toiled for Me], O Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought Me your sheep and goats for burnt offerings, or honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not required you to serve with an offering or treated you as a slave by demanding tribute or wearied you with offering incense.
24 You have not bought Me sweet cane with money, or satiated Me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have only burdened Me with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities.
25 I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
26 Put Me in remembrance [remind Me of your merits]; let us plead and argue together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified (proved right).
27 Your first father [Jacob, in particular] sinned, and your teachers [the priests and the prophets–your mediators] transgressed against Me.
28 And so I will profane the chief ones of the sanctuary and will deliver Jacob to the curse (the ban, a solemn anathema or excommunication) and [will subject] Israel to reproaches and reviling.