God Chooses Cyrus to Free Israel
1This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his appointed king:
“I hold your right hand
and will help you defeat nations
and take away other kings’ power.
I will open doors for you
so city gates will not stop you.
2I will go before you
and make the mountains flat.
I will break down the bronze gates of the cities
and cut through their iron bars.
3I will give you the wealth that is stored away
and the hidden riches
so you will know I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who calls you by name.
4I do these things for my servants, the people of Jacob,
and for my chosen people, the Israelites.
Cyrus, I call you by name,
and I give you a title of honor even though you don’t know me.
5I am the Lord. There is no other God;
I am the only God.
I will make you strong,
even though you don’t know me,
6so that everyone will know
there is no other God.
From the east to the west they will know
I alone am the Lord.
7I made the light and the darkness.
I bring peace, and I cause troubles.
I, the Lord, do all these things.
8“Sky above, make victory fall like rain;
clouds, pour down victory.
Let the earth receive it,
and let salvation grow,
and let victory grow with it.
I, the Lord, have created it.
9“How terrible it will be for those who argue with the God who made them.
They are like a piece of broken pottery among many pieces.
The clay does not ask the potter,
‘What are you doing?’
The thing that is made doesn’t say to its maker,
‘You have no hands.’
10How terrible it will be for the child who says to his father,
‘Why are you giving me life?’
How terrible it will be for the child who says to his mother,
‘Why are you giving birth to me?’ ”
11This is what the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker, says:
“You ask me about what will happen.
You question me about my children.
You give me orders about what I have made.
12I made the earth
and all the people living on it.
With my own hands I stretched out the skies,
and I commanded all the armies in the sky.
13I will bring Cyrus to do good things,
and I will make his work easy.
He will rebuild my city
and set my people free
without any payment or reward.
The Lord All-Powerful says this.”
14The Lord says,
“The goods made in Egypt and Cush
and the tall people of Seba
will come to you
and will become yours.
The Sabeans will walk behind you,
coming along in chains.
They will bow down before you
and pray to you, saying,
‘God is with you,
and there is no other God.’ ”
15God and Savior of Israel,
you are a God that people cannot see.
16All the people who make idols will be put to great shame;
they will go off together in disgrace.
17But Israel will be saved by the Lord,
and that salvation will continue forever.
Never again will Israel be put to shame.
18The Lord created the heavens.
He is the God who formed the earth and made it.
He did not want it to be empty,
but he wanted life on the earth.
This is what the Lord says:
“I am the Lord. There is no other God.
19I did not speak in secret
or hide my words in some dark place.
I did not tell the family of Jacob
to look for me in empty places.
I am the Lord, and I speak the truth;
I say what is right.
20“You people who have escaped from other nations,
gather together and come before me;
come near together.
People who carry idols of wood don’t know what they are doing.
They pray to a god who cannot save them.
21Tell these people to come to me.
Let them talk about these things together.
Who told you long ago that this would happen?
Who told about it long ago?
I, the Lord, said these things.
There is no other God besides me.
I am the only good God. I am the Savior.
There is no other God.
22“All people everywhere,
follow me and be saved.
I am God. There is no other God.
23I will make a promise by my own power,
and my promise is true;
what I say will not be changed.
I promise that everyone will bow before me
and will promise to follow me.
24People will say about me, ‘Goodness and power
come only from the Lord.’ ”
Everyone who has been angry with him
will come to him and be ashamed.
25But with the Lord’s help, the people of Israel
will be found to be good,
and they will praise him.