The Lord Has Rescued His People
1Descendants of Jacob,
I, the Lord, created you
and formed your nation.
Israel, don't be afraid.
I have rescued you.
I have called you by name;
now you belong to me.
2When you cross deep rivers,
I will be with you,
and you won't drown.
When you walk through fire,
you won't be burned
or scorched by the flames.
3I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
the God who saves you.
I gave up Egypt, Ethiopia,#43.3 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
and the region of Seba#43.3 Seba: A region in southwest Arabia. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba probably stood for all that was known of Africa in biblical times.
in exchange for you.
4To me, you are very dear,
and I love you.
That's why I gave up nations
and people to rescue you.
5Don't be afraid! I am with you.
From both east and west
I will bring you together.
6I will say to the north
and to the south,
“Free my sons and daughters!
Let them return
from distant lands.
7They are my people—
I created each of them
to bring honor to me.”
The Lord Alone Is God
The Lord said:
8Bring my people together.
They have eyes and ears,
but they can't see or hear.
9Tell everyone of every nation
to gather around.
None of them can honestly say,
“We told you so!”
If someone heard them say this,
then tell us about it now.
10My people, you are my witnesses
and my chosen servant.
I want you to know me,
to trust me, and understand
that I alone am God.
I have always been God;
there can be no others.
11I alone am the Lord;
only I can rescue you.
12I promised to save you,
and I kept my promise.
You are my witnesses
that no other god did this.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
13I am God now and forever.
No one can snatch you from me
or stand in my way.
The Lord Will Prepare the Way
14I, the Lord, will rescue you!
I am Israel's holy God,
and this is my promise:
For your sake, I will send
an army against Babylon
to drag its people away,
crying as they go.#43.14 crying as they go: Or “in their glorious ships.”
15I am the Lord, your holy God,
Israel's Creator and King.
16I am the one who cut a path
through the mighty ocean.
17I sent an army to chase you
with chariots and horses;
now they lie dead,
unable to move.
They are like an oil lamp
with the flame snuffed out.
Forget the Past
The Lord said:
18Forget what happened long ago!
Don't think about the past.
19I am creating something new.
There it is! Do you see it?
I have put roads in deserts,
streams#43.19 streams: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “paths.” in thirsty lands.
20Every wild animal honors me,
even jackals#43.20 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller. and owls.
I provide water in deserts—
streams in thirsty lands
for my chosen people.
21I made them my own nation,
so they would praise me.
22I, the Lord, said to Israel:
You have become weary of me,
but not from worshiping me.
23You have not honored me
by sacrificing sheep
or other animals.
And I have not burdened you
with demands for sacrifices
or sweet-smelling incense.
24You have not brought
delicious spices for me
or given me the best part
of your sacrificed animals.
Instead, you burden me down
with your terrible sins.
25But I wipe away your sins
because of who I am.
And so, I will forget
the wrongs you have done.
26Meet me in court!
State your case and prove
that you are right.
27Your earliest ancestor#43.27 earliest ancestor: Jacob, also known as Israel.
and all your leaders#43.27 leaders: Probably prophets, but perhaps also priests and kings.
rebelled against me.
28That's why I don't allow
your priests to serve me;
I let Israel be destroyed
and your people disgraced.
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