1 BEL BOWS down, Nebo stoops [gods of Babylon, whose idols are being carried off]; their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle. These things that you carry about are loaded as burdens on the weary beasts.
2 [The gods] stoop, they bow down together; they cannot save [their own idols], but are themselves going into captivity.
3 Listen to Me [says the Lord], O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me from your birth, carried from the womb:
4 Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you.
5 To whom will you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me, that we may be alike? [Isa. 40:18-20.]
6 They lavish gold out of the cup or bag, weigh out silver on the scales, and hire a goldsmith, and he fashions it into a god; [then] they fall down, yes, they worship it!
7 They bear it upon their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle]; they carry it and set it down in its place, and there it stands. It cannot move from its place. Even if one cries to it for help, yet [the idol] cannot answer or save him out of his distress.
8 [Earnestly] remember this, be ashamed and own yourselves guilty; bring it again to mind and lay it to heart, O you rebels!
9 [Earnestly] remember the former things, [which I did] of old; for I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose,
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east–the man [Cyrus] who executes My counsel from a far country. Yes, I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, and I will do it.
12 Listen to Me, you stiff-hearted and you who have lost heart, you who are far from righteousness (from uprightness and right standing with God, and from His righteous deliverance).
13 I bring near My righteousness [in the deliverance of Israel], it will not be far off; and My salvation shall not tarry. And I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory [yes, give salvation in Zion and My glory to Israel].
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation