The Lord Appeals to the Exiles
1 Listen to this, O family of Jacob,1
you who are called by the name ‘Israel,’
and are descended from Judah,2
who take oaths in the name of the Lord,
and invoke3 the God of Israel
but not in an honest and just manner.4
2 Indeed, they live in the holy city;5
they trust in6 the God of Israel,
whose name is the Lord who commands armies.
3I announced events beforehand,7
I issued the decrees and made the predictions;8
suddenly I acted and they came to pass.
4 I did this9 because I know how stubborn you are.
Your neck muscles are like iron
and your forehead like bronze.10
5 I announced them to you beforehand;
before they happened, I predicted them for you,
so you could never say,
My image did these things,
my idol, my cast image, decreed them.’
6 You have heard; now look at all the evidence!11
Will you not admit that what I say is true?12
From this point on I am announcing to you new events
that are previously unrevealed and you do not know about.13
7 Now they come into being,14 not in the past;
before today you did not hear about them,
so you could not say,
Yes,15 I know about them.’
8 You did not hear,
you do not know,
you were not told beforehand.16
For I know that you are very deceitful;17
you were labeled18 a rebel from birth.
9 For the sake of my reputation19 I hold back my anger;
for the sake of my prestige20 I restrain myself from destroying you.21
10 Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have purified you22 in the furnace of misery.
11 For my sake alone23 I will act,
for how can I allow my name to be defiled?24
I will not share my glory with anyone else!25
12 Listen to me, O Jacob,
Israel, whom I summoned!
I am the one;
I am present at the very beginning
and at the very end.26
13 Yes, my hand founded the earth;
my right hand spread out the sky.
I summon them;
they stand together.
14 All of you, gather together and listen!
Who among them27 announced these things?
The Lord’s ally28 will carry out his desire against Babylon;
he will exert his power against the Babylonians.29
15 I, I have spoken
yes, I have summoned him;
I lead him and he will succeed.30
16 Approach me! Listen to this!
From the very first I have not spoken in secret;
when it happens,31 I am there.”
So now, the sovereign Lord has sent me, accompanied by his spirit.32
17 This is what the Lord, your protector,33 says,
the Holy One of Israel:34
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you how to succeed,
who leads you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had obeyed my35 commandments,
prosperity would have flowed to you like a river,36
deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea.37
19 Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand,38
and your children39 like its granules.
Their name would not have been cut off
and eliminated from my presence.40
20 Leave Babylon!
Flee from the Babylonians!
Announce it with a shout of joy!
Make this known!
Proclaim it throughout the earth!41
Say, ‘The Lord protects42 his servant Jacob.
21 They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;
he makes water flow out of a rock for them;
he splits open a rock and water flows out.’43
22 There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the Lord.
148:1tn Heb “house of Jacob”; TEV, CEV “people of Israel.” 248:1tc The Hebrew text reads literally “and from the waters of Judah came out.” מִמֵּי (mimme) could be a corruption of מִמְּעֵי (mimmÿe, “from the inner parts of”; cf. NASB, NIV, NLT, NRSV) as suggested in the above translation. Some translations (ESV, NKJV) retain the MT reading because the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa, which corrects a similar form to “from inner parts of” in 39:7, does not do it here. 348:1tn Heb “cause to remember”; KJV, ASV “make mention of.” 448:1tn Heb “not in truth and not in righteousness.” 548:2tn Heb “they call themselves [or “are called”] from the holy city.” The precise meaning of the statement is uncertain. The Niphal of קָרָא (qara’) is combined with the preposition מִן (min) only here. When the Qal of קָרָא is used with מִן, the preposition often indicates the place from which one is summoned (see 46:11). So one could translate, “from the holy city they are summoned,” meaning that they reside there. 648:2tn Heb “lean on” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB, NIV “rely on.” 748:3tn Heb “the former things beforehand I declared.” 848:3tn Heb “and from my mouth they came forth and I caused them to be heard.” 948:4tn The words “I did this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 4 is subordinated to v. 3. 1048:4sn The image is that of a person who has tensed the muscles of the face and neck as a sign of resolute refusal. 1148:6tn Heb “gaze [at] all of it”; KJV “see all this.” 1248:6tn Heb “[as for] you, will you not declare?” 1348:6tn Heb “and hidden things, and you do not know them.” 1448:7tn Heb “are created” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “They are brand new.” 1548:7tn Heb “look”; KJV, NASB “Behold.” 1648:8tn Heb “beforehand your ear did not open.” 1748:8tn Heb “deceiving, you deceive.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis. 1848:8tn Or “called” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). 1948:9tn Heb “for the sake of my name” (so NAB, NASB); NLT “for my own sake.” 2048:9tn Heb “and my praise.” לְמַעַן (lÿmaan, “for the sake of”) is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line). 2148:9tn Heb “I restrain [myself] concerning you not to cut you off.” 2248:10tc The Hebrew text has בְּחַרְתִּיךָ (bÿkhartikha, “I have chosen you”), but the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa reads correctly בחנתיכה (“I have tested you”). The metallurgical background of the imagery suggests that purification through testing is the idea. 2348:11tn The Hebrew text repeats לְמַעֲנִי (lÿmaani, “for my sake”) for emphasis. 2448:11tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “for how can it be defiled?” The subject of the verb is probably “name” (v. 9). 2548:11sn See 42:8. 2648:12tn Heb “I [am] he, I [am the] first, also I [am the] last.” 2748:14sn This probably refers to the idol gods (see v. 5). 2848:14tn Or “friend,” or “covenant partner.”sn The Lord’s ally is a reference to Cyrus. 2948:14tn Heb “and his arm [against] the Babylonians.” 3048:15tn Heb “and his way will be prosperous.” 3148:16tn Heb “from the time of its occurring.” 3248:16sn The speaker here is not identified specifically, but he is probably Cyrus, the Lord’s “ally” mentioned in vv. 14-15. 3348:17tn Heb “your redeemer.” See the note at 41:14. 3448:17sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4. 3548:18tn Heb “paid attention to” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “had listened to.” 3648:18tn Heb “like a river your peace would have been.” שָׁלוֹם (shalom) probably refers here to the peace and prosperity which God promised in return for obedience to the covenant. 3748:18tn Heb “and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah) probably refers here to divine deliverance from enemies. See v. 19. 3848:19tn Heb “like sand”; NCV “as many as the grains of sand.” 3948:19tn Heb “and the issue from your inner parts.” 4048:19tn Heb “and his name would not be cut off and would not be destroyed from before me.” 4148:20tn Heb “to the end of the earth” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV). 4248:20tn Heb “redeems.” See the note at 41:14. 4348:21sn The translation above (present tense) assumes that this verse describes God’s provision for returning Babylonian exiles (see v. 20; 35:6; 49:10) in terms reminiscent of the Exodus from Egypt (see Exod 17:6).