Yahweh chose Cyrus to free the Israelis
1 Cyrus the emperor of Persia is the one Yahweh has appointed
and to whom he will give great power;
Yahweh will enable him to defeat other nations
and to take away the power of their kings.
He will open doors of cities,
and no one will ever be able to shut them.
2 This is what Yahweh says to him:
“Cyrus, I will go ahead of you
and level the mountains.
I will smash down bronze gates
and cut through iron bars.
3 I will give you treasures that people have hidden in dark secret places [DOU].
I will do that in order that you will know that I am Yahweh,
the God to whom the Israelis belong,
the God who calls you by your name.
4 I have summoned you, calling out your name,
for the sake of the people of Israel whom I have chosen, who serve me.
Even though you do not know me,
I will give you a title which has great honor.
5 I am Yahweh, and there is no other God.
Even though you do not know me,
I will give you power
6 in order that everyone in the world, from the east to the west, will know that there is no other God.
I am Yahweh, and there is no other God.
7 I created the light and the darkness.
I cause there to be peace and I cause there to be disasters.
I, Yahweh, do all those things.”
8 And Yahweh also says, “I want people everywhere to act very righteously
like I tell [MET] the sky to open up and pour down rain.
I want the earth to open wide
in order that there will be both freedom and righteous behavior among God's people.
I, Yahweh, am the one who produces both of those.
9 Terrible things will happen to those who argue with me, the one who created them.
A clay pot certainly cannot [RHQ] criticize the one who made it.
A lump of clay certainly cannot [RHQ] argue with the one who shapes it to form a pot, saying,
‘Why are you making me like this?’
The pot does not say ‘I have no hands!’
10 And it would be terrible if an unborn baby would say to its father,
‘Why are you causing me to be born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘What will be the result of your labor pains?’ ”
11 Yahweh, the Holy One of the Israeli people, the one who created Israel, says this to them:
“Why do you [RHQ] ask questions about what I do for you, my children?
Why do you tell me about the work that I should do?
12 I am the one who created the earth
and created people to live on it.
I stretched out the skies with my hands,
and I put the stars in their places.
13 And I will appoint Cyrus to do the things that are right/just,
and I will enable him to do all those things easily [MET].
His men will rebuild my city
and he will free my people who are exiled.
And he will do it without my rewarding him!
Those things will surely happen because I, your Supreme Commander, have said it.
14 And this is also what I, Yahweh, say to Cyrus:
‘You will rule the people of Egypt and the tall people of Seba in Arabia.
They will come to you bringing all the things that they sell,
and it will all be yours.
They will have chains on their arms as they follow you.
They will prostrate themselves in front of you and say,
“God is with/helping you
and he is the only God;
there is no other God.” ’ ”
15 God, you are the one to whom we Israeli people belong, the one who saves us.
We cannot see you.
16 All those who make idols will be humiliated.
They will all be disgraced together.
17 But you, Yahweh, will rescue the people of Israel,
and they will be free forever.
Never again, during all the future, will they again be humiliated and disgraced.
18 Yahweh is God;
he is the one who created the sky
and formed and created the earth.
He did not want it to remain with nothing on it;
he wanted people to live on it.
He says, “I am Yahweh;
there is no other God.
19 What I proclaimed, I did not speak secretly
or hide what I was saying by speaking in a dark place.
When I spoke to the descendants of Jacob,
I would not have told them
“Seek for me vain!''
I, Yahweh, speak only what is true and what is right.
20 You people who are still alive after experiencing great disasters,
come and gather together and listen to this:
The people who carry around their wooden idols
and pray to idols that cannot rescue them are foolish!
21 Talk among yourselves, and decide what you will say to defend what you do.
And then I will ask you,
Who predicted long ago what has now happened?
Did any idol tell you that those things would happen?
No, it was only I, Yahweh, who told you,
because I am the only God; there is no other God.
I am a God who acts righteously and saves people;
there is no other one who does these things.
22 Everyone in the world should ask me to save them,
because I am the only God who can do that;
there is no other one.
23 I have solemnly declared, using my own name;
I have spoken what is true,
and I will never change what I have said:
Some day, everyone will bow in front of me,
and they will all promise to be loyal to me.
24 They will declare,
“Yahweh is the one who enables me to live righteously and to be strong.”
And all those who have been angry at him will come to him,
and they will be ashamed.
25 Yahweh is the one who will enable the Israeli people in all future times to defeat their enemies,
and then they will boast about what he has done for them.