1 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, the one he has anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to direct him to defeat nations and to make kings weak, to open doors before him and gates that will not be shut. 2 I will go ahead of you and level the mountains.* Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint reading. I will break down bronze gates and cut through iron bars. 3 I will give you hidden treasure, treasure concealed in secret places, so that you can know for sure that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 I call you by name and I have given you a title of honor, for the sake of Jacob my servant, and Israel the one I chose, even though you don't know me. 5 I am the Lord, there is no God apart from me. Apart from me there is no God. I will make you strong, even though you don't know me, 6 so that everyone, from the east to the west, will know that there is no God apart from me, that I am the Lord, and there is none apart from me. 7 I create light, and I make darkness, I bring peace and I bring about disaster. I am the Lord and I do all this. 8 Let the rain fall from the sky above, let goodness fall from the clouds, let the earth open up to receive goodness and salvation so they can grow together. I, the Lord, created them.
9 What trouble people face when they fight with their Creator—they're just pots among all the other pots on earth! Does the clay tell the potter who is shaping it, “What are you doing?” or “What you're making is so bad it's like you have no hands!” 10 How bad it would be if you said to your father, “Why did you have me?” or to your mother, “Why was I ever born?”!
11 This is what the Lord says, the Holy One of Israel, your Creator: You can ask me about things to come. But are you going to lecture me about my children and what I do? 12 I'm the one who made the earth, and I created human beings to live there. It was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I ordered all the stars to come into being.† “To come into being”: supplied for clarity.
13 Because I do what's right, I will encourage him‡ Referring back to Cyrus mentioned in verse 1. and smooth out all the roads he takes. He will rebuild my city and will set my exiles free without being paid or bribed to do so, says the Lord Almighty.
14 This is what the Lord says: “The productive Egyptians and the Ethiopian traders, as well as the tall Sabean people, will come over to you and will belong to you. They will walk behind you in chains and bow down to you, pleading with you, saying, ‘God is certainly with you, and there is no other God besides him.’ ”
15 Yet you are a God who hides himself, God of Israel, Savior. 16 Everyone who makes idols are ashamed and humiliated, all of them are disgraced. 17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord with a salvation that lasts forever. You will never be ashamed or disgraced for all eternity.
18 For this is what the Lord says, the God who created the heavens, who formed and made the earth, he founded it. He didn't make it to be left empty, but formed it to be inhabited. He is the one who says, I am the Lord, and there is no God apart from me. 19 I haven't been talking in secret in an obscure place. I didn't tell the descendants of Jacob: Look for me in a place where no one can be found.§ “In a place where no one can be found”: literally, “emptiness.” I, the Lord, tell the truth—I say what's right.
20 Gather yourselves together, and come, come close, you refugees of the nations. Aren't they stupid, these people who carry around their wooden idols, and who pray to a god that can't save them? 21 Discuss this together, and then speak up, present your case. Who predicted this long ago? Who said what would happen in the future back in the past? Wasn't that me, the Lord? There is no other God except me, no other God who does what is right, and who saves. There is no God apart from me. 22 Everyone on earth, come to me and be saved, for I am God and there is no God apart from me. 23 I have sworn by my own self, I have spoken what is right, and I won't ever go back on it. Everyone shall bow before me; everyone shall acknowledge me. 24 They will say about me, “Salvation and strength can only be found in the Lord.” Everyone who has fought against him will come to him and will be ashamed. 25 But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be made right, and they will glory in him.
*45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint reading.
†45:12 “To come into being”: supplied for clarity.
‡45:13 Referring back to Cyrus mentioned in verse 1.
§45:19 “In a place where no one can be found”: literally, “emptiness.”