Chapter 15

  1. Keep silence before me, O islands, and let the people renew their strength. Let them come near, then let them speak; let us come near together to judgment. Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? He gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. He pursued them and passed safely, even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.
  2. Who has wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first and with the last — I am he. The isles saw it and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. They helped everyone his neighbor, and everyone said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smooths with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the soldering. And he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
  3. But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called you from the chief men thereof, and said unto you, You are my servant; I have chosen you and not cast you away. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yea, I will help you, yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing, and they that quarrel with you shall perish. You shall seek them and shall not find them, even them that contended with you. They that war against you shall be as nothing and as a thing of naught. For I the Lord your God will hold your right hand, saying unto you, Fear not; I will help you. Fear not, you worm Jacob and you men of Israel; I will help you, says the Lord, and your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth. You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff. You shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and you shall rejoice in the Lord and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.
  4. When the poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree. I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together, that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.
  5. Produce your cause, says the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen. Let them show the former things, what they are, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come, show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods. Yea, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and behold it together. Behold, you are of nothing, and your work of naught; an abomination is he that chooses you. I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come. From the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name, and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar and as the potter treads clay.
  6. Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know? And previously, that we may say, He is righteous? Yea, there is none that shows, yea, there is none that declares, yea, there is none that hears your words. The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them; and I will give to Jerusalem one that brings good tidings. For I beheld, and there was no man even among them and there was no counselor that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing, their molten images are wind and confusion.
  7. Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my elect in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged until he has set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law.
  8. Thus says God the Lord, he that created the heavens and stretched them out, he that spread forth the earth and that which comes out of it, he that gives breath unto the people upon it and spirit to them that walk therein: I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the gentiles — to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord — that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to engraved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
  9. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea and all that is therein — the isles and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar does inhabit. Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord and declare his praise in the islands. The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war; he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have for a long time held my peace, I have been still and restrained myself; now will I cry like a travailing woman, I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs, and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed that trust in engraved images, that say to the molten images, You are our gods.
  10. Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see; for I will send my servant unto you who are blind, yea, a messenger to open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. And they shall be made perfect, notwithstanding their blindness, if they will listen unto the messenger, the Lord’s servant. You are a people seeing many things, but you observe not, opening the ears to hear, but you hear not. The Lord is not well pleased with such a people, but for his righteousness’ sake he will magnify the law and make it honorable. You are a people robbed and spoiled; your enemies, all of them, have snared you in holes, and they have hidden you in prison houses; they have taken you for a prey and none delivers, for a spoil and none says, Restore. Who among them will give ear unto you, or listen and hear you for the time to come? And who gave Jacob for a spoil and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord — he against whom they have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore, he has poured upon them the fury of his anger and the strength of battle. And they have set them on fire round about, yet they knew not; and it burned them, yet they laid it not to heart.
  11. But now thus says the Lord that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name — you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you. Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honorable and I have loved you; therefore will I give men for you, and people for your life. Fear not, for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, Give up — and to the south, Keep not back. Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, even everyone that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him.
  12. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes and the deaf that have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth. You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he. Before me, there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shown when there was no strange god among you. Therefore, you are my witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was, I am he, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. I will work, and who shall prevent it?
  13. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans whose cry is in the ships. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. Thus says the Lord who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as a wick): Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth, and shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.
  14. But you have not called upon me, O Jacob, but you have been weary of me, O Israel. You have not brought me the small cattle of your burnt offerings, neither have you honored me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with an offering, nor wearied you with incense. You have not bought me sweet cane with money, neither have you filled me with the fat of your sacrifices, but you have made me to serve with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance, let us plead together; you declare, that you may be justified. Your first father has sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore, I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse and Israel to reproaches.
  15. Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel whom I have chosen; thus says the Lord that made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen; for I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your offspring, and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the Lord’s — and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.
  16. Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of Hosts: I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them. Fear not, neither be afraid; have not I told you from that time, and have declared it? You are even my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any. They that make an engraved image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit, and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who has formed a god or molten an engraved image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed, and the workmen; they are of men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both works in the coals and fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms. Yea, he is hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches out his rule, he marks it out with a line, he fits it with planes; and he marks it out with the compass, and makes it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house. He hews down cedars and takes the cypress and the oak, which he strengthens for himself among the trees of the forest; he plants an ash, and the rain does nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn, for he will take thereof and warm himself; yea, he kindles it and bakes bread. Yea, he makes a god and worships it, he makes it an engraved image and falls down before it. He burns part thereof in the fire, with part thereof he eats flesh, he roasts roast and is satisfied; yea, he warms himself and says, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire. And the residue thereof he makes a god, even his engraved image; he falls down unto it, and worships it, and prays unto it, and says, Deliver me, for you are my god. They have not known nor understood, for he has shut their eyes that they cannot see, and their hearts that they cannot understand. And none considers in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire, yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh and eaten it. And shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? Remember these, O Jacob and Israel, for you are my servant, I have formed you. You are my servant, O Israel, you shall not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out as a thick cloud your transgressions, and as a cloud your sins; return unto me, for I have redeemed you.
  17. Sing, O you heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, you lower parts of the earth. Break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree therein. For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and glorified himself in Israel. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer and he that formed you from the womb: I am the Lord that makes all things, that stretches forth the heavens alone, that spreads abroad the earth by myself, that frustrates the tokens of the liars and makes diviners mad, that turns wise men backward and makes their knowledge foolish, that confirms the word of his servant and performs the counsel of his messengers, that says to Jerusalem, You shall be inhabited — and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof; that says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers; that says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built — and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.
  18. Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before him (and I will disarm the loins of kings to open before him the two leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut): I will go before you and make the crooked places straight, I will break in pieces the gates of brass and cut asunder the bars of iron, and I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel my elect, I have even called you by your name. I have surnamed you, though you have not known me. I am the Lord and there is none else, there is no God besides me. I girded you, though you have not known me, that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none besides me. I am the Lord and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things. Drop down you heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it. Woe unto him that quarrels with his Maker. Let the potsherd quarrel with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What are you making? Or your work, He has no hands? Woe unto him that says unto his father, What have you begotten? Or to the woman, What have you brought forth? Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel and his Maker: Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands, you command me. I have made the earth and created man upon it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness and I will direct all his ways; he shall build my city and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, says the Lord of Hosts. Thus says the Lord: The labor of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia, and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto you, and they shall be yours; they shall come after you, in chains they shall come over and they shall fall down unto you. They shall make supplication unto you, saying, Surely God is in you, and there is none else, there is no God. Truly you are a God that hides yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior. They shall be ashamed and also confounded, all of them; they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed nor confounded, worlds without end.
  19. For thus says the Lord that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it (he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited): I am the Lord, and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth. I said not unto the seed of Jacob, You seek me in vain. I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, you that are escaped of the nations. They have no knowledge that set up the wood of their engraved image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Speak, and bring them near, yea, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I the Lord? And there is no God else besides me — a just God and a Savior, there is none besides me. Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength — even to him shall men come, and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory.
  20. Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols were upon the beasts and upon the cattle. Your carriages were heavily loaded, they are a burden to the weary beast. They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves have gone into captivity.
  21. Listen to me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel who are borne by me from the belly, who are carried from the womb; and even to your old age I am he, and even to graying hairs will I carry you; I have made and I will bear, even I will carry and will deliver you. To whom will you liken me, and make me equal and compare me, that we may be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him and set him in his place, and he stands; from his place shall he not remove. Yea, they shall cry unto him. Yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this and show yourselves men; bring it again to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end 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 — calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes my counsel from a far country. Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Listen to me, you stout-hearted that are far from righteousness. I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not delay; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel, my glory.