Chapter 17

  1. Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel and have come forth out of the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth nor in righteousness. For they call themselves of the holy city, and prop themselves upon the God of Israel — the Lord of Hosts is his name. I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did them suddenly and they came to pass. Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass, I have, even from the beginning, declared it to you; before it came to pass, I showed it to you, lest you should say, My idol has done them, and my engraved image and my molten image has commanded them. You have heard, see all this; and will not you declare it? I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day when you heard them not, lest you should say, Behold, I knew them. Yea, you heard not, yea, you knew not; yea, from that time that your ear was not opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously and were called a transgressor from the womb. For my name’s sake will I defer my anger, and for my praise will I refrain for you, that I cut you not off. Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake — even for my own sake — will I do it; for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.
  2. Listen unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called: I am he; I am the First, I also am the Last. My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spanned the heavens; when I call unto them, they stand up together. All of you, assemble yourselves and hear: Who among them has declared these things? The Lord has loved him. He will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
  3. Come near unto me, hear this. I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God and his spirit has sent me. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go. Oh that you had listened to my commandments; then would your peace have been as a river and your righteousness as the waves of the sea. Your seed also would have been as the sand, and the offspring of your body like the gravel thereof. His name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
  4. Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth, say, The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob and they thirsted not; when he led them through the deserts, he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he cleaved the rock also and the waters gushed out. There is no peace, says the Lord, unto the wicked.
  5. Listen, O isles, unto me, and listen you people from far. The Lord has called me from the womb; from the belly of my mother has he made mention of my name. And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand has he hidden me and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver has he hidden me and said unto me, You are my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and in vain; yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
  6. And now says the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob again to him — though Israel is not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength — and he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give you for a light to the gentiles, that you may be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose you. Thus says the Lord: In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you. And I will preserve you and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages, that you may say to the prisoners, Go forth — to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for he that has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far, and behold, these from the north, and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.
  7. Sing, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains; for the Lord has comforted his people and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your children shall make haste, your destroyers and they that made you waste shall go forth of you.
  8. Lift up your eyes round about and behold, all these gather themselves together and come to you. As I live, says the Lord, you shall surely clothe yourself with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on you as a bride does. For your waste and your desolate places, and the land of your destruction shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants. And they that swallowed you up shall be far away. The children whom you shall have, after you have lost the other, shall say again in your ears, The place is too confined for me; give place to me that I may dwell. Then shall you say in your heart, Who has begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? And who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will lift up my hand to the gentiles and set up my standard to the people. And they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They shall bow down to you with their faces toward the earth and lick up the dust of your feet; and you shall know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus says the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for the mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus says the Lord: I will contend with them that contends with you and I will save your children. And I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. And all flesh shall know that I the Lord am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
  9. Yea, for thus says the Lord: Have I put you away? Or have I cast you off for ever? For thus says the Lord: Where is the bill of your Mother’s divorcement? To whom have I put you away? Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have you sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your Mother put away. Wherefore, when I came, there was no man; when I called, yea, there was none to answer. O house of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea. I make the rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness and I make sackcloth their covering.