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Isaiah 45

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45:1 This is what the Lord says to his chosen 1  one,

to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold 2 

in order to subdue nations before him,

and disarm kings, 3 

to open doors before him,

so gates remain unclosed:

45:2 “I will go before you

and level mountains. 4 

Bronze doors I will shatter

and iron bars 5  I will hack through.

45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, 6 

riches stashed away in secret places,

so you may recognize that I am the Lord,

the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.

45:4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,

Israel, my chosen one,

I call you by name

and give you a title of respect, even though you do not recognize 7  me.

45:5 I am the Lord, I have no peer, 8 

there is no God but me.

I arm you for battle, 9  even though you do not recognize 10  me.

45:6 I do this 11  so people 12  will recognize from east to west

that there is no God but me;

I am the Lord, I have no peer.

45:7 I am 13  the one who forms light

and creates darkness; 14 

the one who brings about peace

and creates calamity. 15 

I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things.

45:8 O sky, rain down from above!

Let the clouds send down showers 16  of deliverance!

Let the earth absorb it 17  so salvation may grow, 18 

and deliverance may sprout up 19  along with it.

I, the Lord, create it. 20 

The Lord Gives a Warning

45:9 One who argues with his creator is in grave danger, 21 

one who is like a mere 22  shard among the other shards on the ground!

The clay should not say to the potter, 23 

“What in the world 24  are you doing?

Your work lacks skill!” 25 

45:10 Danger awaits one who says 26  to his father,

“What in the world 27  are you fathering?”

and to his mother,

“What in the world are you bringing forth?” 28 

45:11 This is what the Lord says,

the Holy One of Israel, 29  the one who formed him,

concerning things to come: 30 

“How dare you question me 31  about my children!

How dare you tell me what to do with 32  the work of my own hands!

45:12 I made the earth,

I created the people who live 33  on it.

It was me – my hands 34  stretched out the sky, 35 

I give orders to all the heavenly lights. 36 

45:13 It is me – I stir him up and commission him; 37 

I will make all his ways level.

He will rebuild my city;

he will send my exiled people home,

but not for a price or a bribe,”

says the Lord who commands armies.

The Lord is the Nations’ Only Hope

45:14 This is what the Lord says:

“The profit 38  of Egypt and the revenue 39  of Ethiopia,

along with the Sabeans, those tall men,

will be brought to you 40  and become yours.

They will walk behind you, coming along in chains. 41 

They will bow down to you

and pray to you: 42 

‘Truly God is with 43  you; he has no peer; 44 

there is no other God!’”

45:15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden,

O God of Israel, deliverer!

45:16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed;

those who fashion idols will all be humiliated. 45 

45:17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by the Lord; 46 

you will never again be ashamed or humiliated. 47 

45:18 For this is what the Lord says,

the one who created the sky –

he is the true God, 48 

the one who formed the earth and made it;

he established it,

he did not create it without order, 49 

he formed it to be inhabited –

“I am the Lord, I have no peer.

45:19 I have not spoken in secret,

in some hidden place. 50 

I did not tell Jacob’s descendants,

‘Seek me in vain!’ 51 

I am the Lord,

the one who speaks honestly,

who makes reliable announcements. 52 

45:20 Gather together and come!

Approach together, you refugees from the nations!

Those who carry wooden idols know nothing,

those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.

45:21 Tell me! Present the evidence! 53 

Let them consult with one another!

Who predicted this in the past?

Who announced it beforehand?

Was it not I, the Lord?

I have no peer, there is no God but me,

a God who vindicates and delivers; 54 

there is none but me.

45:22 Turn to me so you can be delivered, 55 

all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!

For I am God, and I have no peer.

45:23 I solemnly make this oath 56 

what I say is true and reliable: 57 

‘Surely every knee will bow to me,

every tongue will solemnly affirm; 58 

45:24 they will say about me,

“Yes, the Lord is a powerful deliverer.”’” 59 

All who are angry at him will cower before him. 60 

45:25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the Lord

and will boast in him. 61 

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1 tn Heb “anointed” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “his appointed king.”

2 sn The “right hand” is a symbol of activity and strength; the Lord directs Cyrus’ activities and assures his success.

3 tn Heb “and the belts of kings I will loosen”; NRSV “strip kings of their robes”; NIV “strip kings of their armor.”

4 tc The form הֲדוּרִים (hadurim) makes little, if any, sense here. It is probably a corruption of an original הָרָרִים (hararim, “mountains”), the reduplicated form of הָר (har, “mountain”).

5 tn That is, on the gates. Cf. CEV “break the iron bars on bronze gates.”

6 tn Heb “treasures of darkness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “treasures from dark, secret places.”

7 tn Or “know” (NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT); NIV “acknowledge.”

8 tn Heb “and there is none besides.” On the use of עוֹד (’od) here, see BDB 729 s.v. 1.c.

9 tn Heb “gird you” (so NASB) or “strengthen you” (so NIV).

10 tn Or “know” (NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT); NIV “have not acknowledged.”

11 tn The words “I do this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

12 tn Heb “they” (so KJV, ASV); TEV, CEV “everyone”; NLT “all the world.”

13 tn The words “I am” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the participle at the beginning of v. 7 stands in apposition to “the Lord” in v. 6.

14 tn On the surface v. 7a appears to describe God’s sovereign control over the cycle of day and night, but the following statement suggests that “light” and “darkness” symbolize “deliverance” and “judgment.”

15 sn This verses affirms that God is ultimately sovereign over his world, including mankind and nations. In accordance with his sovereign will, he can cause wars to cease and peace to predominate (as he was about to do for his exiled people through Cyrus), or he can bring disaster and judgment on nations (as he was about to do to Babylon through Cyrus).

16 tn Heb “let the clouds drip with”; KJV “let the skies pour down.”

17 tn Heb “open up” (so NASB); NIV, NLT “open wide.”

18 tc The plural verb should be emended to a singular form. The vav (ו) ending is probably virtually dittographic (note the yod at the beginning of the following word).

19 tc The Hiphil verb form (תַצְמִיחַ, tatsmiakh) should probably be emended to a Qal (תִצְמַח, titsmakh). The יח sequence at the end of the form is probably due to dittography (note the following יַחַד, yakhad).

20 tn The masculine singular pronominal suffix probably refers back to יָשַׁע (yasha’, “salvation”).

21 tn Heb “Woe [to] the one who argues with the one who formed him.”

22 tn The words “one who is like a mere” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and clarification.

23 tn Heb “Should the clay say to the one who forms it?” The rhetorical question anticipates a reply, “Of course not!”

24 tn The words “in the world” are supplied in the translation to approximate in English idiom the force of the sarcastic question.

25 tn Heb “your work, there are no hands for it,” i.e., “your work looks like something made by a person who has no hands.”

26 tn Heb “Woe [to] one who says” (NASB and NIV both similar); NCV “How terrible it will be.”

27 tn See the note at v. 9. This phrase occurs a second time later in this verse.

28 sn Verses 9-10 may allude to the exiles’ criticism that the Lord does not appear to know what he is doing.

29 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

30 tc The Hebrew text reads “the one who formed him, the coming things.” Among various suggestions, some have proposed an emendation of יֹצְרוֹ (yotsÿro, “the one who formed him”) to יֹצֵר (yotser, “the one who forms”; the suffixed form in the Hebrew text may be influenced by vv. 9-10, where the same form appears twice) and takes “coming things” as the object of the participle (either objective genitive or accusative): “the one who brings the future into being.”

31 tn Heb “Ask me” The rhetorical command sarcastically expresses the Lord’s disgust with those who question his ways.

32 tn Heb “Do you command me about…?” The rhetorical question sarcastically expresses the Lord’s disgust with those who question his ways.

33 tn The words “who live” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

34 tn Heb “I, even my hands”; NASB “I stretched out…with My hands”; NRSV “it was my hands that stretched out.” The same construction occurs at the beginning of v. 13.

35 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

36 tn Heb “and to all their host I commanded.” See the notes at 40:26.

37 tn Heb “I stir him up in righteousness”; NASB “I have aroused him.” See the note at 41:2. Cyrus (cf. 44:28) is in view here.

38 tn Heb “labor,” which stands metonymically for the fruits of labor, either “monetary profit,” or “products.”

39 tn Or perhaps, “merchandise” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NAB “the gain of Ethiopia”; CEV “the treasures of Ethiopia.”

40 tn Heb “they will pass over to you”; NASB, NIV “will come over to you”; CEV “will belong to you.”

41 sn Restored Israel is depicted here in typical ancient Near Eastern fashion as an imperial power that receives riches and slaves as tribute.

42 sn Israel’s vassals are portrayed as so intimidated and awed that they treat Israel as an intermediary to God or sub-deity.

43 tn Or perhaps, “among.” Cf. KJV, ASV “Surely God is in thee.”

44 tn Heb “there is no other” (so NIV, NRSV). The same phrase occurs at the end of v. 18, in v. 21, and at the end of v. 22.

45 tn “together they will walk in humiliation, the makers of images.”

46 tn Heb “Israel will be delivered by the Lord [with] a permanent deliverance.”

47 tn Heb “you will not be ashamed and you will not be humiliated for ages of future time.”

48 tn Heb “he [is] the God.” The article here indicates uniqueness.

49 tn Or “unformed.” Gen 1:2 describes the world as “unformed” (תֹהוּ, tohu) prior to God’s creative work, but God then formed the world and made it fit for habitation.

50 tn Heb “in a place of a land of darkness” (ASV similar); NASB “in some dark land.”

51 tn “In vain” translates תֹהוּ (tohu), used here as an adverbial accusative: “for nothing.”

52 tn The translation above assumes that צֶדֶק (tsedeq) and מֵישָׁרִים (mesharim) are adverbial accusatives (see 33:15). If they are taken as direct objects, indicating the content of what is spoken, one might translate, “who proclaims deliverance, who announces justice.”

53 tn Heb “Declare! Bring near!”; NASB “Declare and set forth your case.” See 41:21.

54 tn Or “a righteous God and deliverer”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “a righteous God and a Savior.”

55 tn The Niphal imperative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose after the preceding imperative. The Niphal probably has a tolerative sense, “allow yourselves to be delivered, accept help.”

56 tn Heb “I swear by myself”; KJV, NASB “have sworn.”

57 tn Heb “a word goes out from my mouth [in] truth and will not return.”

58 tn Heb “swear” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “confess allegiance.”

59 tn Heb “‘Yes, in the Lord,’ one says about me, ‘is deliverance and strength.’”

60 tn Heb “will come to him and be ashamed.”

61 tn Heb “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel will be vindicated and boast.”



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