The Lord Appeals to the Exiles
1Listen to this, O family of Jacob,
you who are called by the name ‘Israel,’
and are descended from Judah,
who take oaths in the name of the Lord,
and invoke the God of Israel –
but not in an honest and just manner.
2Indeed, they live in the holy city;
they trust in the God of Israel,
whose name is the Lord who commands armies.
3“I announced events beforehand,
I issued the decrees and made the predictions;
suddenly I acted and they came to pass.
4I did this because I know how stubborn you are.
Your neck muscles are like iron
and your forehead like bronze.
5I announced them to you beforehand;
before they happened, I predicted them for you,
so you could never say,
‘My image did these things,
my idol, my cast image, decreed them.’
6You have heard; now look at all the evidence!
Will you not admit that what I say is true?
From this point on I am announcing to you new events
that are previously unrevealed and you do not know about.
7Now they come into being, not in the past;
before today you did not hear about them,
so you could not say,
‘Yes, I know about them.’
8You did not hear,
you do not know,
you were not told beforehand.
For I know that you are very deceitful;
you were labeled a rebel from birth.
9For the sake of my reputation I hold back my anger;
for the sake of my prestige I restrain myself from destroying you.
10Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have purified you in the furnace of misery.
11For my sake alone I will act,
for how can I allow my name to be defiled?
I will not share my glory with anyone else!
12Listen to me, O Jacob,
Israel, whom I summoned!
I am the one;
I am present at the very beginning
and at the very end.
13Yes, my hand founded the earth;
my right hand spread out the sky.
I summon them;
they stand together.
14All of you, gather together and listen!
Who among them announced these things?
The Lord’s ally will carry out his desire against Babylon;
he will exert his power against the Babylonians.
15I, I have spoken –
yes, I have summoned him;
I lead him and he will succeed.
16Approach me! Listen to this!
From the very first I have not spoken in secret;
when it happens, I am there.”
So now, the sovereign Lord has sent me, accompanied by his spirit.
17This is what the Lord, your protector, says,
the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you how to succeed,
who leads you in the way you should go.
18If only you had obeyed my commandments,
prosperity would have flowed to you like a river,
deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea.
19Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand,
and your children like its granules.
Their name would not have been cut off
and eliminated from my presence.
Flee from the Babylonians!
Announce it with a shout of joy!
Make this known!
Proclaim it throughout the earth!
Say, ‘The Lord protects his servant Jacob.
21They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;
he makes water flow out of a rock for them;
he splits open a rock and water flows out.’
22There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the Lord.