The Blessings of Israel
1 Yet now hear, O Jacob, My servant and Israel, whom I have chosen. 2 Thus says the Lord, Who made you and formed you from the womb, Who will help you: Fear not, O Jacob, My servant, and you Jeshurun [the upright one -- "applied to Israel as a type of the Messiah], whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing upon your descendants. 4 And they shall spring up among the grass like willows or poplars by the watercourses. 5 One will say, I am the Lord's; and another will call himself by the name of Jacob; and another will write [even brand or tattoo] upon his hand, I am the Lord's, and surname himself by the [honorable] name of Israel.
6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. 7 Who is like Me? Let him [stand and] proclaim it, declare it, and set [his proofs] in order before Me, since I made and established the people of antiquity. [Who has announced from of old] the things that are coming? Then let them declare yet future things. 8 Fear not, nor be afraid [in the coming violent upheavals]; have I not told it to you from of old and declared it? And you are My witnesses! Is there a God besides Me? There is no [other] Rock; I know not any.
The Folly of Idolatry
9 All who make graven idols are confusion, chaos, and worthlessness. Their objects (idols) in which they delight do not profit them, and their own witnesses (worshipers) do not see or know, so that they are put to shame. 10 Who is [such a fool as] to fashion a god or cast a graven image that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his fellows shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen, [how can they make a god?] they are but men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand forth; they shall be terrified, they shall be put to shame together.
12 The ironsmith sharpens and uses a chisel and works it over the coals; he shapes [the core of the idol] with hammers and forges it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches out a line, he marks it out with a pencil or red ocher; he fashions [an idol] with planes and marks it out with the compasses; and he shapes it to have the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, that it may dwell in a house. 14 He hews for himself cedars, and takes the holm tree and the oak and lets them grow strong for himself among the trees of the forest; he plants a fir tree or an ash, and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man to burn; a part of it he takes and warms himself, yes, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. [Then out of the remainder, the leavings] he also makes a god and worships it! He [with his own hands] makes it into a graven image and falls down and worships it! 16 He burns part of the wood in the fire; with part of it he [cooks and] eats flesh, he roasts meat and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire! 17 And from what is left [of the log] he makes a god, his graven idol. He falls down to it, he worships it and prays to it and says, Deliver me, for you are my god!
18 They do not know or understand, for their eyes God has let become besmeared so that they cannot see, and their minds as well so that they cannot understand. 19 And no one considers in his mind, nor has he knowledge and understanding [enough] to say [to himself], I have burned part of this log in the fire, and also I have baked bread on its coals and have roasted meat and eaten it. And shall I make the remainder of it into an abomination [the very essence of what is disgusting, detestable, and shamefully vile in the eyes of a jealous God]? Shall I fall down and worship the stock of a tree [a block of wood without consciousness or life]? 20 That kind of man feeds on ashes [and finds his satisfaction in ashes]! A deluded mind has led him astray, so that he cannot release and save himself, or ask, Is not [this thing I am holding] in my right hand a lie?
God Forgives and Redeems
21 Remember these things [earnestly], O Jacob, O Israel, for you are My servant! I formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you shall not be forgotten by Me. 22 I have blotted out like a thick cloud your transgressions, and like a cloud your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, you depths of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and He glorifies Himself in Israel.
24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He Who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, Who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who spread out the earth by Myself [who was with Me]? -- " 25 [I am the Lord] Who frustrates the signs and confounds the omens [upon which the false prophets' forecasts of the future are based] of the [boasting] liars and makes fools of diviners, Who turns the wise backward and makes their knowledge foolishness, 26 [The Lord] Who confirms the word of His servant and performs the counsel of His messengers, Who says of Jerusalem, She shall [again] be inhabited, and of the cities of Judah, They shall [again] be built, and I will raise up their ruins, 27 Who says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers, 28 Who says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd (ruler), and he shall perform all My pleasure and fulfill all My purpose -- "even saying of Jerusalem, She shall [again] be built, and of the temple, Your foundation shall [again] be laid.