1 Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel and who come forth from the seed of Judah, you who swear allegiance by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel -- "but not in truth and sincerity, nor in righteousness (rightness and moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) -- " 2 For they call themselves [citizens] of the holy city and depend on the God of Israel -- "the Lord of hosts is His name. 3 I have declared from the beginning the former things [which happened in times past to Israel]; they went forth from My mouth and I made them known; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass [says the Lord]. 4 Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck was an iron sinew and your brow was brass, 5 Therefore I have declared things to come to you from of old; before they came to pass I announced them to you, so that you could not say, My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them. 6 You have heard [these things foretold], now you see this fulfillment. And will you not bear witness to it? I show you specified new things from this time forth, even hidden things [kept in reserve] which you have not known. 7 They are created now [called into being by the prophetic word], and not long ago; and before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, Behold, I knew them! 8 Yes, you have never heard, yes, you have never known; yes, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I, the Lord, knew that you, O house of Israel, dealt very treacherously; you were called a transgressor and a rebel [in revolt] from your birth. 9 For My name's sake I defer My anger, and for the sake of My praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. 10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried and chosen you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I do it [I refrain and do not utterly destroy you]; for why should I permit My name to be polluted and profaned [which it would be if the Lord completely destroyed His chosen people]? And I will not give My glory to another [by permitting the worshipers of idols to triumph over you].
End of Captivity Promised
12 Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called [ones]: I am He; I am the First, I also am the Last. 13 Yes, My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together [to execute My decrees]. 14 Assemble yourselves, all of you, and hear! Who among them [the gods and Chaldean astrologers] has foretold these things? The Lord has loved him [Cyrus of Persia]; he will do His pleasure and purpose on Babylon, and his arm will be against the Chaldeans. 15 I, even I, have foretold it; yes, I have called him [Cyrus]; I have brought him, and [the Lord] shall make his way prosperous. 16 Come near to me and listen to this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it happened, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent His Spirit in and with me.
17 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 in the way that you should go. 18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea. 19 Your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like the offspring of the sea; their name would not be cut off or destroyed from before Me.
20 Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing declare, tell this, cause it to go forth even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob! 21 And they thirsted not when He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock also, and the waters gushed out. 22 There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked.