Stubborn Israel 1“Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness—
2you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and claim to rely on the God of Israel— the LORD Almighty is his name:
3I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze.
5Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
6You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? “From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.
7They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’
8You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.
9For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.
10See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
Israel Freed 12“Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.
13My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.
14“Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? The LORD ’s chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians.
15I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.
16“Come near me and listen to this: “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, endowed with his Spirit.
17This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
18If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
19Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me.”
20Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.”