Israel’s only Savior
1 But now, you people of Israel, listen to Yahweh, the one who established your nation.
The one who caused you to become a nation [DOU] says this:
“Do not be afraid,
because I previously rescued you.
I enabled you to have a personal relationship with me [MTY], and you belong to me.
2 When you experience dangerous situations,
and you feel like [MET] you are crossing deep rivers,
I will be with you.
When you have very big troubles/difficulties,
you will [LIT] be able to endure them.
When people try to kill you like they tried to kill Daniel’s three friends by throwing them in a fire,
you will not die, just like Daniel’s three friends were not burned up,
3 because I am Yahweh, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, the one who rescues you.
I will enable the army of the emperor of Persia to conquer Egypt instead of conquering you;
similarly I will enable them to conquer Ethiopia, and Seba in Arabia, in order that you can be saved.
4 I will cause other countries to be conquered, instead of your country;
I will trade them for you,
in order that you will not be killed,
because you are very precious [DOU] to me
and because I love you.
5 Do not be afraid, because I am with you.
Some day I will gather your descendants from the east and from the west.
6 I will command the rulers of the nations to the north and to the south,
‘Allow all the people of Israel to return to their country,
from the most distant places on the earth.
7 Allow all those who belong to me [MTY] to return,
because I have caused them to become a nation in order that they would honor me;
I am the one who has done that [DOU].’
8 Summon the people who have eyes but it is as though they are blind;
summon those who have ears but because they do not listen to me, it is as though they are deaf.
9 Gather people of all nations together,
ones from all people-groups,
and ask them this: ‘Has any of their idols foretold the things that are happening now?
And can any of them predict what will happen in the future?’
Then bring people who will testify and say ‘I heard them predict things,
and what they predicted was what happened,’
but they will be lying.”
10 But Yahweh says, “You people of Israel ◄are my witnesses/know what I have done►,
and you are the ones who serve me.
I chose you in order that you would know me, believe in me,
and understand that I am the only one who is truly God.
There is no other true God.
There was no other true God previously,
and there will never be another true God.
11 I, only I, am Yahweh,
and there is no other one who can save you.
12 I said that I would rescue your ancestors,
and then I rescued them, and I proclaimed that I had done it.
No foreign god among you did that!
And you are witnesses that only I, Yahweh, am God.
13 I am God, the one who has existed forever and who will exist forever;
no one can snatch people from my hand,
and no one can alter/change what I have done.”
God promises to rescue his people from Babylon
14 Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, is the one who rescues you; and this is what he says:
“For your sake, I will send an army to attack Babylon.
They will force the people of that city to flee in ships which they have been proud of.
15 I am Yahweh, your Holy One,
the one who caused Israel to become a nation, and the one who is really your king.
16 I am Yahweh, the one who opened a path through the water,
making a road through the Red Sea.
17 Then I summoned the great army of Egypt
to come with all their chariots and horses.
But when they tried to pursue my people,
I caused the waves to flow over them and they drowned;
their lives ended like the light of a candle ends when someone [MET] snuffs out the wick.
18 But do not think only about what happened in the past, long ago [DOU].
19 Instead, consider the new thing that I am going to do.
I have already started to do it;
can you see it?
I am going to make a road through the desert.
And I will cause there to be streams in the wasteland/desert.
20 The jackals/wolves and owls and other wild creatures will thank me
for giving them water in the desert.
I will cause streams to appear in the dry desert
in order that my people, the ones whom I have chosen, will have water;
21 I will do that for the people whom I have created and chosen to belong to me,
and some day they will cause many others to praise me.
God’s grievances concerning Israel
22 But now, you descendants of Jacob, you refuse to request my help.
It seems that you people of Israel have become tired of worshiping me.
23 You have not brought to me sheep or goats for offerings that will be completely burned on the altar;
you have not honored me by bringing to me any sacrifices,
even though the offerings of grain and incense that I asked you to bring to me were not a burden to you.
24 You have bought for me fragrant reeds,
and you have brought me the fat from your sacrifices.
But these have not pleased me,
because you have burdened me by all the sins that you have committed,
and made me weary because of all ◄your iniquities/the wrong things that you have done►.
25 I am the one who is able to forgive you for all your sins;
I am the only one who can do that,
with the result that I will never think about them again.
26 Tell me what I have done that you do not like.
Do you think that when you state your case, you will prove that you ◄are innocent/have done nothing wrong► [IRO]?
27 No, what has happened is that the first ancestor of you Israelis sinned against me,
and since then, all your leaders have rebelled against me.
28 That is why I have caused your priests to be disgraced;
and I have allowed others to destroy you people of Israel
and caused you to be despised.”