Bel crouches; Nebo cowers. Their idols are consigned to beasts and cattle. The [images] you carry are loaded, as a burden for the weary [animal].
The gods cower; they crouch together; they are not able to rescue the burden, but they themselves go into captivity.
"Listen to Me, house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been sustained from the womb, carried along since birth.
I will be the same until [your] old age, and I will bear [you] up when you turn gray. I have made [you], and I will carry [you]; I will bear and save [you].
"Who will you compare Me or make Me equal to? Who will you measure Me with, so that we should be like each other?
Those who pour out their bags of gold and weigh out silver on a scales-- they hire a goldsmith and he makes it into a god. Then they kneel and bow down to it.
They lift it to their shoulder and bear it along; they set it in its place, and there it stands; it does not budge from its place. They cry out to it but it doesn't answer; it saves no one from his trouble.
"Remember this and be brave; take it to heart, you transgressors!
Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; [I am] God, and no one is like Me.
I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.
I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.
Listen to me, you hardhearted, far removed from justice:
I am bringing My justice near; it is not far away, and My salvation will not delay. I will put salvation in Zion, My splendor in Israel.
"Go down and sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter Babylon. Sit on the ground without a throne, Daughter Chaldea! For you will no longer be called pampered and spoiled.
Take millstones and grind meal; remove your veil, strip off [your] skirt, bare your thigh, wade through the streams.
Your nakedness will be uncovered, and your shame will be exposed. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one.
The Holy One of Israel is our Redeemer; the LORD of Hosts is His name.
"Daughter Chaldea, sit in silence and go into darkness. For you will no longer be called mistress of kingdoms.
I was angry with My people; I profaned My possession, and I placed them under your control. You showed them no mercy; you made your yoke very heavy on the elderly.
You said: I will be the mistress forever. You did not take these things to heart or think about their outcome.
"So now hear this, lover of luxury, who sits securely, who says to herself: I, and no one else, will never be a widow or know the loss of children.
These two things will happen to you suddenly, in one day: loss of children and widowhood. They will happen to you in their entirety, in spite of your many sorceries and the potency of your spells.
You were secure in your wickedness; you said: No one sees me. Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray. You said to yourself: I, and no one else.
But disaster will happen to you; you will not know how to avert it. And it will fall on you, but you will be unable to ward it off. Devastation will happen to you suddenly and unexpectedly.
So take your stand with your spells and your many sorceries, which you have wearied yourself with from your youth. Perhaps you will be able to succeed; perhaps you will inspire terror!
You are worn out with your many consultations. So let them stand and save you-- the astrologers, who observe the stars, who predict monthly what will happen to you.
Look, they are like stubble; fire burns them up. They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. This is not a coal for warming themselves, or a fire to sit beside!
This is what they are to you-- those who have wearied you and have traded with you from your youth-- each wanders on his own way; no one can save you.
"Listen to this, house of Jacob-- those who are called by the name Israel and have descended from Judah, who swear by the name of the LORD and declare the God of Israel, [but] not in truth or righteousness.
For they are named after the Holy City, and lean on the God of Israel; His name is Yahweh of Hosts.
I declared the past events long ago; they came out of My mouth; I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they occurred.
Because I know that you are stubborn, and your neck is iron and your forehead bronze,
therefore I declared to you long ago; I announced it to you before it occurred, so you could not claim: My idol caused them; my carved image and cast idol control them.
You have heard it. Observe it all. Will you not acknowledge it? From now on I will announce new things to you, hidden things that you have not known.
They have been created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today, so you could not claim, "I already knew them!"
You have never heard; you have never known; For a long time your ears have not been open. For I knew that you were very treacherous, and were known as a rebel from birth.
I will delay My anger for the honor of My name, and I will restrain Myself for your benefit and [for] My praise, so that you will not be destroyed.
Look, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
I will act for My own sake, indeed, My own, for how can I be defiled? I will not give My glory to another.
"Listen to Me, Jacob, and Israel, the one called by Me: I am He; I am the first, I am also the last.
My own hand founded the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I summoned them, they stood up together.
All of you, assemble and listen! Who among the idols has declared these things? The LORD loves him; he will accomplish His will against Babylon, and His arm [will be against] the Chaldeans.
I-- I have spoken; yes, I have called him; I have brought him, and he will succeed in his mission.
Approach Me and listen to this. From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time anything existed, I was there." And now the Lord God has sent me and His Spirit.
This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you for [your] benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to My commands. Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been as [countless] as the sand, and the offspring of your body like its grains; their name would not be cut off or eliminated from My presence.
Leave Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with a shout of joy, proclaim this, let it go out to the end of the earth; announce, "The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob!"
They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts; He made water flow for them from the rock; He split the rock, and water gushed out.
"There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked."