Babylon’s Idols and the True God
1Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over;
Their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle.
Your burdens [of idols] are loaded [on them],
Burdens on the weary animals.
They stooped over, they have bowed down together;
They could not rescue the burden [of their own idols],
But have themselves gone into captivity.
“Listen to Me,” [says the Lord], “O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been carried by Me from your birth
And have been carried [in My arms] from the womb,
Even to your old age I am He,
And even to your advanced old age I will carry you!
I have made you, and I will carry you;
Be assured I will carry you and I will save you.
“To whom would you liken Me
And make Me equal and compare Me,
That we may be alike?
“Those who lavish gold from the bag
And weigh out silver on the scales
Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
They bow down, indeed they worship it.
“They lift it on their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle] and carry it;
They set it in its place and there it remains standing.
It cannot move from its place.
Even if one cries to it [for help], the idol cannot answer;
It cannot save him from his distress.
“Remember this, and take courage;
Take it to heart, you rebellious and disloyal people.
“Remember [carefully] the former things [which I did] from ages past;
For I am God, and there is no one else;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end and the result from the beginning,
And from ancient times the things which have not [yet] been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will do all that pleases Me and fulfills My purpose,’
Calling a bird of prey from the east,
From a far country, the man (Cyrus) of My purpose.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, be assured I will do it.
“Listen to Me, you stiff-necked people,
You who are far from righteousness (right standing with God).
“I bring near My righteousness [in the salvation of Israel], it is not far away;
And My salvation will not delay.
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel.