The Bible – Old Testament
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.
When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you.
1 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in return for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious, and because I love you, I give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring back your descendants, from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Hold not back! Bring back my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth:
Everyone who is named as mine, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
Lead out the people who are blind though they have eyes, who are deaf though they have ears.
2 Let all the nations gather together, let the peoples assemble! Who among them could have revealed this, or foretold to us the earlier things? Let them produce witnesses to prove themselves right, that one may hear and say, “It is true!”
You are my witnesses, says the LORD, my servants whom I have chosen To know and believe in me and understand that it is I. Before me no god was formed, and after me there shall be none.
It is I, I the LORD; there is no savior but me.
It is I who foretold, I who saved; I made it known, not any strange god among you; You are my witnesses, says the LORD. I am God,
yes, from eternity I am He; There is none who can deliver from my hand: who can countermand what I do?
3 Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sakes I send to Babylon; I will lower all the bars, and the Chaldeans shall cry out in lamentation.
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
Thus says the LORD, who opens a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters,
Who leads out chariots and horsemen, a powerful army, Till they lie prostrate together, never to rise, snuffed out and quenched like a wick.
4 Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not;
See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers.
Wild beasts honor me, jackals and ostriches, For I put water in the desert and rivers in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink,
The people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise.
5 Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob, for you grew weary of me, O Israel.
You did not bring me sheep for your holocausts, nor honor me with your sacrifices. I did not exact from you the service of offerings, nor weary you for frankincense.
6 You did not buy me sweet cane for money, nor fill me with the fat of your sacrifices; Instead, you burdened me with your sins, and wearied me with your crimes.
It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.
Would you have me remember, have us come to trial? Speak up, prove your innocence!
7 Your first father sinned; your spokesmen rebelled against me
Till I repudiated the holy gates, put Jacob under the ban, and exposed Israel to scorn.
1 [3-4] Egypt . . . Ethiopia and Seba: countries which God permitted the Persians to conquer in return for having given Israel its freedom.
3 [14-17] The destruction of Babylon.
4  No need to think solely of the past wonders of the exodus from Egypt; equally great is the exodus from Babylon.
5 [22-28] The reason for the liberation of the Israelites is not their fidelity but rather God’s mercy.
7  First father: Adam or Jacob, or collectively “early ancestors.” Spokesmen: leaders, priests, prophets.