The Bible – Old Testament
1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols are upon beasts and cattle; They must be borne up on shoulders, carried as burdens by the weary.
They stoop and bow down together; unable to save those who bear them, they too go into captivity.
Hear me, O house of Jacob, all who remain of the house of Israel, My burden since your birth, whom I have carried from your infancy.
Even to your old age I am the same, even when your hair is gray I will bear you; It is I who have done this, I who will continue, and I who will carry you to safety.
Whom would you compare me with, as an equal, or match me against, as though we were alike?
There are those who pour out gold from a purse and weigh out silver on the scales; Then they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god before which they fall down in worship.
They lift it to their shoulders to carry; when they set it in place again, it stays, and does not move from the spot. Although they cry out to it, it cannot answer; it delivers no one from distress.
Remember this and be firm, bear it well in mind, you rebels; remember the former things, those long ago:
I am God, there is no other; I am God, there is none like me.
At the beginning I foretell the outcome; in advance, things not yet done. I say that my plan shall stand, I accomplish my every purpose.
2 I call from the east a bird of prey, from a distant land, one to carry out my plan. Yes, I have spoken, I will accomplish it; I have planned it, and I will do it.
Listen to me, you fainthearted, you who seem far from the victory of justice:
I am bringing on my justice, it is not far off, my salvation shall not tarry; I will put salvation within Zion, and give to Israel my glory.
1  Bel . . . Nebo: gods of Babylon; their complete helplessness is here contrasted with God’s omnipotence.
2  From the east a bird of prey: Cyrus; cf ⇒ Isaiah 41:2-4.