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Israel's Only Savior

1But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
5Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
6I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

8Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
9All the nations gather together,
and the peoples assemble.
Who among them can declare this,
and show us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
and let them hear and say, It is true.
10“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
12I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God.
13Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back?”

14Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and bring them all down as fugitives,
even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
15I am the Lord, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King.”

16Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
17who brings forth chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
20The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.

22“Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
or honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
or wearied you with frankincense.
24You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins;
you have wearied me with your iniquities.

25“I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
26Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
27Your first father sinned,
and your mediators transgressed against me.
28Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,
and deliver Jacob to utter destruction
and Israel to reviling.

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26. Bring to my remembrance. Because the pride of men cannot be easily corrected, the Lord pursues this argument, and dwells much upon it, in order to lead the Jews to throw away all confidence in their works, and to make them more humble, he gives them liberty to say and argue whatever they please, in order to support their cause, if they do not acknowledge that they are vanquished. By a sort of admission in their favor, he bids them call to his remembrance; as if he had said, “If thou thinkest me to be forgetful, tell it thyself; remind me, if thou canst allege anything good; speak in thy turn, I shall be silent.” By this form of expression he taunts men more than if he had stated in the usual way how the matter stood. He shews that it is exceedingly foolish in men to claim anything for themselves; for, though he gives them liberty of boasting, they will be found utterly unable to plead, and will have nothing to say in defense of their cause.

That thou mayest be justified, that is, “In order that thou mayest gain thy cause, and carry off the victory, I allow thee to say whatever thou pleasest.” This is vehement mockery, which shuts the mouths of men more completely than if he pronounced the sentence in his own person and with the authority of a judge. Yet we must also observe the design of the Prophet; for he found it necessary to strip the Jews of the mask of personal worth, that they might humbly and meekly receive the grace of God.