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Isaiah 43 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord Has Rescued His People

43 Descendants of Jacob,
I, the Lord, created you
    and formed your nation.
Israel, don’t be afraid.
    I have rescued you.
I have called you by name;
    now you belong to me.
When you cross deep rivers,
I will be with you,
    and you won’t drown.
When you walk through fire,
you won’t be burned
    or scorched by the flames.

I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
    the God who saves you.
I gave up Egypt, Ethiopia,[a]
and the region of Seba[b]
    in exchange for you.
To me, you are very dear,
    and I love you.
That’s why I gave up nations
    and people to rescue you.

Don’t be afraid! I am with you.
From both east and west
    I will bring you together.
I will say to the north
    and to the south,
“Free my sons and daughters!
Let them return
    from distant lands.
They are my people—
I created each of them
    to bring honor to me.”

The Lord Alone Is God

The Lord said:

Bring my people together.
They have eyes and ears,
    but they can’t see or hear.
Tell everyone of every nation
    to gather around.
None of them can honestly say,
    “We told you so!”
If someone heard them say this,
    then tell us about it now.

10 My people, you are my witnesses
    and my chosen servant.
I want you to know me,
to trust me,
and understand
    that I alone am God.
I have always been God;
    there can be no others.

11 I alone am the Lord;
    only I can rescue you.
12 I promised to save you,
    and I kept my promise.
You are my witnesses
that no other god did this.
    I, the Lord, have spoken.
13 I am God now and forever.
No one can snatch you from me
    or stand in my way.

The Lord Will Prepare the Way

14 I, the Lord, will rescue you!
I am Israel’s holy God,
    and this is my promise:
For your sake, I will send
    an army against Babylon
to drag its people away,
    crying as they go.[c]

15 I am the Lord, your holy God,
    Israel’s Creator and King.
16 I am the one who cut a path
    through the mighty ocean.
17 I sent an army to chase you
    with chariots and horses;
now they lie dead,
    unable to move.
They are like an oil lamp
    with the flame snuffed out.

Forget the Past

The Lord said:

18 Forget what happened long ago!
    Don’t think about the past.
19 I am creating something new.
    There it is! Do you see it?
I have put roads in deserts,
    streams[d] in thirsty lands.
20 Every wild animal honors me,
    even jackals[e] and owls.
I provide water in deserts—
streams in thirsty lands
    for my chosen people.
21 I made them my own nation,
    so they would praise me.

22 I, the Lord, said to Israel:
You have become weary,
    but not from worshiping me.
23 You have not honored me
by sacrificing sheep
    or other animals.
And I have not burdened you
with demands for sacrifices
    or sweet-smelling incense.

24 You have not brought
    delicious spices for me
or given me the best part
    of your sacrificed animals.
Instead, you burden me down
    with your terrible sins.
25 But I wipe away your sins
    because of who I am.
And so, I will forget
    the wrongs you have done.

26 Meet me in court!
State your case
and prove
    that you are right.
27 Your earliest ancestor[f]
and all of your leaders[g]
    rebelled against me.
28 That’s why I don’t allow
    your priests to serve me;
I let Israel be destroyed
    and your people disgraced.

Footnotes:

  1. 43.3 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
  2. 43.3 Seba: A region in southwest Arabia. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba probably stood for all that was known of Africa in biblical times.
  3. 43.14 crying as they go: Or “in their glorious ships.”
  4. 43.19 streams: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “paths.”
  5. 43.20 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
  6. 43.27 earliest ancestor: Jacob, also known as Israel.
  7. 43.27 leaders: Probably prophets, but perhaps also priests and kings.

Isaiah 43 New International Version (NIV)

Israel’s Only Savior

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
    who have ears but are deaf.
All the nations gather together
    and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
    and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
    so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
    nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
    and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
    I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13     Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?”

God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness

14 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon
    and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,[b]
    in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
    Israel’s Creator, your King.

16 This is what the Lord says—
    he who made a way through the sea,
    a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
    the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
    the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21     the people I formed for myself
    that they may proclaim my praise.

22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
    you have not wearied yourselves for[c] me, Israel.
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
    nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
    nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
    or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
    and wearied me with your offenses.

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
    your transgressions, for my own sake,
    and remembers your sins no more.
26 Review the past for me,
    let us argue the matter together;
    state the case for your innocence.
27 Your first father sinned;
    those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
    I consigned Jacob to destruction[d]
    and Israel to scorn.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 43:3 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Isaiah 43:14 Or Chaldeans
  3. Isaiah 43:22 Or Jacob; / surely you have grown weary of
  4. Isaiah 43:28 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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