December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 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.
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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.
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