1: Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast. 2: They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity. 3: Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: 4: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. 5: To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? 6: They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. 7: They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. 8: Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. 9: Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10: Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. 12: Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: 13: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.
1: Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. 2: Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. 3: Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. 4: As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 5: Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms. 6: I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. 7: And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. 8: Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: 9: But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. 10: For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. 11: Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12: Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. 13: Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. 14: Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. 15: Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.
1: Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. 2: For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. 3: I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. 4: Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; 5: I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. 6: Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. 7: They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. 8: Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. 9: For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. 10: Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 11: For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. 12: Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. 13: Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. 14: All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. 15: I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. 16: Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. 17: Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18: O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19: Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. 20: Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob. 21: And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out. 22: There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
Today we are reading Isaiah 46, 47 & 48. In Ch 46 Isaiah brings a message from the Lord declaring his views on the Babylonian gods Bel and Nebo. (The word Bel is an abbreviation of the word Baal, which means Lord. The corresponding Zeus and Jupiter of the Greeks and Romans mythology. Nebo answers to the Egyptian god Anubis The Greek Hermes and the Roman Mercurius. Companion Bible) Being so superstitious they laden idols on their beasts thinking that the extra burden would be elevated by extra blessings. However the only thing that really happened is that the beasts were burdened to no profit. The LORD declares that these gods would be brought down. This happened in that they are hardly worshipped if at all today. The LORD says regarding this subject to Israel You don’t carry me, I carry you from the womb to the grave. They make idols and carry them around. They worship it and pray to it but the idol cannot answer nor save him in the day of trouble. Remember this and grow up, be mature. I am God and there is no other God. I know the end even at the beginning and even in ancient times I knew the future that has not yet happened. What I decide will stand and I will do my own will. I have spoken, I will also do it. I have decided and I will do it. Listen to me you that are thinking men who are far from righteous. I will bring righteousness near to you and I will bring salvation and will not delay and I will put my salvation in Zion for Israel my glory. In ch 47 The Lord says to Babylon come down and sit in the dust – humble yourselves. The Lord says to Babylon get ready to leave the city because I am coming in judgment. I was cross with my people and gave then over to you but you were cruel to them. You will loose your husbands and children in a day because of your drug induced religion. You say no-one sees what we do but your wisdom and knowledge has perverted your soul. You have said of yourself ‘I am and there is none beside us’. Evil will come on you which you have never known. You are weary of your own cleverness. Let your astrologers and stargazers and those who try to foretell the future by observing the monthly moon cycles – Let them stand up and save you from destruction. They will all be burnt up like stubble after harvest. In Isaiah 48 God outlines his controversy with Israel saying, Hear me O house of Jacob. You talk of God but you do not speak correctly of the truth or righteousness. You say you belong to Jerusalem and that you are trusting in the Lord God of Israel. I knew what you were like – stubborn and unyielding. And the Lord goes on explain all of his dealings with Israel. He says I have been very patient with you and I have applied the heat to purify you. So Listen to me Israel, I will deal with Babylon. Listen to me O Israel. I am the LORD your God who wants to teach you things that will be to your benefit. Keep my commandments and then you will have peace like a river and your righteousness will be like the waves of the sea. Your children will be as numerous as the sand and the gravel on the shore. But as for Babylon there will be no peace for the wicked.
- What does God think about the gods of Babylon?
- How does the Lord contrast himself the Bel?
- How does the Lord critisise Israel?