This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened,
never to shut again.
2 This is what the Lord says:
“I will go before you, Cyrus,
and level the mountains. 1
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness -
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord ,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 “And why have I called you for this work?
Why did I call you by name when you did not know me?
It is for the sake of Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
5 I am the Lord ;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God.
I am the Lord , and there is no other.
7 I create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times.
I, the Lord , am the one who does these things.
“Open up, O heavens,
and pour out your righteousness.
Let the earth open wide
so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.
I, the Lord , created them.
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
This is what the Lord says -
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.
13 I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose,
and I will guide his actions.
He will restore my city and free my captive people -
without seeking a reward!
I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”