Isaiah 46 – “God Praises Himself”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God announces the defeat of the Babylonian gods, praises himself, and guarantees glory for Zion.

II. Photo
God boasts: “I summoned that swooping bird from the East; From a distant land, the man for My purpose. I have spoken, so I will bring it to pass; I have designed it, so I will complete it.” (v. 11)

III. Important Verses
1-2: Bel is bowed, Nebo is cowering, Their images are a burden for beasts and cattle; The things you would carry [in procession] Are now piled as a burden On tired [beasts]. They cowered, they bowed as well, They could not rescue the burden, And they themselves went into captivity.
5-7: To whom can you compare Me Or declare Me similar? To whom can you liken Me, So that we seem comparable? Those who squander gold from the purse And weigh out silver on the balance, They hire a metal worker to make it into a god, To which they bow down and prostrate themselves. They must carry it on their backs and transport it; When they put it down, it stands, It does not budge from its place. If they cry out to it, it does not answer; It cannot save them from their distress.
12-13: Listen to Me, you stubborn of heart, Who are far from victory: I am bringing My victory close; It shall not be far, And My triumph shall not be delayed. I will grant triumph in Zion To Israel, in whom I glory.

IV. Outline
1-2. Babylon’s gods are defeated
3-4. God is unchanging
5. God cannot be compared to another
6-7. God mocks the making of idols
8-11. God declares his greatness
12-13. God guarantees glory for Zion

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from