Isaiah 46:10 states (emphasis added):

(Is 46:10 NABRE)
At the beginning I declare the outcome;
from of old, things not yet done.
I say that my plan shall stand,
I accomplish my every desire.

I'm wondering whether "desire" is the best translation. It seems to conflict with Catholic soteriology; if I understand correctly, the Church teaches that God desires that all people are saved, yet intends that only some people are saved. My understanding is that Calvinists gleefully use Isaiah 46:10 to argue this very point.

Other translations phrase it differently.

  • The RSVCE has "I will accomplish all my purpose"
  • The Douay-Rheims has "all my will shall be done"
  • The NASB has "I will accomplish all My good pleasure"
  • The HCSB has "I will do all My will"

What are the arguments in favor of various translations?

  • 2
    See also Isa 55:11; Jon 1:14; Ps 115:3, 135:6; Eccl 8:3 -- those last four have nearly identical wording. – Susan Dec 16 '15 at 21:43
  • Isaiah 48 doesn't have exactly the same wording, but it says something very similar. And perhaps it's tied to 46:10 in some way? Might help – Joshua Dec 17 '15 at 1:16
  • Cf. Ezek 18:23 "Is there any delight [הֶחָפֹץ] in the death of the wicked that I would delight in it [אֶחְפֹּץ]?" – Sola Gratia Jul 1 '18 at 22:47
  • "I do anything I jolly well please". – Ruminator Nov 30 '18 at 0:02
  • Where does a 1000 pound gorilla sleep? Anywhere he wants! – Ruminator Nov 30 '18 at 0:12

The answer is in the preceding chapter; Isaiah 45:22-23:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

God’s “plan” is that every person shall bow and confess that He alone is God. He even swears on Himself that He will accomplish this.


Calvanist's are wrong:-

2 Pet. 3:9 KJV "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Which is what he wants as in Isa 46:10 via Jesus thus "desire" would seem to fit well.

In Isaiah 46:10, what exactly will God accomplish? This:-

Isaiah 11:6-9

"The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, And with the young goat the leopard will lie down, And the calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together; And a little boy will lead them.  7 The cow and the bear will feed together, And their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull.  8 The nursing child will play over the lair of a cobra, And a weaned child will put his hand over the den of a poisonous snake.  9 They will not cause any harm Or any ruin in all my holy mountain, Because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah As the waters cover the sea."


He will prove himself to be the greatest ever by his works, destroying the tyrant, making him the lowest and humbled, and raising the meek and poor to knowledge and abundance.

God is not absent! He is, was, and will be! These thing are all happening now! There's no need to wait for a day of disaster whilst he's only one prayer away from granting salvation.

This life has balance of light and dark. Only his heaven is absent of wickedness. We're waiting for the world to be perfect, but forgetting we reap what we sow. Tell him you know nothing and he'll teach you of all things. His will is to pursue his covenant with us, establishing love and destroying the wicked -- one nation under god. :)

May the peace and mercy of our most high creator be with us.

  • 1
    Welcome to BH.SE! Please take the tour to get a feel for how the site functions. I have formatted your answer with paragraphs to show the points you have made. – enegue Aug 4 '17 at 1:10
  • 1
    Please answer the question rather than providing a homily. Thanks. Also, please note that this question will probably require some knowledge of Hebrew so unless you have some Hebrew skills that would allow you to critique the translations provided by those who do you might want to pass on this question. – Ruminator Dec 2 '17 at 3:10

וְ/כָל חֶפְצִ֖/י אֶעֱשֶֽׂה = "Whatever is my pleasure, I will do!"

חֵפֶץ (Strong's H2656 - chephets) is principally about "delight/pleasure". The reason for the other choices of word is most likely related to the translator(s) reluctance to depict the LORD as a 500 pound gorilla.

What pleases/delights the LORD is not a mystery, but infuses the entire narrative of the Bible. For example, just one chapter of one book reveals this (Isaiah 1):

The LORD is pleased by those who:
- cease to do evil,
- learn to do well,
- seek judgment,
- relieve the oppressed,
- judge the fatherless,
- plead for the widow,
- are willing and obedient,
- pursue judgment and righteousness

Those who are pleased by what pleases the LORD wait patiently for the 500 pound gorilla, because ceasing to do evil and learning to do well makes them a target for those who have it the other way around.

So, in regard to what the LORD wants to do:

  • Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
    -- Isaiah 3:11 (KJV)
  • Blessing unto the righteous! it shall be well with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
    -- Psalm 84:11 (Paraphrase)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.