In this passage from the Book of Isaiah, the Lord tells the people of Israel that His prophecies, announced in the past and already fulfilled, were to keep Israel from falling into the worship of idols. Now, the Lord will announce new prophecies—those concerning Christ—and the fact that they have not been heard before will be evidence of the power of God, once they are fulfilled.
Hear ye these things, O house of Jacob, you that are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Juda, you who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in justice. For they are called of the holy city, and are established upon the God of Israel: the Lord of hosts is his name.
The former things of old I have declared, and they went forth out of my mouth, and I have made them to be heard: I did them suddenly and they came to pass. For I knew that thou art stubborn, and thy neck is as an iron sinew, and thy forehead as brass. I foretold thee of old, before they came to pass I told thee, lest thou shouldst say: My idols have done these things, and my graven and molten things have commanded them. See now all the things which thou hast heard: but have you declared them?
I have shewn thee new things from that time, and things are kept which thou knowest not: They are created now, and not of old: and before the day, when thou heardest them not, lest thou shouldst say: Behold I knew them. Thou hast neither heard, nor known, neither was thy ear opened of old. For I know that transgressing thou wilt transgress, and I have called thee a transgressor from the womb.
For my name's sake I will remove my wrath far off: and for my praise I will bridle thee, lest thou shouldst perish. Behold I have refined thee, but not as silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of poverty. For my own sake, for my own sake will I do it, that I may not be blasphemed: and I will not give my glory to another.
- Source: Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition of the Bible (in the public domain)