Isaiah 40

Review: Israel’s travails are ending (vv. 1,2)…An unknown voice announces superhuman work is to be done for YHWH’s entrance (vv. 3-5)…God’s Word proceeds His coming (vv. 6-8)…Upon arrival, He is presented as a caring shepherd (vv. 9-11)…What follows amounts to God’s defense of Himself (vv. 12-26) to a questioning Israel (v. 27)…Isaiah invites Israel to think on what God has displayed by way of creation and His mercy (vv. 28-34), reminding them that He does not tire of laboring on their behalf.

Analysis: This section of Isaiah, which runs from 40:1 to 56:8 reads as if Israel is captive and awaiting deliverance…Because of this, it has been alleged that another author, possibly with the same name?, wrote it as it’s literary style and theological viewpoints differ from what precedes it…Regarding hard evidence to support this view, these are really only two pieces 1.) Cyrus, the Persian leader of Israel’s conqueror’s Babylon, is mentioned (45:1) a century before his time & 2.) Israel’s captivity is assumed rather than predicted…The first is easily answered if one believes in predictive prophecy…As to the second, the northern tribes of Israel were captured by Babylon during Isaiah’s lifetime…  Judah’s continued sin and reckless living made it clear to Isaiah that is was simply a matter of time before they met the same Babylonian fate…Given these circumstances, it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine the Spirit of God urging Isaiah to write something to encourage the faith of the godly during their upcoming dark days of captivity in Babylon…The passage (vv. 3-5) is echoed by John the Baptist (Matt. 3:1-3)…Also in the NT, “…you who bring good tidings,” (v. 9) is spoken of in conjunction with the spreading of the Gospel (e.g. Luke 1:19, 8:1, Acts 8:4, 10:36, Rom. 1:15, 1 Cor. 15:2, etc.), evangelism that is…On To Christmas!