Comfort for the people (Isa 40:1-40:2)

“‘Comfort!

Comfort my people!’

Says your God.

‘Speak tenderly to Jerusalem!

Cry to her!

She has served her term.

Her penalty is paid

That she has received

From Yahweh’s hand,

Double for all her sins.’”

This section of Isaiah is often referred to as the Book of Consolation. Sometimes people refer to this section as Deutero-Isaiah or Second Isaiah because it is separated from the preceding chapters by style and setting. There is a more universal outlook, perhaps from a disciple of Isaiah, some few hundred years later. However, even some parts of the preceding chapters may have been from this time also. Apparently this time setting is near the end of the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BCE. God speaks and comforts the Israelites because they have served their punishment time. They have paid the double penalty that they received from Yahweh’s hand.

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