Isaiah 40–44: Comfort & Compassion

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 8: Friday

Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
Isaiah 40:1

Today’s Bible reading of Isaiah 40–44, begins a new section in the book of Isaiah. While it’s beyond the scope of the purpose of these posts to go into a full background on various theories by theologians who challenge the authorship and dating of Isaiah 40–66, I do want to briefly note that the use of Isaiah by New Testament authors, and by the Lord Jesus, attest to the single authorship of Isaiah. In comparing language and style Dr. Gleason Archer writes:

“Judging from the internal evidence alone, even apart from the authority of the New Testament authors, a fair handling of the evidence can only lead to the conclusion that the same author was responsible for both sections and that no part of it was composed as late as the exile.”1

Chapter 40, begins what Dr. Archer calls the ‘volume of comfort.’2 Of the entire book of Isaiah he comments:

“Isaiah sets forth the doctrine of Christ is such full detail that he has rightly been described as the “evangelical prophet.” Deeper Christological insights are to be found in his work than anywhere else in the Old Testament.”3

Dr. Walt Kaiser concurs:

“Isaiah is one of the most prolific announcers of the Messiah and his times among the OT prophets. Probably for this reason he has sometimes been called “the fifth Evangelist,” along with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. According to some counts, the NT has over four hundred allusions to this book, and parts of forty-seven chapters of Isaiah’s sixty-six are either directly quoted or alluded to in the NT. This means that Isaiah is second on the the book of Psalms as the favorite OT book from which the early church drew its predictions of what happened to Christ.”4

As you read these chapters, you may recognize many familiar passages. Portions were selected by Charles Jennens for the libretto of Handel’s Messiah. Isaiah 42:1–4, is quoted in Matthew 12. The name of this blog, Kindling for Candles, is also derived from Isaiah 42 and Matthew 12.

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”
Isaiah 42:1–4

May God bless you and comfort you as you read this portion of His Word.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1, 2, 3 Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, revised ed., 1974,
pp. 351, 327, 326.
4Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., The Messiah in the Old Testament, pp. 155–156.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

One thought on “Isaiah 40–44: Comfort & Compassion

  1. Pingback: Isaiah 56–61 |

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