"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to us on YouTube
Subscribe to us on iTunes
Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Receive our Email Newsletter
Visit us at Luther Seminary
Register by Feb. 16 to receive a discount for the 2020 Festival of Homiletics, May 18-22, in Atlanta.
Isaiah of the Exile
Isaiah 40:1-11 Commentary
by Michael J. Chan
Isaiah 40:1-11 is one of the most important texts in all of Isaiah.
The narrative immediately preceding it (Isaiah 39:1-8) features King Hezekiah, who hosts an envoy from the faraway country of Babylon. This narrative, which functions as the conclusion to “First Isaiah” (Isaiah 1-39) points forward to what is arguably the book’s most formative historical moment: The Babylonian exile. Splitting the book into two major sections -- roughly pre-and post-exile -- the destruction of Jerusalem is never described as it is in, say, 2 Kings 24-25. The exile is anticipated in Chapter 39 and then only assumed in Isaiah 40. It’s as if the editors didn’t need to -- or perhaps couldn’t bear to -- talk about “that” time, when God handed over God’s beloved Daughter Zion into the hands of a vicious foreign army. Whatever the reasons are for the lack of a description, the reader necessarily fills in the literary gap with her own memory.
Isaiah 40:1-11 can be described in one word: “Comfort” (root: n-ch-m). ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL199: Isaiah of the Exile
December 06, 2015
This podcast discusses Isaiah 40:1-11, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Dec. 6, 2015.