"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.
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Isaiah of the Exile
Isaiah 40:1-11 Commentary
by Mark Throntveit
When interpreting the prophets it is always important to understand the historical context in which the prophetic message was uttered, lest that particular word of the LORD, delivered to a particular people, in a particular situation becomes a mere “timeless truth.”
Isaiah, the son of Amoz, who prophesied from 742 until 701 BCE, addressed the events of the latter half of the eighth century, especially the invasions of Judah by the coalition of Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and soon thereafter by Assyria, itself. Isaiah’s consistent message was to stand fast, eschewing military strength in favor of firm trust in the LORD. As a result, Jerusalem was delivered. Nevertheless, dire announcements of Jerusalem’s eventual judgment for its sin run throughout these chapters (Isaiah 1-39).
The latter half of the book (Isaiah 40-66), however, describes a radically different situation:
Clearly, this new message addresses the new situation that now obtained. The simplest explanation ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 384: Isaiah of the Exile
December 08, 2019
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Dec. 8, 2019, (Isaiah of the Exile) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.