Eighth Century Israelitish Background Of Isaiah 40-66 Part II -- By: J. Barton Payne

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 30:1 (Nov 1967)
Article: Eighth Century Israelitish Background Of Isaiah 40-66 Part II
Author: J. Barton Payne

Eighth Century Israelitish Background Of Isaiah 40-66
Part II

J. Barton Payne

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 14-46, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1-32 respectively.}

The following notes make no attempt to be a comprehensive survey. They seek rather to single out those portions within Isaiah 40–66 that serve to illumine the background of the prophecy, stressing in particular such elements as must be referred to 8th century Judah rather than the exile or, conversely, those which must concern 6th century Babylon.

I. The Book Of Consolation (Isaiah 40-48)

The applicability of Isaiah 40 to the time of Sennacherib’s withdrawal is clear. This poem is addressed to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah (40:2, 9) and not to the exilic descendants of those who once used to inhabit them.1 Zion has been beleaguered (cf. Sennacherib’s known devastations, 36:1) but is now delivered. Isaiah 40 thus fulfills the immediately preceding assurance given to Hezekiah of “peace and truth” in his days (39:8). The basic theme of comfort (40:1) and of forgiven sins (40:2), together with the cry, “Behold, your God” (40:9). corresponds to the new ministry of Isaiah that began

with Sennacherib’s treachery in chapter 33 (cf. 33:24; 35:4, and also 25:9). The prophet’s reference to the destruction of Lebanon (40:16) closely parallels his immediately preceding message to Hezekiah (37:24); the idolatry mentioned in 40:18–20, though unspecified, is, as J. A. Alexander long ago pointed out, “more appropriate in the writings of Isaiah than in a prophet of the Babylonish exile”;2 and even the phraseology — “For the mouth of Yahweh hath spoken it” (40:5; cf.

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()