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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Isaiah 40

Verses 1-31


Like the first part this second part of Isaiah has three sections. The three sections of the first part revealed the judgments to come upon the Jewish people, Jerusalem, the nations and the earth. The three sections of the second part reveal the great blessings in store for the people of Israel, Jerusalem, the nations and the earth, after the judgments are passed. These sections give the past, present, and the future history of the Jewish people.

In the first section (40-48) they are seen prophetically in Babylon, but about to be delivered and brought back to the land. Cyrus is predicted as the chosen instrument. However, this section looks also beyond the return of the remnant from Babylon. Their present dispersion and coming restoration is predicted as well.

In the second section (49-57) we find this period of their history more fully brought forward. In this section the servant of Jehovah is more fully revealed. He came to His own and they received Him not. They hid their faces from Him and esteemed Him not. In consequence of this rejection Israel is not gathered (Isaiah 49:5 ), while those who are afar Off, the Gentiles and the isles of the sea, hear of the salvation of God. It is the present age which can be traced in this section. Israel not gathered and the rejected One is given for a light to the nations. The great central figure in this section is the suffering servant of Jehovah (chapter 53).

In the third section we discover their future history. Here we see Him, who suffered, as the victorious King. A remnant is seen back in the land and the glories and blessings of the future burst forth in marvelous splendor.

1. In Babylon: Deliverance Promised Through Cyrus (40-48)


The Opening Message: Key and Introduction to this Section

1. Comfort for His people (Isaiah 40:1-2 ) 2. The voice in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3-5 ) 3. The prophet’s message (Isaiah 40:6-8 ) 4. The message to Zion (Isaiah 40:9-11 ) 5. The supremacy of Jehovah (Isaiah 40:12-26 ) 6. Comfort for Jacob and Israel (Isaiah 40:27-31 ) The first verses of this chapter are the key and introduction to the entire section. The Lord now speaks in comfort to Jerusalem and announces the pardoning of her iniquity and that in blessing she will receive double for her sins. In verses 3-11 the first and second coming of Christ are again blended together. John the Baptist was that voice crying in the wilderness John 1:23 3 ). Not in Matthew, but in Luke,Isaiah 40:3-31 is quoted with the exception of verse 5. In its place the Holy Spirit saith, “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” The glory of the Lord will be revealed with the second Advent. When that glory appears Israel is saved, in the meantime the salvation of God is offered to the Gentiles. Jehovah speaks in this chapter of Himself and the evidences that He is God. This is the peculiar feature of the entire section. All is spoken to encourage the faith of His people. Blessed lessons we find here. Verses 27-31, however, will only be fully realized in the future kingdom.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Isaiah 40". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.