B H 1,2. Comfort for Jerusalem. Iniquity gone. J 3-5. The voice. Yahaveh's work. Glorious. J 6-8. The voice. Yahaveh's word. Eternal. H 9-11. Comfort for Zion. Adonai Yahaveh come.
(This Chapter commences a new Prophecy, and follows that in 34:1 - 35:10, after the historic episode of Chapters 36-38. It will be seen that it forms an integral part of the prophet Isaiah's Book, as this member [40:1-11] forms a perfect Correspondence with Chapter 6, and cannot be wrenched from it without destroying the whole.)
1 “Comfort you all, comfort you all My People,” says your God (Elohim, see 1:11)
2 “Speak you all to the heart of Jerusalem (i.e. affectionately. Cp. Gen.34:3; 50:21. Judg. 19:3. Hos. 2:14), and proclaim to her, that her hard service (or, forced service) is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the Lord's (Yahaveh's) hand in full for all her sins.” (fig., put for that which is complete, thorough, ample. See 61:7. Gen. 43:22. Job 11:6; 41:13. Jer. 16:18; 17:18. Zech. 9:12. 1 Tim.5:17. Cp. Job 42:10. Gal. 6:7-9)
3 The voice (&c. Quoted in Matt. 3:3. Mark 1:3. Luke 3:4-6. John 1:23. 1 Pet. 1:24. Cp. the voice from the temple in Chapter 6, concerning the scattering, and this voice outside the land concerning the gathering. The voice was not Isaiah's, but heard by him in vision. John Baptist claims it; but this People would not hear; and He Whom he heralded was crucified and His kingdom was rejected [John 1:11]. The King and the kingdom are herefore alike in abeyance, and the prophecy yet awaits its further fulfillment. Cp. Heb. 2:8. Rev. 3:21,22, &c.) of him that proclaims in the wilderness (these words are ascribed to Isaiah by the Holy Spirit in Matt. 3:3, &c. Chapter 42:1-4 is so ascribed in Matt.12:17-21; Ch. 53:1 in John 12:38. Rom. 10:16; Ch. 53:7,8 in Acts 8:32,33; and 61: in Luke 4:18,19. Not to a "second Isaiah"), “Prepare you all the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim. (see 7:3)
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low (these physical marvels are supernatural, and can never be produced by the spiritual and holy living of individual Christians. This is God's doing when new earth age [not new earth] comes into being): and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of Yehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together (fig., put for ALL people): for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
6 A Voice said (this is a second "voice": the voice of Yahaveh), “Cry.” (i.e. "Shout") And he said, “What shall I shout?” “All flesh is grass (Metaphor, by which the assertion is boldly made that one thing is another [i.e. represents it]. It differs from Simile in the next clause, which asserts that one thing only resembles another. Remember to not look at the outside; it's the inside that counts), and all the grace (or, loving-kindness) thereof is as the flower of the field: (Simile)
7 The grass withers, the flower fades: because the spirit (ruach) of the Lord blows upon it: surely the people is grass. (i.e. fragile if not in God's camp)
8 The grass withers, the flower fades: but the Word of our Elohim shall stand for ever.” (cp. 46:10,11; 55:10,11. Ps. 119:89-91. Zech. 1:5. Matt. 5:18; 24:35. Mark 13:51. John 10:35; 12:34. 1 Pet. 1:25. The "flesh" body is temporal)
9 O Zion, that brings joyful tidings (or, O you that tells good tidings to Zion. Cp. 41:27. "That brings" is in the fem., personifying the "herald-band"), get you up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that brings joyful tidings, lift up your voice with power (strength to endure); lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your Elohim! (see note on the Structure of the 4 Gospels, which shows this sentence as being applicable to the Gospel by John)
10 Behold, the Lord GOD (Adonai Yahaveh, this Title is used because of His connection here with the earth) will come with a mighty strong hand (to hold fast), and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before him.
11 He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (as in the wilderness. See 63:11. Pss.77:20; 78:52,53; 80:1): He shall take up the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
A K 40:12-31. God's Controversy with the Nations. Vanity of Idols. L M 41:1 - 42:16. Messiah's Anointing and Mission. N 42:17 - 45:15. Yahaveh's Controversy with Israe. K 45:16 - 47:15. God's Controversy with the Nations. Vanity of Idols. L N 48:1-22. Yahaveh's Controversy with Israel. M 49:1 - 66:24. Messiah's Mission and Triumph.
K O¹ P¹ 12. Challenge by Yahaveh. Omnipotence. Q¹ 13,14. Question as to knowledge. R¹ 15-17. Nations insignificant. O² P² 18-20. Challenge by Yahaveh. Comparison. Q² 21. Question as to knowledge. R² 22-24. Peoples of the earth insignificant. O³ P³ 25-27. Challenge by Yahaveh. Equality. Q³ 28. Question as to knowledge. R³ 29-31. His People. Weakness revived.
(These Chapters 40:12 - 66:24 form a group corresponding with Chapter 15; and, like them, consist of exhortations and prophecies, while they are set in contrast with them, being promissory instead of reprehensory. Their subjects, as respectively repeated, will be seen in the Structure above. They look beyond the Captivity)
12 Who (in vv.12-14 are introductory: while the Fig. Erotesis emphasizes the importance of Him Who speaks) has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure (= 1/3 of an ephah = 1 peck), and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who being His counselor has made Him know? (Nobody! In fact, quite the opposite is true. He sent you this Word to counsel you how to be wise and successful in your flesh body, if you do things His way.)
14 With whom took He counsel, and who made Him understand, and taught Him in the path of judgment (see 2:3), and trained Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop on a bucket (i.e. hanging from), and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He takes up the maritime countries as a very little thing. (Christians, all too often, seem to doubt the power of God. Our Father is able to change entire nations.)
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn (i.e. for the wood-offering. Cp. Neh.10:39), nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations before Him are as nothing (see 5:8. Not the same word as in the following verse); and they are counted to him less than nothing, and a desolation. (Heb. tohu. Same as "without form" Gen.1:2. See 24:10. Cp. v.23. The cedars of Lebanon, nor the beasts found there are sufficient to offer Him. Do you know Why? He doesn't want your burnt offerings, He wants your love.)
18 To whom then will you all liken GOD (El)? or what likeness will you all compare to him?
19 The workman casts a graven image, and the goldsmith spreads it over with gold, and casts silver chains. (Some men think they are able to create some awesome things. The creations of men can't compare to the creation of our Father.)
20 He that is so impoverished that he has no oblation chooses a tree that will not rot (see 1:29); he seeks to himself a cunning workman to construct a carved image (see "the smith", &c., 44:12), that shall not be moved. (Man always tries to create his own salvation. There is only one salvation, and that is of our Father. Do things His way and you will prosper.)
21 Have you all not known? have you all not heard? has it not been told you from the beginning? have you all not understood from the foundations of the earth? (God told you about the foundations of the world in His Word. Many "Bible Thumpers" will tell you the earth is 6,000 years old in their ignorance of the Word. You who have studied His Word know that the 1st world age began millions of years ago, and God's Word documents this fact to those that have read it with understanding.)
22 It is He that sits above the circuit of the earth (or vault: i.e. as far as one can see, around or above. See Job 22:14. Prov.8:27), and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:(If Columbus was a Bible student, he certainly wasn't afraid of sailing off the end of the earth. God Word states that the world is round.)
23 That brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity.
24 Yes, they shall not be planted; yes, they shall not be sown: yes, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and He shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as straw. (If you try to whittle your own religion out of a piece of wood or make your religion out of the traditions of men, God will destroy your false religion.)
25 “To whom then will you all liken Me, or shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. (see Ex.3:5)
26 “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who has created these things, That brings out their host by number: He calls for (or, summons) them all by names by the greatness of His might (see Ps. 147:4), for that He is strong in power (for activity in working); not one is missing [when called]. (Cp. 1 Sam.30:19. 2 Sam.17:22. See 34:16. Look to the heavens on any clear night, and you can feel the awesome power of our Father in His creation.)
27 Why say you (to emphasize the conclusion drawn in v.26), “O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?’ (Don't ever be guilty of thinking that God doesn't judge fairly, when it is you that has messed up. When you mess up, get into His Word and figure out what it is you did wrong. His Word is His counsel.)
28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? and so there is no searching of His understanding.
29 He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength. (For defense. Do you ever feel faint or weak? Don't forget this last verse. If you are doing His work, God will strengthen you.)
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (If you aren't doing God's work and receiving His strength, even the young will fail.)
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall change (for the better. See Lev. 27:10) their strength (to endure); they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Fig., to call attention [by Application] to the progress of experience in grace. At first we fly [cp. Paul, 2 Cor.11:5; 12:11]; then we run [cp. Paul, Eph. 3:8]; then we walk [cp. Paul, 1 Tim. 1:15]. Absorb God's truth and you will never be frightened, worried, or scared. You will never grow weary or faint. What does this word "wait" mean? "Wait in Hebrew is "qavah" [kaw-vaw']. a prime root that can't be translated any other way than "to bind by twisting together". Bind, or entwine, yourself with God in His Word. You aren't going to gain strength by waiting. Those that bind themselves to the Lord, and His Word, shall renew their strength.)