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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Isaiah

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

Chs 40–55 : Book of the Consolation of Israel (“Second Isaiah”).

Chs 40–48:

This first section is centered on the providential role of Cyrus II (559–530 BCE), founder of the Persian Empire, and the expectation of return from exile in Babylonia.

55.1–5 : An appeal to the prophet's audience to participate in the restoration.

The metaphor for this new era is life's essential bread and water, and enhancing wine and milk. Compare the invitation to participate in Wisdom's banquet (Prov 9.5 ).

3–5 :

God's promises to David (2 Sam 7.11–17 ) are now “democratized” and extended to the people as a whole (cf. 54.9–10 ).

55.6–11 : A call to repentance

, to seek and call upon God—a common prophetic theme (e.g., Am 5.6; Jer 29.12 ), frequent in the last section of Isaiah ( 58.2,9; 65.1,10,12,24; 66.4 ). The height of the heavens as an image of the contrast between the divine and the human also occurs in Ps 57.10; 103.11 . The theme of the effectiveness of God's word echoes the opening passage of Second Isaiah ( 40.8 ) and may indicate the end of a major unit in the work.

55.12–13 : Nature will rejoice at the return of the dispersed Israelites,

and the land will enjoy unparal‐leled fertility (cf. 41.17–20; 44.1–4; 51.3 ). This passage recapitulates the theme of glorious return in 40.3–5 and 48.20–22 , the beginning and end of Isaiah 40–48 . It therefore indicates a point of closure at a stage in the formation of the book.

13 :

Memorial, lit. “name,” cf. 56.5 .

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