Old Testament Lesson 38: Isaiah 40-49

These chapters begin a new section of Isaiah. The first 39 chapters focused on Judah and Israel before the exile in Babylon: the sin and iniquity of Judah and Israel. This section, chapters 40-56, focuses on Judah and Israel during the exile: the promise of return. And the last chapters, 57-66, will focus on Judah and Israel after the exile: life after the return. If we think of these times in Israel’s history as shadows of eternal types, what might we see as their type? Are there other ways of reading the same material, ways of seeing other shadows of the eternal types? For example, what might they mean to Nephi? to Matthew or Paul? to Joseph Smith? to you as an individual?

Overview

If you are having trouble reading Isaiah, this overview may help you see how things are connected to each other. I’ve tried to avoid interpretation in this overview, sticking merely to restatement and description as much as possible.

Chapter 40

1-2: The Lord tells the prophet to comfort his people and tell them that the exile is about to end.

3-5: A highway will be prepared on which the exiles can travel when they return to see the glory of the Lord.

6-8: Though the things of the world are transient, God’s promises are eternal.

9-11: The prophet is told to announce from the mountain tops the return of the exiles, led by the Lord

12-17: The incomparable power of the Lord.

18-20: The Lord cannot be compared to an idol of any kind.

21-26: The incomparable power of the Lord.

27-31: The prophet addresses Israel as a whole reminding them that the Lord has the power to save them and will do so.

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