Scholars have traditionally isolated three distinct sections of what is known as the book of Isaiah, and in Isaiah 40–55, distinguished biblical scholar Joseph Blenkinsopp provides a new translation and critical commentary on the section usually referred to as Second or Deutero Isaiah. The second volume in a three-volume commentary, it easily maintains the high standards of academic excellence established by Isaiah 1–39.
Second Isaiah was written in the sixth century BC, in the years just before the fall of the mighty Babylonian Empire, by an anonymous prophet whom history has erroneously identified with the real Isaiah (born ca. 765 BC). Scholars know Second Isaiah was written by someone other than Isaiah because the contexts of these prophecies are so very different. When Second Isaiah was written, the prophet believed that Israel’s time of suffering was drawing to a close. There was, he insisted, a new age upon them, a time of hope, peace, and renewed national prosperity. The main thrust of the prophet’s argument was intended to rally the spirits of a people devastated by war and conquest. One of the most famous examples of this optimistic tone is the well-known and beloved “Song of the Suffering Servant,” which is found in chapters 52–53, and about which Blenkinsopp has some challenging new ideas.
The final chapters of Second Isaiah, however, are in an entirely different key as it becomes clear that the new world the prophet foresaw earlier was not going to come to pass. This despair finds its most poignant expression in the final section of the book of Isaiah, addressed in the third volume, also included in this collection.
Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use this volume effectively and efficiently. With your digital library, you can search for verses, find Scripture references and citations instantly, and perform word studies. Along with your English translations, all Scripture passages are linked to Greek and Hebrew texts. What’s more, hovering over a Scripture reference will instantly display your verse! The advanced tools in your digital library free you to dig deeper into one of the most important contributions to biblical scholarship in the past century!
Joseph Blenkinsopp is currently John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 1970. He served as rector of the Ecumenical Institute, Tantur, Israel, in 1978, took part in excavations at Tel Dan, and coordinated the excavation at the Greek Orthodox site of Capernaum throughout the 1980s. He was born in Durham, England, educated at the universities of London and Oxford.