Isaiah 40-66: Translation and Commentary

Isaiah 40-66: Translation and Commentary

Isaiah 40-66: Translation and Commentary

Isaiah 40-66: Translation and Commentary

Synopsis

This Eerdmans Critical Commentary volume is Shalom Paul's comprehensive, all-inclusive study of the oracles of an anonymous prophet known only as Second Isaiah who prophesied in the second half of the sixth century B.C.E. Paul examines Isaiah 40-66 through a close reading of the biblical text, offering thorough exegesis of the historical, linguistic, literary, and theological aspects of the prophet's writings. He also looks carefully at intertextual influences of earlier biblical and extrabiblical books, draws on the contributions of medieval Jewish commentators, and supports the contention that Second Isaiah should include chapters 55-66, thus eliminating the need to demarcate a Third Isaiah.

Excerpt

For a score or more years, I have been enchanted by the prophecies in Isaiah 40–66, in which the anonymous prophet comforted and encouraged his people during the last years of the Babylonian exile and the early years of their return to Zion.

In this commentary I have not attempted to review all the possible interpretations of modern exegetes or the plethora of secondary literature. Medieval commentators, who are often overlooked or rarely referred to, are cited when their remarks are significant to the understanding of a verse. the reader is also referred to the comprehensive bibliography at the end of the volume that covers all aspects of this prophetic work. What is unique about this commentary is the exegesis of the Hebrew text with its emphasis on the philological, poetic, literary, linguistic, grammatical, historical, archaeological, ideational, and theological aspects of the prophecies, in which every word, phrase, clause, and verse is examined and explicated, and, in addition, aided by both inner-biblical allusions, influences, and parallels, and extrabiblical sources, primarily from Akkadian and Ugaritic literature. the Septuagint, as well as the Isaiah scrolls from Qumran — especially the complete Isaiah scroll, IQIsa — are of paramount significance and are adduced when they shed light on the verses or deviate from the Masoretic text.

It is my pleasant duty to thank Dr. Tzemah Yoreh, who worked assiduously and skillfully to translate the preliminary manuscript, prior to my updating, revising, and expanding the present work, and to Ḥani Davis for her unstinting devotion, professional advice, and acumen in preparing the final version of the manuscript. I happily convey my gratitude to Allen C. Myers, senior editor of Eerdmans Publishing Company, who patiently and understandingly waited several years for my manuscript to reach his hands. the invitation to write the commentary was initiated by my very dear friend and colleague . . .

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