The LORD God speaks tenderly and says their time of trial is almost over. Isaiah reveals fresh aspects of the majesty of God.
comfort my people. The biblical idea is to give comfort to people. However, many Christians believe the essence of their ministry is to afflict people. They put it this way:
Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comforted.
BBE translation. Say kind words to the heart of Jerusalem, crying out to her that her time of trouble is ended, that her punishment is complete; that she has been rewarded by the Lord’s hand twice over for all her sins.
Speak comfortably. Jerusalem was to be addressed tenderly, with gentle, encouraging words.
Hosea 2:14. Therefore behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
accomplished. The Hebrew word is “Mala.” It means full, accomplished, completed, ended, expired, given fully, ordained.
her punishment is complete. Many people feel that they have been punished for their own sins. But a few people feel they have been punished for the sins that other people did to them.
Such people might include children of narcissistic parents, victims of an abusive spouse, sex abuse victims and others. These people feel that the sins done to them by others made their life twice as hard as it would otherwise have been. They feel they’ve been living under a cloud, a dark, unhappy cloud, ever since. It’s like God has been punishing them.
But through the prophet Isaiah, God declares that those days are over. The hard times of trouble and sadness, the era of punishment for the sins done by others … it’s over. It’s over and done with. It is complete.
MSG translation. Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of–forgiven! She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with.
NAB translation. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.
NASB translation. Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.
NIV 1984 translation. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
NKJV translation. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.
NLT translation. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and that her sins are pardoned. Yes, the LORD has punished her in full for all her sins.
NRSV translation. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
Our own paraphrase:
Speak tenderly but clearly to the heart of Jerusalem: God declares that your time of suffering is over. You have suffered for “a while.” But now you will no longer suffer due to what other people have done to you. You’ve had more than enough of that!
VERSE 3. The voice of one who calls out, “Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness! Make a level highway in the desert for our God.
The voice of one who calls out. This was fulfilled in John the Baptist.
in the wilderness. That is, “in the desert.”
Isaiah 40:3. The voice of one who calls out, “Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness! Make a level highway in the desert for our God.
Matthew 3:3. For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make the way of the Lord ready! Make his paths straight!”
Luke 3:4. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.
Luke 7:27. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
John 1:23. He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
VERSE 4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain.
Isaiah 49:11. I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be exalted.
Luke 3:5. Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth.
VERSE 5. The LORD’s glory shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.”
all flesh shall see it together. The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
Luke 3:6. All flesh will see God’s salvation.
1 Peter 1:24. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall. (NIV 1984 translation)
VERSE 7. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the LORD’s breath blows on it. Surely the people are like grass.
1 Peter 1:25. but the Lord’s word endures forever.” This is the word of Good News which was preached to you.
VERSE 9. You who tell good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who tell good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength! Lift it up! Don’t be afraid! Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold, your God!”
You who tell good news to Zion. We are to be a people of good news, not bad news.
lift up your voice with strength. We should let our voice be strong. Our knowledge of Jesus Christ is not to be kept a secret. We are to shout him from the rooftops!
VERSE 10. Behold, the Lord GOD will come as a mighty one, and his arm will rule for him. Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
like a shepherd. This is a wonderful image of Jesus Christ.
VERSE 12. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and marked off the sky with his span, and calculated the dust of the earth in a measuring basket, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
with his span. That was the distance between the extended little finger and thumb.
1 Corinthians 2:16. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?” But we have Christ’s mind.
VERSE 14. Who did he take counsel with, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
a drop in the bucket. This is a famous expression from the Bible.
speck of dust on a balance. That is, dust on the scales. This too is a famous expression from the Bible.
VERSE 16. Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its animals sufficient for a burnt offering.
All the nations are like nothing. Before God, even the mightiest of nations are of trivial significance.
VERSE 18. To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to him?
VERSE 19. A workman has cast an image, and the goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts silver chains for it.
VERSE 20. He who is too impoverished for such an offering chooses a tree that will not rot. He seeks a skillful workman to set up a carved image for him that will not be moved.
Haven’t you heard? This is a critical question. Can you hear the things of God? Or are you deaf to him?
VERSE 22. It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in,
brings princes to nothing. The LORD makes rulers come to nothing. We saw an example of that in the the king of Assyria. He left Jerusalem and went back home to his palace. There, his two sons murdered him.
VERSE 24. They are planted scarcely. They are sown scarcely. Their stock has scarcely taken root in the ground. He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the whirlwind takes them away as stubble.
Who is my equal. The LORD God has no equals.
VERSE 26. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number. He calls them all by name. by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.
VERSE 27. Why do you say, Jacob, and speak, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and the justice due me is disregarded by my God?”
VERSE 28. Haven’t you known? Haven’t you heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint. He isn’t weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
VERSE 29. He gives power to the weak. He increases the strength of him who has no might.
VERSE 30. Even the youths faint and get weary, and the young men utterly fall;
KJV translation. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
This is a famous verse!
Do not lose hope. Then, by God’s grace, our ability to keep going will never diminish!
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.