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Chapter One: Isaiah 40-55 and 60-62

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Chapter Summary

The idea of chapters 40-55 is a series of detached, separate poems. The idea of detached pieces seems to be sound, but at the same time there are three distinct sections, 40-48, 49-55 and 60-62. These three sections come from three different periods of the unknown prophet's life and activity. Chapters 40-48 belong to the period when the hope of rescue from exile appears after the first successes of Cyrus, especially with his capture of Sardis in 546 B.C. Chapters 49-55 belong to the period immediately following the fall of Babylon when the release became very much more of a probability, even approaching a certainty. Chapters 60-62 belong to the time of waiting after the fall of Babylon, and probably towards the end of that waiting time. The style is substantially the same throughout all the nineteen chapters, except that the ecstatic, exuberant elements are heightened in chapters 60-62.

Keywords: Babylon; Cyrus; exuberant elements; Isaiah; poems; prophet; Sardis

10.1163/9789004275379_014
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