The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapters 40-66
Chapters 40-66 of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, addressed to the Jews in exile in Babylon, belong to a period from about 547 BC when Babylonian power was weakening before the might of King Cyrus of Persia. Isaiah not only saw this as the will of God, but asserted that God was directing events in order that Yahweh's people might be released from exile. The lyrical, exhortatory quality of the earlier chapters in particular resulted from his conviction that it was his task to prepare the exiles for their new role and to restore their faith and confidence. The first volume of Professor Herbert's commentary on Isaiah, dealing with chapters 1-39, was published in 1973. In this second volume, Professor Herbert again introduces the text with a discussion of its nature, form and composition and historical setting. The N.E.B. translation of the text then follows, alternating with sections of commentary in the style now established for this series.