Isaiah 40:2

2 1Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that 2her warfare[a] is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40:2 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 40:2

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her
Or, "speak to or according to the heart of Jerusalem F8"; to her very heart, what will be a cordial to her, very acceptable, grateful, and comfortable; and let it be proclaimed aloud, that she may hear and understand it. By "Jerusalem" is meant the Gospel church, and the true members of it. Aben Ezra interprets it of the congregation of Israel; see ( Hebrews 12:22 ) : that her warfare is accomplished;
this life is a warfare; saints have many enemies to engage with, sin, Satan, and the world; many battles to fight, a great fight of afflictions, and the good fight of faith: this is "accomplished", or "filled up F9"; not that it is at an end before this life is, while that lasts there will be a continual conflict; yet all enemies are now conquered by Christ, and in a short time will be under the feet of his people; the Captain of their salvation, who has got the victory, is gone before them; the crown is laid up for them, and is sure unto them. Some interpret it, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, "her set or appointed time F11"; and compare it with ( Job 7:1 ) , and may be understood either of the time of deliverance from captivity: so the Targum,

``that her captivity by the people is filled up:''
or of the time of the Messiah's coming, the fulness of time, when he should appear, afterwards prophesied of; or of the servitude and bondage of the law being at an end, and of all the fatigue, labour, and trouble of that dispensation; and of the Gospel dispensation taking place: it follows, that her iniquity is pardoned;
which is God's act, flows from his free grace, is obtained by the blood of Christ, is full and complete, and yields great relief and comfort to guilty minds: or "is accepted" F12; that is, the punishment of it as bore by her surety; see ( Leviticus 26:43 ) . The allusion is to the sacrifices being accepted for the atonement of sin, ( Leviticus 1:4 ) , and may have respect here to the acceptation of Christ's sacrifice, for the expiation of the sins of his people. Jarchi interprets the word "appeased"; and so it may be applied to the reconciliation for sin made by the blood of Christ. The Targum understands it of forgiveness, as we do: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins;
which may be understood either of a sufficiency of chastisements for sin; though they are not more, but less, than are deserved, yet are as much as their heavenly Father, in his great tenderness and compassion, thinks are enough; and though they are in measure, and do not exceed, yet are in large measure often, at least in their own apprehension: or else of the large and copious blessings of grace and goodness received, instead of punishment for sins, that might be expected: or rather at the complete satisfaction made by Christ for her sins, and of her receiving at the Lord's hands, in her surety, full punishment for them; not that more was required than was due, but that ample satisfaction was made, and, being infinite, fully answers the demerit of sin; and this being in the room and stead of God's people, clears them, and yields comfort to them.

F8 (bl le wrbd) , (lalhsate eiv thn kardian) Sept. "loquimini ad cor", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Vitringa; "secundum cor", Calvin.
F9 (habu halm) "completa est militia ejus", Pagninus, Montanus.
F11 "Tempus praefinitum", Junius & Tremellius.
F12 (hurn) "acccpta est", Piscator, Forerius.

Isaiah 40:2 In-Context

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Cross References 2

  • 1. Hosea 2:14
  • 2. [2 Chronicles 36:22; Jeremiah 25:12]

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.