Isaiah 40:1-4

Comfort for God’s People

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 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.
3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD[a] ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

Isaiah 40:1-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 40

This chapter treats of the comforts of God's people; of the forerunner and coming of the Messiah; of his work, and the dignity of his person; of the folly of making idols, and of the groundless complaints of the church of God. The consolations of God's people, by whom to be administered, and the matter, ground, and reason of them, Isa 40:1,2. John the Baptist, the harbinger of Christ, is described by his work and office, and the effects of it; it issuing in the humiliation of some, and the exaltation of others, and in the revelation of the glory of Christ, Isa 40:3-5, then follows an order to every minister of the Gospel what he should preach and publish; the weakness and insufficiency of men to anything that is spiritually good; their fading and withering goodliness, which is to be ascribed to the blowing of the Spirit of God upon it; and the firmness and constancy of the word of God is declared, Isa 40:6-8, next the apostles of Christ in Jerusalem are particularly exhorted to publish fervently and openly the good tidings of the Gospel; to proclaim the coming of Christ, the manner of it, and the work he came about; and to signify his faithful discharge of his office as a shepherd, Isa 40:9-11, the dignity of whose person is set forth by his almighty power, by his infinite wisdom, and by the greatness of his majesty, in comparison of which all nations and things are as nothing, Isa 40:12-17 and then the vanity of framing any likeness to God, and of forming idols for worship, is observed, Isa 40:18-25, and from the consideration of the divine power in creation and upholding all things, the church of God is encouraged to expect renewed strength and persevering grace, and is blamed for giving way to a distrustful and murmuring spirit, Isa 40:26-31.

Isaiah 40:1-4 In-Context

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 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.
3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Cross References 12

  • 1. Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 51:3,12; Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 57:18; Isaiah 61:2; Isaiah 66:13; Jeremiah 31:13; Zephaniah 3:14-17; Zechariah 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3
  • 2. S Genesis 34:3; S Isaiah 35:4
  • 3. S Job 7:1
  • 4. Isaiah 41:11-13; Isaiah 49:25
  • 5. S Leviticus 26:41
  • 6. Isaiah 51:19; Isaiah 61:7; Jeremiah 16:18; Jeremiah 17:18; Zechariah 9:12; Revelation 18:6
  • 7. S Isaiah 11:16; Isaiah 43:19; Malachi 3:1
  • 8. S Proverbs 3:5-6
  • 9. Matthew 3:3*; Mark 1:3*; John 1:23*
  • 10. Isaiah 49:11
  • 11. S Isaiah 2:14
  • 12. S Psalms 26:12; S Isaiah 26:7; Isaiah 45:2,13; Jeremiah 31:9

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "A voice of one calling in the wilderness:" / "“Prepare the way for the " Lord
  • [b]. Hebrew; Septuagint "make straight the paths of our God"