“the voice of one crying out in the wilderness”

IsaiahprophetThe OT Context of Isaiah 40:3  After affirming three times who he is not, John the Baptist at long last tells his interrogators who he is. Even though he is none of the scriptural figures expected to make their appearance in Israel in the last days, John does respond in terms of a figure spoken of in Scripture. He is “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’ ” (John 1:23) featured in Isaiah 40:3

Isaiah 40:3 constitutes the opening of the second of four well-defined speeches in Isa 40:1–9. The entire passage serves as a prologue that sets the tone for Isa 40–48, and indeed for the rest of the book, by announcing the intentions of Yahweh. After all the judgment and condemnation sounded in Isa 1–39, the opening of chapter 40 marks a major shift in orientation, introducing the theme of comfort that represents the leitmotiv for the remainder of the book. Continue reading