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Products>The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

, 1998
ISBN: 9780802825346

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The second of John N. Oswalt’s two-part study of the book of Isaiah for the NICOT series, this commentary provides exegetical and theological exposition on the latter 27 chapters of Isaiah for scholars, pastors, and students who seek to know the perennial meaning of the text in contemporary terms.

Though Oswalt’s main introduction to Isaiah is found in his commentary on chapters 1–39, this second volume opens with an important discussion of scholarly debate over the unity/diversity of Isaiah. In this work Oswalt makes stronger his case for reading the entire book of Isaiah as written by a single author—a position not common in other recent commentaries. Oswalt’s work stands alone, then, as an attempt to take seriously Israel’s historical situation at the time chapters 40–66 were composed while also seeking to understand how these chapters function as a part of Isaiah’s total vision written in the late 700s or early 600s BC.

Assuming the single authorship of Isaiah, the verse-by-verse commentary aims to interpret chapters 40–66 in light of the book as a whole. While not neglecting issues of historical criticism or form criticism, the commentary focuses mainly on the theological meaning of the text as indicated especially by the literary structure. Building on his earlier argument that the central theme of Isaiah is servanthood, Oswalt keeps readers focused on the character of Israel’s sovereign Redeemer God, on the blind servant Israel, and on the ultimate work of the Suffering Servant in whom the world can find its Savior.

With Logos, the NICOT will integrate into the Passage Guide. Whenever you enter your passage and click go, results from the NICOT will appear on the text you’re studying. This gives you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for—in far less time than it would take you to walk over to the bookshelf and begin flipping through a print volume, let alone find the information you need.

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Key Features

  • Verse-by-verse commentary
  • In-depth discussion of textual and critical matters

Top Highlights

“The two NT quotations of the passage understand it in this way: the people of God who have heard the news and seen the revelation have refused to believe it (John 12:38; Rom. 10:16).” (Page 381)

“Thus the divine mišpāṭ that the Servant will establish is nothing less than the salvation of God defined in its broadest sense. We are not merely speaking of a privatistic forgiveness of sins, or of the imposition of a humanly designed system for redistribution of goods. This is that life-giving order which exists when the creation is functioning in accordance with the design of its Lord.” (Page 110)

“In four evenly balanced strophes the prophet lays the groundwork for the rest of the book. He establishes that the theme from this point on will no longer be judgment but restoration (vv. 1–2), that this restoration will be through the personal intervention of God (vv. 3–5), that no human force or condition can prevail against God’s promise (vv. 6–8), and that there is good news of divine might coupled with divine compassion (vv. 9–11).” (Page 47)

“In my view, the best understanding is that this passage rests on the Sinai tradition (cf. also Hab. 3:3). Thus God is seen figuratively as coming from his distant residence on Sinai to aid his people in their hour of distress. The people cannot help themselves, and there is no one else, so God himself must come (cf. also Isa. 59:15–20).” (Page 52)

“The theme of the poem is the startling and unexpected truth, which chs. 7–12 have nevertheless prepared us to understand, that the power of God’s arm is not the power to crush the enemy (sin), but the power, when the enemy has crushed the Servant, to give back love and mercy. The Servant takes on himself the sin of Israel and of the world, and, like the scapegoat (Lev. 16:22), bears (nāśāʾ; cf. 53:4) those sins away from us.” (Pages 376–377)

Praise for the Print Edition

This is a commentary in which the meaning of the book of Isaiah for today is taken as seriously as is its meaning for its original readers.

R. N. Whybray, former professor emeritus of Hebrew and Old Testament studies, University of Hull, England

The prophetic book of Isaiah has called for major critical reappraisal in the past two decades with renewed awareness of the significance of its structure as a single complete book. Oswalt’s second volume on Isaiah explores fully the thematic interconnections and developments that lend to the book its essential unity. I feel confident that it will mark a significant turning point in which its combination of critical and evangelical insights will lead to a better understanding of the complex nature of the biblical prophetic writings.

Ronald E. Clements, professor emeritus of Old Testament studies, King’s College, University of London

Product Details

  • Title: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66
  • Author: John N. Oswalt
  • Series: New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT)
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 773

Dr. John Oswalt returned to the Asbury Theological Seminary faculty in 2009 as visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament. He served as research professor of Old Testament at Wesley Biblical Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss., since 1999. Prior to that, he was professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Asbury Seminary from 1989 to 1999. This was his second term on Asbury Seminary’s faculty, having first served from 1970 to 1982. In the interim, he was president of Asbury College from 1983 to 1986 and a member of the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., from 1986 to 1989. Oswalt received a B.A. from Taylor University; a B.D. and Th.M. from Asbury Seminary; and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. His writings have appeared in Bible encyclopedias, scholarly journals and popular religious periodicals. Many of his these articles have dealt with the application of Biblical teachings to modern ethical questions. He has written eight books. His most recent book is a study of I John, entitled On Being a Christian (Francis Asbury Press, 2008). He was the Old Testament editor of the Wesley Bible, a study Bible from the Wesleyan perspective published by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 1990. He also served as consulting editor for the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Zondervan, 1997). He was a member of the New International Version translation team, and is currently one of a six-member editorial team that has revised the Living Bible (New Living Translation, 1996), and is continuing the revision process with Tyndale House Publishers. Oswalt is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, with membership in the Kentucky Annual Conference. He has served as a part-time pastor to congregations in New England and Kentucky, and is a frequent speaker in conferences, camps and local churches. He is married to the former Karen Kennedy, and they have three children and two grandchildren.


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Print list price: $60.00
Save $9.01 (15%)