Deutero-Isaiah’s work, which comprises Isaiah chapters 40–55, has exerted its influence on testimonies of faith in both Jewish and Christian tradition down to the present day. Klaus Baltzer’s magnificent commentary places the document in the new context after the Exile. The experience of catastrophe, the need to grapple with new problems, and hope for a peaceful future are linked in Deutero-Isaiah’s composition. The work aims to establish accord between adherents of the Jacob/Israel tradition on the one hand and those committed to the Zion/Jerusalem tradition on the other—the background being the tensions between the exiles and the people who had remained on the land. Along with masterful presentation of the book’s themes, Baltzer also develops a creative hypothesis about the work’s genre, identifying it as a “liturgical drama” in six acts, which makes it possible to understand the text’s function in worship and its significance as a literary text of supreme artistry.
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Klaus Baltzer is emeritus professor of Old Testament in the Protestant faculty of the University of Munich, Germany. He is author of The Covenant Formulary and Die Biographie der Propheten. He is also on the Old Testament Editorial Board of the Hermeneia series.