Isaiah 40:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

King James Bible
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Darby Bible Translation
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God!

World English Bible
The voice of one who calls out, "Prepare the way of Yahweh in the wilderness! Make a level highway in the desert for our God.

Young's Literal Translation
A voice is crying -- in a wilderness -- Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, Make straight in a desert a highway to our God.

Isaiah 40:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The voice of him that crieth to the wilderness "A voice crieth, In the wilderness" - The idea is taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered upon an expedition or took a journey, especially through desert and unpractised countries, sent harbingers before them to prepare all things for their passage, and pioneers to open the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all impediments. The officers appointed to superintend such preparations the Latins call stratores. Ipse (Johannes Baptista) se stratorem vocat Messiae, cujus esset alta et elata voce homines in desertis locis habitantes ad itinera et vias Regi mox venturo sternendas et reficiendas hortari. - Mosheim, Instituta, Majora, p. 96. "He (John the Baptist) calls himself the pioneer of the Messiah, whose business it was with a loud voice to call upon the people dwelling in the deserts to level and prepare the roads by which the King was about to march."

Diodorus's account of the marches of Semiramis into Media and Persia will give us a clear notion of the preparation of the way for a royal expedition: "In her march to Ecbatana she came to the Zarcean mountain, which, extending many furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hollows, could not be passed without taking a great compass about. Being therefore desirous of leaving an everlasting memorial of herself, as well as of shortening the way, she ordered the precipices to be digged down, and the hollows to be filled up; and at a great expense she made a shorter and more expeditious road, which to this day is called from her the road of Semiramis. Afterward she went into Persia, and all the other countries of Asia subject to her dominion; and wherever she went, she ordered the mountains and precipices to be levelled, raised causeways in the plain country, and at a great expense made the ways passable." - Diod. Sic. lib. ii.

The writer of the apocryphal book called Baruch expresses the same subject by the same images, either taking them from this place of Isaiah, or from the common notions of his countrymen: "For God hath appointed that every high hill, and banks of long continuance, should be cast down, and valleys filled up, to make even the ground, that Israel may go safely in the glory of God." Baruch 5:7.

The Jewish Church, to which John was sent to announce the coming of Messiah, was at that time in a barren and desert condition, unfit, without reformation, for the reception of her King. It was in this desert country, destitute at that time of all religious cultivation, in true piety and good works unfruitful, that John was sent to prepare the way of the Lord by preaching repentance. I have distinguished the parts of the sentence according to the punctuation of the Masoretes, which agrees best both with the literal and the spiritual sense; which the construction and parallelism of the distich in the Hebrew plainly favors, and of which the Greek of the Septuagint and of the evangelists is equally susceptible. John was born in the desert of Judea, and passed his whole life in it, till the time of his being manifested to Israel. He preached in the same desert: it was a mountainous country; however not entirely and properly a desert; for though less cultivated than other parts of Judea, yet it was not uninhabited. Joshua (Joshua 15:61, Joshua 15:62) reckons six cities in it. We are so prepossessed with the idea of John's living and preaching in the desert, that we are apt to consider this particular scene of his preaching as a very important and essential part of history: whereas I apprehend this circumstance to be no otherwise important, than as giving us a strong idea of the rough character of the man, which was answerable to the place of his education; and as affording a proper emblem of the rude state of the Jewish Church at that time, which was the true wilderness meant by the prophet, in which John was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the voice

Matthew 3:1-3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea...

Mark 1:2-5 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you...

Luke 3:2-6 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness...

John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

prepare

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it...

Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.

Isaiah 62:10,11 Go through, go through the gates; prepare you the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones...

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek...

Malachi 4:5,6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD...

Luke 1:16,17,76,77 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God...

make

Isaiah 11:15,16 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river...

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness...

Isaiah 49:11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

Psalm 68:4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rides on the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Library
April 18. "They Shall Mount up with Wings" (Isa. Xl. 31).
"They shall mount up with wings" (Isa. xl. 31). "They shall mount up with wings as eagles," is God's preliminary; for the next promise is, "They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." Hours of holy exultation are necessary for hours of patient plodding, waiting and working. Nature has its springs, and so has grace. Let us rejoice in the Lord evermore, and again we say, rejoice. And let us take Him to be our continual joy, whose heart is a fountain of blessedness, and who
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

O Thou that Bringest Good Tidings
'O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain: O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!'--ISAIAH xl. 9. There is something very grand in these august and mysterious voices which call one to another in the opening verses of this chapter. First, the purged ear of the prophet hears the divine command to him and to his brethren--Comfort Jerusalem with the message of the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

8Th Day. Reviving Grace.
"He is Faithful that Promised." "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint."--ISAIAH xl. 31. Reviving Grace. "Wilt thou not revive us, O Lord?" My soul! art thou conscious of thy declining state? Is thy walk less with God, thy frame less heavenly? Hast thou less conscious nearness to the mercy-seat,--diminished communion with thy Saviour? Is prayer less a privilege than it has
John Ross Macduff—The Faithful Promiser

"And the Redeemer Shall Come unto Zion, and unto them that Turn,"
Isaiah lix. 20.--"And the Redeemer shall come unto Zion, and unto them that turn," &c. Doctrines, as things, have their seasons and times. Every thing is beautiful in its season. So there is no word of truth, but it hath a season and time in which it is beautiful. And indeed that is a great part of wisdom, to bring forth everything in its season, to discern when and where, and to whom it is pertinent and edifying, to speak such and such truths. But there is one doctrine that is never out of season,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Matthew 3:3
This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

Mark 1:3
"a voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

Luke 3:4
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.

John 1:23
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'"

Psalm 68:4
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him--his name is the LORD.

Isaiah 11:16
There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.

Isaiah 35:8
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

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