Isaiah 40:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;

King James Bible
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Darby Bible Translation
Every valley shall be raised up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places a plain.

World English Bible
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain.

Young's Literal Translation
Every valley is raised up, And every mountain and hill become low, And the crooked place hath become a plain, And the entangled places a valley.

Isaiah 40:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Every valley shall be exalted - That is, every valley, or low piece of ground, shall be filled up so as to make a level highway, as was done in order to facilitate the march of armies. This verse is evidently designed to explain what is intended in Isaiah 40:3, by preparing the way for Yahweh. Applied to the return of the Jews from Babylon, it means simply that the impassable valleys were to be filled up so as to make a level road for their journey. If applied to the work of John, the forerunner of the Messiah, it means that the nation was to be called on to put itself in a state of preparation for his coming, and for the success of his labors among them. Vitringa, and others, have endeavored to specify what particular moral qualities in the nation are meant by the 'valley,' by the 'mountain and hill,' and by the 'crooked' and 'rough places.' But the illustrations are such as cannot be demonstrated to be referred to by the prophet. The general sense is plain. The language, as we have seen, is taken from the march of a monarch at the head of his army. The general idea is, that all obstructions were to be removed, so that the march would be without embarrassment. As applicable to the work of John also, the language means in general, that whatever there was in the opinions, habits, conduct, in the pride, self-confidence, and irreligion of the nation that would prevent his cordial reception, was to be removed.

Every mountain and hill - They shall be dug down so as to make the journey easy. All obstructions were to be removed.

And the crooked - The word used here, (עקב ‛âqob) is usually rendered 'crooked;' but perhaps not by any good authority. The verb עקב ‛âqab usually denotes to be behind; to come from behind; or, as Gesenius supposes, to be elevated like a mound, arched like a hill or tumulus, and is hence applied to the heel from the figure (see Genesis 25:26; Hosea 12:4). According to this, the word would denote properly a hill, mound, or acclivity, which would put back those who attempted to ascend.

Shall be made straight - Margin, 'A straight place.' The Hebrew word (מישׁור mı̂yshôr) denotes properly "evenness," a level region, a plain. The hilly places would be reduced to a level.

And the rough places - Those which are hard, bound up, stony, difficult to pass. Such as abounded with rocks and precipices, and which presented obstructions to a journey. Such places abounded in the region lying between Palestine and Babylon.

Plain - Margin, 'A plain place.' A smooth, level plain.

Isaiah 40:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Unfailing Stabs and Fainting Men
'...For that He is strong in power; not one faileth.... He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.'-- ISAIAH xl. 26 and 29. These two verses set forth two widely different operations of the divine power as exercised in two sadly different fields, the starry heavens and this weary world. They are interlocked, as it were, by the recurrence in the latter of the emphatic words of the former. The one verse says, 'He is strong in power'; the other, 'He giveth
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Secret of Immortal Youth
'Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But 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; and they shall walk and not faint.'--ISAIAH xl. 30, 31. I remember a sunset at sea, where the bosom of each wavelet that fronted the west was aglow with fiery gold, and the back of each turned eastward was cold green; so that, looking on the one hand all was glory, and on the other
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Prayer and Devotion
"Once as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly had been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God. As near as I can judge, this continued about an hour; and kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears and weeping aloud.. I felt an ardency of soul to be what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to love
Edward M. Bounds—The Essentials of Prayer

The God of all Comfort
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." Among all the names that reveal God, this, the "God of all comfort," seems to me one of the loveliest and the most absolutely comforting. The words all comfort admit of no limitation and no deductions; and one would suppose that,
Hannah Whitall Smith—The God of All Comfort

Cross References
Luke 3:5
'EVERY RAVINE WILL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL WILL BE BROUGHT LOW; THE CROOKED WILL BECOME STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH;

Isaiah 2:14
Against all the lofty mountains, Against all the hills that are lifted up,

Isaiah 40:3
A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:5
Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Isaiah 42:16
"I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone."

Isaiah 45:2
"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.

Isaiah 49:11
"I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up.

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