Note: verses 1-2 and 9-11 are commands to tell the good news of Jerusalem’s forgiveness and the coming of the glory of God. Verses 3-5 and 6-8 are two messages spoken by the herald – prepare the highway for the royal procession, and, all flesh is grass but the Word of God is eternal. The NT explains – the herald is John the Baptist, the coming royal personage is Christ.
A. The command to “cry”
1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
B. The herald cries
a. 3 A voice cries:
b. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
c. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
c’. the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
b’. 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
a’. for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
B’. the herald cries
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
A’. the command to “cry”
9 Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.