40:1מ׳:א׳
1 א

נחמו נחמו עמי. נדבקה זאת הפרשה בעבור שהזכיר למעלה כי כל אוצרות המלך גם בניו יגלו לבבל, על כן אחרי זאת הנחמות:

This chapter1In this remark I. E. seems to consider the whole book of Isaiah as one, and to explain only the connection between the thirty-ninth chapter and the fortieth, without anticipating the question concerning the authorship of the second part, or concerning the period to which c. xl. refers. The prediction of the Babylonian exile (c. xxxix.) is, according to the opinion of I. E. properly followed by prophecies of comfort and happiness, even if those announce the release from some other exile. A similar remark is made by I. E. on the position of the thirteenth chapter. has been placed here for the following reason: in the preceding chapter it is predicted that all the treasures of the King, and even his sons, will be carried away to Babylon; this sad prediction is properly followed by the words of comfort.

2 ב

ואלה הנחמות הראשונות מחצי הספר על דעת רבי משה הכהן על בית שני, ולפי דעתי הכל על גלותינו, רק יש בתוך הספר דברי גלות בבל לזכר, כי כורש ששלח הגולה, ואולם באחרית הספר דברים הם לעתיד כאשר אפרש, ודע כי מעתיקי המצות ז"ל אמרו כי ספר שמואל כתבו שמואל והוא אמת עד וימת שמואל (שמואל א' כ"ה א'), והנה דברי הימים יוכיח ששם דור אחר דור לבני זרובבל, והעד מלכים יראו וקמו שרים וישתחוו (ישעיהו מ"ט ז'), ויש להשיב כאשר ישמעו שם הנביא, ואם איננו, והמשכיל יבין:

These first comforting promises, with which the second part of the book of Isaiah begins, refer, as R. Moses Hakkohen believes, to the restoration of the temple by Zerubbabel; according to my opinion to the coming redemption from our present exile; prophecies concerning the Babylonian exile are introduced only as an illustration,2The word לזכר is here used in the same sense as in the well-known Talmudical phrase אע״פי שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר although there is no convincing proof for the statement, there is still some support for it. I. E. is of opinion that the prophecies concerning the redemption from the Babylonian exile are mentioned in this part of the book, not for their own sake, but only to strengthen the faith of Israel in those prophecies which refer to the Messianic period; that the fulfilment of the former may support the hope for the fulfilment of the latter. This remark of I. E. is based on the assumption that the prophecies contained in the second part of Isaiah were announced either after the redemption from the Babylonian exile, or at least immediately before the fall of Babylon, when the coming events could already be foreseen by every one. showing how Cyrus, who allowed the captive Jews to return to Jerusalem,3The Hebrew text seems to be defective, as may be inferred from the incomplete sentence כי כורש ששלח הנולה. For Cyrus, who set free those in exile; the context demands the complement was appointed for that mission by the Almighty long before. …. About the last section of the book there is no doubt, that it refers to a period yet to come, as I shall explain.4I. E. nowhere fully explains this point; he only hints at it here and there, e.g., 49:24, 51:1, 52:1, 11.—It must be borne in mind, that the opinion of the orthodox, that the book of Samuel was written by Samuel, is correct as regards the first part, till the words And Samuel died (1 Sam. 25:1); this remark is confirmed by the fact that the book of Chronicles contains the names (of the descendants of David) in genealogical order down to Zerubbabel.51 Chr. 3:1—19; ver. 20 is the commencement of a new pedigree, according to I. E. The Chronicles are supposed to have been written in the time of Zerubbabel; and from the fact that the generations after Zerubbabel, are not mentioned, I. E. concludes that the historian, even in books which are believed to be written by the dictation of the holy, prophetical spirit, does not anticipate the history of days to come. The latter part of the first book of Samuel, relating what has happened after the death of Samuel, could not have been written by the prophet Samuel himself. In a similar way, the second part of the book of Isaiah, which contains allusions to events that took place long after the death of Isaiah, as to historical facts, is, according to I. E., not written by the same prophet.—The words Kings shall see6Supply according to I. E., the prophet as object to the verb will see; usually the fulfilment of the divine promise is understood. and arise, princes and shall worship (49:7) support this view,7I. E. is of opinion that in chapter xlix. the prophet speaks of himself, who, ill treated, despised, and mocked at, when proclaiming the word of the Lord, is assured by the Almighty that he will yet be honoured by kings and princes, who will witness the fulfilment of his prophecies, and testify to their truth. The events referred to in these chapters having taken place during the reign of Cyrus, the prophet consequently lived at that time. But I. E. does not deny the possibility of referring the promised compensation to the honour and acknowledgment given by posterity to the name and memory of the prophet; in that case the verse quoted would contain no proof whatever for the opinion of I. E. Both views being admissible, it is strange that I. E. gives such importance to this proof, as to refer to it repeatedly in his commentary. though they might also be explained as follows: Kings and princes will arise, etc., when they hear the name of the prophet, even after his death. The reader will adopt the opinion which recommends itself most to his judgment.

3 ג

ומלת נחמו דברי השם לנביאו או לגדולי העם וטעם פעמים דרך מהירות או רגע אחרי רגע:

Comfort, etc. God addresses His prophet or the chiefs of the people. The repetition of the words Comfort ye is to indicate, that the comfort is to be administered immediately or repeatedly.