Old Testament

Second Isaiah


Among the most beautiful biblical poetry, and most uplifting prophecy, belongs to the prophet known as Second Isaiah. The prophet who called on Israel to “Prepare a way for the Lord,” who proclaimed “Comfort, comfort, O my people,” and who gave us the lasting image of the suffering servant, is distinct from the original prophet Isaiah of Jerusalem (known as First Isaiah).

Writing from the perspective of the exile, Second Isaiah calls for Israel’s glorious return from captivity, and introduces new ideas about God, and God’s relationship to humanity – ideas that would have a profound impact on the history of Jewish and Christian thought. This study will explore the poetry, prophecy, and world of Second Isaiah.


Dr. Robert R. Wilson

Rev. Dr. Robert R. Wilson is the Hoober Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. A former chair of the Yale University Department of Religious Studies, Professor Wilson’s areas of academic interest include Israelite prophecy, the Deuteronomistic history, and ancient Israelite religion in its social and cultural context. His books include Genealogy and History in the Biblical World, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (which has been translated into Korean and Portuguese), Sociological Approaches to the Old Testament (which has been translated into Japanese), and Canon, Theology and Old Testament Interpretation (edited with Gene M. Tucker and David L. Petersen). His scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Biblical Literature, among others, and he has been a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Religion, the Harper Collins Study Bible, and the Anchor Bible Dictionary. He has been actively involved in the Society of Biblical Literature, serving as chair of the Social Roles of Prophecy in Israel Group, and as the Old Testament editor of the Society of Biblical Literature dissertation series. Professor Wilson is a fellow of Morse College and is ordained in the Chrisitan Church (Disciples of Christ).

Dr. Stephen L. Cook headshot Dr. Stephen L. Cook

Dr. Stephen L. Cook, is the Catherine N. McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at Virginia Theological Seminary where he has taught for twenty years. Prior to his work in Virginia, Dr. Cook taught at Union Theological Seminary of Columbia University. Dr. Cook received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Connecticut and his advanced degrees from Yale Divinity School. He is the author of six books including “Conversations with Scripture: 2 Isaiah” and “Reading Deuteronomy: A Literary and Theological Commentary”.