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Why does Isaiah 40:2 say the Israelites were punished doubly for their sins?

Did they receive double punishment for their sins? Where is this found in the Bible?

Isaiah 40:2

ESV - 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.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 21 2016 1379332167 bel loh

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I know of no direct reference in Scripture as to what specifically comprised the "double punishment" referred to in this verse. Although the words in question were directed to Jerusalem (which had at one time been Israel's unified capital), perhaps the reference to having received double pertained to the conquest of both the northern ten tribes (Israel) and the southern kingdom (Judah and Benjamin) into which Israel had divided following the death of Solomon -- the northern tribes by the Assyrians, and the southern kingdom by the Babylonians.

Although the inhabitants of the land continued to be conquered in the centuries after that (by the Romans, for example), the people of the southern kingdom were at least allowed to return to the land after seventy years in Babylon, which would have been the comfort to which God was referring in the words given to Isaiah.

Alternatively, perhaps the meaning of the verse would not be "double" in the sense of being two separate punishments, but that the exile in Babylon that the southern kingdom had experienced had (in God's view) punished the people of Judah twice over for the sins that they had committed prior to their exile.

April 21 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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