Deutero-Isaiah's work, which comprises Isaiah chaps. 40--55, has exerted its influence on testimonies of faith in both Jewish and Christian traditions down to the present day.
Baltzer's magnificent commentary places the text in the new context after the Exile. The experience of catastrophe, the need to grapple with new problems, and hope for a peaceful future: these are all linked in Deutero-Isaiah's composition. The work aims to establish accord between adherents of the Jacob/Israel tradition on the one hand and those committed to the Zion/Jerusalem tradition on the other-the background being the tensions between the exiles, and the people who had remained on the land.
Along with masterful presentations of the book's themes, Baltzer also develops a creative hypothesis about the work's genre, identifying it as a "liturgical drama" in six acts, which makes it possible to understand the text's function in worship and its significance as a literary text of supreme artistry for a nonliterary audience.