Trauma Shall Be No More: A Rhetorical-Canonical Reading of Isaiah 35:1-10 and 40:1-5, 10-11

  • Hassan Musa Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Trauma, Cultural Trauma, Exile, Joy, Redemption, Hope, Healing


This article engages the reading of Isaiah from a trauma hermeneutical perspective. It presents a reading of Isaiah with special attention to the comforting message of Yahweh to the exiles in Babylon for the dawn of the new time of their release and restoration to Jerusalem. The argument of the article presents a response to Rambo (2010) and Groenewald (2018) on the question of trauma. The fact is that trauma shall end with the coming of the Lord as the God who frees people from the place and state of trauma. This argument projects the possibility of the end of trauma, which remains a further theological-ethical stimulant for biblical interpreters to participate in the healing process and the restorative actions of God. As typical of the prophetic books, the book of Isaiah is both a book of judgement and a book of restoration. It presents the goodness of life in the acts of God’s gifts of freedom. The sensitivity of God helps us to reimagine the image of God in the context of the suffering of his people. Isaiah 35:1-10 and 40: 1-5, 10-11 is the good news of hope that helps its readers to rejoice for the coming time of true freedom and the tender care of God.

Author Biography

Hassan Musa, Stellenbosch University
Research Fellow, Department of Old and New Testament, Stellenbosch University