Chs 34–35 : Vengeance on Edom and the restoration of Israel. According to most modern scholars, these chs were written after the Babylonian exile, which ended in 538 bce, probably by the same author responsible for chs 40–66 or 54–66 . (On the authorship of Isa. chs 40–66 and 34–35 , see intro.) Alternatively, these chs may have been written in the postexilic period as a bridge linking the prophecies of Isaiah in chs 1–33 with the exilic and postexilic prophecies in chs 40–66 . 34.1–17 : Judgment against the nations and against the Edomites in particular. A disturbing ch, full of bitterness and anger, this text portrays the Lord as wreaking vengeance against the nations, apparently because they opposed Zion. It focuses in particular on Edom, a nation located southeast of Judah between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba or Eilat. Relations between Edom and Judah during the preexilic period were often hostile (e.g, 2 Sam. 8.13–14 ). This hostility had deep roots: According to Genesis, the Edomites were descended from Esau, Jacob's brother and rival (see Gen. 25.20–34; 27.1–28.9; 33.1–20; Mal. 1.1–5 ). The Edomites were especially antagonistic towards the Judeans when the Babylonians conquered Judah at the end of the 6th century bce, and Judean anger towards the Edomites was severe (see Ps. 137.7; Ezek. 25.12; 35.5–10; Obad. vv. 10–16 ). This ch predicts an utter disaster overcoming the Edomites in the strongest possible terms. This is ironic in light of later Jewish history, since the Edomites converted to Judaism en masse during the late 2nd century bce, and were among the most zealous Jews during the conflict with Rome in the 1st century ce. Rabbinic literature understands Edom in prophetic texts as a symbolic reference to the Roman empire and Christianity, rather than to the historical Edomites, who were in fact Jewish by the time rabbinic literature was composed. See, for example, Targum to v. 9 . 1–4 : Judgment against the nations of the world. 5–8 : The slaughter of the Edomites. 9–17 : The everlasting destruction of Edom is depicted through two somewhat contradictory figures: In vv. 9–10 , Edom becomes the site of an eternal fire (cf. 66.24 ); in vv. 11–17 , Edom becomes a deserted wasteland, inhabited only by wild beasts. 14 : Lilith: In ancient Semitic folklore contemporaneous with the Bible (and also in rabbinic literature), this term referred to a group of female demons. They seduced and then killed single men, and they were especially dangerous to nursing mothers and infants. In later rabbinic and kabbalistic folk‐ lore, a character with this name was said to be the first wife of Adam. Their parting was not amicable; he later married Eve, and she embarked on a career killing young children. These legends about Adam and Lilith are postbiblical, however, and have no bearing on the term used here. 35.1–10 : The renewal of Israel and the return of the exiles. This ch is the converse of the previous one: In ch 34 , a land inhabited by Judah's enemies becomes a desert; in ch 35 , the desert is transformed so that Judean exiles in Babylonia can pass through it with ease on their journey to Zion. Normally, travelers from Babylonia to the land of Israel would move northwest along the Euphrates, then southwest through Syria, avoiding the route that went directly west through the impassable desert. But this prophecy insists that the ex‐ iles will be able to go directly and quickly through the desert, because the Lord will provide water and safety for them there. This passage borrows extensively from Jeremiah's prediction of the exiles' return in Jer. 31.7–9 . It amplifies that prediction, while changing its historical referent from northern (Israelite) exiles in Assyria to southern (Judean) exiles in Babylonia. It also deliberately recalls the vocabulary of Isaiah 32.1–6 . 6–10 : The return to Zion is portrayed as a new exodus, a major theme in Deutero‐Isaiah: Like the Israelites fleeing slavery in Egypt, the returning exiles will receive water and protection in the desert as they go to the land of Israel. 8 : No one unclean: Since God would personally accompany the exiles (v. 4 ), they would have to be in a state of ritual purity.