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ALTERNATIONS can be used to establish a pattern and then reveal a modification to that pattern in the last portion.
1) This example follows that model where the VARIATION presents the primary emphasis. The VARIATION element alters the pattern of A, A′, and A′′ and is therefore emphatic.
2) There is also INTENSIFICATION as the structure moves from verse 19 to the climax in verse 23.
3) The Old Covenant LINK in verse 23 is to Isaiah 40:3 which is the center point of Isaiah 40:1-5. When we look at those five verses as a whole, there is the sudden realization that this is not a discussion about John the Baptist; it is about Jesus! Notice how the B and B′ elements of Isaiah 40 discusses iniquities that are removed. Therefore, when John 1:23 identifies John the Baptist in this way, it is a prophetic message about the coming Jesus Christ.