God is doing a new thing, giving new birth to Zion originally referred to a mountain near Jerusalem where David conquered a Jebusite stronghold. Later the term came to mean a number of other things like the Temple, Jerusalem, and even the Promised Land. More, providing her with new children to repopulate the nation. God will care for these children like a loving mother.
The text uses a form of the miraculous birth theme found so often in the Bible. God can provide children when none are expected–because of age (Abraham's wife and mother of Isaac More, Genesis 17:17-19), barrenness (The mother of the prophet Samuel. More, 1 The judge who anointed the first two kings of Israel More 1:1-20), or even virginity (Mary, The "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More 1:26-37). And here, God can provide children even without the expected pain and duration of labor (overturning one of the consequences of sin in Genesis 3:16!).
This is one of several texts in the latter part of Isaiah, son of Amoz, who prophesied in Jerusalem, is included among the prophets of the eighth century B.C.E. (along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah)--preachers who boldly proclaimed God's word of judgment against the economic, social, and religious disorders of their time. More that use female imagery for God. God will comfort the people like a mother comforts her child (v. 13). Perhaps these female images were a way to give new hope to a people who had lost everything. Simply to repeat the promises in the old way may have seemed unconvincing. But the prophet gets people’s attention by picturing God in new ways. The established institutions have been destroyed in the battles of history, but a mother’s tender care survives even in catastrophe.
With the return to the theme of “comfort,” this text at the end of Isaiah forms an Inclusio is a literary device in which a writer places similar material at the beginning and ending of a work or section of a work. For example, Mark's gospel contains an inclusio in which Jesus is recognized (at his baptism and crucifixion) as God's Son. More with the announcement of God’s coming deliverance at the beginning of Second Isaiah refers chapters 40-55 of the book of Isaiah. This work was likely written during Israel's exile in Babylon (597-538 B.C.E.). Second Isaiah includes poetic passages of hope as well as descriptions of the Suffering Servant. More. “Comfort, O comfort my people,” God had said (40:1); and now God–like a mother–brings that same comfort.