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Thanks for your question.

The abbreviation, "cf", means "compare". 

You have just cited a chapter and verse but no book reference. Usually a writer will give an abbreviation of the book too.  For example, if I were writing about the book of Matthew and in a comment on Matthew 1 verse 1, I wanted you to look at the meaning behind the reference to Abraham and David, I might say something like cf Gen. 12:1-4; 2 Sam. 7:12-14.

The only time I wouldn't mention the book is if I were asking you to make a comparsion within the same book.  So, if you were reading something about the book of Isaiah and the writer wanted you to go and compare Isaiah 42:1-9, he would just put cf 42:1-9. In other words, you are already in Isaiah so he is sending you to chapter 42 verses 1-9 of that book.

God bless!