Introduction: Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Bible Marathon Day 384)
The Book of Isaiah reveals God’s judgment and salvation.
Isaiah is often referred to as “The Messianic Prophet”, because of his many prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus. The New Testament quotes and applies more scriptures from the book of Isaiah than any other Old Testament prophet.
Yet Isaiah’s work was not solely foretelling the future. A prophet of God was not primarily a future teller, but one who spoke God’s word to the people of his own day.
The regard in which Isaiah was held was so high that the book was frequently called “the Fifth Gospel”, the prophet who spoke more clearly of Christ and the Church than any others.
ISAIAH, THE MAN
His name (Isaiah) means “salvation of the Lord” or “the Lord is salvation”, and is certainly symbolic of his message. He is described as “the son of Amoz” (Isa 1:1; 2:1; 13:1), of whom the Bible reveals nothing.
Isaiah is widely regarded as one of the greatest prophets of the Bible. His name means “YHWH (the LORD) is salvation.” He lived in Jerusalem and the prophecies God gave him were directed toward Israel, Judah and other nations. Jewish tradition says he was of royal descent, and he may have been a cousin to King Uzziah. This may have given him access to the kings of Judah in Jerusalem.
The ministry of Isaiah extended from the death of Uzziah in 742 B.C. to Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C., and it may have continued even longer, until after the death of Hezekiah in 687 B.C. Later legend (the Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah) claims that Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, executed Isaiah by having him sawed in two; cf. Hb 11:37.
The book of Isaiah can be divided into two major parts:
The Assyrian Period (chapters 1-39) – The prophet proclaims the Lord’s indictment against Judah and Jerusalem, and the coming judgment against them. He portrays the sovereign rule of the Lord of Hosts who judges not only Israel, but heathen nations as well. He prophesies that the Lord will use Assyria, Babylon, and the Medes to execute His purposes, and afterward judge each of these along other nations, bringing them to desolation because of their sins. (Harkrider)
The Babylonian Period (chapters 40-66) – Isaiah exhorts an afflicted people to have faith and patience. He describes the salvation and future blessings to come upon the true Israel of God. Though Isaiah did not live during the period of Babylonian captivity, through inspiration he was able to speak words of comfort to those who would experience that difficult time of Israel’s history. (ibid.)
Jesus Christ, The most important Theme
Almost one-third of the chapters of the book of Isaiah contain prophecies about Jesus Christ, addressing both His first and second comings. Isaiah provides more prophecy of the second coming of Christ than any other Old Testament prophet. The following are some prophecies about Christ in both His first and second comings:
“He shall judge between the nations” (Isaiah 2:4).
He was to be the “Branch of the Lord” (Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1).
He would be born of a virgin and be called “Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 8:8, 10).
He would be a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (Isaiah 8:14).
An eternal “government will be upon His shoulder” and He would be called the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-
The Holy Spirit would “rest upon Him” (Isaiah 11:2).
He would be “a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16).