Isaiah 1:1-4:6

Isaiah 1‑4  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 11
Of all the prophets Isaiah is the richest in the number of his references to the Christ who was to come, and in the variety of the figures under which He is presented to us. It is evident that it divides into three main sections: (1) chapters 1-35, chiefly occupied with pronouncing judgment upon Israel and the nations, but with repeated references to Christ, in whom alone is hope of blessing found. Then (2) chapters 36-39, an historical section, recording God’s deliverance, both national and personal, granted to one of the best kings of David’s line; recording also how failure marked him. Then lastly (3) chapters 40-66, mainly occupied with predictions concerning the coming Messiah both in His humiliation and in His glory, but presenting it against the dark background of the idolatry of Israel in Isaiah’s day, and their rejection of Christ at His first advent.
The break that appears, as we reach chapter 40, is very evident, as also the change in the main themes. So much so that critical and unbelieving theologians have asserted that there must have been several writers or compilers of the book. They speak of two or more Isaiahs. When we turn to New Testament quotations from the book, we find In the Old Testament God is spoken of as “The Holy One of Israel” only about 37 times. Just 30 of these occur in Isaiah, so it is the characteristic title of God in his book. These 30 are almost equally divided between chapters 1-39 and 40-66, occurring 14 times in the first part and 16 times in the second. This strongly supports unity rather than plurality of authorship.
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