Isaiah, Book of

Isaiah; Isaiah 1-12; Isaiah 13-27; Isaiah 28-35; Isaiah 36-39; Isaiah 40-48; Isaiah 49-57; Isaiah 58-66; Isaiah 1-4; Isaiah 5; Matthew 21:33-41; Isaiah 6; Isaiah 7; Isaiah 9:8-10; Isaiah 11; Isaiah 12; Exodus 15; Isaiah 13-24; Isaiah 25-26; Isaiah 27; Isaiah 29; Isaiah 30-31; Isaiah 32; Isaiah 33; Ezekiel 38; Isaiah 34-35; Psalm 83; Isaiah 40-43; Isaiah 44; Deuteronomy 32:15; Deuteronomy 33:26-27; Isaiah 45-47; Isaiah 48; Isaiah 50:1-9; Isaiah 52:1-12; Isaiah 54-55; Isaiah 56-57; Isaiah 58-59; Isaiah 60; Isaiah 61-62; Isaiah 63-64; Isaiah 34; Isaiah 65; Isaiah 66  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Nothing more is known of the ancestors of Isaiah than that he was the son of Amoz. He prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, all kings of Judah. From the closing years of Uzziah to the death of Hezekiah would be from about B.C. 765 to 700, embracing a period of 65 years. The first verse says that the vision was concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Had due attention been paid to this, it would have prevented many things being ascribed in the headings of the chapters to the church, and the prophecy would have been the better understood. In few words the prophecy may be said to treat of the failures of the nation of Judah and the judgments upon it. Assyria is used as God’s rod to punish them, and is then destroyed. Judgments are pronounced against the nations around the promised land that had been enemies to God’s people. The Messiah is prophesied of and His rejection, and universal blessing is spoken of.
The following seven divisions are distinctly marked:
Isaiah 1-12. The sinful condition of the people as still in possession of the land: various pleadings and chastisements culminating in the Assyrian: the introduction of Immanuel: ends with a song.
Isaiah 13-27. Judgments on Babylon and the nations where Israel was captive and outcast: ends in deliverance from their outcast condition and worship at Jerusalem.
Isaiah 28-35. Five woes on unfaithful Israel: ends with deliverance from the Assyrian and the confederacy of nations, and the joy of the kingdom.
Isaiah 36-39. Historical, but typical: the way of blessing for Jerusalem and the house of David.
Isaiah 40-48. Controversy of God with Israel on account of idolatry. Cyrus (type of Christ) the deliverer.
Isaiah 49-57. Controversy of God with Israel on account of the rejected suffering Messiah.
Isaiah 58-66. Final results: the remnant delivered and blessed.
Isaiah 1-4. is introductory. The “sinful nation” was completely corrupt, and had been sorely chastised; there was no soundness from head to foot; though chastened, there was no contrition, and God’s judgments must still follow. There is also grace in store for the latter days: Zion will be a center of blessing, and a remnant will be saved.
Isaiah 6. The people were unfit for their Messiah, but will be judged in view of His coming glory: a remnant is acknowledged.
Isaiah 7. Immanuel, Son of David, is introduced as a sign for faith, when unbelief was seeking a confederacy. The house of David after the flesh is judged: still there is hope. See IMMANUEL.
Isaiah 8-9:7. The Assyrians overrun the land, and the confederacy of nations is to be brought to naught. A remnant, “my brethren,” is attached to Immanuel, who is a stone of stumbling to the unbelieving nation, but a light amid the darkness until He is received in power and glory.
Isaiah 9:8-108The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 9And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. (Isaiah 9:8‑10). The national history is resumed from the end of Isaiah 5. Various judgments from the Lord are detailed until the last judgment by means of the Assyrian, who is used as a rod by God, and then is punished for his pride in the last days.
Isaiah 11. Messiah, the “Branch,” and His reign the source of millennial blessing.
Isaiah 12. Israel’s song of triumph in that day (compare with Exodus 15).
Isaiah 13-24. “Burdens” are pronounced. They are judgments on Babylon and the nations, especially on those who were in relationship with Israel. Moab, Damascus, “the land shadowing with wings which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,” Egypt, “ the desert of the sea,” Dumah, Arabia, “the valley of vision” (Jerusalem), Tyre, “the earth [or land] made empty and waste, and turned upside down”; and finally the hosts on high and kings on the earth punished.
Isaiah 25-26. A song in which God’s intervention is celebrated, even to the swallowing up of death in victory.
Isaiah 27. The power of Satan, “leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent” is destroyed, and worship established in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 28-35. Gives details of all that will happen to the Jews in the last days. They make a covenant with death and with hell, but their covenant will be disannulled. Security is in the Stone laid in Zion, all else will perish.
Isaiah 29. Judgments are pronounced against Jerusalem under the name of Ariel, “lion of God”; deliverance comes when at the last extremity, but a far worse judgment, a spirit of blindness, rests on the people. In the day of deliverance the remnant will come to understanding, the scorner being consumed.
Isaiah 30-31. They seek counsel of and trust in Egypt instead of in God.
Isaiah 32. Christ will reign in righteousness: desolation is followed by restoration.
Isaiah 33. The attack of a spoiler in the character of Gog (Ezek. 38), but the Lord, having filled Zion with judgment and righteousness, arises and the enemy is destroyed, and Zion is in peace.
Isaiah 34-35. Final judgment pronounced upon Idumaea and other nations (Compare Psalm 83); and the blessings that will succeed the judgment.
Isaiah 36-39. treat of Hezekiah and Sennacherib. Waiting upon the Lord is enforced. The deliverance wrought is figurative of the outward deliverance there will be from the Assyrian for Jerusalem and the house of David in the last days. Hezekiah’s personal history is appended to this, as figurative of the nation’s sense of the judgment of God upon them, leading to repentance and recovery, and inward or moral deliverance.
Isaiah 40-43. Begin another part of the book. The Messiah is but little introduced: it is rather a question of God and idols. There is comfort for those who have an opened ear. The Lord Jesus, Jehovah’s servant and His elect, shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 45-47. Cyrus is God’s servant, and He would subdue nations before him. God would keep open the two-leaved gates (of Babylon, which were left open in their festivity). The idols of Babylon could not save her: she should be brought to shame for her pride.
Isaiah 48. God pleads with Israel.
Isaiah 49-57. Introduces Christ, and shows the people’s guilt in respect to Him.
Isaiah 50:1-91Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. 2Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. 3I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. 4The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. 5The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. 6I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. 9Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. (Isaiah 50:1‑9). Israel had been as divorced, but Messiah had come to them suitably, to instruct them and take up their cause. Who would contend with Him?
Isaiah 50:10-51. The character of the remnant: they are owned as “my people” by the Lord God, and He will comfort and redeem them.
Isaiah 52:1-121Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! 8Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. 9Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. 12For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. (Isaiah 52:1‑12). Zion is called to awake and put on her strength, the feet of messengers with glad tidings were beautiful.
Isaiah 52:13-53. These refer to the work of Christ in a fivefold way, including the atonement.
Isaiah 54-55. Jerusalem is called upon to sing: through the sure mercies of David there are blessings in store for her, and full free grace to everyone that thirsts.
Isaiah 56-57. Exhortations follow in view of the restoration of Israel; and those, even of Israel, are denounced that walk contrary to God’s will.
Isaiah 58-59. Indignation of the Spirit at the condition of Israel at the time the prophecy was uttered, but goes on to the end, when the Redeemer shall come to Zion.
Isaiah 60. The glory of Jerusalem in the times of blessing.
Isaiah 61-62. Christ, in the full grace of His person, is concerned in the blessing of Israel.
Isaiah 63-64. Christ returns from the judgments of Isaiah 34 with garments stained with the slaughter of His enemies; followed by the intercessions of the Spirit of prophecy.
Isaiah 65. God’s answer to those pleadings.
Isaiah 66. Judgments introducing the millennium, ending with these solemn words: “They shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”
This prophecy embraces a very large field. The condition of the people was sinful when the prophecy was written, and though God had long patience with it, yet the condition was such that judgment must be executed upon it unless there was true repentance. Judgment did follow, but the consummation of evil was not reached until their Messiah had come, and had been rejected; indeed Antichrist will yet be received. Judgment followed the rejection of their Messiah, but the great tribulation is yet to come.
Quotations from Isaiah in the New Testament (nearly forty in number) show that his words applied to the times, that then were; such as the condition of the people; the unprofitableness of the rites and ceremonies; and that grace to the Gentiles had been foretold. The climax of Israel’s sin, and of their judgment, and of God’s blessing are still future. Christ coming in humiliation is revealed in the prophet as well as His glory; indeed, all the ways of God in dealing with His people Israel, on to the end—though some subjects are expanded elsewhere-are to be found in this comprehensive prophecy: clearly it could only have been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.