A Survey of Isaiah

Lesson 2000
Tags: Isaiah

Background Information

The book as such

  • One of the “major prophets”
  • The longest of the prophetic books (at least in terms of number of chapters)
  • Regarded as (one of) the most elegant and profound books in the Hebrew canon

Historical/geographical situation of the author

  • Situated in Judah (primarily Jerusalem) during the latter eighth century BC
  • Was familiar with political and religious leaders of his day
  • Ministered over a period of 40+ years
  • Witnessed firsthand great political and spiritual upheavals in Israel and Judah

Unity of the book

  • The liberal view: at least two authors, perhaps three or as many as seven
  • The conservative (and biblical) view: a single author, led by the Holy Spirit

Structure of the Book

Basic divisions of the book

  • Chapters 1-39: Words of judgment
  • Chapters 40-66: Words of comfort

Outline of the book

See Alan Stringfellow’s Through the Bible in One Year

Sample Texts

1.1-6, 11-14, 18-20
  • Illustrates the spiritual and moral decadence of Isaiah’s day
  • Shows that God judges sin
  • Applies quite well to modern situation

  • Narrates Isaiah’s call, surrender, and commission to serve the Lord
  • Reveals the holiness of God
  • By extension, calls on today’s believers to offer themselves willingly in service to God

7.10-16 (cf. Mt. 1.20-23)
  • Shows God’s sovereign power in the forecasting of future events
  • Predicts the future birth of Jesus Christ by a virgin
  • Reveals the faithlessness of King Ahaz

  • Predicts the coming of the Messiah who would reign on David’s throne
  • Speaks of the peace and righteousness that will prevail under his kingdom

  • Describes the future kingdom of the Messiah
  • Discusses the wisdom and righteousness with which he will reign
  • Reveals God’s plan for restoration, including the physical creation

40.12-14, 18, 25-31
  • Discusses God’s incomparability
  • Encourages believers with the promise of strength in weakness

53.1-9, 11 (cf. Acts 8.32-35)
  • Predicts the Messiah’s agonizing death
  • Reveals that Jehovah’s Servant would bear the sins of all mankind

61.1-2 (cf. Lk 4.16-21)
  • Foretells the coming of Messiah
  • Balances the offer of liberation to those who believe with the reality of judgment for those who do not
  • Fulfilled only partially in the first coming of Christ

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Teacher's notes (2 pages)  9k v. 2 Mar 5, 2011, 9:13 PM Greg Smith