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Introduction to the Books of the Bible

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BOOK : Isaiah

Description : First of the ‘major prophets'

Author: Isaiah

Date written : probably shortly after 701BC

Chapters : 66


Brief Synopsis:


•  Gets its name from the prophet of that name
•  Many see the book divided into prophecies of
•  Condemnation (ch.1-35 although note very many positive passages!) and
•  Consolation (ch.40-66)
•  There is an historical account of the attacks on Jerusalem in the middle of the book (ch.36-39)




Ch.1-35: Part 1: The Book of Judgment
Ch.1-6 Messages of Rebuke and Promise
Ch.1 Charges against Judah for Breaking the Covenant
Ch.2-4 The Future Discipline and Glory of Judah and Jerusalem
Ch.5 The Nation's Judgment and Exile
Ch.6 Isaiah's Unique Commission
Ch.7-12 Prophecies against Aramean and Israelite Threat against Judah
Ch.7 Ahaz warned not to Fear the Aramean & Israelite Alliance
Ch.8/9 Isaiah's Son and David's Son 
Ch.9/10 Judgment against Israel
Ch.10-12 The Assyrian Empire and the Davidic Kingdom
Ch.13-23 Judgment against the Nations
Ch.13/14 Against Assyria and Its Ruler
Ch.14 Against Philistia
Ch.15,16 Against Moab
Ch.17 Against Aram and Israel
Ch.18 Against Cush
Ch.19/20 Against Egypt and Cush
Ch.21 Against Babylon , Dumah ( Edom ) & Arabia
Ch.22 Against the Valley of Vision ( Jerusalem )
Ch.23 Against Tyre
Ch.24-27 Judgment and Promise (the Lord's Kingdom)
Ch.24 Universal Judgments for Universal Sin
Ch.25 Deliverance and Blessing
Ch.26 Praise for the Lord's Sovereign Care
Ch.27 Israel 's Enemies Punished but Israel 's Remnant Restored
Ch.28-33 Six Woes: Five on the Unfaithful in Israel and One on Assyria
Ch.28 Woe to Ephraim ( Samaria ) -- and to Judah
Ch.29 Woe to Jerusalem & those Who Rely on Foreign Alliances
Ch.30 Woe to the Obstinate Nation
Ch.31/32 Woe to Those Who Rely on Egypt 
Ch.33 Woe to Assyria -- but Blessing for God's People
Ch.34-35 More Prophecies of Judgment and Promise 
Ch.34 Destruction of the Nations & Avenging of God's People
Ch.35 The Future Blessings of Restored Zion
Ch.36-39 An Aside: An Historical Interlude: the Assyrian Threat against Jerusalem 
Ch.36 The siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib and the Assyrian army 
Ch.37 The Lord's deliverance of Jerusalem 
Ch.38 The Lord's Extension of Hezekiah's Life
Ch.39 The Babylonian Exile Predicted
Ch.40-66: Part 2: The Book of Comfort or Consolation
Ch.40-48 The Deliverance and Restoration of Israel
Ch.40 The Coming of the Victorious God & Unfailing Strength for the Weary Exiles
Ch.41 The Lord of History
Ch.42 Praise and Exhortation
Ch.43 The Regathering and Renewal of Israel
Ch.44-45 The Only God
Ch.46 The Lord's Superiority over Babylon's gods
Ch.47 The Fall of Babylon
Ch.48 The Lord's Exhortations to His People
Ch.49-57 The Servant's Ministry and Israel 's Restoration
Ch.49 Call & Mission of the Servant & the Repopulation of Zion
Ch.50 Israel's Sin and the Servant's Obedience 
Ch.51/52 The Remnant comforted by their Glorious Prospect
Ch.52/53 Sufferings and Glories of the Lord's Righteous Servant
Ch.54 The Future Glory of Zion
Ch.55/56 The Lord's Call to Salvation and Covenant Blessings
Ch.56/57 The Condemnation of the Wicked in Israel
Ch.58-66 Everlasting Deliverance and Everlasting Judgment
Ch.58 False and True Worship
Ch.59 Zion 's Confession and Redemption
Ch.60 Zion 's Peace and Prosperity
Ch.61 The Lord's Favour
Ch.62/63 Zion 's Restoration and Glory
Ch.63/64 Prayer for Divine Deliverance
Ch.65 The Lord's Answer: Mercy and Judgment
Ch.66 Judgment on False Worshipers & Blessing on True Worshipers



Verses about the Messiah in Isaiah


The prophecy

In Isaiah

NT fulfilment

Will be born of a virgin


Lk 1:26-31

Will have a Galilean ministry


Mt 4:13-16

Will be an heir to the throne of David

9:7; 11:1,10

Lk 1:32,33

Will have His way prepared


Jn 1:19-28

Will be spat on and struck


Mt 26:67

Will be exalted


Phil 2:9,10

Will be disfigured by suffering

52:14; 53:2

Mk 15:15-19

Will make a blood atonement


1Pet 1:2

Will be widely rejected


Jn 12:37,38

Will bear our sins and sorrows


Rom 4:25; 1Pet 2:24,25

Will be our substitute


Rom 5:6,8; 2 Cor 5:21

Will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment for sin


Jn 1:29; Rom 6:10; 2 Cor 5:21

Gentiles will seek Him


Jn 12:20,21

Will be silent before His accusers


Luke 23:9

Will save us who believe in Him


Jn 3:16; Acts 16:31

Will die with transgressors


Mk 15:27,28; Lk 22:37

Will heal the broken-hearted


Lk 4:18,19

God's Spirit will rest on Him


Mt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22; 4:1

Will be buried in a rich man's tomb


Mt 27:57-60; Jn 19:38-42

He will judge the earth with righteousness


Jn 5:27; Lk 19:22; 2 Tim 4:1,8



Key Verses :


The scope of Isaiah's ministry

1:1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah .


Not all is gloomy judgment in this first part

2:1-4 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem : In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion , the word of the LORD from Jerusalem . He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.


Judgement always comes with hope

4:2-6 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel . Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.


Heavenly vision and implied calling

6:1-8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"


An instance of practical encouragement

7:3-7 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman's Field. Say to him, `Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood--because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. Aram , Ephraim and Remaliah's son have plotted your ruin, saying, "Let us invade Judah ; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it." Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "It will not take place, it will not happen


A Basic Principle: rely on God's word (law and history) not the occult

8:19,20 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.


A most amazing prophecy about a coming one

9:6,7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.


Further detail about the coming one: from David's line, a ruler

11:1-5 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.


A basic principle

26:3,4 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.


One of a number of words of hope and encouragement

35:4-10 say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away


Isaiah plays a real part in supporting Hezekiah and resisting Assyria

37:5-7 When King Hezekiah's officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master, `This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard--those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him so that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.' "


A Helpful Principle

40:28-31 The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


A picture of the gentle and compassionate Messiah

42:1-4 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope."

The work of the Messiah, the work of the kingdom

61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.



Concluding Comments


•  Isaiah is not a book for the faint-hearted; there is too much of it!
•  So, a challenge for those who wish to be serious about studying the Bible: either in a Bible or on a screen copy of Isaiah, go through the book and either underline or highlight every word that brings hope or encouragement ; see in it the God

•  who has designed the best way for His world to work and therefore speaks and acts against those who abuse it

•  is full of grace and mercy, looking to bless those who will turn to Him

•  Reading Isaiah is like watching a ten hour film; it is best done in episodes. Slowly read through a chapter or two and catch the sense of what is there.
•  If there is a judgment being spoken about note a) why the judgment is being brought, i.e. what this people are doing wrong, b) what will happen and (sometimes) c) what outcome the Lord wants to bring about.
•  Quotes from Isaiah appear in many places in the New Testament. Below is an Appendix showing some of those: 


Additional Resources on this site:





Appendix: Isaiah in the New Testament



Mt 1:23 Virgin with child (Isa 7.14)

Mt 3:3 Voice in wilderness (Isa 40.3)

Mt 4:15,16 A light in darkness (Isa 9.1)

Mt 8:17 Carried our diseases (Isa 53.4)

Mt 12:18-21 Behold My Servant (Isa 42.1)

Mt 13:14,15 Closed eyes and ears (Isa 6.9)

Mt 15:8-9 They worship in vain (Isa 29.13)

Mt 21:13 A house of prayer (Isa 56.7)


Mk 1:2,3 Voice in wilderness (Isa 40.3)

Mk 4:12 Closed eyes and ears (Isa 6.9)

Mk 7:6,7 They worship in vain (Isa 29.13)

Mk 9:48 Fire is not quenched (Isa 66.24)

Mk 11:17 A house of prayer (Isa 56.7)

Mk 15:28 Numbered with transgressors (Isa 53.12)


Lk 3:4-6 Voice in wilderness (Isa 40.3)

Lk 4:17-19 He anointed me to preach (Isa 61.1)

Lk 8:10 Closed eyes and ears (Isa 6.9)

Lk 19:46 A house of prayer (Isa 56.7)

Lk 22:37 Numbered with transgressors (Isa 53.12)


Jn 1:23 Voice in wilderness (Isa 40.3)

Jn 6:45 All be taught of God (Isa 54.13)

Jn 12:38 Who has believed our report? (Isa 53.1)

Jn 12:39,40 Closed eyes and ears (Isa 6.10)


Acts 7:48-50 Heaven is my throne (Isa 66.1-2)

Acts 8:32,33 A lamb to the slaughter (Isa 53.7)

Acts 13:34 The blessings of David (Isa 55.3)

Acts 13:47 A light for the Gentiles (Isa 49.6)

Acts 28:25-27 Closed eyes and ears (Isa 6.9)


Rom 2:24 Blasphemy among Gentiles (Isa 52.5)

Rom 3:15-17 Feet swift to shed blood (Isa 59.7-8)

Rom 9:20 Potter and the clay (Isa 29.16, 45.9)

Rom 9:27,28 Remnant shall be saved (Isa 10.22)

Rom 9:29 As Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa 1.9)

Rom 9:33 Stone of stumbling (Isa 8.14)

Rom 9:33, 10.11 Believers not disappointed (Isa 28.16)

Rom 10:15 How beautiful the feet (Isa 52.7)

Rom 10:16 Who has believed our report? (Isa 53.1)

Rom 10:20 Found by those who sought me not (Isa 65.1)

Rom 10:21 Disobedient and obstinate people (Isa 65.2)

Rom 11:8 A spirit of stupor (Isa 29.10)

Rom 11:26 Deliverer from Zion (Isa 59.20)

Rom 11:26,27 When I forgive their sins (Isa 27.9)

Rom 11:34 The mind of the LORD (Isa 40.13)

Rom 14:11 Every knee shall bow (Isa 45.23)

Rom 15:12 Hope for Gentiles (Isa 42.4)

Rom 15:12 The Root of Jesse (Isa 11.10)

Rom 15:21 They shall understand (Isa 52.15)


1Cor 1.19 The wisdom of the wise (Isa 29.14)

1Cor 2.9 Eye has not seen (Isa 64.4)

1Cor 2.16 The mind of the Lord (Isa 40.13)

1Cor 14.21 Speak in strange tongues (Isa 28.11)

1Cor 15.32 Tomorrow we may die (Isa 22.13)

1Cor 15.54 Death swallowed up (Isa 25.8)

2Cor 5.17 Old and new (Isa 43.18-19)

2Cor 6.2 Acceptable time, day of salvation (Isa 49.8)

2Cor 6.17 Come out from among them (Isa 52.11)

2Cor 9.10 God supplies rain and seed (Isa 55.10)


1Pet 1.25 God's word abides forever (Isa 40.6)

1Pet 2.6 Precious corner stone (Isa 28.16)

1Pet 2.8 Stone of stumbling (Isa 8.14)

1Pet 2.22 He committed no sin (Isa 53.9)

1Pet 2.24-25 Healed by his stripes (Isa 53.5)

1Pet 3.14 Do not be in fear (Isa 8.12)

2Pet 3.13 New heavens, new earth (Isa 65.17)


Rev 1.8,11,17 Alpha & omega, First & Last (Isa 41.4)

Rev 3.7 The key of David (Isa 22.22)

Rev 6.13-14 Rolled up like scroll (Isa 34.4,10)

Rev 7.16 No hunger or thirst (Isa 49.10)

Rev 7.17 Wipe away every tear (Isa 25.8)

Rev 14.8, 18.2 Babylon is fallen (Isa 21.9)

Rev 19.13-15 Robe stained in blood (Isa 63.2-3)

Rev 21.1 New heavens, new earth (Isa 65.17)

Rev 21.6, 22.13 First and Last (Isa 41.4)

Rev 21.24-26 Gates open to the nations (Isa 60.3,10-11)


Gal 4.27 Rejoice barren woman (Isa 54.1)

Eph 2.17 Preach peace to those near and far (Isa 57.19)

Eph 6.14-17 Belt, breastplate, helmet (Isa 11.5, 59.17)

Phil 2.10-11 Every knee shall bow (Isa 45.23)

2The 2.8 Breath of his mouth (Isa 11.4)

Heb 2.13 The children God has given me (Isa 8.17-18)

Heb 12.12 Feeble hands, weak knees (Isa 35.3)

Jas 1.10-11 Grass withers and fades (Isa 40.6-8)