Saturday, July 31, 2010


It's interesting that, although Isaiah probably began his ministry in the 760s during the reign of Uzziah (r. 810-759) and continued into the 7th century, his prophecy is largely directed against Judah and Jerusalem (1:1). I say this is interesting because the northern kingdom of Israel wasn't defeated and taken into Assyrian captivity until 722/21 B.C., a good 40 years after Isaiah began his work. Why did he not have some message for the North? Well, the primary answer is that God sent him to the south. Other prophets, notably Hosea and Amos, had directed their preaching to Israel, so Isaiah was charged with Judah, although he wasn't completely barren in his messages to the northern kingdom (see chapters, 10, 30-31 for examples). He even had great sections of denunciation of Gentile nations (esp. chapters 13-19). So his work, while primary directed at the south, did encompass much of the Middle Eastern region as a whole.

Yet, there is much more to Isaiah than this. The whole section from chapters 40-66 has a huge amount of Messianic material and speaks constantly of the might, glory, and splendor of the one, true--and only--God. It is one of the most beautiful and awesome sections in all of Scripture, and I hope I can do it even a modicum of justice when we reach that point in our study.

The book itself is composed of two major sections--chapter 1-39, the work and prophetic communication sof Isaiah to and about the nations of the region, and chapters 40-66 described above. It's interesting--and probably coincidental since men are the ones who divided the Biblical books into chapters and verses--that Isaiah has 66 chapters, with these two great divisions--chapters 1-39 and 40-66. Interesting, I say, because the Bible has 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New. The providence of God? Who knows?

Isaiah is a beautiful written book by an extremely intelligent and talented man. The fact that God used him for at least 60 years is indicative of Jehovah's trust in him.

No comments:

Post a Comment