for a troubled time"
and Redemption: 1:1-5:30
commissioned to be God's messenger: 6:1-13
His Messianic Kingdom: 7:1-12:6
on the nations: 13:1-23:18
consummation of history: The "Day of the Lord": 24:1-27:13
to be destroyed and restored: 28:1-33:24
in God's kingdom: 34:1-35:10
delivered from Assyria, destroyed by Babylon: 36:1-39:8
way of deliverance: 40:1-48:22
way of forgiveness opened to all (special emphasis on chapter 53):
XI. The way to
of Christ in Isaiah
1. 7:14 - Born of a virgin,
2. 8:14, 28:16 - "Stone of
Stumbling" to Jews
3. 9:1 - Ministry to begin in
4. 11:1 - Family line of Jesse
5. 11:2 - Special anointment
6. 35:5,6 - Ministry of miracles
7. 40:3 - Preceded by messenger
8. 50:6 - Smitten and spit upon
9. 53:3 - Rejected by his own
10. 53:5 - Wounded and bruised
11. 53:7 - Dumb before accusers.
12. 53:9 - Buried in a rich man's
13. 53:12 - Crucified with
thieves, Made intercession for his persecutors
14. 60:3 - "Light" to
Isaiah is regarded as one of the
greatest of the Old Testament prophets. He was blessed by God with a long
ministry to the people of Judah that lasted over 50 years from 740-681 BC
He preached during the reigns of four of Judah's kings, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and
Isaiah's name literally means
"Salvation of the Lord" or "The Lord Saves" and is almost
identical in meaning with the name Joshua or Jesus. It is very appropriate that
his name so closely resembles that of our Lord as his book contains many
prophecies about our Lord's birth, life, death and resurrection.
We know little of Isaiah's personal
history. The book of Isaiah tells us only that his father was Amoz. The fact
that he had ready access to the kings of Judah indicates that he may have been
of noble birth. The literary style of his book also suggests an upper class
background. He was married to a prophetess and had two sons, Shear-Jashub
and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Jewish tradition holds that Isaiah
suffered martyrdom during the reign of Manasseh by being sawn in two (see
The people of Isaiah's day were morally
bankrupt. The nation of Israel which had reached its zenith under Solomon had
been divided during the reign of his son, Rehoboam. The northern ten tribes of
Israel quickly adopted the idol worship of the surrounding nations and were
conquered by Assyria in 722 BC
Isaiah preached to the southern kingdom
of Judah. He rebuked the people for their moral depravity. The rich trampled the
poor and women were concerned with personal adornments and calling attention to
themselves. The people also began to worship false gods.
The kings who reigned while Isaiah
preached were not especially bad kings. In fact Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham and
Hezekiah were good kings. Ahaz alone, who reigned after Jotham, was an evil king
who worshiped false idols and even sacrificed his son to them.
The priests on the whole are a
different story. They were charged with leading the people in the ways of the
Lord but Isaiah accused them of leading the people astray. The priests allowed
the people to pursue idol worship and to lead immoral lives.
God eventually punished Judah for its
sins by allowing Assyria to conquer much of her territory. God did, however;
prevent the Assyrians from taking Jerusalem. That privilege was given by God to
the Babylonian Empire which succeeded the Assyrian Empire. Jerusalem fell to the
Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.
of the Book
The book of Isaiah can be divided
rather broadly into two sections. The first, composed of chapters 1-39,
has a basic theme of judgment and warning and interestingly enough corresponds
in length to the number of books in the Old Testament. The second section,
chapters 40-66, has a basic theme of grace and peace and the number of
chapters in this section corresponds to the number of books in the New
Testament. This section emphasizes the dawning of a new age under the Messiah.
Prophecies about Christ abound
throughout the book of Isaiah. His virgin birth is foretold in Isaiah 7:14. His
birth and descent from David are mentioned in Chapter 9:6-7. Special
attention should be given to chapter 53 which vividly portrays our Lord as a
"man of sorrows." This chapter graphically foretells the crucifixion,
death and resurrection of Jesus. Chapters 61-66 tell of the second coming
and final judgment.
Because of his prophecies about Christ
Isaiah is sometimes referred to as "The Evangelist of the Old
Testament." The truly amazing fact of all is that these prophecies were
made 700 years before Jesus' birth. It is important to keep in mind the
Christ-centered focus of Isaiah's book.
Judgment and Redemption
In these opening chapters of the book
of Isaiah we are presented by Isaiah with God's charges of sins committed by the
people of Judah and their leaders. The style of Isaiah's writing is reminiscent
of a courtroom proceeding with God as the judge and prosecutor and the people of
Judah as the accused. Isaiah presents God's accusations then His judgments but
interspersed throughout this are calls to repentance and the promise of God's
II. Chapter 1:2-8 - Charges
against Judah and Jerusalem
A. The accusations are presented as
though God is calling a court to order. God calls on the heavens and the earth
B. Verse 2 - The relationship of
God to Judah is compared to that of a father to his children. Does a father use
punishment as a means to destroy his children or as a means to correct them?
C. Verse 4 - The word for nation
used here (goi) is used to describe the heathen nations around Israel. God is
applying this term to Judah to show that Judah has sunk to the level of these
D. Verse 6 - What does this verse
indicate about the spiritual condition of the people?
E. Verses 7-8 - These verses foretold the destruction of the fortified cities of Judah by Sennacherib, King of Assyria.
1. See 2
Kings 18:7, 13-16.
2. God saved
Jerusalem from Assyria (2 Kings 19:35-37).
F. Verses 10-17 - God
declares Judah's offerings and prayers unacceptable because of their sin. A call
to repentance is given.
III. Chapter 1:18-20, 26-27
- Promise of Redemption
A. Stark contrast is given between the condition the people are in and the change to be made in them (scarlet--snow).
1. Was Judah
in a position to make this change in themselves?
2. What is
indicated as the cause of man's downfall in verse 20?
26-27 refer to the New Jerusalem following the Second Coming.
IV. Chapter 2:6-9, 10-22 -
The Day of the Lord
A. Verses 6-9 - Judah is chastised for associating with pagans, worshiping idols and sorcery.
B. Verses 10-22 - Judgment
10 - When attacked by an enemy the common people would hide in caves to
Isaiah point out the benefits of the "Day of the Lord?"
types of people should fear God's judgment in that day (verse 12)?
Revelation 6:15-16. How does this compare to Isaiah 2:21? Can anyone hide
from God's judgment?
5. Do we have
to fear God's wrath on that day? See Psalm 121:1-2.
V. Chapter 2:2-4 - A Glorious
A. Compare Micah 4:1-3 with
1. The Micah
passage is engraved on a plaque at the United Nations.
2. Why don't
we have peace in our day?
B. Is Isaiah speaking of the end times?
What gives you the clue from this passage?
C. What does this passage say to the
Jew who thought salvation was only for his people?
VI. Chapter 3:1-4, 13-15 -
God pronounces Judgment
A. God is now seated in judgment on the
nation of Judah. He is called "The Lord Almighty," a title of
B. Verses 4-12 indicate the
conditions in Judah following the forced exile of its leaders.
C. What have the leaders of the people
done that God is removing them (verses 13-15)?
See 2 Kings 24:14 to see the fulfillment of this prophecy.
VII. Chapter 3:16-26 - Judgment
on the Women of Judah
A. Women of that day were proud and
1. How does
Isaiah illustrate their mannerisms and dress?
Canaanite goddess Ishtar was decorated with many of the pieces of jewelry
3. How does
the behavior of women in that day compare with our society today?
B. Verse 24 - The branding
referred to here was a mark on the forehead of prisoners which marked them as
slaves forever. It caused permanent disfigurement.
C. Verse 4:1 - Seven women seek one man.
signifies the maximum number.
Eastern women dreaded being childless.
VIII. Chapter 4:2-6 - Future
A. Isaiah returns to a discussion of
the "Day of the Lord" from chapter 2.
2. Who has
removed the sin of the people?
B. Verse 2- "The fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel."
1. The term
for "branch" is used to describe the Messiah.
C. Verse 5- "Cloud of
smoke" and "pillar of fire"- Does this echo a past
experience of Israel when God's presence was with them?
IX. Chapter 5:1-4 - Parable of
A. How does Verse 7 explain this
parable? Who is the owner of the vineyard?
Who does the vineyard stand for?
B. Christ often taught in parables. See
Matthew 21:33 for another "Parable of the Vineyard."
C. The owner of the vineyard followed all the steps to produce a good harvest (i.e. preparing the ground, care for vines, watch tower...).
1. If all
conditions are right for the vines to produce a good harvest is the owner at
fault? What must have caused it to go bad?
2. Who is to
blame for sin according to this parable?
Isaiah receives a vision of the Lord in
this chapter. During this vision he is cleansed of his sin and commissioned to
give a message to the people of Judah. His message is not one of hope and peace
but of death and destruction which God will bring on the people because of their
spiritual blindness and persistence in sin.
II. Chapter 6:1-4 - The Vision.
A. The Setting
the year that King Uzziah died." Uzziah
died in 742 BC Uzziah began his reign at age 16 and ruled over Judah for 52
years. He was considered one of Judah's greatest kings. He had an army of more
than 300,000 and used it effectively to defeat many of Judah's enemies (see 2
Chronicles 26). His downfall came when he tried to usurp the role of the priests
and offer incense in the temple. God afflicted Uzziah with leprosy and he
suffered with that disease till the day he died.
2. The Temple
the vision Isaiah saw. See John 12:41 to find out who Isaiah actually saw.
b. The temple
referred to here was probably not the earthly temple in Jerusalem as mention is
made of the presence of the seraphim. The cherubim watched over the earthly
temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:23).
c. The word
used for temple can also mean palace.
1. Their name
literally means "burning ones." Their chief characteristic is their
love for God.
the appearance of the seraphim. Can you think of a reason they would cover their
faces and feet?
3. Song of the Seraphim (verse 3).
a. Does this
song resemble part of our liturgy?
whole earth is full of his glory." This is literally saying that all
created things reflect God's glory.
c. This song
is also sung by the "Four Living Creatures" in Revelation 4:8.
three-fold holy may be a reference to the Trinity (see verse 8 and Genesis
III. Chapter 6:5-7 - Absolution
A. Verse 5- Sin recognized.
1. Why do you
think that Isaiah would be reminded of his sin by looking at the heavenly
splendor and majesty of our Lord?
2. Can you
recall a time or times in your life when your sin really has disturbed you and
when you really felt a conscious need for forgiveness?
B. Verse 6- Sin Forgiven.
1. When the
angel says that Isaiah's sins are forgiven he uses the future tense. This
implies the future sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
2. We might
compare this scene to that of the pastor pronouncing absolution on the repentant
in forgiveness. Confession/absolution. (1 John 1:9)
IV. Chapter 6:8-13 - Commission
A. Verse 8- The Call.
"...Who will go for us?" This could be a reference again to the
2. Why has Isaiah's outlook changed from that of a fearful sinner to that of a willing servant? How does this mirror our own relationship with God? Do we serve God for fear of His judgment or to earn His
B. Verses 9 & 10- Message for
a People Blinded by Sin.
1. The Lord
uses the phrase "this people" as a sign of disdain rather than
2. Is Isaiah
to speak a message that will turn the people from their sin? What will be the
effect of his message on them?
3. Do people close their eyes and ears to God's Word today? Name some examples.
C. Verses 11-13- Isaiah
Questions and God Answers.
wondered that the God of grace who forgave him his sin would now pass such
judgment on Judah so he asks the question, "For how long, O Lord?"
2. What do
you think God is specifically referring to in verse 12?
3. God promises grace finally in verse 13. The terebinth is a great thick-trunked tree which could survive hot, dry weather. The oak is a long-lived tree which itself became a symbol of longevity. God would leave a remnant who would remain following the destruction and captivity that the people would
Isaiah received a commission from God
to preach to the people of Judah. Though we have not received a vision telling
us to preach God has given us His Word which tells us to go and "...make
disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19). Isaiah's message was largely
one of destruction but we have been entrusted with the Good News of salvation in
Jesus Christ. God grant us willing hearts and voices to speak this Good News to
all the lost souls we come into contact with in our daily lives.
His Messianic Kingdom
I. Historical Background
A. Syria and Israel attacked Judah
1. Result of Ahaz' evil life: Ahaz succeeded Jotham around 740 BC He was one of the most evil kings of Judah. 2 Chronicles 28 and 1 Kings 16 record his reign. He promoted idolatry and even sacrificed one of his sons.
2. Isaiah 7
relates how God called on Ahaz to trust in Him for deliverance. God commanded
Ahaz to ask for a sign but Ahaz refused. He turned instead to Assyria for help.
B. The fall of Israel and Syria.
king of Assyria, conquered Syria around 732 BC Israel became subject to him.
Shalmaneser V succeeded his father as king of Assyria. He besieged Samaria in
725 BC Israel fell to Sargon, his son, in 722 BC (Isaiah 9:8-21)
3. Isaiah and his sons were signs for Judah and Israel. (Isaiah 8:18) a. Shear Jashub- "a remnant shall return" b. Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz- "quick to the plunder" c. Isaiah- "salvation is of the Lord"
C. Punishment of Judah. (Isaiah
attacked Judah during the reign of Hezekiah (743 BC) Sennacherib, King of
Assyria, conquered the fortified cities of Judah.
stopped Assyria from taking Jerusalem. The "Angel of the Lord" killed
185,000 soldiers of the Assyrian army. (Isaiah 10:16, 37:36)
3. Judah ultimately fell to Babylon in 586 BC Isaiah's prophecy in 7:18-25 may be a reference to this.
D. Punishment of Assyria. (Isaiah
1. The King
of Assyria did not give glory to God for his victories.
Assyrian army was destroyed outside of Jerusalem (C2).
the capital of Assyria, fell to Babylon in 612 BC.
II. Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:10-16)
A. Ahaz rejected God in favor of his
alliance with Assyria.
verse 11- "Ask the Lord your God for a sign..."verse 13- "Will you also try the patience of my God also?"
signals the turning point in the history of Judah. Because of Ahaz' apostasy
Judah is doomed to fall.
3. God would
preserve a remnant of Judah because the Messiah would come from Judah. This is
the reason for the prophecy in verses14-16.
B. "The virgin will be with
child..." verse 14
1. Virgin is
the correct translation here. The RSV uses "young woman." This is a
possible translation but is not correct in this instance.
defines the Hebrew word as "...a marriageable young lady of unblemished
reputation. It cannot be denied that such a one is to be classified as a
virgin." (Exposition of Isaiah, p. 156)
Septuagint (280-180 BC), an early Greek translation of the Old Testament,
translates the word as virgin.
4. Matthew 1:23 uses this passage to support the virgin birth of Christ.
C. This prophecy had its fulfillment in
1. The text says, "The virgin," speaking of one person.
1:22- "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the
1. Why did
Christ have to be born of a virgin?
2. What does
the name Immanuel (God with us) mean for us in our lives today?
III. Stone of Stumbling. (Isaiah
A. Conspiracy. Verse 12
1. This word may also be translated as treason. The Jews considered it treasonous to oppose the alliance with Assyria.
2. The Lord
told Isaiah that the people should fear Him and not Syria or Israel.
B. Christ is the issue.
1. Those who
reject Him will be destroyed by Him Matthew 21:42.
2. The Jews
rejected Him, trusting instead in their own works. Romans 9:32-33.
3. For the
Christian Christ is the Cornerstone. 1 Peter 2:4-9 (Christ is the most
important stone or Cornerstone. In Christ we are united as a spiritual
1. What does
Isaiah 8:14 say to those who reject Christ?
2. What does
this passage mean for us as believers concerning our relationship with Christ
and one another?
IV. Chapter 9:1-7 - To us a Child
1. This area
of Galilee was destroyed around 734-732 BC by Assyria.
2. The deliverance from the darkness of sin is compared to the victory of Gideon over Midian in verse 4 (Judges 6-8).
B. The Deliverer
reference to the Messiah as a child ties in with Isaiah 7:14.
2. "The government...shoulders."- Gold chains were worn by rulers in ancient times as a sign of their authority.
3. Titles of
Counselor- This emphasizes His wisdom in formulating a plan of
God- Christ is the all-powerful God.
Father- God’s love for man is an everlasting love.
of Peace-The Messiah will establish peace between God and man. (Rom.
4. He is a descendant of David and rules on David's throne.
V. Chapter 10:20-21 - The Remnant
A. God will call some of the Jews back
to Judah after the captivity.
B. They will return in the hope of the
Messiah. ("Mighty God" 9:6, "Holy One of Israel")
VI. Chapter 11 - The Messiah and His
A. Description of the Messiah. (Isaiah 11:1-5).
1. He will
come from the remnant as a sprout (Isaiah 6:13, Jeremiah 23:5). Jesus was a
Nazarene (The Hebrew word netzer means sprout).
2. He will be
the perfect ruler: endowed with wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge
and fear of the Lord.
3. His rule
is one of righteousness. Justice is given to the poor and needy.
B. Restoration of Nature in the Kingdom. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
creation was subject to decay because of man's sin. Romans 8:19-21.
2. Men and
animals will live in harmony
3. "...for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord..." The blindness of sin will be gone.
C. The Harvest (Isaiah 11:11-12.)
1. God will
restore His people of all nations, not just Israel and Judah.
12:32) Christ was lifted up on the cross as a banner to the nations.
Isaiah summaries the blessings of the
Messiah in the song of praise in chapter 12. Despite the unfaithfulness of Judah
and Israel God will accomplish His plan of salvation for the whole world.
on the Nations
It is assumed that these prophecies
were given after the death of Ahaz based on Isaiah 14:28. Isaiah predicted the
downfall of several nations in these chapters. The downfall of Babylon, which is
spoken of first did not occur until 100 years after the death of Ahaz. (715 BC)
Refusal to depend on God is foolishness which will result in destruction.
Salvation is to be found in the one true God who will raise up "One from
the house of David." (Isaiah 16:5)
II. Nations singled out for destruction
A. Babylon 13-14; 21:1-10
had not yet risen as a world power but would eventually replace Assyria as the
dominant nation in the Middle East.
was destroyed because of its pride. (13:19)
fell to Cyrus, King of Persia, in 539 BC. The Medes and Elamites were also
involved in her destruction. (21:2)
4. Babylon is
probably listed first since it came to symbolize man's rebellion against God.
(Genesis 11 to Revelation 18)
B. Assyria 14:24-27, 18:4-6
1. Assyria rose as a world power in part because David conquered the Kingdom of Zobah in Syria which threatened it at that time. (1000 BC)
2. At the
height of its power Assyria defeated Syria and Israel and almost took control of
3. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, fell in 612 BC to Babylon.
C. Philistia 14:28-32
1. They are
thought to have come from Crete being of Greek origin.
settled along the Mediterranean coast after unsuccessful attempts to conquer
3. Isaiah was
probably warning against rejoicing over the death of Ahaz and the possibility of
an alliance with Judah against Assyria.
1. The people
of Moab were descendants of Lot.
2. They had
been subjugated to Judah during the reigns of David and Saul.
prophecy is probably referring to the invasion in 715 BC by Sargon of Assyria.
E. Damascus and Ephraim
called Ephraim here, and Damascus, the capital of Syria, had been allied against
speaks of the false glory of these two nations who relied on their own
strength instead of God.
fell to Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, in 732 BC.
F. Cush (Ethiopia) Chapter 18
actually refers to the combined Kingdoms of Ethiopia and Egypt under Shabako (an
Ethiopian) who rose to power in 714 BC.
2. Isaiah is
not predicting the destruction of Cush in this chapter. He is telling their
ambassadors, who wanted to establish an alliance against Assyria, to go home.
G. Egypt and Cush Chapters 19-20
predicted civil war in Egypt and a failure of the life-giving Nile River
to overflow according to its normal annual cycle.
should not rely on Egypt because it is doomed to destruction.
went for three years wearing only a tunic. He did not wear his sackcloth
cloak or shoes in order to symbolize the approaching captivity of Egypt and
H. Edom 21:11-12
1. Dumma is
probably the symbolic name for Seir where the land of Edom is located.
Edomites, descendants of Esau, are pictured as recognizing Judah's God as the
only true God and paying attention to God's watchmen (the prophets).
3. Hymn 71 (TLH) tells of the time when the "morning" actually came (the birth of the Messiah).
I. Arabia 21:13-17
tells of the end of Arabian power as a result of an Assyrian invasion.
pictures the Arabian caravans having to hide in thickets because of the
J. Jerusalem Chapter 22
1. Verses 1-4 probably refer to the Assyrian invasion and attempt to take Jerusalem around 715 BC.
5-14 describe the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
15-25 speak of the replacement of Shebna by Eliakim as Hezekiah's steward.
Shebna built his tomb in vain since he would be taken to Babylon.
K. Tyre Chapter 23
1. Tyre was a
prosperous port on the Mediterranean coast with many colonies around the
2. It was
conquered by Nebuchadnezzar in 588 BC Verse 15 pictures the 70 year dominance of
Babylon in the Middle East.
17-18 may refer to Tyre supplying materials to the Jews for rebuilding the
temple in Jerusalem after the exile (Ezra 3:7).
III. Chapter 14:5-6 - God is in
control of history
A. God was in control during the time
was pictured as the prime enemy of God and His people.
2. She is
punished not so much for what she has done to Judah but because of her pride.
tells of the pride of her kings in chapter 14:12-20.
This was once thought to refer to the fall of Satan from heaven being
compared to Luke 10:18, Revelation 9:1 and 12:7-9. This actually refers to a king or kings of Babylon, possibly
Nebuchadnezzar or his son Belshazzar (see Daniel 5:26-30.)
4. God is the
one who will overthrow Babylon. 14:5-6
5. See Psalm
46. This emphasizes God’s control over history.
6. What does
Luke 12:22-31 tell us about our Lord’s concern for us today? What should
we seek after and view as most important in our lives?
IV. Chapter 16:1-5 - The
establishment of the Messiah's kingdom
A. Moab had been subject to Israel from
the time of Saul up until the time of Ahab in the Northern Kingdom. From that
time on Israel and Moab were at war at various times.
B. Isaiah instructs Moab to resume
their tribute to Israel. Moab’s gods had failed them in their fight against
the Assyrian invaders. They come to
Israel to seek the true God. (verses 3-4)
C. Verse 5 proclaims the coming of the
Messiah who would be a blessing not only to Israel but to Moab and all nations
(see Genesis 12:3).
V. Gentiles and Jews will turn to God.
A. The true God is the only hope of
1. Men will
look to their Maker instead of the things they have made.
This was the female consort of the Canaanite god, El, and symbolized fertility.
The people would turn to the God who made both male and female.
3. What false
gods do people turn to today? ~at are potentially false gods in your life?
B. Cush turns to God. 18:7
1. The people
of Ethiopia would one day worship the Messiah (see Psalm 68:29-31;
2. Acts 8:26-39 tells the story of how this was fulfilled in the New Testament.
C. Egypt and Assyria turn to God.
1. The altar
referred to is sometimes thought to refer to the Jewish temple built at
Elephatine in 410 BC
building of the altar and obedience to the ceremonial law symbolize their
dedication to God.
23-25 speak of a time which can only be the result of the blessings of
Egypt, Assyria and Israel through the Messiah (Genesis 12:3).
A careful reading of these chapters
reveals the hopeless condition of man when he rejects God and is subjected to
His punishment (13:10-11). The stark drama of human tragedy contrasts with
the glimmers of hope which can only be found in the true God.
Consummation of History: The “Day of the Lord''
In chapters 13-23 Isaiah spoke of
the downfall of individual nations who had played a part in Judah's history. In
these chapters Isaiah's eyes are opened to view a wider scene of action. He sees
far into the future to the final judgment and deliverance of God's people. These
chapters are sometimes called the "Apocalypse of Isaiah."
II. Chapter 24 - The Universal Judgment
A. No class of people will escape the
1- The word for devastate can also mean empty. The earth is pictured as a
container turned upside down by the Lord.
2- Social, religious, business or financial distinctions make no
difference. People of both high and low standing will be judged together.
5- The reason for judgment is sin against God's law or covenant (Genesis
9:9- with Noah; Romans 2:12-16- all men have the law written
on their hearts.)
B. Punishment. 24:6-12
1. Wine and
strong drink are taken away. All joys of earthly life will be gone.
10-12- the cities (man's great accomplishments) will be destroyed.
C. The Redeemed. 24:13-16
1. Verse 13
depicts the thoroughness of the destruction. The rotten fruit will fall but the
remnant of believers will be left.
14-16- me contrast of east and west indicates the whole world.
Believers from the whole earth will praise God, especially the "Righteous
One" who redeemed them.
D. Judgment is inescapable.
17-18- There is no place to hide from God.
19-20- Earthquakes are suggested. These verses picture the Lord
shaking the container (earth) with His hands.
21-22- Judgment on Satan and the fallen angels as well as
unbelievers. (Revelation 20:7-1 0; Matthew 25:31-46)
E. The Lord will rule forever and all
other gods (the sun and moon) will be shown as inferior. 24:23 What does this chapter say to those who trust in their
III. Chapter 25 - A Hymn of Praise for
A. Judgment of the wicked and
preservation of the redeemed. 25:1-5
2- A city is again brought in as a symbol of the works of men which they
glory in instead of worshiping God.
2. Verse 3
Some of the wicked will turn to God.
3. Verse 4-5 God protects the needy and poor. The "breath of the ruthless" is like rain beating against a concrete wall. It has no effect on it. God's plan cannot be changed by men.
B. The Heavenly Banquet. 25:6-9
1. Verse 6
Eating was a sign of fellowship in ancient times. God made this meal
possible by restoring fellowship between Himself and men in Christ.
2. Verse 7
God will remove the veil of ignorance and sin (1 Corinthians
3. Verse 8 God will destroy death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57), and wipe away all tears (Revelation 21:4).
C. The destruction of God's enemies.
1. Moab is
used to represent the enemies of God.
punishment of God's enemies is compared to swimming in manure.
IV. Chapter 26 - A Hymn of Praise for
A. The strong city. 26:1-6
picture of a city is used here to represent all of the redeemed ("the
nation that keeps faith").
2. The Lord
alone is to be trusted. He is the "Rock-eternal."
B. God’s Great Works 26:7-15
1. God is
concerned for the welfare of His people and he guides them.
2. Verse 9
"Night" represents the time of trial before God's final
10-11 Times of blessing do
not cause the wicked to repent so God will punish them.
12-15- Israel's subjection under foreign invaders had caused them to
call on the true God.
C. Man's view of history: It has no
1. Israel had suffered so much and the people could not see God's plan behind it.
2. Isaiah compares Israel's past to a woman suffering through childbirth without having the joy of bearing a child.
D. God's view: history has one purpose
1. Verse 19- God's purpose is the salvation of man. The dead will rise and God's people will live with him forever.
2. Verse 20- Man must wait patiently for God to accomplish this.
3. Verse 21- Christ's second coming is clearly pictured here. All sin will be brought to light at that time.
When we suffer trials and loss God
tells us that our lives have meaning and purpose in Him. Christ has redeemed us
and will gather us on the last day to eat at his banquet table.
V. Chapter 27 - The Deliverance of the
"Israel of God."
A. The destruction of Satan
obviously refers to Satan.
3:15- He shall crush his head."; Psalm 74:14
Leviathon's head is crushed; Revelation 12:9 Satan is again described as a serpent.)
B. The fruitful vineyard
1. In which
previous chapter did Isaiah mention a vineyard?
3- The vineyard pictured here is the New Testament Church which the Lord
watches over personally.
4-5 The wicked (briers) will
be punished unless they turn to God.
4. Verse 6
The church will produce fruit throughout the whole world.
C. God's mercy to Judah
1. God did
not completely destroy Judah because the Messiah would come as one of Judah's
2. Verse 9
The false gods must be destroyed. Salvation is found only in the true God
10-11 Those who oppose God are destroyed.
4. Verse 12-13 The "Israelites" are all believers whom Christ will take to Himself on Judgment Day. (Galatians 6:16)
We do not fear the day of judgment
since Christ has redeemed us and promises to take us to the great wedding feast
in heaven. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for
good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His
purpose" (Romans 8:28).
Jerusalem to be Destroyed and Restored
These chapters focus on the city of
Jerusalem. They were probably spoken during the reign of Hezekiah shortly before
the invasion of Judah by Assyria. Once again the futility of earthly alliances
is stressed. God is the only one who can deliver the people from their enemies
II. Chapter 28 - The Cornerstone in
A. Destruction of the Northern Kingdom.
1-2- The destruction of Samaria, "the wreath" or
"fading flower" is prophesied here by Isaiah. Verse 2 indicates the
invasion by Assyria.
5-6- The Lord will become "a beautiful wreath" for the
remnant who turn to Him. Punishment of the people was intended to cause them to
turn to God.
B. The apostasy of the priests and
prophets in Judah. 28:7-8, 10-13
7-8- Isaiah indicates the immoral lives of the priests and prophets
and their complete inability to advise the king.
2. Verses 10-13- The priests and prophets mock the message of Isaiah, claiming he speaks to them as if they were children. They cling to their own wisdom, labeling God's Word as foolish and simplistic. Because of this the Lord mocks them in verse 13. God's ways are foolishness to man. (1 Corinthians 1:23-29)
C. The Cornerstone in Zion.
14-15- The people of Judah claim that their alliance with Egypt will
protect them from death at the hand of the Assyrians.
2. Verses 16-19- The Lord will provide the sure foundation that man cannot provide. Our Lord claimed to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. (Matthew 21:42-43)
D. The Parable of the farmer.
21- God had helped David to defeat the Philistines at Perazim (2 Samuel
5:19-21). Now He will act again but this time against Judah instead of for
it. Punishment is God's "alien work" (Ezekiel 33:11).
24- The farmer represents the Lord. As the farmer does not plow forever,
the Lord will not continually pass judgment.
3. Verses 26-29- The Lord's treatment of Judah is not unwise just as the farmer does not use improper methods for threshing the various grains.
III. Chapter 29 - Jerusalem's
punishment will not last forever
A. Judgment and deliverance.
prophecy warns of the impending siege of Jerusalem by Assyria in 701 BC.
means "hearth of God." Jerusalem was the place where God had chosen to
5-6 describe the future destruction of the Assyrian army before Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 37:36, 2 Kings 19:35-37)
B. The day of grace is over.
1. The people
of Jerusalem reacted to Isaiah's message of deliverance with unbelief. Verses
11-12 describe the resulting failure to understand God's Word. (Isaiah
6:9, Mark 4:12)
2. Verses 13-14- Isaiah describes the formalistic worship of the people. They go through the motions but lack faith. Jesus applied these verses to the people of his day (Matthew 15:8-9). Paul also reflects on the result of man's rejection of the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 1:19.
C. The rebellious clay. 29:15-16
15- The Jews who plan to ally themselves with Egypt are reminded that the
Lord knows their plans.
2. Verse 16- God reminds the people that He is in control. With his limited, finite knowledge, man should not question God's actions. (Romans 9:20-21)
D. The coming redemption.
17- Lebanon is a title used to refer to Assyria. The pride of Assyria
(majestic forests of Lebanon) will be taken away (left as a "field").
18- This verse refers back to verse 11 and looks forward to a time when
spiritual deafness and blindness will be taken away. This was fulfilled in
Jesus. (Luke 4:18)
3. Verse 19- The "humble" (meek) and "needy" (poor) receive blessing in Christ (Matthew 5:3-12). These people are not weaklings but those who, instead of relying on their own strength, put their trust in the Lord.
IV. Chapter 30 - The Lord will deliver
Judah from Assyria. Egypt cannot help.
A. The futility of an alliance with
Egypt. 30:1-3, 7
1-3- The people of Judah sent ambassadors to the weak Egyptian
empire seeking help in the struggle with Assyria. They left God out of the
picture. How does this relate to the decisions we make in our lives?
7- Rahab means "the noisy one." Isaiah labels the Egyptian
pharaoh as one who talks a lot but does nothing.
B. The time of punishment will be
followed by blessing. 30:18-26
18-20- The Lord is holding back His blessing because of the
rebellious attitude of the people. When the people repent He will once again
give them teachers who teach the truth.
21-22- The people will follow God's instruction just as a horse
listens to its driver. They will completely destroy the false idols they had
3. Verses 23-26- The intense blessings described here must refer to the new earth which the Lord will establish when He comes again. This is the result of Christ healing the wounds of the people (verse 26).
C. The destruction of the Assyrian
destruction of the Assyrian army before Jerusalem is graphically portrayed here.
2. Verse 33- Topheth was a place where infants were sacrificed to Molech. Places such as Topheth and Gehenna were used to refer to hell.
V. Chapter 31 - Further emphasis on: the futility of
an Egyptian alliance; the punishment of Judah; and destruction of Assyria
VI. Chapter 32 - The righteous kingdom.
A. The righteous king. 32:1-4
interprets this to be a reference to King Hezekiah who tore down many idols,
reopened the temple and celebrated the Passover.
Hezekiah's reign God blessed the people of Judah and delivered them from
B. The women of Jerusalem.
9- Isaiah warns the women to arise from their complacent state and mourn
the destruction that is to befall their city.
2. Verse 10- The destruction is to take place "in a little more than a year." Verse 14 indicates the hill south of the temple area where the original city was built.
C. The rule of the Spirit.
1. Verse 15- The outpouring of the Spirit was also prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28). This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:17-18)
16-20- The perfection of the Messianic kingdom is pictured here. me
blessings of this kingdom will last forever (verse 17). Verse 18 probably refers
VII. Chapter 33 - The triumph of the
Lord over Assyria.
A. The fall of Assyria. 33:1-6
1- Sennacherib had violated the treaty with Hezekiah and as a result would
be punished. He was betrayed on his return to Ninevah. (Isaiah 37:38)
2-3- Isaiah extols the Lord for His saving actions on behalf of His
4- The plunder of the Assyrian army is taken by the people of Jerusalem.
B. The condition of Judah prior to
7- The ambassadors of Judah realize the terrible consequences of their
failure to make peace with Assyria.
2. Verses 8-9- The desolation and lack of inhabitants is pictured in these verses.
C. The crisis in retrospect.
discussing the overthrow of the Assyrian army in verses 10-16, Isaiah
focuses on conditions following the Lord's victory.
17- King Hezekiah is probably the king referred to. He will put off his
sackcloth garments following the Lord's deliverance.
18-19- The Assyrian tax collector and soldier with their
"strange, incomprehensible tongue are gone.
D. The new Jerusalem. 33:20-24
20- There will no longer be a need for people to move their tents because
of war. Undisturbed peace will exist.
21-22- No earthly king will rule. The Lord Himself will be the King
and the Judge who delivers His people like the judges of Israel in earlier
times. The blessings of the Lord are illustrated by the existence of "broad
rivers and streams." (Revelation 22:1)
3. Verses 23-24- The unpreparedness and inability of the people to save themselves is presented in terms of a ship. It is the Lord who delivers and forgives sin.
Instead of relying on the Lord, The
leaders of Jerusalem placed their trust in their own ability to save themselves
by an alliance with Egypt. In spite of the people's sin God saved them. God has
saved us in spite of our sin by taking our sin on Himself. All our plans are
useless when we leave God out of the picture. But He promises to deliver those
who trust in Him.
in God's Kingdom
In these two chapters Isaiah looks
ahead to the dramatic conclusion of history. Chapter 34 presents the future of
the damned in horrifyingly graphic language. Edom becomes a symbol of the
condemned enemies of God. Chapter 35 tells us of the peace and joy that we have
now and will have in heaven as God's children. (Chapters 24-27 also refer
to the last times.)
II. Chapter 34 - Destruction of the
unfaithful nation - The final judgment.
A. The universal judgment. 34:1-4
calls on all nations to gather for judgment. "The world and all that comes
out of it" (verse 1) - The Israelites looked at man and creation as
an interrelated whole (Romans 8:19-21). How does man's sin affect the
2-3- The Lord will completely destroy the unfaithful. Isaiah uses
military terms to describe this judgment. The blood flowing from the bodies is
pictured as forming huge rivers which erode the mountains away.
4- This describes a great change such as the world has not seen since
Stars represented gods for many ancient
pagans. What does God do to them.
104:2 - "He stretches out the heavens like a tent." This
describes creation. How does verse 4 compare to this Psalm.
Revelation 6:13 - How does this
verse compare to Isaiah 34:4. The sixth seal has been opened so this verse is
describing the end of the world. (See Matthew 24:29 and 2 Peter 3:10)
B. God strikes Edom with the sword.
1. Edam is
used by Isaiah to represent fallen man who opposes God. The Edomites were
descendants of Esau. Just as He despised his birthright and sold it to Jacob
sinful man despises the grace of God (Genesis 25:29-34).
5- After destroying the heavens God descends in judgment on those who have
rejected the free gift of the Gospel.
6-7- Bozrah may have been the capital of ancient Edom. The
unbelievers of Edom refused to accept the sacrifices of the Lamb of God for them
so they will be sacrificed because of their sins. The bulls and wild oxen stand
for the leaders of the nation.
C. Edom will be desolate forever.
8- The Lord is justified in His punishment of Edom. The Edomites and Jews
were often at war. They accepted Judaism under the Maccabeans. In 70 A.D. the
Edomites (Idumeans) disappeared after the unsuccessful revolt against Rome in
which they participated.
9-10- Isaiah paints the scene of Edom's destruction reminding us of
Sodom and Gomorrah. Eternal punishment awaits the condemned (Matthew 25:41).
11- The exact meanings of these creatures' names are not certain. The land
of Edom today is desolate. This verse pictures a sort of creation in reverse as
God undoes what He has made. me words for chaos and desolation are the same used
to describe conditions before creation in Genesis 1:2.
Plumb lines are used to see if a wall is straight. How does this apply to
12-15- The kings of Edom, who were elected by the people, will no
longer be proclaimed as rulers over the land following the election. The land
seems to be a dwelling place for demons (night creatures=night hags or storm
spirits; Verse 15- Owl is more correctly translated as 'arrow
snake'- a snake which lived in trees and sometimes jumped on passers by.
17- The Word of the Lord in His Scroll (the Bible) is certain. What the
Lord has said will happen. His Word has power to create, to raise the dead, and
to call us to faith (Hebrews 4:12, Romans 10:17)).
III. Chapter 35 - The Messiah brings
A. A glorious transformation.
1. The arid
wilderness of Judah will be transformed into a beautiful land.
2. The places
mentioned were famous for their natural beauty: Lebanon-cedars,
Sharon-flowers and rich pasture land, Carmel-oak trees.
could be referring to the beauty of the new heaven and earth. It is more likely
that he is referring to the church which Jesus established by His suffering and
death. Verse 2 indicates that His people would see His glory. When did Jesus'
disciples see His glory?
B. Blessed assurance. 35:3-4
1. Those of
God's people who lack courage are given comfort and strength to go on.
enemies of God who oppose His people will be punished.
defends the weak. (Psalm 72:1-11, Isaiah 42:3).
Graham was asked to testify before Congress about his views on the future of
U.S./Soviet relations. When asked how he could be optimistic about the future he
replied, "I've read the Book of Revelation and God wins in the end."
4- God came to us when we were burdened with sin and too weak to reach out
to Him. Jesus reaches out to us with His nail-scarred hands.
C. The blessings which the Messiah
bestowed at His first coming. 35:5-7
healed many physical diseases during His ministry (Matthew 11:2-5). He
also removed spiritual blindness and deafness to God's Word.
2. Verse 6b-7- What kind of climate does Israel have? How important would water have been to them?
brings us the water of eternal life and offers it freely (Isaiah 55:1, John
D. The way of holiness. 35:8-10
1. Isaiah describes a road free of the lions and other predators that roamed ancient Palestine.
2. Who are
the people on this road?
3. God is
leading us dawn that road now. By faith he gives us the right to travel that
road and protects us from all danger. He will one day take us to be with Him
forever, free from the sorrow of this life.
We stand in awe of the King of the
Universe who will came to judge the world. At the same time we are not afraid
since He is the Good Shepherd who laid dawn His life for the sheep. We wait
expectantly for His return.
delivered from Assyria, destroyed by Babylon
Hezakiah ruled in Judah from
724-695 BC ascending to the throne at age 25. 2 Chronicles 29:2 tells us
that "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. His reign followed the
evil King Ahaz. He reopened the temple, which Ahaz had closed, eliminated
unlawful sacrifices on the high places and encouraged the celebration of the
Passover. Chapters 36-39 tell of the nearly successful Assyrian invasion. Hezekiah's illness and his disastrous negotiations with
The Assyrian invasion occurred in 701
BC, the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign. Sennacherib had subdued Babylon,
Syria and Samaria. The illness and Babylonian negotiation accounts preceded the
invasion by Assyria.
II. Chapter 36 - Jerusalem
1. 2 Kings
18-20 parallel the Isaiah accounts of Hezekiah. 2 Kings 18:14-16
tells us that Hezekiah had sent gold and silver from the temple and royal
treasuries to Lachish, Sennacherib's headquarters, in an attempt to "pay
him off." The bribe failed and Jerusalem was left by itself. Things looked
bleak for the nation. The military outposts had been surrounded and captured. No
relief could be expected. Can you recall times in your life when you felt alone
2. The commander-in-chief of the Assyrian armies was sent to undermine the confidence of the people of Jerusalem. He mocks the fact that the Jews lack sufficient troops to defend the city. He offers a false argument against the elimination of the high places.
Assyrian commander tries to belittle Hezekiah. He promises the people that they
will be allowed to partake of their own produce and drink from their own wells
although they will face deportation.
yourself with no job, no money and bill collectors knocking at your door. Would
you be able to trust the Lord under those circumstances? See ~ Corinthians
Assyrian leader makes the boastful claim that Sennacherib had captured all of
the cities he lists. They were actually captured by his predecessors.
4. The Jewish
delegation returned to Hezekiah deeply disturbed over what had happened. They
demonstrate their grief by their torn garments. We might compare the Assyrian
tactics to those of the Japanese during WWII with Tokyo Rose.
III. Chapter 37 - Hezekiah's
Prayer and the Promised Deliverance
A. Hezekiah sent a delegation to Isaiah
and received a promise of deliverance. This
action of Hezekiah already shows and attitude of repentance from his reliance on
Egypt. Isaiah tells the delegation
"Thus says the Lord." Isaiah as well as all the prophets and apostles
did not speak for themselves but received their words from God. Isaiah declares
the downfall of Sennacherib in verse 5.
B. The Assyrian troops withdrew from
Jerusalem for the most part because Sennacherib feared that the Ethiopians would
invade. He sought to capture the strategic city of Libnah.
expresses his faith in the Lord's power over all things asserting that the Lord
is the only true God.
Assyrian kings were oppressive even of their own people as verse 18 tells us.
They probably exacted heavy taxes from their people.
3. It was not
only concern for the plight of his people that drove Hezekiah to prayer but also
concern for the Lord's honor.
tells Sennacherib that all of his accomplishments are not due to his own
strength or genius but fulfilled the Lord's plan. (verses 2-6) Can we claim any credit for our accomplishments and
achievements. See Galatians 6:14 and 2 Corinthians 11:30.
2. Verse 30 - Hezekiah is given a sign. Because of the war the people will not be able to plant crops for three years but the people will not be conquered. They will eat of the fruit of the land.
31-32 - God will preserve a remnant of the people. Why is God
zealous to do this?
4. Why is God
defending Jerusalem according to verse 35? See 2 Samuel 7:11-16.
36-37 - It has been suggested that Assyrian soldiers may have been
struck with some sort of plague. One ancient account of an Assyrian army tells
of thousands of mice invading a camp and chewing through their bow strings and
shield handles. Perhaps the army before Jerusalem was bitten by mice carrying
Bubonic plague. Regardless of what happened we know that it was no ordinary
event but was carried out by God Himself. Sennacherib received the punishment he
deserved for blaspheming God.
IV. Chapter 38 - Hezekiah's
Illness and Recovery
1. One can
imagine the despair that Hezakiah felt at hearing that he would die. Think of
how you would feel if a doctor told you that you had a fatal illness. Hezekiah
was even given a sign to confirm his recovery. See 2 Kings 21:8-11 for a
more extensive account.
2. In this
case God answered Hezekiah's prayer promptly and promised him fifteen more years
to live. Should we expect God to answer every prayer we ask according to our
will? See Luke 22:42 and 1 John 5:14. (Matthew 7 :7)
1. How can
Hezekiah say that his suffering benefited him?
2. God's forgiveness is not like man's. When He forgives He forgets. See Micah 7:19.
V. Chapter 39 - Hezekiah's
1. The fact
that Merodach Baladin is king of Babylon at this time and Hezakiah still
possessed great wealth indicates that this took place prior to the Assyrian
invasion, either between 721-709 or in 705 BC.
sought a military alliance against Assyria. He showed the Babylonian envoys all
of his possessions including his weapons. This points to his boastful attitude
and lack of shrewdness.
1. By seeking
help from other nations rather than looking to the Lord Hezekiah brought down
the judgment of God on Judah and his own descendants.
2. God is the
only refuge and strength, the only source of salvation.
Hezekiah's life reflects the lives of
all of us as believers. God exhorts us to be perfect even as He is perfect and
yet He tells us that we are all sinners even as believers. We stumble and fall
just as Hezekiah did but like him we listen to God's Word and repent of our sins
knowing that Jesus constantly bears witness to His Father that we are His
forgiven children. In Christ God turns His back on our sins casting them into
the depths of the sea.
Way of Deliverance
Hezekiah has just been told that Judah
will be conquered by Babylon and taken into captivity (Isaiah 39). In Chapters
40-48 Isaiah promises that God will deliver His people from Babylon.
Interwoven into this message is the promise of ultimate deliverance from sin by
II. Chapter 40 - The assurance of the
A. The first proclamation: Comfort my
1-2 - The people of Judah were experiencing the ravages of war. Soon they would be taken into captivity. Isaiah speaks of a
time, however, when the warfare of the people would be ended.
"Double for all her sins" is better translated "ample." If
they had received full punishment for their sins the Jews would have been
b. What piece
of music are these words used as lyrics for?
2. Verse 3-5 - In ancient times it was traditional to smooth the way before the king as he traveled.
a. Who is the
King in this case? (Exekiel 10:18-19, 11:23 and Ezekiel 43:1-3)
b. Who is the
one given the task of proclaiming these glad tidings? (Matthew 3:1-3, Luke
B. The second proclamation: The frailty
of man and the strength of God's Word. 40:6-8
Palestine grass grows well during the heavy spring rains but after a few weeks
the intense sun and dry winds cause it to shrivel and die.
2. How does
this compare to our lives?
to these verses what can we put our trust in?
C. The third proclamation: The Chief
Shepherd is coming. 40:9-11
1. The Lord's
command to proclaim the news of His coming reaches a climax as the messengers
are told to proclaim the news from "a high mountain".
Messiah is pictured as a shepherd. Shepherds in ancient Palestine knew their
sheep by name. They carried a sling to protect them from wild animals. They
didn't drive their sheep, but rather, led them.
3. Verse 31 describes the strength God supplies to those who remain in the sheepfold, not relying on their own strength but on Him alone.
Chapter 41 focuses on Cyrus' rise to
power in Persia. He is God’s instrument for releasing the Jews from captivity
in Babylon. Though the heathen nations trust in their idols and even make new
ones to protect themselves they will be conquered. Note verses 17-20 which
promise God’s gift of water. Is this water or does it represent something
III. Chapter 42 - The Faithful Servant
contrasted with the unfaithful servant
A. The sending of the Faithful Servant.
Moses, David and others were often referred to as God's servants. God calls this
Servant "My Servant", and "My Chosen One. (see Matthew 3:17)
2. What kinds
of works are ascribed to this Servant in verses 6-7? (see Matthew 11:4)
3. Who is
"Law" mentioned in verse 4 is the word "Torah" (This was
used to refer to the first five books of the Bible. This indicates the whole of
God's message to man). The Good News will spread even to the remotest parts of
the earth (the islands).
B. The zeal of the Lord for His saving
1. From the
fall of Adam till the sending of the Messiah God refrained from requiring
punishment for mans' sins. He now places all sin on His Faithful Servant.
2. Picking up
on the redemption theme from 40:4 Isaiah points out the fact that God will
eliminate all obstacles to His redeeming will.
3. Does our
assurance of forgiveness rest on how strong our faith is?
4. How does this affect our motivation for serving God?
C. The unfaithful servant.
1. The blind
and deaf servant spoken of here is Israel.
2. Israel had been given the mission to bear witness to God but had often failed.
3. Can Israel
save itself in its blind and deaf condition?
IV. Chapter 43 - God will restore
A. Verse 1 - What are the three
things God has done for His people? Remember the Shepherd illustration in 40:11.
B. Isaiah focuses on the uselessness of
idols in verses 8-13.
C. Verse 19 once again brings in the
Lord's gift of water in the desert.
D. Israel's sin and God's grace.
1. The people
of Judah lacked faith. They prayed and offered sacrifices in obedience to God's
command but not out of faith-inspired love and devotion to God.
was an oil used for anointing. The failure to use this and offer the fattest or
choicest meat shows their lack of true devotion.
3. Does this
apply to Christians today?
4. God still
removes their sin. He points out that even their father Jacob was guilty of sin
5. Did Judah
deserve God's forgiveness by any of its actions?
V. Chapter 44 - God's gift for His
A. The gift of water explained.
1. What does
water represent in these verses? (see Acts 2:17-22)
kingdom's growth is pictured in verse 4. (see Acts 2:41)
3. God calls
His chosen Jeshurun (righteous) rather than Jacob (conniver).
B. Verses 6-20 once again
introduce the theme of the uselessness of idols.
It is God who removes sin and heals (22-23). Man's works do not
C. God will bring the captives home.
1. The creative and redeeming power of God is mentioned once again.
2. God made
the unbelieving King Cyrus to be a shepherd who would lead the captives out of
Babylon back to Judah (2 Chronicles 36:22-23).
VI. Chapter 45 - Man should not
question God's plans
A. The clay and the Potter.
nations should not question God's use of Cyrus to accomplish His purpose.
9:20-21 tells us that we should not question God's plan of salvation. We
should rather rejoice that He has chosen us.
B. God is the source of salvation.
1. Whom does
God call to turn to Him?
2. God swears
by Himself to show the certainty of His promised salvation.
must refer to all believers since the invitation is given to all people.
4. Every person will confess Jesus as Lord on the Last Day (Romans 14:9-12, Philippians 2:10-11).
Chapter 46 emphasizes God's
faithfulness to His people. He will destroy Babylon and its impotent gods.
VII. Chapter 47:5-9 - The fall of
A. Nations will cease to extol Babylon
B. God had given Judah over to Babylon
to be punished but Babylon exceeded its authority when it refused to show mercy
C. In their pride the people of Babylon
saw themselves as being more powerful than God Himself (Proverbs 11:2). What can
Christians learn from Babylon's example?
VIII. Chapter 48:17-22 - Temporal
blessings lost to Israel
A. Israel would have enjoyed peace and
many descendants if she would have remained faithful to God.
B. Despite her unfaithfulness God is
still Judah's Redeemer who led her out of Egypt, giving her water in the desert
(Numbers 20:11). He will also deliver her from Babylon.
deliverance of Judah from captivity in Babylon, which Isaiah prophesies here,
also includes the promise of deliverance from the greatest enemy, sin. He will
send His Faithful Servant to bear the transgressions of all people.
The Way of Forgiveness Opened to
In these chapters Isaiah focuses on the
role of the Servant of the Lord. Chapter 53 provides the most detailed account
in the Old Testament of the Messiah's suffering and death.
II. Chapter 49 - The Servant's
assignment - Israel's reassurance
A. The sending of the Servant. In man's
eyes He has failed but He is actually victorious. He is given power over kings.
1. Verse 1
- Isaiah calls on the islands and distant nations (the remotest parts of
the earth) to listen to this message. The message of salvation is for the whole
world. The Son was commissioned before His birth to save the world.
2. Verse 2
- me weapon of the Servant is His Word. This Servant is Himself God
(Hebrews 4:12). Revelation 1:16 reminds us of Isaiah's picture of the Servant.
me Servant is kept hidden as an arrow in the Lord's quiver until the appointed
time when He will be sent. This arrow did not bring death, but as Cupid's arrow
brings love, the Lord's arrow brings life.
3. Why is
this Servant called Israel in verse 3?
4. Verse 4
- How can Jesus say that His labor was in vain? This is comforting verse
for us. We don't always see the results of our labor for the Lord. How do we
know from this verse that our labor is not in vain?
5-7 - God's salvation is for all people. The faithful Servant is a
light for the gentiles (Luke 2:32). Though the Servant was despised by His own
people while carrying out His Father's redemption, Kings and princes will bow
down to Him.
B. Comfort for Israel. 49:14-18
1. Verses 14-15 - Judah remained in captivity for 47 years. It is no wonder that some of them would claim that the Lord had forgotten them. God assures them, however that His love for them is like a mother's love for her child. If the Lord loved them so much why did He allow them to be taken into captivity?
2. Verse 16
- To further emphasize His love for Judah God pictures Himself as having
engraved Judah on the palms of His hands. The walls of Jerusalem, which had been
destroyed, are thought of by the Lord. They would one day be reestablished.
17-18 - Zion (Jerusalem) is pictured as a bride. The people of Judah
are told that they will be released from captivity and will be like ornaments or
jewelry adorning Jerusalem.
III. Chapter 50 - Israel complains because it has suffered the earthly consequences of her sin. The Servant, however, will pay the price for Israel's sin
A. Israel's suffering is her fault.
claimed that the Lord had forsaken her or divorced her.
God points out that he had not given her a certificate of divorce as the
Law of Moses prescribed (Deuteronomy 24:1).
2. Israel had
been separated from God, not divorced. Israel's punishment was her fault. In
verse 2 God reminds her of His great power. What did God intend to do for Israel
according to this verse?
B. The faithful Servant trusts the Lord
perfectly and suffers for Israel in Her place. 50:4-6
1. Verse 4
- During His earthly ministry Jesus was constantly being given instruction
for man from the Father (John 8:28).
5-6 - Unlike unfaithful Israel, who complained about the just
punishment she had suffered for her sin the Faithful Servant, who has no sin,
willingly suffers beatings and ridicule (Matthew 26:67, 27:30).
IV. Chapter 51 - Salvation draws near
A. Comfort for the believers.
who pursue righteousness (NIV)" is better translated "You who pursue
salvation (or deliverance)". Righteousness in verse l is not that
righteousness which is deserved but that which is declared by God because of His
grace. Those who sought the Lord's salvation realized that they had been justly
punished by God for their sin. They are uncertain of the grace of God and are in
need of comfort.
2. God comes
to those trembling over the enormity of their sins and shows them the grace
which He showed to their ancestors, Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was a
"rock", unable to beget children. Sarah is called a
"quarry", incapable of nurturing life in her womb. If God could cause
a 100 year old man and a 90 year old woman to have a child could he not also
deliver man from sin?
B. The everlasting salvation is coming
1. God calls
on His people to listen to His decree of grace which will go out to the nations.
The word "Law" is the word used to refer to the books of Moses and is
best translated "God's Word".
2. The "justice" or rule of right which God promises to establish could be established by no man. John 8:12 tells us of the "Light" who brought justice to the world.
3. Though the
heavens and earth will pass away what does God promise will remain (verse 6)?
Whose righteousness will remain?
V. Chapter 52:6-8 - The
messengers proclaim the Lord's salvation
A. The Babylonians had oppressed God's
people and blasphemed God's name. God promises deliverance.
B. This speaks not only of the deliverance from Babylon but also of deliverance from sin by the Messiah. Those who know the name of the Lord have eternal life (John 17:3, 6). The Lord did not dwell in the rebuilt temple as He had before the captivity but promised that the "Desired One" would one day come to make its glory greater than the first temple (Haggai 2:6-9).
VI. Chapter 52:13-15,
53:1-12 - The Suffering Servant
A. The glorification of the Servant
after His humiliation. 52:13-15.
1. Verse 13
- The Servant is portrayed as being very successful. Because of this He
will be glorified by His Father.
14-15 - "Sprinkle" (verse 15, NIV) is incorrectly
translated, it actually means "startle" (so as to scatter). Just as
there were many who were appalled at the disfigurement of the Servant during His
suffering so will the nations and kings be startled by his exaltation. This
describes the fear of the unbelievers on judgment day (Revelation
B. The initial unbelief of the
verses seem to describe the unbelief of the disciples and others who followed
Jesus. We recall-how doubtful the twelve were when the faithful women told
them of the resurrection. Luke 24:11 - "But they did not believe the
women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense." Would we be any
different if such a thing were to happen in our day?
2. Verses 2-3 - The image of a "shoot" was also used in Isaiah 11:1. Isaiah clearly pictures the disgusting appearance of Jesus as He stood on trial before Pilate and suffered on the cross. Think of how effective one of the televangelists would be today if He looked like this. The Jews of Jesus' day looked for a mighty deliverer from the Romans. Who would choose such a dirty, bruised and bleeding man for a savior? As Isaiah says, this is the kind of person who decent people don't want to look at.
C. The believers acknowledge the
significance of His suffering. 53:4-6
1. The believers confess that, while they considered Jesus to be a man marked by God for condemnation, He was actually bearing the punishment that they deserved for their sin. Jesus had no sin in Himself but in fact was made sin for us - 2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
2. Isaiah compares people to sheep who have strayed from the shepherd. Sheep cannot find their way back to the sheepfold. It is all up to the shepherd. Since Christ has suffered our punishment, even though we experience sorrow and troubles in our lives, we have peace with God - Romans 5:1 - "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
D. The Servant suffers without
1. The Good
Shepherd became a sheep like us. With John the Baptist, every Communion service,
we say, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
(John 1:29)". Jesus was silent before His accusers - Matthew
2. Verse 8 - The judgment mentioned here means "unjust sentence". Isaiah says that He suffered for the sins of "my people". Jesus died even for the sins of those who put Him to death.
3. Verse 9
- Jesus suffered and died with two thieves. What is Isaiah talking about when he says that the Servant was buried with the rich?
E. The Resurrection of the Servant
- His children. 53:10-12
ends this section as he began by talking about the glorification of the Servant.
2. Verse 10 - "Though the Lord makes" is better translated "When the Lord makes his life a guilt offering". Isaiah shows us that the death of the Servant will happen in the future. He brings to mind the Old Testament sacrificial system. We see that it is God who has planned the suffering of the Servant. Who are the offspring that Isaiah mentions?
3. Verse 11
- We are given a picture of the resurrection here. The great significance
of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection are shown in that
"knowledge" of Jesus will "justify (declare righteousness)
many". What is this knowledge? - Philippians 3:8-9.
4. Verse 12
- Isaiah once again emphasizes the fact that the Servant "bore the
sin of many". Jesus has won the battle with sin, death and the devil.
Because of His victory He is rewarded by His Father. See Revelation
VII. The Invitation of the Lord
A. 54:1-5 - A promise of
the fruitfulness of the church – Isaiah uses the story of Sarah and Hagar to
compare the situation of unbelievers and believers. Paul explains this in
B. 55:1-2 - Invitation to
the thirsty - (Matthew 11:28 ff.) Thirst expresses the lack of salvation.
God offers the gift of eternal life to all "without money and without
C. 56:3-7 - God offers
forgiveness and salvation to all people Gentiles had been excluded from the
Passover celebration (Exodus 12:43). Eunuchs had been excluded from offering
sacrifices (Leviticus 21:20). Because of the sacrifice of the Servant God says,
"My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
D. 57:1-2 - When believers
die they enter into eternal rest.
Isaiah's amazingly detailed account of
the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus caused many of the leaders of the
early church to say that it was as though Isaiah had sat at the foot of the
cross. Verse 9 of Hymn 929 sums up our prayer to the faithful Servant:
Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.
The Way to Glory
In these chapters Isaiah looks forward
to the future redemption and judgment. Isaiah chastises Judah for trusting in
their own works. He points out that the Lord's salvation is accomplished without
any contribution from man. In the end the Lord will come to judge all who reject
His salvation but will rescue His bride, the Church.
II. A call to repentance and true
worship through service.
A. The wrong kind of fast. 58:3-5
1. The people
believe that the Lord should bless them because of their own faithful
observance of the Law. How does this affect the people's relationship with God?
Recall what the Faithful Servant was predicted to earn for God's people (Isaiah
2. As if
holding up a mirror for the people to see themselves, Isaiah indicts Judah for
their lack of righteousness. What does He say their behavior?
B. The right kind of fast. 58:6-7
1. Verse 6 - Some of the slaves held by the people were fellow Jews. This was prohibited in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 25:39-43).
2. Verse 7 - Before God we are not righteous because of anything we do but because of
what Christ has done for us. The world doesn't see our faith but sees the works
we do by the power of the Holy Spirit. See Matthew 25:35.
C. The Lord will bless those who repent and keep the Sabbath. 58:11~14.
1. Verses 11-12 - When Judah turns to God in faith they will be blessed with His guidance, plenty of food and water, and an opportunity to rebuild the nation's cities. The fact that the nation will have to be rebuilt foreshadows the inevitable invasion by Babylon.
2. Verse 13 -
In keeping the Sabbath the people were to refrain from working, business
transactions and "idle words". Luther's explanation of the Third
Commandment shows how the Sabbath Day, or the Lord's Day for us, can be a
"delight". What does Luther say? Are we required to worship on the
Sabbath? (Col. 2:16-17, Matthew 12:8, Romans 14:5, 6)
III. Chapter 59 - The depth of sin and
the magnitude of God's redemption
A. Judah's sin. 59:1-2, 7-8
1-2 - Verse one summarizes the theme of this chapter. Isaiah
continues his reprimand of the people's sin, begun in chapter 58. Isaiah is
responding to impenitent Jews who claimed that the Lord was unable to save them.
He affirms the Lord's ability to save and emphasizes the fact that Judah's sins
had separated them from the God's saving hand.
2. Judah does
not deserve help from God. The rest of the chapter expands these two verses,
developing the theme of Judah's sins and closing the chapter with promise of the
7-8 - Just as cobwebs cannot be used for clothing the man cannot
cover up his wicked deeds with his own works. In verse 7 Isaiah compares the
evil lives of the people to crooked paths. They do not know the righteous path
or the "way of peace". Paul quotes these verses in Romans
3:15-17 to illustrate the hopelessness of mankind apart from Christ.
B. The promise of salvation.
1. Verses 16-18 - The Lord is astonished that there are no faithful believers whom He can raise up, like Moses, Debra, Gideon, and David, whom He called on to deliver His people in earlier times. Even in raising up men to save His people we know that God, and only God deserves the credit for salvation (Psalm 146:3-5). Verses 17-18 picture the Lord going forth to war on behalf of His people. All who oppose His plan of salvation will be destroyed.
19-20 - Here we are given the great scope of the Lord's salvation.
Not only will Judah fear the Lord but men from the west (Gentiles) will also
turn to Him. Isaiah 49:12 also pictures the universal nature of this salvation,
which was fulfilled in Christ. The zeal of the Lord to save cannot be contained.
It is "like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives
along." Isaiah promises the coming of the Messiah to redeem Jacob (See
Romans 11:26-27 for Paul's interpretation of this passage. Romans
IV. Chapter 60 - The Holy One comes to
Zion in order to draw all nations to Himself
A. The coming of the Light.
1. Zion is
personified here and pictured as sitting in ashes. She has waited in mourning
for her Redeemer. Suddenly the glory of the Lord comes to her.
2. This does
not merely picture the deliverance of Judah from her earthly enemies. Though the
light dawns over Jerusalem, the darkness mentioned in verse 2 is said to cover
the "earth" and the "peoples" (nations). This light is for
all nations. John plainly tells us who this Light is (John 1:4-7).
B. Kings and nations come to Zion.
Isaiah gives us a beautiful vision of the gentile believers who will come to
faith in Christ. Even kings will come to worship the Light.
2. The sons
and daughters who have been given a portion in the inheritance of salvation by
the Lord will be carried to Zion (Isaiah 43:6-7).
60:19-20 provides further indication that the city to which all nations
are drawn to is not the earthly but the heavenly Jerusalem where the Lord is its
sun (Revelation 21:23).
V. Chapter 61-62 - The Bridegroom
comes for His Bride
A. The Bridegroom announces freedom to
the Bride. 61:1-3
come to bring light to Zion, the Servant of the Lord now begins to proclaim the
message of salvation. This prophecy heralds the beginning of Jesus' preaching
career (Luke 4:16-21).
2. We are
told here that Jesus was endowed with the Holy Spirit (recall Isaiah 42:1). We
may sometimes forget that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was involved in
the salvation of the world. The Father sent the Son to save the world (John
3:17). The Holy Spirit caused Mary to become the mother of Christ (Luke 1:35)
and according to Isaiah Jesus was given the Holy Spirit to strengthen Him in His
mission. Why did Jesus need the Holy Spirit to accomplish His mission?
3. Verse 3 - This verse reminds us of 60:1 in which the Glory of the Lord comes to
raise God's people from the darkness. Those who formerly mourned over their sins
are now clothed with the grace of God. By God's grace we are made to be
"oaks of righteousness" (Psalm 1:3).
B. The Bride is clothed in a robe of
righteousness. Believers are joined to her in marriage. 61:10, 62:1-5
1. 61:10 - The speaker here is Zion or the nation of Judah. The nation is compared
to a Bride, or Bridegroom preparing for a wedding. The image of a priest, vested
for the performance of his sacred duties, is also used (Exodus 29:5-9
tells us of the priest's clothing). Based on what we have talked about so far,
who do the names Bride and Bridegroom refer to? (see Matthew 22:2, Revelation
2. 62:3-5 - Zion or the church, who before her redemption was called deserted and desolate, is now a precious crown or diadem (a turban worn by the chief priest that symbolized power). Two other terms are also used - Hephzibah ("my joy is in her", the name of Hezekiah's wife), Beulah ("married"). Who are the sons who will marry this Bride? How are they married?
VI. Chapter 63-64 - Judgment and
A. Judgment of the unbelievers.
whose capital was Bozrah, had been a bitter enemy of Israel ever since the time
of Joshua. Here Edom symbolizes all unbelievers, that is, enemies of God and His
2. Verse 1 - Isaiah sees someone coming from Edom whose clothes are bright red. How
does this person identify himself? See Revelation 19:13.
3. Verse 6
indicates that this judgment is not limited to one nation but will affect the
4-5 - Is judgment the only intention of the "One from
Edom"? Notice that no person or nation is raised to carry out God's plan
(59:16). This points to the final judgment which will be carried out by Christ
B. The depth of sin. 64:6-7
1. Verse 6 - Isaiah shows how unclean the people are because of their sins. Even the
"righteous acts" of the people are compared to menstrual rags. Apart
from faith all good works we do are not evil in God's sight (Matthew 25 - The sheep and the goats). The unbelieving Jews relied on their righteous
acts to save them instead of God's grace. (Galatians 3:10-12)
2. Verse 7 - Further emphasis is given to the people's failure to turn to God. Because of their hardness of heart God has given them over to their sins.
C. The grace of God. 63:8-9
prophet recalls the deliverance of the Lord throughout Israel's history. In
verse 8 we see the Lord, as Luther would say, "putting the best
construction" on the people's actions.
2. " The angel of his presence" refers to the Lord leading Israel out of Egypt. Verse 9 reminds us of the Suffering Servant. (Isaiah 53:4)
VII. Chapter 65:17-25 - New
heavens and a new earth
A. The church in eternity.
1. Isaiah is
speaking of the radical change in the heavens and earth at the end of time.
"former things" such as death and suffering will not be remembered.
Note that "the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no
more." (Revelation 21:4)
B. The future of God's people in the
New Testament and in eternity. 65:20-25
20-23 - Premature death was considered to be a special punishment of
God on the ungodly. Instead of taking immediate action against sinners, in the
New Testament Age God will be patient with them in order to bring them to
repentance and faith.
2. Verse 24 -
Even before God's people in the New Testament pray He answers their
prayers (Matthew 6:8).
3. Verse 25 -
This verse looks forward to the new heaven and new earth. There will be
peace between animals and man as before Adam sinned. Who is the serpent? (Gen.
VIII. Chapter 66:18-21 - The
gathering of the nations
A. Verse 18 - From verse 15
Isaiah has been speaking of the coming judgment. He shows us that this will be a
world wide judgment in which all nations will see the Lord (Mark 13:26).
B. Verse 19 - The
"sign" which God set among the Jews refers to Christ. Isaiah predicts
that some of the Jews will believe (Paul, the other apostles and other believing
Jews) and be sent out to spread the news of this "sign" to the
nations. The nations mentioned here match the areas, North and West of
Palestine, where the Gospel was brought to during apostolic times.
C. Verse 21 - Isaiah is
foretelling the equality of Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament Church.
As Christians we are joined to our Lord through His bride, the Church. Our redemption has been accomplished. We look forward to the day when all nations will be gathered together for judgment and we shall receive the promised inheritance.
This study was
written by our seminarian Todd Frusti in the Fall of 1990. Todd taught this
class in a Sunday morning Bible class and it is comprised of class notes and
comments from classical Lutheran scholars.
Concordia Self Study
Bible – New International Version Robert G. Hoerber Editor Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO. 1986 pp.
Concordia Self Study
Commentary Robert R. Roehrs Concordia
Publishing House, St. Louis, MO. 1979 pp. 442-493