The Bible Book by Book
Prophet. In the study of the messages of the prophets we should understand that the meaning of the term prophets may be: (1) A person employed in the public utterance of religious discourse, very much as the preacher of today. This was the most common function of the prophet. Some were reformers while others were evangelists or revivalists. (2) One who performed the function of the scribes and wrote the history and biography and annals of their nations. In this capacity they compiled or wrote large portions of the books of the Old Testament. (3) One who was able to discern the future and foretell events which would transpire afterward.

The Prophetical Books. All take their name from the Prophets whose messages they bear. They are written largely in the poetic style and are usually divided into two divisions. (1) The major prophets which include Isaiah. Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel. (2) The minor prophets, including the other twelve. This division is based on the bulk of material in the books and is unscientific and misleading, since it suggests that some are more important than others.They are more appropriately divided according to their place in the prophetic order or the period of Israel's history when they prophesied, somewhat as follows: 1. The Pre-exilic prophets, or those who prophesied before the exile. These are, (1) Jonah, Amos and Hosea, prophets of Israel. (2) Obadiah, Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah, prophets of Judah. 2. The exilic prophets, Ezekiel and Daniel. 3. The Post-exilic prophets, prophets who prophesied after the captivity. All are of Judah and are Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

Jeremiah's ministry perhaps extended into the period of the captivity. There is great uncertainty about the chronology of Obadiah, Joel and Jonah. There is differences of opinion as to whether certain of the prophets belong to Judah or Israel. Micah is an example. The teacher will be able to give reasons for this difference.

The Study of the Prophets. The student should hold in mind that the prophet deals primarily with the moral and religious conditions of his own people at the time of his ministry. His denunciations, warnings and exhortations are, therefore, not abstract principles, but are local and for Israel. The prophet was then first of all a Jewish patriot and revivalist filled with the Holy Ghost and with zeal for Israel.

The predictive elements of the prophetic books must be interpreted in the light, (1) of a nearby or local fulfillment, such as of the dispersion and restoration, and (2) of a far off and greater fulfillment of which the first is only a forerunner, such as the advent of the Messiah and his glorious reign over the whole earth. The interpretation of prophecy should generally be in the literal, natural and unforced meaning of the words. The following passages will show how prophecy, already fulfilled, has been fulfilled literally and not allegorically. Gen. 15:13-16; 16:11-12; Dt. 28:62-67; Ps. 22:1, 7, 8, 15-18; Is. 7:14; 53:2-9; Hos. 3:4; Joel 2:28-29: Mic. 5:2; Acts 2:16-18; Matt. 21:4-5; Lu. 1:20, 31; Acts 1:5; Matt. 2:4-6; Lu. 21:16.17, 24; Acts 21:10-11.

In a given book of prophecy, the book should be read carefully and all the different subjects treated, noted. This should be followed by a careful study to find what is said about the several topics already found. To illustrate, the prophet may mention himself, Jerusalem, Israel, Judah, Babylon or Egypt, etc. One should learn what is said of each. This will make necessary the student's learning all he can of the history of the different subjects mentioned that he may understand the prophecy about it.

The Prophet Isaiah. Several things are known of him. (1) He was called to his work the last year of the reign of Uzziah. (2) He lived at Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, and most of his life seems to have been spent as a sort of court preacher or chaplain to the king. (3) He is the most renowned of all the Old Testament prophets, his visions not being restricted to his own country and times. He spoke for all nations and for all times, being restricted to his own country and times. "He was a man of powerful intellect, great integrity and remarkable force of character." (4) He is quoted more in the New Testament than any of the other prophets and, because of the relation of his teaching to New Testament times and teachings, his prophesies have been called the "Bridge between the old and new covenants." (5) He married and had two sons.

The Nature of His Teachings. In his inaugural vision recorded in the sixth chapter Isaiah has impressed upon him some truths that shaped his whole career. He saw: (1) The holiness and majesty of God; (2) The corruption of those about him; (3) The certainty of awful judgment upon the wicked; (4) The blessing of those whose lives are approved of God; and (5) The salvation of a remnant that was to be the seed of a new Israel. With these truths burning in his soul he pressed the battle of righteousness into every sphere of life. He strove to regenerate the entire national life. He tried to make not only religious worship, but commerce and politics so pure that it could all become a service acceptable to God. He, therefore, became a religious teacher, preacher, social reformer, statesman and seer.

Conditions of Israel (The Northern Kingdom). Isaiah began to prophecy when it was outwardly rich and prosperous under the rule of Jereboam IL Inwardly it was very corrupt. It soon went to pieces, however (621 B. C.), being conquered and carried into captivity by the Assyrians.

Conditions of Judah (The Southern Kingdom). During the reigns of Ahaz, Jotham and Uzziah, oppression, wickedness and idolatry existed everywhere. Ahaz made an alliance with Assyria, which finally brought destruction to Israel, but Hezekiah listened to Isaiah and made reforms, and God destroyed the Assyrian army before Jerusalem was destroyed.

Nature of the Contents of the Book. The contents of the Book have been said to include: (1) Warnings and threats against his own people because of their sins. (2) Sketches of the history of his times. (3) Prophesies of the return of Israel from captivity. (4) Prophesies concerning the coming of the Messiah. (S) Predictions of the judgment of God on other nations. (6) Discourses that urge upon Israel moral and religious reformation. (7) Visions of the future glory and prosperity of the church. (8) Expressions of thanksgiving and praise.

The Center of Interest. The prophet deals primarily with the nation and not with the individual. He speaks primarily of the present and not of the future. These two facts must be kept constantly in mind as we read and interpret the book.


I. Discourses Concerning Judah and Israel, Chs. 1-12.

1. Some promises and rebukes, Chs. 1-6.

2. The book of Immanuel, Chs. 7-12.

II. Prophesies against Foreign Nations, Chs. 13-23.III. The Judgment of the World and the Triumph of God's People, Chs.24-27.

1. The judgments. Ch. 24.

2. The triumph. Chs. 25-27.

IV. Judah's Relation to Egypt and Assyria, Chs. 38-32.

V. The Great Deliverance of Jerusalem, Chs. 33-39.

VI. The Book of Consolation, Chs. 40-66.

1. God's preparation for certain deliverance, Chs. 40-48.

2. Jehovah's servant, the Messiah, will bring this deliverance. Chs. 49-57.

3. The restoration of Zion and the Messianic Kingdom, with promises and warnings for the future. Chs. 58-66.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The sins of Israel and Judah that he rebukes. (2) Other nations against which he makes predictions and what he said of each. (3) Isaiah's call. Ch. 6. (4) Isaiah's errand to Ahaz, Ch. 7. (5) The way in which Isaiah rests the sole deity of Jehovah upon his ability to predict a future, Ch. 41. Give other illustrations. (6) The express predictions of the Messiah as we find them fulfilled in Jesus. (7) Point out the passages portraying the future glory of the church and the spiritual prosperity of the race. (8) Passages predicting the restoration of the Jews from captivity. (9) Some predictions already fulfilled: (a) God's judgments on the kings of Israel and the nation of Israel, Ch. 7. (b) The overthrow of Sennacherib, Chs. 13 and 37. (c) Disasters which should overtake Babylon, Damascus, Egypt, Moab and Idumea, Chs. 13, 15, 18, 19 and 34. (d) Vivid and marvelous descriptions of the final fate of Babylon and Idumea, 13:19-22; 34:10-17. (10) The theology of Isaiah or his views on such subjects as the moral condition of man, the need of a redeemer, the consequences of redemption, Divine Providence, the majesty and holiness of God, the future life, etc.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Isaiah 1. Israel's Rebellion and Zion's Corruption

1. Isaiah complains of Judah for her rebellion
5. He laments her judgments
10. He upbraids their whole service
16. He exhorts to repentance, with promises and threats
21. Bewailing their wickedness, he denounces God's judgments
25. He promises grace
28. And threatens destruction to the wicked

Isaiah 2. The Coming of God's Kingdom and a Day of Judgment

1. Isaiah prophesies the coming of Christ's kingdom
6. Wickedness is the cause of God's forsaking
10. He exhorts to fear, because of the powerful effects of God's majesty

Isaiah 3. Judgment on Leaders, the Wicked, and Judah's Women

1. The great calamities which come by sin
10. The different rewards of the righteous and wicked
12. The oppression and covetousness of the rulers
16. The judgments which shall be for the pride of the women
25. The general desolation

Isaiah 4. A Remnant in Zion

1. In the extremity of evils, Christ's kingdom shall be a sanctuary.

Isaiah 5. Song of the Vineyard; Woe to the Wicked

1. Under the parable of a vineyard, God excuses his severe judgment
8. His judgments upon covetousness
11. Upon lasciviousness
13. Upon impiety
20. And upon injustice
26. The executioners of God's judgments

Isaiah 6. Isaiah's Vision and Commission

1. Isaiah, in a vision of the Lord in his glory
5. Being terrified, has apprehensions removed
8. He offers himself, and is sent to show the obstinacy of the people
13. A remnant shall be saved

Isaiah 7. War and Tribulation; The Coming of Immanuel

1. Ahaz, being troubled with fear of Rezin and Pekah, is comforted by Isaiah
10. Ahaz, having liberty to choose a sign, and refusing it, has for a sign, Christ promised
17. His judgment is prophesied to come by Assyria

Isaiah 8. Uriah and Zechariah

1. In Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, he prophesies Syria and Israel shall be subdued by Assyria
5. Judah likewise for their infidelity
9. God's judgments shall be irresistible
11. Comfort shall be to those who fear God
19. Great afflictions to idolaters

Isaiah 9. Unto Us a Child Is Born; Judgments upon Israel

1. What joy shall be in the midst of afflictions, by the birth and kingdom of Christ
8. The judgments upon Israel for their pride
13. For their hypocrisy
18. And for their unrepentance

Isaiah 10. Judgment on Assyria; A Remnant to Return

1. The woe of tyrants
5. Assyria, the rod of hypocrites, for its pride shall be broken
20. A remnant of Israel shall be saved
23. Judah is comforted with promise of deliverance from Assyria

Isaiah 11. The Root of Jesse

1. The peaceable kingdom of the Branch out of the root of Jesse
10. The victorious restoration of Israel, and vocation of the Gentiles.

Isaiah 12. Joyful Thanksgiving

1. A joyful thanksgiving of the faithful for the mercies of God

Isaiah 13. Prophecies against Babylon

1. God musters the armies of his wrath
6. He threatens to destroy Babylon by the Medes
19. The desolation of Babylon

Isaiah 14. God's Merciful Restoration of Israel; Judgment on Assyria and Philistia

1. God's merciful restoration of Israel
3. Their triumphant exultation over Babel
24. God's purpose against Assyria
29. Philistia is threatened

Isaiah 15. Judgment on Moab

1. The lamentable state of Moab

Isaiah 16. Prophecy of Calamity for Moab

1. Moab is exhorted to yield obedience to the throne of David
6. Moab is threatened for her pride
9. The prophet bewails her
12. The judgment of Moab

Isaiah 17. Prophecy against Damascus

1. Syria and Israel are threatened
6. A remnant shall forsake idolatry
9. The rest shall be plagued for their impiety
12. The woe of Israel's enemies

Isaiah 18. Prophecy against Ethiopia

1. God, in care of his people, will destroy the Ethiopians
7. An accession thereby shall be made to the church

Isaiah 19. The Burden of Egypt

1. The confusion of Egypt
11. The foolishness of their princes
18. The calling of Egypt into the church
23. The covenant of Egypt, Assyria, and Israel

Isaiah 20. Prophecy of Captivity for Egypt and Cush

1. A type prefiguring the shameful captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia.

Isaiah 21. Vision of the Fall of Babylon; Prophecies against Edom and Arabia

1. The prophet, bewailing the captivity of his people,
6. sees in a vision the fall of Babylon by the Medes and Persians.
11. Edom, scorning the prophet, is moved to repentance.
13. The set time of Arabia's calamity.

Isaiah 22. Prophecy about Jerusalem: The Valley of Vision

1. The prophet laments the invasion of Jerusalem
8. He reproves their human wisdom and worldly joy
15. He prophesies Shebna's deprivation
20. And the substitution of Eliakim, prefiguring the kingdom of Christ.

Isaiah 23. The Burden of Tyre

1. The miserable overthrow of Tyre
15. Her restoration and unfaithfulness

Isaiah 24. Devastation on the Earth

1. The doleful judgments of God upon the land
13. A remnant shall joyfully praise him
16. God in his judgments shall advance his kingdom

Isaiah 25. Song of Praise for God's Favor

1. Song of Praise for God's Favor

Isaiah 26. Song of Praise for God's Protection

1. Trust in God's Provision

Isaiah 27. The Deliverance of Israel

1. The Deliverance of Israel

Isaiah 28. Woe to Ephraim; Warning to Judah

1. The prophet threatens Ephraim for their pride and drunkenness
5. The residue shall be advanced in the kingdom of Christ
7. He rebukes their error
9. Their unwillingness to learn
14. And their security
16. Christ the sure foundation is promised
17. Their security shall be tried
23. They are incited to the consideration of God's providence

Isaiah 29. Warning to David's City; Blessing to Follow Discipline

1. God's heavy judgment upon Jerusalem
7. The insatiableness of her enemies
9. The senselessness
13. And deep hypocrisy of the people
17. A promise of sanctification to the godly

Isaiah 30. Warning against Refuge in Egypt; God's Grace

1. The prophet threatens the people for their confidence in Egypt
8. And contempt of God's word
18. God's mercies toward his church
27. God's wrath and the people's joy, in the destruction of Assyria

Isaiah 31. Danger of Trusting Egypt and Forsaking God

1. The prophet shows the folly and danger of trusting Egypt, and forsaking God
6. He exhorts to conversion
8. He shows the fall of Assyria

Isaiah 32. A King Shall Reign in Righteousness

1. The blessings of Christ's kingdom
9. Desolation is foreshown
14. Restoration is promised to succeed

Isaiah 33. God's Judgments against His Enemies

1. God's judgments against the enemies of the church
13. The consternation of sinners, and privileges of the godly

Isaiah 34. God's Judgments against the Nations

1. The judgments wherewith God revenges his church
11. The desolation of her enemies
16. The certainty of the prophecy

Isaiah 35. The Joyful Will Flourish in Zion

1. The joyful flourishing of Christ's kingdom
3. The weak are encouraged by the virtues and privileges of the Gospel

Isaiah 36. Sennacherib Invades Judah, Threatens Jerusalem

1. Sennacherib invades Judah
2. Rabshakeh, sent by Sennacherib, solicits the people to revolt
22. His words are told to Hezekiah

Isaiah 37. Hezekiah Mourns; Isaiah foretells Jerusalem's Deliverance; Hezekiah Prays and God Fulfills

1. Hezekiah mourning, sends to Isaiah to pray for them
6. Isaiah comforts them
8. Sennacherib, going to encounter Tirhakah, sends a blasphemous letter to Hezekiah
14. Hezekiah's prayer
21. Isaiah's prophecy of the destruction of Sennacherib, and the good of Zion
36. An angel slays the Assyrians
37. Sennacherib is slain at Nineveh by his own sons.

Isaiah 38. Hezekiah's Illness and Healing

1. Hezekiah, having received a message of death, by prayer has his life lengthened
8. The sun goes ten degrees backward, for a sign of that promise
9. His song of thanksgiving.

Isaiah 39. Hezekiah Reveals Treasures to Babylonians

1. Merodach-baladan, sending to visit Hezekiah, has notice of his treasures.
3. Isaiah, understanding thereof, foretells the Babylonian captivity.

Isaiah 40. Comfort, comfort my people

1. The promulgation of the Gospel
3. The preaching of John Baptist foretold
9. The preaching of the apostles foretold
12. The prophet, by the omnipotence of God
18. And his incomparableness
26. Comforts the people.

Isaiah 41. God's Promises to Israel

1. God expostulates with his people, about his mercies to the church.
10. About his promises
21. And about the vanity of idols.

Isaiah 42. Behold, my servant, whom I have chosen; A Song of Praise; Israel's Blindness

1. The office of Christ, graced with meekness and constancy.
5. God's promise unto him.
10. An exhortation to praise God for his Gospel
13. God will manifest himself, and check idolatry
18. He reproves the people of incredulity.

Isaiah 43. Israel Redeemed; God's Mercy; Israel's Unfaithfulness

1. The Lord comforts the church with his promises.
8. He appeals to the people for witness of his omnipotence
14. He foretells them the destruction of Babylon
18. And his wonderful deliverance of his people
22. He reproves the people as inexcusable

Isaiah 44. God's Blessings upon Israel; The Foolishness of Idolatry; God's Will for Jerusalem's Inhabitation

1. God comforts the church with his promises
7. The vanity of idols
9. And folly of idol makers
21. He exhorts to praise God for his redemption and omnipotence

Isaiah 45. God Calls Cyrus

1. God calls Cyrus for his church's sake
5. By his omnipotence he challenges obedience
20. He convinces the idols of vanity by his saving power

Isaiah 46. The Idols of Babylon

1. The idols of Babylon could not save themselves
3. God saves his people to the end
5. Idols are not comparable to God for power
12. Or present salvation.

Isaiah 47. God's Judgment upon Babylon and Chaldea

1. God's judgment upon Babylon and Chaldea
6. For their unmercifulness
7. Pride
10. And over-boldness
11. Shall be irresistible

Isaiah 48. Israel's Obstinacy and Deliverance

1. God, to convince the people of their foreknown obstinance, revealed his prophecies
9. He saves them for his own sake
12. He exhorts them to obedience, because of his power and providence
16. He laments their backwardness
20. He powerfully delivers his people out of Babylon

Isaiah 49. The Servant of the Lord; Restoration to Zion

1. Christ being sent to the Jews, complains of them
5. He is sent to the Gentiles with gracious promises
13. God's love is perpetual to his church
18. The ample restoration of the church
24. The powerful deliverance out of captivity

Isaiah 50. Israel's Sin and God's Help for His Servant

1. Christ shows Israel's Sin is not to be imputed to him,
2. by his ability to save
5. By his obedience in that work
7. And by his confidence in that assistance
10. An exhortation to trust in God, and not in ourselves

Isaiah 51. Exhortation to Zion; Affliction and deliverance of Jerusalem foretold

1. An exhortation after the pattern of Abraham, to trust in Christ
3. By reason of his comfortable promises,
4. Of his righteous salvation
7. And man's mortality
9. Christ by his sanctified arm defends his from the fear of man
17. He bewails the afflictions of Jerusalem
21. And promises deliverance

Isaiah 52. Put on Your Strength, Zion; My Servant Shall Deal Wisely

1. Christ persuades the church to believe his free redemption
7. To receive the ministers thereof
9. To joy in the power thereof
11. And to free themselves from bondage
13. Christ's kingdom shall be exalted

Isaiah 53. The Suffering Servant: by his stripes we are healed

1. The prophet, complaining of incredulity, excuses the scandal of the cross
4. By the benefit of his passion
10. And the good success thereof

Isaiah 54. Future Glory of Zion

1. The prophet, to comfort the Gentiles, prophesies the amplitude of their church
4. Their safety
6. Their certain deliverance out of affliction
11. Their fair edification
15. And their sure preservation

Isaiah 55. Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters!

1. The prophet, with the promises of Christ, calls to faith
6. And to repentance
8. The happy success of those who believe

Isaiah 56. Keep justice, and do righteousness; for my salvation is near to come

1. The prophet exhorts to sanctification
3. He promises it shall be general, without respect of persons
9. He protests against blind watchmen

Isaiah 57. The blessed death of the righteous; Leaders Rebuked; Comfort for the Contrite

1. The blessed death of the righteous
3. God reproves the People for their idolatry
13. He gives promises of mercy to the penitent

Isaiah 58. True Fasting; Keeping the Sabbath

1. The prophet, being sent to reprove hypocrisy,
3. shows the difference between a counterfeit fast and a true
8. He declares what promises are due unto godliness
13. And to the keeping of the Sabbath

Isaiah 59. Your sins have separated you and your God

1. Calamities are not due to lack of saving power in God, but to their own sins
16. Salvation is only of God
20. The covenant of the Redeemer

Isaiah 60. The Glory of Zion

1. The glory of the church in the abundant access of the Gentiles.
15. And the great blessings after a short affliction

Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Lord is on me; The Year of the Lord's Favor

1. The office of Christ
4. The forwardness
7. And blessing of the faithful

Isaiah 62. Zion's New Name

1. The fervent desire of the prophet to confirm the church in God's promises.
6. The office of the ministers in preaching the Gospel
10. And preparing the people thereto

Isaiah 63. God's Vengeance and Redemption

1. Christ shows who he is
2. What his victory over his enemies
7. And what his mercy toward his church
10. In his just wrath he remembers his free mercy
15. The church, in her prayer
17. And complaint, professes her faith

Isaiah 64. Prayer for God's Mercy

1. The church prays for the illustration of God's power
4. Celebrating God's mercy, it makes confession of their natural corruptions
9. It complains of their afflictions

Isaiah 65. Judgment; Salvation; New heavens and a New earth

1. The calling of the Gentiles,
2. and the rejection of the Jews, for their incredulity, idolatry, and hypocrisy
8. A remnant shall be saved
11. Judgments on the wicked, and blessings on the godly
17. The blessed state of the new Jerusalem

Isaiah 66. Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; Rejoice with Jerusalem

1. The glorious God will be served in humble sincerity
5. He comforts the humble by showing the confusion of their enemies
7. With the marvelous growth
10. And the gracious benefits of the church
15. God's severe judgments against the wicked
18. The Gentiles shall have an holy church
24. And see the damnation of the wicked
Song of Solomon
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