Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Isaiah is Narrative History, Prophetic Oracle, and even a Parable (chapter 5). The prophet Isaiah wrote it at approximately 700 B.C. (Chapters 40-66, written later in his life approx. 681 B.C.). Isaiah is the first book in the section called Major Prophets. They are called Major Prophets because of the large amount of material they wrote not because their message was more important than any other prophet’s was. Key personalities are Isaiah, his two sons, Shearjashub and Maher-shalal-jash-baz.
Isaiah contains some of the most incredible prophecies of any book. It contains foreknowledge, in incredible details about the Messiah, and the future reign of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the book of Isaiah was to call God’s nation, the nation of Judah, back to faithfulness and to declare the coming Messiah “Immanuel”. God calls and commissions His prophet to declare to Judah and Israel condemnation, conviction, and ultimately great hope.
• In Chapters 1-39, Isaiah points out the sins of both North and South Kingdoms. He then declares severe punishment to them and all the neighboring nations around them, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight Cease to do evil” (1:16). He proclaims great hope of the coming Savior, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (7:14), this passage was fulfilled in Matthew 1:22-24, in the New Testament.
• Chapters 40-55, speak of the return and restoration after the exile from Babylon. Isaiah repeatedly claims the premise, “There is no God beside Me” (44:6,8; 45:5,6,14,18,21). There is also another foretelling of the Messiah, who will come and bring new life through His death, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth” (53:7).
• In chapters 56-66, Isaiah writes of the new Heavens and Earth, This is that great reward for all those who trust and obey God. He proclaims the hope for the afflicted and judgment for the evil. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind” (65:17).