Book of the Week 23: Isaiah

Hebrew Name: Yesha’yah

Human Author: Isaiah

OT or NT: Old Testament

Number of Chapters: 66

Basic Facts

  1. Isaiah is the twenty-third book of the Bible.
  2. In terms of literary genre, Isaiah is classified as a book of prophecy.
  3. The Hebrew name for the book of Isaiah is Yesha’yah, which means “Yah (God) is salvation.”
  4. The book of Isaiah contains some of the clearest prophesies about the messiah in the whole of the Old Testament.
  5. Isaiah was sent by God as a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah.

 

Story of the Book

Isaiah was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah during the reigns of kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh. Isaiah was sent by God to warn the people of Judah of God’s coming judgment for their sins. The book begins with a review of the sins of the nation for which God is about to judge Judah. If Judah does not repent and serve the Lord, it will be brought into exile. Isaiah then reviews the judgment of God upon the pagan nations around Judah. Isaiah goes on to explain God’s purposes for His judgments upon Israel/Judah and the surrounding nations. Isaiah then warns the people of Judah not to put their trust in other nations who cannot save them from judgment but instead to trust in the Lord as the only one who can deliver the nation from judgment and exile. Isaiah then records the events of the reign of king Hezekiah, who repents, prompting God to temporarily relent from bringing disaster upon the nation. The rest of the book entails prophesies of Judah’s future after the exile in which God would bring His people back from captivity, provide a future redeemer in the Messiah, and establish an eternal future kingdom for the returned exiles. The book ends with a final foretelling of God’s everlasting judgment for the wicked and everlasting life for the righteous from all the peoples of the earth.

Jesus Foreshadowed in Isaiah

The New Testament quotes Isaiah more than any other Old Testament book other than Psalms. The ways in which the book of Isaiah foreshadows Christ are too numerous to mention all of them here. The following is a small sample of the ways in which Jesus Christ is foreshadowed and/or foretold in Isaiah:

  • The messiah would be born of a virgin and would be called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). 
  • The messiah would be a child who would be both a son and mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).
  • The messiah would be despised and rejected (Isaiah 53:3, John 1:9-10).
  • The messiah would reign forever on David’s throne and over his kingdom forever (II Samuel 7:16; Psalm 45:6-7; Isaiah 9:7; Hebrews 1:8-9). 
  • The messiah would be pierced for our sake in such a way that God would lay upon him the iniquity of all people (Isaiah 53:6).
  • The messiah would stand silently before his accusers like a lamb led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:26-35).
  • The messiah would be given the tomb of a rich man even though he was innocent of any crime (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23: 50-56; John 19:38-42).

Jesus fulfilled each of these prophesies and many more.