BY DANIEL GOLDBERG, TH.D., D.D.
A CONCLUDING SUMMARY OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH
ISAIAH, PRINCE OF THE PROPHETS
The brilliance of Isaiah’s writings eclipses even the beauty of the other major prophets—including Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. Each of these prophets wrote during the time of the nation’s demise, a bleak era in the nation’s history when foreign empires conquered David’s once mighty country, beginning shortly before 700 B.C. and continuing for a period of 200 years.
Many of the prophets, like Isaiah, addressed their messages to Judah, the Southern Kingdom, before Jerusalem fell to Babylon in 586 B.C. Isaiah lived in Jerusalem in the eighth century B.C. and attested to the death of King Uzziah, about 740 B.C. (Isa. 6:1).
God sent the prophets on a dangerous mission to try to halt the nation’s headlong rush to destruction and to call the nation to a restored relationship with God.
ISAIAH – THE FIFTH GOSPEL
In the same manner the New Testament concentrates on Jesus as the fulfillment of Israel’s hope for the Messiah, Isaiah’s central theme anticipates the arrival of the Messiah, Israel’s deliverer. Isaiah’s vivid picture of the Messiah has led some to refer to the prophet as the fifth evangelist and his book called the fifth Gospel.
Isaiah depicts the virgin birth of Messiah, along with His life, character, death, resurrection and His second coming with remarkable clarity (See 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Lk. 4:16-22; Isa. 53; 61:1-2).
There are 66 direct quotations from Isaiah in the New Testament, plus approximately 20 allusions to Isaiah’s book. Isaiah contains many prophecies that the New Testament shows were fulfilled 700 years later. Since one of the most solid proofs of the inspiration and accuracy of Scripture is fulfilled prophecy, Isaiah’s record powerfully attests to the reliability of the Bible.
Broadly speaking, Isaiah may be divided into three main sections, namely:
1. Judgment (Poetry), Ch. 1-35
2. Historical Interlude, Ch. 36-39
3. Salvation, Ch. 40-66
Isaiah was the prince of all the Hebrew prophets. More than any other prophet, Isaiah has powerfully influenced both Jews and Christians for over 2,800 years. The time and manner of his death are not known, but tradition suggests he died during Manasseh’s early reign. Perhaps Hebrews 11:37 indicates he was “sawn asunder” with a wooden saw.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF ISAIAH’S LEGACY IN SUBSTANTIATING NEW TESTAMENT TRUTH
1. According to Matthew 1:22-23, the virgin birth of Messiah was a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.
2. The ministry of Jesus healing the sick was predicted in Isaiah 53:4 (Mt. 8:17).
3. God’s free gift of grace is amplified by Paul in Romans 5:15 (Isa. 53:11-12).
4. That every believer will stand before the judgment seat is a quote of Isaiah 45:23 in Romans 14:11.
5. The truth that the message of the cross is “foolishness to the perishing” in Isaiah 29:14 is cited in 1 Corinthians 1:18-19.
6. The parables in Matthew 13:13-15 that Jesus spoke that illustrated the blindness of Israel are deeply influenced by Isaiah’s message (see Isa. 6:9-10).
7. The atonement of the Messiah Jesus for sin was predicted 700 years B.C. by Isaiah and amplified by New Testament authors (Isa. 53:4-9; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:21-25).
Have you met the One whom Isaiah predicted would enter our midst? If you do not yet know Jesus, the Lord Messiah and King, now would be the perfect time to ask Him to enter your life.