About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Isaiah 1 and Introduction
Commentary On The Book Of Isaiah
commentary is based on the 1984 edition of the New International Bible.
Chapter titles in this commentary correspond to the chapter
titles in the NIV.
name "Isaiah" means "Yahweh is salvation" .
is commonly understood that Isaiah lived somewhere from around 765 to
686 BC. He lived in the
Southern Kingdom of Israel, in
It is commonly understood that Isaiah wrote his account in and around 750 to 740 BC.
Hebrew and Christian
tradition states that Isaiah was sawn in half with a wooden saw by king Manasseh
around 646 B. C.. Justin
Martyr in 150 A.D. records this to be a fact.
Hebrews 11:37 tells us that some of the Old Testament men and
women of faith were "sawn in two".
This might possibly be a reference to Isaiah.
time in which Isaiah prophesied to Israel
was not much different than the day we live in.
scholars believe there were actually two Isaiahs. One Isaiah wrote
chapters 1 through 39, and the other who wrote chapter 40 through 66.
The New Testament refutes this.
If you read John 12:37 to 40, you will come to the conclusion
that the same guy wrote both parts of Isaiah because John quotes from
both halves of Isaiah and attributes both halves to the same writer.
scholars also late date parts of Isaiah, as they do the book of Daniel.
They do this because of the specific prophecies concerning King
Cyrus that Isaiah prophesied long before there was a King Cyrus and long
before the kingdom he ruled was ever in existence.
1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Part of the discovery included a whole copy of the book of
Isaiah. On a 10.2 inch by 24
foot scroll, we have the whole book that differs little from what we
the book of Isaiah is a book of prophecy.
If we can understand Isaiah's prophecy, we will better understand
the book of Revelation. The
best way to understand Revelation is to first understand Old testament
prophecy. It has been said
that there are 357 quotes in Revelation from the Old Testament, many
verse 1 we note that all that Isaiah writes was given to him via a
list of kings we see in verse 1 tell us just when Isaiah was
prophesying. Some tradition
states that he prophesied right up to 686 B. C. when he was sawn in half
by king Manasseh.
that Isaiah is specifically prophesying to the southern
might say that from verse 2, to the end of this chapter is a heavenly
court scene, where
heavenly court room scene is portrayed in verse 2 where it says,
"Hear, O heavens, listen, O earth".
The Lord is about to speak, and both those in heaven and those on
earth are two be witnesses to what the Lord is about to say.
Lord says that He "has reared children", but they have become
rebellious. The children
spoken of here is the southern kingdom
of Israel. God viewed both the
southern kingdom and the northern kingdom as children.
Many view this as anthropomorphic terminology.
That is to say, God speaks to us in terms we can understand.
So to describe the relationship Israel
has with their God, God speaks in terms of being a Father to His
children. He also uses other
types of anthropomorphic terminology.
In Hosea and elsewhere God views
Hebrew grammar tells us that the rebellion of Israel
against her God was not something they just sort of slipped into.
It was a thought out rebellion.
They knew what they were doing, and verse 3 implies this.
3 relates Israel
to an ox and a donkey who knows their master; the one who feeds and
looks after them. Israel
knew their God. Israel
knew the one who fed and looked after her, but she still chose to rebel.
She bit the hand of the one who feeds her, so to speak.
southern kingdom came to the place, after making the choice to leave her
God, that they had no knowledge and no understanding
In the eyes of God, and it should be in our eyes as well,
knowledge is vitally important. Then,
once having the knowledge, the understanding we gain from the knowledge
is equally important. As a
matter of fact, Hosea 4:6 goes as far to say that without knowledge,
God's people are destroyed. That
was true for Israel
in Old Testament times and it is true for Christians and the church in
New Testament times.
that in verse 3 God calls Israel, and n this case the southern
text says, "a people loaded down with guilt".
This is how God viewed
need to understand that guilt is not a feeling.
We may say, "I feel guilty". But again, guilt is not a
feeling. Guilt is a position
in which we stand before the Lord, whether we have any feelings
associated with guilt or not. When
a judge pronounces someone guilty, he is guilty, whether he feels guilty
or not. Many are pronounced
guilty in a court of law and don't feel guilty. Whether those in
verse 3 God says that the southern kingdom is a "brood of
evildoers". Like a
brood of satanic snake, thee people were evil through and through. They
were born into evil as the next phrase suggests.
"Children given to corruption".
They were born into corruption and corruption is all they knew.
God says that they "have forsaken the Lord", the verb tense
here suggests that these people have "willingly and knowingly"
forsaken their God.
term "Holy One of Israel" is a term mostly used by Isaiah in
the Bible for Yahweh.
verses 5 and 6 God portrays
In verses 7 and 8 God speaks in plain language to these people. He is not speaking figuratively as He did in the last two verses. He is describing their present conditions. Judah is now on the decline. They are falling from their height of success. Their fields and cities are being destroyed in multiple ways. Both their economy and the military defense is rotting away. The fields are being stripped by foreigners. Their cities are being invaded. It seems like military losses and economic losses go hand in hand when a nation falls in judgment to God. Both the military and economic losses are clearly seen in verses 7 and 8.
in Verse 8 the term "Daughter of Zion".
This term is often used in the Old Testament for Jerusalem. The Hebrew word
"tslyown" that is transliterated into English as
"Zion" means "sunny"
Judah was to be a sunny happy place to live, but is far from
that. The use of "
is an example of how Isaiah helps you understand the book of Revelation.
In Revelation 11:8, the text calls
in verse 8 the words "shelter" and "huts".
Israelis would build little flimsy huts to protect them from the
elements while working in the fields.
Once the season was over, they'd leave most of these huts and the
wind would blow them over and they'd soon fall apart.
9 speaks of survivors. This
is the idea of the "remnant of Israel". There will always be
a remnant of Israel
who will follow their Lord. This
is a theme that runs through the Bible.
The apostle Paul speaks of this remnant in Romans 9 through 11.
It is my thinking that just as there is a remnant of Israel, there is a remnant of the church.
Just as Paul spoke of not all
verse 10 the rulers of
Revelation 11:8 God calls Jerusalem Sodom.
Without knowing this verse, you might wonder why God would call
the city He loves Sodom. Here we see why God call
Jerusalem Sodom in Revelation 11:8.
This tells me that the best way to understand the book of
Revelation is to understand the Old Testament.
11 shows us just how upset God is over the situation in
12 says that "when you come to meet with me
verse 14 God went as far to say, "stop bringing your
sacrifices". This is
the same God that commanded Israelis to bring sacrifices to Him.
Sacrifices without faith, trust, and holy living, meant nothing
to God. He'd refer both the
sacrifices and the holy living, but if there was no holy living, He'd
rather not have the rituals or the meetings.
This is one very relevant passage for today's church who in many
cases are no different than the southern kingdom in Isaiah's day.
Judah's religiosity as seen in verse
14 is actually a burden to the Lord.
It makes Him weary. Even
15 ends with "your hands are full of blood".
In some cases this is literal murder.
In other cases this would be symbolic.
Hands raised in prayer should be hands used in serving the needy.
16 and 17 are all about repentance.
was used to living the good life. They
thought little about the poor, the widows, and the fatherless.
True repentance would be seen in the fact that Israelis would
give heart felt attention to the needs of these people.
18 is a well known Evangelical verse.
"Come let us reason together
God is not saying, "let's get together and sit down and work
out some kind of mutual agreement".
He is asking Israelis to come To come and make His understanding
of things their understanding of things.
rest of verse 18 is predictive of the gospel of Christ.
Right here in the midst of all the condemnation that God is
the word "snow" in mind, those of us who live in climates
where it snows in the winter know all about snow.
A fresh covering of snow is a beautiful sight to see, but, and
especially in the city, when dirt, road salt, and mud, appear along with
the snow, that which was beautiful looking becomes pretty ugly looking.
This reminds me of back sliding Christians.
Once one's sin is covered over and then one begins to repeat the
sins that are covered over, he is a pretty ugly sight.
19 says that "if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the fat
of the land". God's
blessings depends on our willingness to obey, and, when it comes to the
gospel of Christ this passage is now dealing with, obedience is seen in
faith. Obedience is not
merely seen in works, but works done from a pure heart of faith and a
life that has been given in trust to Jesus.
a big "but' in verse 20. If
this point I simply want to remind you that God doesn't just deal with
individuals. He deals with
nations, with political jurisdictions.
This is often overlooked in many Christian circles.
"faithful city" in verse 21 is Jerusalem, but she is no longer faithful. She
has become a harlot. This
would be both a literal and a symbolic harlot. Israelis
were committing spiritual fornication and adultery by uniting pagan
religion with Judaism. They
were also committing indecent sexual acts among themselves, thus the
reason for God calling Jerusalem Sodom.
Judah, once was rule by justice, but
no more. This too looks more
and more like western society. We
have our laws, but there are more murders in western society these days
than ever before.
22 and 23 speak of the collapse of the southern kingdom's economy.
For example, their silver becomes worthless.
Bribes are the norm. Neglect
of the real poor is everywhere. Again,
it sounds like our western nations today.
verse 24 God actually calls Judah His enemy.
is to be God's holy people, and now, she has become His unholy enemy.
25 says that God will turn His hand against Judah, He will get rid of their dross and remove their impurities.
This verse is not speaking of the cross of Christ.
It is speaking about national judgment on Israel. The cross does do all of
the above if one is willing to embrace the cross, but if not, judgment
is meant to bring both
individuals and nations to their knees.
This is what verse 25 means.
26 begins with "I will restore
Judgment is for a reason. Judgment
is meant to produce repentance. Repentance
then brings restoration, as we see here.
first thing restored, and we're talking specifically about
any of these things happened to Jerusalem. No. Not as yet.
This is yet to be fulfilled at the end of this age.
verse 27 speaks of
28 speaks of the rebelliousness of
30 and 31 end this chapter. It
gives a picture of a glorious and victorious Jerusalem, standing strong and tall in the ways of the Lord.
This is a prophecy of how Jerusalem
will be at some point in the future.
It was meant to be an encouragement for Judah
to repent. But Judah
didn't repent, and they would fall to the Babylonians.
That being said, God's predictive words will come true.
You can count on that.