Read 174.) Isaiah 1:1 thru 5:23. Isaiah is the first of the Major Writing Prophets. His ministry is believed to have commenced about 750 BC, and lasted to 681 BC; near 70 years! He was contemporary to Jonah, Amos, Hosea, and Micah. The book defies description, as it is comprised of 66 chapters, like the Bible is 66 books. The first 39 chapters differ considerably from the last 27; as the Old Testament is 39 books, and the New Testament is 27. They differ enough that some believe there were actually 2 Isaiahs! His name means “The Lord saves!” The first 39 chapters largely dwell upon the sure and certain judgment that is coming upon Israel and Judah; and even all the earth. But, beginning with chapter 40, the tone turns far more hopeful, and has more to say of the deliverance and restoration that will follow. Much will directly relate to the yet future periods of the Tribulation and the Millennium, as will be pointed out.
Our time clue is 1:1. These men reigned in Judah from about 767 unto 696 BC. The prophet opens with the Lord’s charges against His people. Yet with 1:9, we see His mercy. As with the others, the charges revolve around social injustice and corrupted religion. And, also like the previous prophets, their solution is repentance and the mending of their ways, as 1:16+17 make clear. Then, with verse 18, the Lord makes His famous appeal to His people; if only they would be willing! And, within chapter 1, with verses 25 thru 27, we have our first words of Millennial hope! God will right all wrongs, and make things to be as they ought! With chapter 2; a word clue in verse 2, “In the last days….” Thru verse 5, it is the Millennium. Beginning no later than verse 10, to the end, the Lord is pronouncing that judgment He will bring upon all the earth in the Tribulation, because of the frequent use of, “In that day….” This, no doubt, speaks of the state of man at the time of the Return of Christ to judge and establish His kingdom upon the earth! It will be most fearful!
Chapter 3, thru 4:1, is against the southern kingdom, Judah, and her capitol, Jerusalem; and tells of her soon judgment, which will most severely commence in 605 BC, by means of Babylon, another 150 years later. Chapter 4, verses 2 thru 6, however, returns with glorious Millennial hope for remnant Israel, whom the Lord shall save, greatly bless and exalt! Concluding with chapter 5, we find a song in verses 1 thru 7, and then 6 woes pronounced upon Judah to verse 23. The song is about all that God did for Israel, but how that they became unfaithful unto Him. This is that period of prophesied unfaithfulness that began with Judges 2:10, and is the 4th Prophecy concerning Israel’s history. Then the 6 woes: for their social injustice, party spirit, hypocrisy, perversion, and pride. But, note verse 13; it is similar to his peer, Amos, in 5:27 of his book. The period of Israel’s unfaithfulness will conclude, when the 5th of the Prophecies about Israel commences, and she is taken into exile; Israel by Assyria, and Judah by Babylon. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell