“The Holy One of Israel”
HOST: Michael Whitworth
The book of the prophet Isaiah might be the most magisterial book in Scripture. Isaiah lived 2,700 years ago, yet his is unquestionably among the most modern books of the Old Testament. His impact on the New Testament was enormous. Yet there are aspects to Isaiah’s preaching that remain a mystery to some Christians today. Isaiah is the first of the prophets in the canon of the OT, not because he is first chronologically, but because he sets the tone in a powerful way for all that follows. In some ways, Isaiah is a guidebook for the rest of the prophets.
The prophet Isaiah ministered to the southern Kingdom of Judah during the latter half of the 8th century B.C. and early 7th century, during the reigns of Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh. In Isaiah 6, we actually learn that Isaiah’s call to ministry and the Lord’s service came in the year that King Uzziah died.
Isaiah’s name means “Yahweh saves,” and God’s salvation is indeed the theme of the book. In addition to the book that bears his name, Isaiah also wrote the biographies of Kings Uzziah and Hezekiah according to 2 Chron 26 and 32.
Many scholars believe that the book of Isaiah should actually be divided into 2 parts, and some further subdivide the second half into two more parts, making 3 total. The allegation is that Isaiah did not author the entire book, but only a portion of it. There are several reasons why I believe Isaiah wrote the entire book that bears his name, but the primary one is that the NT quotes more from Isaiah than any other prophet, and its writers do so with the belief that Isaiah wrote the whole book.
Keys to Reading: Four Themes of Isaiah
- The Holiness of God
- God’s Holy People: Israel
- God’s City/Mountain: Jerusalem
- The Inclusion of the Gentiles
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