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Three Sections of Isaiah
- First Isaiah//The Book of Judgment//The Book of Threats
- Second Isaiah//Deutero-Isaiah//The Book of Consolation
- Third Isaiah//Trito-Isaiah
What are the characteristics of the First Isaiah?
- Chapters 1-39
- Ministry: 740-700 BC
- Setting: The SOUTHERN Kingdom of Judah
- He may have been a member of the aristocracy of Jerusalem.
- He was consulted by Kings Ahaz and Hezekiah, who listened more of less obediently to his counsel.
What are the characteristics of the Second Isaiah?
- Chapters 40-55
- middle decades of the 6th century BC: during Babylonian Exile
- Setting: the end of the Babylonian Exile
- Deutero-Isaiah is an anonymous poet.
- The "Suffering Servant" appeared in this context.
What impact did the Babylonian Exile have on Israel?
- Israel was experiencing the immense trauma caused by the Babylonian victory and exile in a foreign land.
- This was a time of darkness and violence, of extreme abandonment when Israel might have believed its history ended forever, submerged in pagan empires.
What are the characteristics of the Third Isaiah?
- Chapters 56-66
- dating from the 5th century BC
- Setting: the people had returned from exile, but the disappointments had been plentiful
- The text develops oracles strongly eschatological in tone, announcing God's final judgment.
Why were there many disappoinments when the people of Israel returned from exile?
- Only a small number returned to the bitter experience of seeing Jerusalem ravaged and the countryside given to idolatry.
- The returned exiles attempt to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.
What are the general themes of the book of Isaiah?
- The need for repentance and the certainty of judgment if Judah does not repent.
- Even the judgment cannot cancel God's unconditional promises to David.
- A remnant of Judah, a faithful remnant, will return to establish a new kingdom in Jerusalem.
What name does Isaiah give to his child, and what does it mean?
Shear-jashub, meaning "A-Remnant-Shall-Return"
When and where was Isaiah called to the prophetic office?
"In the year that King Uzziah died" (740 BC), when he was in the temple.
What was the condition of Judah when Isaiah assume the prophetic office?
Judah was enjoying economic prosperity and power. At this time, 740 BC, the Philistines, Arabians, and Amorites were paying tribute to Judah. With this increased material riches, the ethical and religious life of the people deteriorated.
Who warred against King Ahaz in 734, and why?
King Hoshea of Israel and the king of Damascus did so, because Ahaz refused to join their coalition against Assyria.
What did Ahaz do when he was attacked by Hoshea and the king of Damascus?
He called of the Assyrians for help.
Why was Ahaz's calling on the Assyrians for help proved to be a bad idea?
This led to the fall of Samaria in 722, the division of the Northern Kingdom, and the Southern Kingdom becoming a vassal of Assyria.
What made King Hezekiah distinctive?
He was one of three good kings who walked in the way of David: Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah.
What was the relationship between Isaiah and Hezekiah?
Isaiah served as Hezekiah's spiritual guide.
What contribution did Hezekiah make to the Israelites' worship?
He was a reformer who destroyed places of pagan worship and their statues, including the bronze serpent made by Moses.
When did Hezekiah revolt against Assyria?
What did Hezekiah's revolt against Assyria lead to?
a siege of Jerusalem in 701
What did God do to deliver Jerusalem from the attack of the Assyrians in 701?
The Lord saved his people by bringing about a miraculous plague, which caused the death of 185,000 soldiers in a single night.
After 701, what did Hezekiah do to prevent any further attack from Assyria?
He paid the Assyrians a huge tribute, part of which came from stripping the Temple of riches and ornaments.
Whose help did Hezekiah call upon when Israel was threatened by Babylon?
He sought an alliance with Egypt, which was seen by Isaiah as a rejection of the Lord.
Who were the three kings of Judah during the ministry of the First Isaiah, in chronological order?
When did Manasseh reign in the Southern Kingdom?
What was Manasseh's disposition when he started as a king of Judah? What did he do during his reign?
He was thoroughly wicked. He reversed all the reforms of his father: he brought back the foreign idols, burned his own sons as an offering to the pagan gods, defiled the Temple, and persecuted the worshippers of God.
Who, according to legend, killed Isaiah?
Manasseh, shortly after he became a king.
What happened to Manasseh's soul after the Assyrians captured the Southern Kingdom?
He experienced a profound repentance and conversion, and God restored him to his throne.
What effect did Manasseh's conversion have on his reign? What did he do after he repent?
He undertook the reform of his father Hezekiah, and lived longer than any other king of Israel or Judah.
Key Themes of the First Isaiah
- The Lord's holiness and transcendence
- The Lord is God of all nations and all human history
- The Lord is the arbiter of all human history, and there is no room for human pride.
What are the Messianic prophecies?
Texts that foreshadow the anticipated Messiah.
What prompted Isaiah to hope for a future king who would obey Yahweh?
Ahaz and Hezekiah rejected and didn't believe in Isaiah's words.
Two significant prophecies in the First Isaiah
What are the four titles given to the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6?
- Wonderful Counselor
- Mighty God
- Everlasting Father
- Prince of Peace
What does the Hebrew "el gibbor" mean?
mighty God; gibbor means strong or mighty
Which one among four titles given to Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 doesn't fit the Jewish conception of Messiah?
el gibbor - mighty God.
What does Emmanuel mean?
Memorize Is 7:14
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a [virgin/]young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanu-el."
How is Isaiah 7:14 interpreted on the literal level?
The prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 appears to have been fulfilled with the birth of Hezekiah.
- Hezekiah was born around the time of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem, which failed to capture the city.
- Hezekiah was a reforming king; but after his reign, things deteriorated rapidly for the Southern Kingdom.
Where do we get the translation "virgin"?
The word "virgin" is taken from the Greek Septuagint, which translates "almah" into Gk. "parthenos". The Hebrew word of it is almah, meaning a young woman of marriageable age, who most likely would be a virgin, though the word itself does not focus on that.
Almah is translated into either "young woman" or "virgin". How does these two renderings compare with each other?
"Young Woman" is more accurate and captures the literal sense of the text, while "virgin" is taken from the Septuagint translation and captures the deeper sense of the text.
What is the Christian interpretation of Isaiah 7:14?
It is a foreshadowing of the actual virginal conception of Jesus as a historical reality.
What is the prime justification of translation almah into "virgin"?
Almah is never used in the OT to refer to a married woman.
Why did the LXX translators choose "parthenos" as the translation of almah?
- From a Christian point of view, there may be a certain
- mystery at work wherein the translator drew out, perhaps unintentionally, the deeper meaning of the original text.
- Parthenos could only mean virgin, because if the translators meant to say young woman, they could have used neanis in place of parthenos.
- Recall that Christians used the LXX as their O.T. and
- believed it to be inspired as a translation
What translation of the OT did Matthew use in writing the Gospel?
He uses both the Hebrew--translating it into Greek--and the Septuagint.
Who is a prophet who is a contemporary of the First Isaiah?
Compare and contrast between Micah and Isaiah
- Micah is much less interested in Jerusalem and the Temple.
- Micah represents a rural vision and concerned more with villages, small towns, and tribal territories.
- Both Isaiah and Micah are aware of oppression and injustices everywhere in the society and foresee divine judgment.