No questions today.
About the time Homer was writing The Iliad and The Odyssey, Isaiah wrote the book that bears his name. The greatest of the writing prophets, he is quoted in the New Testament more than all other prophets combined. And as a prophet, poet and politician, Isaiah was respected in royal circles despite his unpopular message. His ministry spanned over 40 years (appx. 740 B. C. to 680 B. C.).
The historical context? Assyria was threatening Jerusalem with conquest (2 Kings 15 – 20; 2 Chronicles 26 – 32). Isaiah saw in this the culmination of God’s judgment against the widespread apostasy of Judah under King Ahaz. He predicted the fall of Jerusalem (which happened in 586 B. C.).
Isaiah challenged the people of Judah to come to their senses before it’s too late. Assyria first then Babylon. Chapters 40 – 66 focus on events 150 – 200 years after Isaiah’s era. These chapters foretell God’s deliverance of His people from their Babylonian captors (in 538 B. C.).
Isaiah also encouraged the people to look forward to the last days, when there will be a spiritual renewal and everlasting peace (the greater deliverance from sins through Christ).
Isaiah outlasted four kings, but he finally offended one beyond repair. King Manasseh (notorious for practicing infant sacrifice) had Isaiah killed by fastening him between two planks of wood and sawing his body in half.
As we follow Biblical chronology, Isaiah chapters 1 – 5 are upcoming. Next month we will turn to the prophesies of one of his contemporaries, the prophet Micah.