Isaiah

Many have referred to the book of Isaiah as the mini-bible.  One reason is that that the Bible has 66 books and Isaiah has 66 chapters.  Along with that,  there are two sections to the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, the Old ending at chapter 39.  Well, Isaiah has a similair two-part division at chapter 39 as well.

The objective of this study was to do a chapter by chapter summary walk through to follow the events surrounding the contemporary time frame surrounding Isaiah without going into End Time Prophecy.   Some things are addressed for clarity but on a whole is not in the summary.   The first 39 chapters of Isaiah cover a time frame that Isaiah covers around a 200 year window from when Isaiah prophesied.  However, after chapter 39 prophesies about the Messiah and content related to the end time prophecy becomes more prevenalnt.  Chapter summeries will given attention to those subjects because they become the focus.

Format:  Each short paragraph is it’s chapter in order … paragraph 1 is chapter 1, paragraph 2 is chapter 2 … ext.  To maintain that flow a number of chapters had to be slotted in when the entire chapter deals with End Time Prophecy.

Also, from time to time, there are some other things come up that are not necessarily prophetic or having to do with contemporary events of Isaiah.  They too have been put aside for now also and not written into the summary.  For example, the comparison between Babylon and Lucifer in chapter 14:12-17.   I have started a version that includes all End Time Prophecy and other issues too though.

Author: Joshua Meadowcroft

 Isaiah:  Essay Summary

The Background (Chapter 1-6)

Judah has completely forsaken the Lord.  Being full of iniquity and evildoers, their hearts have drifted far from God.   All their worship has become an abomination to Him, from which He hides His eyes and ears from.   The Lord pleads with Judah to stop sinning to be made clean, whiter then snow.

But Judah does not respond to the call.   Instead she increases her alliances and trusts in foreign gods and nations, with all their pagan customs.  Forgive them not, Isaiah laments, for everyone great and small bows down to idols made with their own hands.

Therefore the Lord of Hosts will remove their comforts.   The strong men of Judah will all die in war; their women, who once walked arrogantly and flirtatious, will be made a shameful detestable sight.   Oh, how Judah is fallen (fulfilled 170 yrs later).

(Chapter 4 – Tribulation / Millennial Prophecy)

* Note:  It has been presented that chapter 3:16 through 4:1 has also very strong possible parallels to the Tribulation period and transitions into chapter 4 perfectly.

Yes, the Lord will show Himself holy in His righteous decisions.   The people of Judah continually mock and tempt the Lord saying ‘prove it’ that a vengeance will come upon us.  They’ve given themselves over to strong drink, casting away and despising the law of the Lord.   The Lord will bring a strong army from afar and utterly destroy.  The anger of the Lord has been kindled (fulfilled 170 yrs later).

(Chapter 6 – Isaiah’s Commission)

The Coming Invasions (Chapters 7-12)

Word reaches Ahaz, King of Judah, that Israel (King Pekah) and Syria (King Rezin) have joined league to over throw Jerusalem, Judah’s capital.   Ahaz is filled with fear although their first attempt to conquer failed.  The Lord tells Ahaz through Isaiah that their evil plot will not come to pass.   So eager to see Ahaz and Judah trust Him once again, the Lord allows Ahaz to ask for any sign to prove that He will defend him.  But Ahaz in disbelief forfeits the opportunity and the Lords promise.   Assyria will soon come and destroy.

Isaiah’s wife becomes pregnant and bears a son.  It is announced that before the child can say ‘my father’ and ‘my mother’ Assyria will have stripped away the riches of Damascus (Syria’s capital) and Samaria (Israel’s capital).    The attack will be viscous and there will be no protection for Israel or Judah.  Many will fall and die but they would rather seek familiar spirits and wizards for help.

Yet, they would still not repent.  They say arrogantly,  ‘we will build stronger and plant better’ instead of seeking the Lord for help.    The Lord will stir up the Assyrians, the Syrians and the Philistines to devour Israel.   All the sinful leaders of Israel, with the unjust judges and lying prophets will be destroyed in a single day.

The Lord will send Assyria to destroy this sinful hypocritical nation.   Afterwards he will boast as if his own strength gave him victory.  Can an ax boast of power greater then the one who uses it?  The Lord, in a single night, will destroy the armies of Assyria with a blazing fire.   A child will be able to count the survivors.   Then a remnant of Israel will return and trust in the Lord, in truth.

(Chapter 11 & 12 – Tribulation / Millennial Prophecy)

* Note:  The closing half of chapter 10 transitions from speaking of contemporary Assyria to addressing The Assyrian (The Anti-Christ) and his armies in the Tribulation period.  They are pictured as a thick forest that the Lord will cut down.   Keeping with the imagery chapter 11 begins showing the “Branch of the Lord” arising, after the Anti-Christ and his armies are destroyed, ushering in the Millennial reign.

 

The Judgments on The Nations (Chapter 13 – 27)

BABYLON, the perfect stature of Chaldean pride, you will be destroyed as was Sodom and Gomorrah.   The Lord is gathering his army to destroy you.   He will stir up the Medes against you and they will spare no living soul.   Your land will never be inhabited again.

The Lord will have mercy on His people.  They will return to their homeland and mock, ‘where are you now king of Babylon? You are gone!’.  All hell will mock you at your coming saying, ‘you are as weak as we are now’ (fulfilled 200 yrs later).   But ASSYRIA, your time is coming soon and you can do nothing about it.   Beware PHILISTIA, don’t rejoice over the death of Judah’s kings, rather you should fear.  Their offspring are much stronger.

MOAB, your time has come.  All your cities will be destroyed with very few survivors.  But then even lions will hunt them down.  Your bravest mighty men will cry out in terror.

You will cry out for help until this terror is past and even send offerings to the king of Judah as a token for alliance.  You will cry to your gods in the temples but no one will come and save.  Within three years the glory of MOAB will be ended forever.

DAMASCUS, you will disappear and been seen to more.  Every remnant of Syria will be destroyed.   You acted like a shield for ISRAEL but you will both fall hard.  ISRAEL, you have forgotten who your God is and have looked to idols for help.  Now you will be brought to almost nothing.  A scattered few spread around.  But then they will honor and worship God alone again.

(Chapter 18 – Destruction of ETHIOPIA: Tribulation Prophecy)

(Chapter 19 – Destruction of EGYPT: Tribulation / Millennial Prophecy)

Don’t only dread what your future holds ETHIOPIA and EGYPT.   Dread what’s upon you now!  The Assyrians will destroy you in the sight of this whole region.  They will say, ‘how can we survive against Assyria when we trusted in Egypt’.

BABYLON, your doom it definitely destined.  Attack you Elamites (Persia) and Medes, while they enjoy their great feast!  ‘Here they come’ the lookout cries (fulfilled 200 yrs later).  But you, Dedan and Kedar (ARABIA), will run for your lives in war within a year from now.  Only a few of your warriors will survive.

Oh JERUSALEM (Judah), I mourn for you!   Look up, the Elamites (Persians) and the men of Kir (Medes) are aiding in this attack against you (less the 15 yrs later). Your plans will never succeed.  You’d rather party until you die rather then seek the Lord for help.  SHEBA (a palace high official in Jerusalem), because you have sought the honor and praises of man, you will be torn down and thrown away and your position given to another – Eliakim.

*Note:  It’s interesting to see the two different occurrences when the Medes and Persians joined military forces in chapters 21 & 22.  In chapter 22 they are seen as being much smaller, being only able to assist the Assyrians.   However, 200 years later they have grown to be able to challenge and even conquer the world power of the day, Babylon, in chapter 21.

TYRE, you are the chief merchandise center of the world.  But you will be destroyed very soon.  A dynasty from within Babylon will soon rise for 70 years and during that time you will be crippled to almost death.  Afterwards the Lord will free you but you will return to your wicked ways (starting around 120 yrs later).

(Chapters 24 – 27:  Last Days Prophecy Resulting in The Restoration of All Israel)

* Note: Tyre has been said to be a picture of all the nations as a whole as all nations of its time flowed in and through it.  It would make sense for Isaiah to transition into such this lengthy prophetic description of the destruction of all the nations and restoration of Israel after the prophetic dealings with Tyre in chapter 23.

 

The Destruction of Israel and Judah with Last Day Parallels (Chapters 28-35)

Destruction is certain for Israel.  All your leaders are drunk and arrogant.  They talk to God like He has no idea what He’s doing and act like they’ve struck some deal with hell itself to avoid death.  You could have peace in your own land but because you have not obeyed very simple instructions for so long a time the Lord has determined to crush you with Assyria.  Consider the farmer as he plows and sows.   This is what God is doing to you (6 yrs later).

Devastation is certain for Judah. Your service and worship to God is meaningless.   Year after year it revolves in a perpetual repetition of heartless forms.  The Lord is bringing an enemy against you (Assyria) but as quick as he comes he will be blown away and unable to fully conquer (around 14 yrs later). God will do this even though you don’t believe it.   Nothing about your lives is hid from God.   He will discipline and have a righteous faithful people.

You are rebellious children, Judah.   On top of all your sins you now trust in Egypt to protect you rather then God but Egypt’s promises are worthless.  They will fail you.  You hate the Lord’s instructions through His prophets.  Because of this you will be smashed to small pieces.  Your only hope will be turning back to God but you refuse still.

Trusting in Egypt will only bring devastation upon you.   God will bring an enemy against you and will not change His mind (by Assyria – around 14 yrs later).  But He will not allow complete destruction right now.  God will deliver you.   Be sure of this – Assyria’s day is coming.   God will destroy him soon (around 120 yrs later).

(Chapter 32:  The Ultimate Deliverance of All Israel / Millennial Prophecy)

(Chapter 33:  Dealings with The Antichrist (Assyrian) / Millennial Prophecy)

* Note:  The previous two chapters give last days parallel identifications from chapter 31.

(Chapter 34:  Destruction of All Nations (Armageddon) / Tribulation Prophecy)

(Chapter 35:  Description of Life and Peace During the Millennium)

* Note:  The previous two chapters offer continued elaboration of overall all events and times of chapter 32 and 33.


The Assyrian Invasion & Defeat / Babylonian Invasion Prophesied (Chapters 36-39)

During King Hezekiah’s 14th year of reign over Judah, King Sennacherib of Assyria sent word to Hezekiah’s officials saying:  ‘Give up.  Don’t even fight.  Your tiny army is no match for us.  Mere words alone can’t defeat us and Egypt is broken and worthless to trust in.   Even the gods of Samaria (Israel) could not rescue them (conquered 8 years prior). “   Hezekiah’s officials torn their clothes in despair and told the king all that was told them.

Upon receiving the message, Hezekiah wept, torn his clothes and sent word to Isaiah the prophet.  Isaiah assures him that Assyrian army will return home and Sennacherib will be killed.  Then Sennacherib threatens Judah again.  Hezekiah prays to the Lord for deliverance and the Lord answers.  That night the angle of the Lord kills 185,000 Assyrian troops.  After retreating home Sennacherib was killed by his two sons.

In the days when Sennacherib threatened to conquer Judah, Hezekiah became deathly sick and was told by Isaiah to set his house in order because he was going to die.  Hezekiah cried unto the Lord and the Lord added 15 years to his life and promised Hezekiah that He would further protect the city.  The sign given to proven it was the sundial of Ahaz moving backwards 10 degrees.

Shortly after Hezekiah had recovered King Merodach of Babylon sent spies into Judah with gifts to Hezekiah.   Hezekiah welcomed them in and showed them all his treasures and kingdom.   Isaiah prophesied that one day Judah would be captured, with all it’s treasures and people carried off to Babylon (around 125 yrs later).   But this did not matter to King Hezekiah.  He did not care.  He only cared about the peace in the kingdom in his lifetime.

 

Great Deliverance –  For God’s People (Chapter 40-48)

Many times when the prophets spoke of deliverance for God’s people parallels exist between current events, the coming Messiah as well as last days/end-time events.  The remaining 27 chapters of Isaiah deal with these subjects.  Chapter 40 launches the second half of the book of Isaiah in general fashion and each category can be applied.  Special attention is given in verses 3-5 to the ministry of John the Baptist proclaiming the coming of the Messiah (Mark 1:3; Luke 3:5-6).  Chapters 40 through 48 speak largely of the restoration of Israel to the land of promise as the Lord used King Cyrus to free them from the Babylonian Captivity.  Isaiah lived and prophesied of King Cyrus by name around 200 years before hand (44:28; 45:1).  In context verses 3-5 could also potentially be applied to the near 600-mile journey through the wilderness that Israel would undertake from Babylon to Palestine (the promised land).  Although the captivity had not yet begun Isaiah had already seen beyond it to the deliverance the Lord would bring.  Several times throughout the remainder of the book of Isaiah King Cyrus is depicted as a type and shadow of the coming deliverer – the Messiah.  King Cyrus would free Israel from the captivity of the physical nation of Babylon while the Messiah would bring deliverance from spiritual Babylon. 

The Lord has pardoned Israel’s sins.  He will gather her to Himself.  The Lord is merciful, all-powerful, all knowing, eternal, and rules over all creation.  Who has told Him to do this?! Who is His equal?!  There is none! Oh Israel, say not that the Lord has forgotten you and not heard your cry?

Look to the north and east!  I, The Lord have risen up Cyrus to conquer all his enemies. Fear not Israel.  I will strengthen you, protect you and provide for you.  The craftsmen forge their idol gods to help them. Speak idols!  Tell us something – anything! You are nothing and can do nothing!  Only I, the Lord, has predicted this and told Israel deliverance is coming.

But Israel is deaf.  Although I tell you these wonderful things you still cannot hear it and believe.  Not only deaf but blind also.  Can you not see that God gave you over to your enemies because of your sin?  Did you not learn from what happened to your ancestors because of their sin?  Is there any that will take this to heart so it’s not repeated in the future again?

But you, Israel, are my precious people in whom I love and you are mine.  I have given Egypt and Ethiopia for a ransom payment (to Persia) that I might have you again.  I have sent an army (Persia) to crush Babylon out of existence but I will protect you from all harm.  Do not think about the past because I am doing something new with you but not because you have asked and been faithful to me.  No, you have done the opposite.  This is all my own choice.

Israel, listen to me.  I have formed you and chosen you.  You will all proudly bare my name.   Do not be afraid of the coming troubles.  The craftsmen can’t see how stupid it is to use the same wood he used to cook his food with to make a lifeless god.  There is no other God then me.   Remember, I have formed you.  You have not formed me.  What I say happens and I have chosen Cyrus (Persia) to release you to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.

Yes, I will anoint Cyrus to do my will although he has never known me.  I, the Lord will subdue nations under his feet for the sake of my servant Jacob and Israel, my elect.  All the nations are in my control!   I have risen up Cyrus and he will free my people.  The Egyptians, Ethiopians and Sabeans will all be subject to him.  All of their wealth will be his and they will say to him ‘God is with you – the only God’.

Look at Babylon fleeing.  Their cattle have the images of gods on their heads and are loaded down.  They stumble and fall.  They cannot carry the loads and help them.  But I, the Lord, have borne you and carried you from the beginning and will always carry you, even to your old age.  I will use Cyrus.  He will come from the east and execute my will.  Though you do not deserve it, I will demonstrate my righteousness and deliver Israel.

Babylon, you will be brought down to utter shame.  I was angry with my people and gave Israel into your hands to discipline them.  But you showed them no mercy.   Did you think I couldn’t see how harshly you treated them?  Therefore, in a single day all your beauty will be destroyed.  Everything you trust in will fail to save you.  I will scatter you.

Israel – Jacob, listen to me.  You claim allegiance to the God of Israel but in falsehood and unrighteousness.  God has always told you well in advance the things that would happen so you couldn’t say your idols performed it.   Now again, He tells you something new.   The Lord has chosen Cyrus to execute His will on Babylon.  You will leave Babylon singing that the Lord has redeemed you.  God will do this and not cut you off for His own name’s sake.

 

The Great Deliverer – The Messiah (Chapter 49-54)

Chapters 49-57 deal largely with prophesies concerning the coming Messiah.  As in the first chapter of the previous section, chapter 49 contains multiple implications.  Portions of the chapter seem point to the new covenant the Messiah would introduce while verse 10 speaks plainly about those who made it through the Tribulation (Revelation 7:16-17).   Isaiah 49 provides an overview of the mission and purpose of the Messiah from the introduction of the new covenant through the millennial reign.  Chapter 52 gives prophecy for the coming deliverance from Babylon (v.4-6, 9-12), the coming Messiah (v.13-15) as well as millennial prophecy (v.1).

God has called me from my mother’s womb. He has purposed me to gather Israel and Jacob back to Himself.  But not just them but also to the whole world.  He has made me the light to the gentiles and salvation will be theirs also.  I will come and do all this at the perfect moment.  Don’t say I have forgotten you. Nonsense.  I will reign over all the earth and the nations will serve you.

I (Messiah) have heard what God has spoken and will obey and not be rebellious.  He is with me and I am determined to do His will no matter what.   Men will beat me, mock me, spit in my face and pull out my beard but I know I will triumph over them.  I urge you to fear God and obey me, His servant.  If you rebel and trust in yourself you will die in great torment.

Listen up, Zion.  I have brought you forth from one man, Abraham.  I will make all your lands as the Garden of Eden.  The heavens and the earth will dissolve away. Do not fear the temporal threats of men.  They will pass also.  I will create a new heaven and earth.  There you will be my people forever.  Joy and gladness will forever be found in you.  I will never again pour out my anger upon you.  Instead it will be eternally upon those who afflicted you.

Awake Jerusalem.  I have delivered you from Egypt and Assyria.  Who is this that comes to oppress you (Babylon)?  In that day my people will know my deliverance again.  I will say to you, ‘leave calmly, not like with Egypt.  Leave everything unclean behind’.  You will leave with ease.  Do not fear.  I will protect you.

The Servant of God will be lifted high.  He will be marred beyond the appearance of a man.  Than all the nations will understand who He is.   Are there any that will believe what is said about Him?  He will be despised and rejected by men.   Yet, all our guilt and sin will be laid upon Him and we will be healed.  This act will please God.  His Righteous Servant will make many sinners righteous by bearing their sins.

Sing and rejoice – You who brought forth no children yet!  You are about to increase on every side and your seed will possess the nations!  Your Maker is your Husband.  Your Redeemer – The Holy One of Israel.  Though I (your Maker) forsook you (Israel) for a little while, I will gather you again.  I will make a new heavenly city for you.  In righteousness you will be established and every enemy that rises against you will be destroyed.