Part 1


Tonight, we will begin taken a close look at the Book of Isaiah. We will begin by doing an overview of this great book. In the following weeks, we will be looking at each chapter, but we will not be looking at each chapter in detail. Sometimes we might only cover 1 chapter, other times we may cover 10 chapters in one lesson.


Isaiah is called “The Messianic Prophet”, because of his many prophecies about Jesus. The New Testament quotes and applies more scriptures from the book of Isaiah than any other Old Testament prophet.


Isaiah was God’s spokesman to Judah and Jerusalem at a time when the nation was immersed in sin. He spoke God’s judgment against their sins urging them to repent. He then foretold destruction upon them if they did not return to God. In the midst of these dire warnings, Isaiah also foretold of a bright future with the coming Messiah. God would not forget His covenant He made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. He would spare a remnant of the nation of Israel out of which would come the Messiah and His new kingdom.


The key word of Isaiah is salvation. This word appears 26 times, but only 7 times in the other prophetic books combined.


The theme of the book is found Isaiah’s name, which means “Salvation is of the Lord.”


Here are some of the key verses:


Isaiah 1:18 " Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.


Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.


Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 


Key phrase is “Holy One of Israel” which appears 25 times.


Key chapter is Isaiah 53, which describes the suffering servant. It’s message is the love of God, the sin of man, and the salvation that Christ would bring.


Isaiah writes about the glory of God and the salvation made through Jesus. His prophecies and judgment from God revealed condemnation and hope. The book is sometimes called the miniature Bible since it has 66 chapters and two main divisions – chapters 1 – 39 and 40 – 66. This corresponds to the number of books we have in the Bible and the two major divisions because there are 39 books in the O.T. and 27 in the N.T.


In the first 39 chapters, Isaiah pronounces God’s judgment on the immorality and idolatry of Judah and the 11 surrounding nations. The last 27 chapters record God’s assurance of Israel’s restoration after the captivity in Babylon, and they speak of the coming of the Messiah - their Savior and King.


Isaiah’s favorite designation for Jehovah (Yahweh) is “The Lord of Hosts”, used 62 times in the book.


“The name designates the Lord as omnipotent, used by all the writing prophets except Ezekiel, Joel, Obadiah, and Jonah. The term ‘hosts’ designated the armies of Israel. It could also refer to the angels, the heavenly messengers of the Lord, and to the stars as God’s hosts. When, as here, it appears without further qualification, it designates the Lord as the God of all hosts, and is thus an equivalent expression for the ‘all-powerful God’.” - Edward J. Young


The N.T. references the book of Isaiah 43 times. Most of these references had to do with the prophecies of Jesus and His work of salvation. All, of the prophets, especial Isaiah offer convincing proof that the Bible is the Word of God because when these prophets would speak and say things were going to happen they did. Some of which would happen hundreds of years later. For example, notice the following predictions that Isaiah made that came to pass:


Predictions fulfilled in his lifetime:

  • Judah to be delivered from Syria and Israel (7:4-7, 16)
  • Syria an Israel to be destroyed by Assyria (8:4; 17:1-14)
  • Assyria to invade Judah (8:7-8)
  • Philistines to be conquered (14:28-32)
  • Moab to be plundered (15, 16)
  • Egypt and Ethiopia to be conquered by Assyria (20:4)
  • Arabia to be pillaged (21:13-17)
  • Tyre to be subdued (23:1-12)
  • Jerusalem to be delivered from Assyria (36)
  • Hezekiah’s life to be extended 15 years (38:5)


Predictions fulfilled after his lifetime:

  • Babylonian captivity (39:5-7)
  • Babylon to be overthrown by Cyrus (46:11)
  • Medes and Elamites would also devastate Babylon (13:17; 21:2; 48:14)
  • Babylon’s perpetual desolation (13:20-22)
  • Cyrus called by name  (44:28; 45:1,4)
  • Cyrus’ conquest of the world (41:2-3)
  • Cyrus to liberate the captives [200 years after Isaiah predicted it] (45:13)
  • Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem (44:28; 45:13)
  • Israel to be restored (27:12-13; 48:20; 51:14)
  • Israel’s religion to permeate Egypt and Assyria (19: 18-25)
  • Israel’s religion to spread over the whole world (27:2-6)
  • Tyre’s captivity and restoration (23:13-18)
  • Edom’s perpetual desolation (34:5-17)


Predictions about the Messiah:  


  • His arrival (40:3-5)
  • His virgin birth (7:14)
  • Galilee to be the scene of his ministry (9:1-2)
  • His Deity and the Eternity of His throne (9:6-7)
  • His sufferings (Isa. 53)
  • To die with the wicked (53:9)
  • To be buried with the rich (53:9)
  • Might and gentleness of His reign (40:10-11)
  • Righteousness and goodness of His reign ( 32:1-8; 61:1-3) 
  • His justice and kindness (42;3-4, 7)
  • His rule over Gentiles (2:2-3; 42:1,6; 49:6; 55:4-5; 56:6; 60:3-5
  • His vast influence (49:7, 23)


While not a detailed list, all these prophecies that came to pass could not have been predicted by man. The only way these things could have predicted is by God revealing these truths through the prophet Isaiah.


The earliest copy of Isaiah in the original Hebrew language was A.D. 900 for many years, but thanks to the discover of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, we have a copy that dates back 100 B.C. and confirms that the authenticity of the  A.D. 900 copy.


Let’s talk about Isaiah himself:


His name means “salvation of the Lord” or “the Lord is salvation”, and is symbolic of his message. He is described as “the son of Amoz” (Isa 1:1; 2:1; 13:1).  He was married to a prophetess (8:3) and had two sons who had prophetic names that symbolized his message (8:3-4; 7:3): Shear-Jashub (“the remnant shall return”, Isa 7:3) and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (“in-speed-spoil-booty-hastens”, Isa 8:3).


The Bible tells us nothing about Amoz, but tradition says that Amoz was a brother of Amaziah, the son of Joash, king of Judah (2 Kin 14:1). This would make Isaiah a close relative to those who were kings during his lifetime, and would explain his close association with kings and priests and his involvement with world affairs.


Isaiah received his visions in the days of “Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isa 1:1). It is generally thought the vision of the throne scene which occurred “in the year Uzziah died” (Isa 6:1) was the beginning point of his ministry as a prophet (739 B.C.). According to Jewish tradition, Isaiah was executed by Manasseh only a few years after he ascended the throne. One source describes Isaiah as having been sawn asunder with a wooden saw as mentioned in Heb. 11:37. This would mean Isaiah prophesied approximately fifty years (739-690 B.C.).


During Isaiah’s time, it was a time of great political turmoil for the nation of Judah. Assyria was expanding its empire, attacking Israel and Syria to the north. When Judah refused to join a coalition with Israel and Syria to resist Assyria, Judah was attacked by Israel and Syria in retaliation. As Judah seriously considered inviting Assyria to help, Isaiah sought to encourage the king and the people to trust only in Jehovah. King Ahaz of Judah rejected Isaiah’s advice and asked Assyria to come to his aid. Assyria accepted, and the capital of Israel (Samaria) fell in 722 B.C. (Hendriksen)


It soon became apparent that Judah was next on Assyria’s hit list. Judah began looking to Egypt in the south for help. Once again, Isaiah counseled the nation to make no alliances but trust only in the Lord. King Hezekiah heeded Isaiah and God rewarded his faith by killing 185,000 Assyrians (Isa 36-37).


Later, in a moment of weakness Hezekiah showed the ambassadors from Babylon (Assyria’s enemy) the house of his treasures (Isa 39:1-2). This prompted Isaiah to foretell that the king’s treasures and his descendants would be taken away to Babylon (Isa 39:5-7). With this prophecy as an introduction, in chapters 40-66 Isaiah speaks from the viewpoint of Babylonian exile and foretells of the coming pardon, deliverance, and restoration.


The following are the lessons taught by Isaiah:


  1. He rebuked the sins of the people and to persuade them to repent and do the will of God.
  2. He warned his people about the impending doom of Judah because of their unfaithfulness. This came to pass 100 years later when Jerusalem was destroyed and her people were taken into Babylonian captivity.
  3. He uttered prophecies that would later be fulfilled which proved that God is Deity and that His Word never fails.
  4. He proclaimed the glorious hope of the Messiah’s coming.
  5. He taught spiritual and moral lessons that applied during his day and apply to us today.











There are many reasons Christians should read and study the book of Isaiah. Some of the reasons are:


  1. It will increase our faith in Jesus as the Messiah because when we read all the prophecies about Him and then see them fulfilled in the N.T. it will show us that Jesus is our Messiah.
  2. It will strengthen our hope in God as the One who is ultimately in control of all things, and will bring His purposes to pass.
  3. It will inspire a deeper love for God because when we see our God in action and the blessings He brings when we are obedient to Him, it will increase our trust and confidence in God.
  4. It will increase our understanding as to how God ruled in the nations of men in the past, and how Christ may exercise His rule in the nations today.


Finally, Isaiah serves as a great example for us today because when God was looking for someone to send to His people to give them the opportunity to turn from their ways we see Isaiah say:


Isaiah 6:8  "Here am I! Send me."


Isaiah was committed to serving God and he did and said exactly what God told him to do. For example he proclaimed;


Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. 


He also used great illustrations that you could see in your mind that would add emphasis to the point he was making such as:


Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.  21 "There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked." 


We have several examples in the O.T. when God would have his prophets do something outlandish things to make his point. Well, Isaiah had his as we read in:


Isaiah 20:2 at the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet." And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.  3 Then the LORD said, "Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia,  4 "so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.


Isaiah went around naked for 3 years to make this point. I do want to point out that this word naked can mean no clothes or partial clothes like a loin cloth. Coffman say the following:

"Sackcloth was regarded as the appropriate dress for prophets; it was made of the coarse hair of the goat." As for the instruction here to walk naked and barefoot, it is a mistake to think that Isaiah was totally nude. Hailey's quotation from Delitzsch has this: "What Isaiah was directed to do was simply opposed to common custom, not to moral decency."F6 No doubt, he actually wore a loin cloth or some other very abbreviated garment. This instead of the prophet's customary dress was sensational enough.

One verse, that some misapply is:


Isaiah 14:12 " How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!


Some think this is talking about Satan and how he fell from heaven, but context will show that Satan is not being spoken of. Instead, is talking about the king Babylon and verse 4 proves this:


Isaiah 14:4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: "How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased!


So, Lucifer is not one of the names of Satan. While I am on topic of names, let me show you some of the titles of Christ that come from Isaiah:


  • Immanuel (7:14)
  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace (9:6-7)
  • King (32:1)
  • Servant (42:1)
  • Redeemer (49:26)
  • Arm of the Lord (53:1)


This concludes our introduction to Isaiah, I hope it will encourage you to start reading it so that it will be on your mind as I begin to expound on each chapter in the coming weeks.


Much of the information in this lesson came from Mark Copeland’s study on Isaiah, Know Your Bible Frank J. Dunn, and Halley’s Bible Handbook.