Book of Isaiah

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Isaiah is the acknowledged writer of the book that bears his name. His name means “Jehovah is salvation” and he prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Scholars believe this time period to be from 739 to 681 BCE, a period of about 58 years. Although many Bible scholars divide the book into two parts, chapters 1-39 and 40-66, with each section being written by different authors, the evidence of Christian writers does not support this idea nor does Jewish tradition. The evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 supports the fact the all 66 chapters are from one author. The seeming change in style of writing can be attributed to the fact that Isaiah was writing about a different subject matter in the latter portion of his book.

Isaiah wrote during a time of great political upheaval when the ten-tribe kingdom would be uprooted from its land and taken captive by the Assyrians. The Assyrians would also threaten the two-tribe kingdom of Judah. Jehovah sent His prophet to warn the people and their kings that they were spiritually sick and if they were to remain on their land they would have to return to Him and not put their trust in the nations around them.

Chapters 1-39 deal with God’s retribution on his people because of their disobedience. There are also pronouncements of judgment against the nations such as Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Damascus and Edom. Both kingdoms would eventually be exiled from the land. Chapters’ 40-66 deal with restoration prophesies some to have a literal fulfillment in the release of the captives from Babylon and others to be fulfilled during a later time period.

 

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