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Studies on Isaiah

Three Studies on Isaiah Himself and Two More

1. Isaiah & the Other Prophets in the Top 55

There are ten prophets in the Bible Top 55. These are: Moses (#3), Samuel (#16), Jeremiah (#19), John the Baptist (#22), Elisha (#24), Elijah (#27), Ezekiel (#28), Daniel (#35), Balaam (#42), and Isaiah (51). There is a study on each of these in the booklet.

Use the various cards of these prophets to study them together. -- First, divide the prophets into various groups: writing / non-writing, etc. Second, put them in chronological order. Third, put the cards face down, mix them up, and have each one in the group say something about each prophet or his message as his card is drawn. This can be done as a game if desired.

2. Isaiah and Jeremiah Compared

Isaiah is the favorite written prophet of many, since he is cited 24 times in the New Testament. So it may come as a shock that he is only ranked #51 and is considerably outranked by Jeremiah (#19) who is only mentioned in the New Testament three times. Why is this? The one-page Bible study on Isaiah in the Top 55 booklet answers this question. The Jeremiah material is much more extensive. This is because there is lots of material available on Isaiah but relatively little on Jeremiah otherwise.

3. Isaiah Chapter Six: God's Plan & Isaiah's Call

Isaiah chapter six is about the call of Isaiah, but the chapter is more about God himself and about his program than about his prophet himself. The twelve Describe-It-Yourself cards below summarize the chapter contents, but there is a blank "wild card" in the first line to use in summarizing the content even further.

One the best points to make is to simply say that the chapter is primarily about God, since there is much about divine attributes in the chapter. The Lord's holiness and sovereignty are stressed, and the chapter is also somewhat trinitarian (6:3, 8, Cf. John 12:40-41). There is more stress on God himself in this chapter than in Jeremiah chapter one. Of course, Isaiah chapter six is also about Isaiah, but it is God himself and his plan which are described in the most detail.

In addition, by proclaiming God's message against sin for several chapters before talking about his call in chapter six, the prophet and the Holy Spirit show that the book is NOT primarily about the prophet himself. It is about God, God's message, and God's plan. Today, as well, "the ministry" should never primarily be about "the minister."

CLICK HERE FOR A SET
OF DESCRIBE-IT-YOURSELF CARDS
(Printer-Ready PDF)
CLICK HERE FOR A SET
THE DESCRIBE-IT-YOURSELF LIST
(Fast-Scroll Format)

Describing a passage or chapter yourself is far better than blindly following someone else's description. The cards and fast-scroll list in this set are great D.I.Y. description tools.

4. Renewable Biblical Energy & Isaiah 40:31

July 20, 2021
It has been very hot recently. So I have been drinking Japanese "black vinegar" diluted with water and flavored with blueberry. Maybe it helps some. For a longer-lasting pick-me-up, Isaiah 40:31 seems to recommend a consistent, undiluted devotional life flavored with hope.

5. The Lord's Suffering (52:13-53:12)

The directions for this study are at the bottom of the worksheet below. It is one of several studies on the suffering of the Lord Jesus.

Click here to go to the Lord's Suffering Page.

CONTROVERSIAL?
Isaiah's prophecies of the Suffering Servant are not, for the most part, controversial among Christians, but, of course, Jewish scholars argue that the Servant is the nation of Israel rather than an individual. The "we" and "us" references in chapter 53 seem to rule out their view. Moreover, the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-39 shows that the most natural reading of the passage is to take the Servant as a unique Individual.

FOR WHOM?
Another theologically controversial aspect of the chapter is the meaning of "many" in 53:11. Does this mean that Christ only died for the elect rather than for everyone? The simplest explanation is that many in 53:11 and 52:15 contrasts with few rather than with all. The Lord was despised (53:3), but those who would be justified through his sacrifice were to be many rather than only a few.

LIFELONG SUFFERING?

The glory of the Lord Jesus was hidden from public view, including by the humble circumstances in which he was born and raised (53:1-2). In a way, this was lifelong suffering and is in line with Phil. 2:5-8. Of course, the suffering climaxed with the cross, however.

PARADOXICAL?
That said, the following chapters in Isaiah and the final verse in chapter 53 show that reign of the Messiah over the nation of Israel and the world during the future kingdom are in view, and this will be a greater climax. So the Lord's suffering was in preparation for his reign, a key fact that many Christians fail to notice. The suffering is to be reversed or turned into glory and joy (Phil. 2:9-11). As Joseph was despised and rejected by his brothers but later reigned over them, so too the Lord Jesus shall reign over those who rejected him. This is probably the greatest paradox of all in the passage and context.

© 2021 by Jon F. Mahar, Hakusan City, Japan