Isaiah outlines the Messiah's prophetic and high-priestly office. He sees his birth, his majesty, his humiliation and the glory of his exaltation. Isaiah also describes the resurrection hope, the new heaven and earth, and the last judgement. Furthermore, just as the whole Bible is divided into the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New, the first 39 chapters of Isaiah are primarily proclamations of judgement and the last 27 a "book of consolation". In general the first part of the prophetic books are judgement on the nations, and the latter chapters contain comfort and Messianic hope.
However, the note of rebuke and forgiveness sounds right from the opening chords to the final chapter.
The Messianic nature of the book of Isaiah is so clear that the oldest Jewish sources, the Targum, Midrash and Talmud, speak of the Messiah in connection with 62 separate verses. Anyone who wishes to familiarise himself with this background can refer to the list below. Certain basic features dominate Isaiah's preaching. They come to the fore in both the general nature of his presentation and in his Messianically interpreted words. Listen, O earth! The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.
Why should you be beaten any more? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. Take your evil deeds out of my sight!
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He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?
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When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled' " Here we have reflections of both the breaking down of the "hedge around the law" and the "trampling" of Jerusalem Eph. It would appear that the prophet may have been referring to Zechariah's daughter Abijah, who was the mother of Hezekiah the son of Ahaz 2 Kings The Jews expected this devout king Hezekiah to become the real liberator of the nation from the northern threat.
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In the same way the beginning of ch. And so it was that the precise areas in which Jesus carried out most of his ministry came to experience that "the people walking in darkness have seen a great light". The emphasis on the "future" also leads to a Messianic interpretation, in which the coming Deliverer's supra-historical features are taken into account.
The "Anointed" of the Lord will comfort the humble, those in prison, and those who are sorrowful, giving them "the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness", as promised in eg. A noted scholar once pointed out that Hebrew is the only one of the Semitic languages like Ugaritic or Aramaic which does not lack the concept of "hope". The most important of these are Is. Chapters 61 and 62 add the final touches to these features. The Targum refers to the Messiah as the Lord's servant three times: firstly, in the words of Is.
I will put my Spirit on him"; secondly, regarding the servant of , whom God has "chosen"; and thirdly, in , in which the Synagogue's pericope of the "suffering" servant of the Lord really begins. In its place there is a statement in brackets to the effect that " Some things are missing from here "!
The reader should be able to visualise it as one coherent image. We will attempt in what follows to see the elements of that picture: "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth" He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
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A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice" I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness" This is what the LORD says -- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun [the name is taken from Deut.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants" I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight.
Why did our Lord Jesus arise from the tribe of Judah?
He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward Isaiah speaks in his prophecy of events which took place almost years later. The Greek historian Xenophon wrote of this ruler in two of his works. In one of them, which is called Kyroupaideia or "The Education of Cyrus" he says that this king was not stained by cruelty. He relates how it had been prophesied that he would be king and how he was to have been murdered as a child, but the shepherd who was given the job to do spared him.
Cyrus ruled Persia from BC and was remarkable for the fact that he saved Sumeria and Akkadia from destruction and protected the religious rights of various nations. Observing these principles of his he granted the Jews the right, by his proclamation in writing, to begin the rebuilding of the temple which lay in ruins. In any case, Cyrus' character matches the picture given in Isaiah.
This is so central to the Christian interpretation of scripture that we will touch upon it again separately, as with the issue of the birth of the Messiah. This image is one of the group describing the Messiah's high-priestly office. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God" Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness -- so will he sprinkle many nations" There follows the description of the Sufferer who "was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities" Chapter These portraits are universal in their intention, and they speak clearly of the "redemption" and the "atonement" which will be effected by the Lord's Suffering Servant.
The Genealogy of the Messiah – Jews for Jesus
One day the "Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him" God will destroy "the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death for ever" The anointed servant of the Lord will be made "a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles" He is made "a light for the Gentiles, that he may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth" and he has been prepared as "a covenant for the people" To you the richness of the nations will come Surely the islands look to me" ,5,9.
In the light of this universal vision, which was already in evidence in the "books of Moses" -- the Pentateuch -- Jesus' commandment to go to "all nations" seems quite natural. Isaiah wishes to underline this aspect from the point of view of the Covenant. In the 24th chapter, which could be considered the strongest description of the judgement on the world in the Last Days, we are told how God will "ruin the face of the earth", and that the inhabitants of the earth will be "burned up", because the people have "violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant " v.
Chapter 55 says, however, that all those who are thirsty may come to the waters, and it gives the promise: "Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.
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I will make an everlasting covenant with you , my unfailing kindnesses promised to David. RaDaQ explains that "the ' unfailing kindnesses promised to David' signify the Messiah, as the name 'David' is used of him, and it is written that 'David my servant will be their prince for ever' Ezek.
As we have seen, the oldest Jewish sources refer to the Messiah at 62 different points in Isaiah, although a mere glance is in itself sufficient to convince us of the Messianic drift of the "Old Testament's Evangelist". Jeremiah, the last of the great prophets of the kingdom of Judah, began his ministry in the 13th year of King Josiah, BC, and continued his proclamation until a little after the destruction of Jerusalem in BC. He became the "prophet of the nations", and was called to "uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant" In practice it meant a call to failure: he met with violence, imprisonment, he was thrown into a pit, branded a traitor, and in the end it would appear that he was stoned.
Jeremiah, the son of a priest, was able to observe the progress of the reform of instigated by his contemporary, the young king Josiah, which resulted from the finding, during the repair of the temple, of the "book of the law" from one of its tumbledown rooms, apparently a part of Deuteronomy 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chron. A similar time of revival was experienced in Isaiah's time when King Hezekiah purified the land from idolatry 2 Kings The temple, the law, and circumcision had however become a false security for the people Jer.
Courageously Jeremiah stood "at the gate of the Lord's house" and rebuked the people for having made the place into a den of thieves. It was not enough to chant "the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord" or "we have the law" or "peace, peace", when both heart and tongue had become accustomed to deception. Jeremiah also struggled against false, unspiritual prophets He who has the word of God must speak it faithfully: "Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
The prophetic office generally began when God spoke, with mention often made of the very year or even month in which it commenced. The Bible is indeed a record of the very words of God to man. Jeremiah chapter 23 says regarding listening to the words spoken by God: "If they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. Jeremiah did not, however, feel the injury to his people as an outsider.
He said that his heart was "broken" on account of the breaking of the people; he "secretly wept" because the "people of God will be taken into captivity" and he "writhed in pain". When he wished to keep silence it was as if there was a "burning fire" in his heart. In this way the Old Testament's "weeping prophet" displayed characteristics which some critics hold to have given additional impetus to the expectation of a suffering Messiah.
The nearer the destruction of Jerusalem came, however, the more comforting became the prophet's voice, until the Messianic vision unfolds itself to its brightest splendour in chapters It is these chapters which hold most of Jeremiah's Messiah prophecies. We find an eschatological term associated with Jeremiah's prophecies too. The phrase "the days are coming" is found 16 times in the book whereas only five times elsewhere in the Bible: " 'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch' " and ; " 'In that day,' declares the LORD The whole of chapter 31 speaks of this time after the Jews return to their homeland, twice making mention of Ephraim, God's "dear son", his "firstborn" and "the child in whom he delights", all of which phrases the Rabbis considered Messianic expressions.