Introduction to the Book of Isaiah

The Book of Isaiah is a mixture of prophetic sayings and historical accounts spanning a period of over two hundred years - from 737 to 537BC.

It begins with a collection of sayings of the prophet Isaiah, written to the people of Judah and Israel between 737BC and 716BC - shortly after Hosea and Micah. He predicts the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC and the return of the exiles from Assyria (Chapters 1-35). This is followed by a historical account of the kingdom of Judah during Hezekiah’s reign (727-699BC) (Chapters 36-38), and a prediction of the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent exile in Babylonia (Chapter 39) (see Map 63).

The second part of the Book of Isaiah (presumably written by a different author as there is a gap of over a hundred years) contains words of comfort to those who are in exile in Babylonia following the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC (Chapters 40-55). It then encourages the exiles who have returned to Jerusalem after 537BC to be faithful in their worship of the LORD (Chapters 56-66) (see Map 63).

 

Map OT31 Israel & Judah go into exile

Map 63  Isaiah: Israel & Judah go into exile

 

Isaiah

Title?   The Book of Isaiah.

Written by whom?   Chapters 1-35 are written by Isaiah, son of Amoz. Chapters 56-66 were written by another author (sometimes referred to as ‘Deutero-Isaiah’ or ‘Second Isaiah’).

When?   Chapters 1-35 were written between 737 & 716BC. Chapters 36-38 were written between 587 and 537BC.

Where?   Isaiah prophesied in the southern kingdom of Judah.

To whom? To the people of Israel and Judah.

What was the message? Isaiah predicted the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC and the return of the exiles from Assyria. The later chapters encourage the exiles who have returned to Jerusalem after 537BC to be faithful in their worship of the LORD.

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