The Book of the Prophet


The Structure of the Book as a Whole.

1:1. The TITLE.

A  1:2–5:30. Exhortations: Reprehensory. Prophetic.

 B  6:1-13. The VOICE from the TEMPLE. The Scattering.

  C  7:7–12:6. HISTORIC. Events and Prophecies (AHAZ).

   D  13:1–27:13. BURDENS. Alternated with ISRAEL'S Blessings.

   D  28:1–35:10. WOES. Alternated with YAHAVEH'S Glory.

  C  36:1–39:8. HISTORIC. Events and Prophecies (HEZEKIAH).

 B  40:1-11. The VOICE from the WILDERNESS. The

A  40:12–66:24. Exhortations: Promissory. Prophetic.    For the Canonical order and place of the Prophets, see the Structure of the Books of the O.T. according to the Hebrew Canon and notes on the Structure of the Minor Prophets as a whole

The Chronological Order of the Prophets.

   1. That the Canonical order of the Books of the Prophets is not their Chronological order is well known.
  But the dates usually to be found at the head or in the margin of our Bibles - as well as in many of the "Tables" supplied in "Aids" to students - involve the subject in hopeless confusion.
  The 4 prophets commonly styled "Greater" (or Longer), viz. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, are all dated.
  Of the other 12, called "Minor" (or Shorter), 6 are dated and 6 are undated.
  The dated Books are Hosea, Amos, Michah, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Zechariah.
  The undated Books are Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Malachi.
  Of the whole 16, therefore, 10 are dated and 6 are undated.
  From the particulars given in the dated Books themselves, we are enabled to lay down with precision the years and periods covered by the respective prophecies.
  With regard to the undated Books the case is different; and we have to rely upon the guidance of their internal evidence. But this in almost every case is so clear, that their is no great difficulty in assigning each of the prophetical Books to its respective chronological position (Obadiah being perhaps the only exception).
  The chart below has been prepared accordingly.
  It must be premised that the periods indicated by the thick black lines are the duration of the periods in which the Divine Message continued to "come" to and through the particular prophet named: e.g. Isaiah is shown on the Chart as 649-588 B.C., thus comprising a period of 61 years. This does not represent the years of the prophet's life, which in all probability extended to some 81 or 83 years.
   2. It is a Jewish belief that Jeremiah and Zechariah were contemporaries. This is quite possible. We are not told when, or how, or where Jeremiah died. When Jerusalem was destroyed finally by Nebuchadnezzar (477 B.C.) Jeremiah would be about 57 years old. He may easily have lived another 30 or 40, or even more, years after that event (The belief of some that Heb.11:37 refers to Jeremiah is based on the Jewish tradition that the prophet was "stoned" to death in Egypt. But of this we have no prophet).

  If we suppose he outlived the destruction of Jerusalem by 40 years, then the year of his death would be 437 B.C., 11 years before the end of the Babylonian Captivity, in 426 B.C.
  Zechariah began his 7 years of prophetic ministry 27 years later, in 410 B.C.
  But we are not told anything about him in Scripture, save that his grandfather was a prophet; neither have we any clue to his age, as we have e.g. in the cases of Jeremiah and Daniel. Zechariah may very well have been at least 30 or 40 years of age in 410 B.C. when he gives us his first date (1:1). Consequently, he would have been contemporary with the great Benjamite priest for from 3 to 13 years!
   3. It is further necessary to state, and important to be observed, that the dates given in the Chart have been charted down from the dating given (or suggested by internal evidence) in the prophetic Books themselves, and not visa versa. So the student may understand that the remarkable and significant groupings of the prophets are therein depicted are in no wise "manipulated" or "fitted in" to suit any preconceived ideas or theories. They are charted down simply from the dates and the data afforded by the Sacred records themselves, and tell clearly their own story.
   4. Turning now to the Chart itself, it must be further premised that "section-paper" has been used. This is highly important; as only thus can the exact relative proportions of the length of each prophetical ministry be presented accurately to the eye. The thick black lines represent the period covered by each prophet, either as expressly stated, or to be inferred from internal or historical evidence.
  And here, the value of the section-paper is at once apparent: as these black line are not merely approximate in their proportions of length one to another - as would be the case if they were set up in type; but, in each and every case, they begin and end exactly at the very year stated or indicated. Thus the eye is enabled at once to grasp the proportionate lengths of each and all the prophetical periods; the overlapping and concurrences in each particular group; the significant "breaks" between the groups; and their historical position as shown on the background of the reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel.
  The columns of figures to the left and right are the B.C. years, rising by tens from 350 to 700 B.C. Each of the larger section-squares thus shows 20 years, and each of the small ones 2 years.
  On this plan, every date, year, and period has been charted down, and can be checked by the student with absolute exactitude.
  It must be observed that the thick black lines themselves mark the exact positions of the beginning and ending of the years shown on the figure-columns to left and right, and indicated by the fainter horizontal lines - and NOT the figures placed directly above and below in each case. These latter merely state the years which begin and end each perod, as shown accurately by the top and bottom of the black line throughout: e.g. Jeremiah is given as 518-477 B.C. The top and bottom of the thick black stroke are on the lines of these respective years in the figure-columns.
  When there is only one figure given, as in the case of Habakkuk and Zephaniah, viz. 518 B.C., it will be understood that only one date year is indicated in the Scriptures.

The Table

   5. It will be seen on referring to the Chart that the 16 prophetical Books fall into 4 remarkable and well defined divisions, separated by 3 "breaks", or periods of years, as shown below: –

The First Group consists of 6 prophets: viz,:         Years
Jonah,Amos,Hosea, Isaiah,Micah,Nahum, covering..........102

Then follows a great "gap" or "break" of.................70

The Second Group consists of 7 prophets: viz.: Jeremiah,Habakkuk,Zephaniah,Daniel,
Joel,Ezekiel,Obadiah, covering a period of...............94

Followed by a "gap" or "break" of........................14

The Third Group consists of 2 prophets: viz.: Haggai,Zechariah, covering a period of....................7

Then follows a "gap" of..................................29

Which is closed by the prophet Malachi

The whole period covered by the 16 prophets is..........316

  From the above it is seen that Malachi is to be reckoned as being seperate and apart from the rest; and not, as usually presented, linked together with Haggai and Zechariah. "By the Hebrews, Malachi is known as 'the Seal of the Prophets', and as closing the Canon of the Jewish Scriptures." (Wordsworth on Malachi, Prelim. note.).
  The other 15 prophets (5 x 3) arrange themselves in three groups of 6,7, and 2; and the period covered by these collectively - including breaks - is 287 years (41 sevens).
   6. The first Group commences with Jonah and ends with Nahum. Both are connected with Nineveh. This group consists of 6 prophets, and the period they cover is 102 years (17 sixes).
  Between the First and Second Groups there is the great "gap" or "break" of 70 years (10 sevens). According to Jewish tradition, Isaiah perished in the Manassean persecution. If this persecution took place, or culminated, about 5 years after Manasseh's accession - as is most probable - this would be 584 B.C.; and that year is 65 years from the dated commencement of Isaiah's "Vision": viz., the year in which king Uzziah died (649 B.C.).
  We have, however, no indication that "the Word of the Lord came" to Isaiah later than the end of the reign of Hezekiah, and Manasseh's accession in 588 B.C.
  Therefore, from that year on, and until "the 13th year of Josiah" (518 B.C.), there was no "coming" of "the Word"; but, instead, a long solemn silence on the part of Yahaveh for 70 years! (588-518 = 70). This silence was broken at length by the Divine utterance through Jeremiah, Habukkuk, and Zephanah simultaneously, in 518 B.C.; and the Word then "came" in an unbroken sequence of 94 years (518-424 = 94) through the 7 prophets associated with the final scenes in the history of the Southern Kingdom, Judah - including the Babylonian Captivity - as the 6 earlier prophet had been associated with the closing scenes of the Northern Kingdom, which ended in 601 B.C.
  The Second Group closes with the latest date recorded by Daniel, "the 3rd year of Cyrus" (Dan.10:1), i.e. in 424 B.C.
  Then occurs a short break of 14 years (2 sevens) between Daniel and Haggai (424-410 =14), followed by,
  The Third Group, consisting of Haggai and Zechariah, extending over 7 years (410-403 = 7).
  The 7 years covered by Zechariah are succeeded by the last "break" of 29 years, closed by the affixing of "the Seal of the Prophets", Malachi, in 374 B.C. This was exactly 30 years from the restoration of the Temple worship and ritual, commencing after the Dedication of the Temple in 405 B.C., with the First Passover in Nisan, 404 B.C.
  This year (374 B.C.) marked the commencement of the last great national testing time of the People in the land: viz. 400 years (40 x 10), and ended with the beginning of Christ's ministry in A.D. 26.
   7. On examining this Chronological grouping, it will be seen that it presents the prophetic Books to us as a whole; and thus, in a manner is at variance with the usal classification into "Four Prophets the Greater (or Longer), and Twelve Prophets the Minor (or Shorter)."   Although it is, of course, manifestly true that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel are "greater", in the sense that they are messages of ampler dimensions, and far wider scope than the majority of the others, yet - according to their Chronological positions in the Scriptures, as shown in the Chart - it would appear that they are grouped together by the Divine Spirit, with the so-called "minor" (or Shorter) prophets, as being units only in a particular "coming" of the Word of Yehovah, during certain clearly defined periods of time connected with the close of the national history of Israel's sons as possessors of the land.
  It is interesting to note the close association of the figures "6" and "7" with these periods.
   a) The three groups together cover a period of 203 years, during which "the Word of the Lord came" through the prophets (102 + 94 + 7 = 203); and 203 is 29 sevens.
   (b) The prophecies of the First Group, linked together by the number of Man "6", are seen to be closely connected with the last hundred years or so of the Northern Kingdom.
  The Second Group, linked together by the special number of Spiritual Perfection "7", are as closely connected with the destruction and punishment of Judah and Jerusalem.
   (c) In the First Group, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah were contemporary for 21 years (3 sevens); viz. from 632 to 611 B.C.
  In the Second Group, Jeremiah, Daniel, Joel, and Ezekiel are contemporaries for 7 years (1 seven); vz. from 484 to 477 B.C.
  If Obadiah's date is 482 B.C., then we have 5 prophets all contemporaries during this period. And 5 is the number associated with Divine Grace.
  After the "break" of 14 years (2 sevens) between the Second and Third Groups, we have Zechariah, the last of the 15 prophets of the three groups, continuing from 410 to 403 B.C. (1 seven); Haggai being contemporary with him in 410.
  The 5 prophets represents the number of Grace thrice repeated (5 x 3).
   8. Malachi's date is 374 B.C. As stated above, this is exactly 30 years after the Restoration, and the resumption of the Temple worship and ritual, beginning with the Passover in 404 B.C. (Ezra 6:19). The "seal of the Prophets" was therefore affixed 30 years from that important start-point, and 29 clear years from Ezra's last date: viz., 1st of Nisan 403 B.C. (Ezra 10:17), the year that witnessed the Dedication of the Wall (Neh.12:27-47) and the Reformation of the People under Nehemiah (Neh.13:1-31).
   9. It may also be noted that the Book of Jonah - the prophet quoted by our Lord as the "sign" of His own Resurrection - commences the grouped 15, while Zechariah ends them with the glorious and detailed statements of the Return of the King to reign as "the Lord of all the earth".
  Again: as the "break" of 29 years follows after Zechariah, before the "Seal", Malachi, is affixed in 374 B.C., this points to a fact of great importance, viz., that the O.T. is really closed by the Book of Zechariah and not Malachi, as usually understood. Malachi marks the commencement of the great probationary period of 400 years, which ended with the coming of "My Messenger" (John the Baptist) followed by the Advent of "the Messenger of the Covenant" (Messiah Himself).
  Malachi is thus seen to be linked on to John the Baptist (cp. Mal.4:5,6, and Matt.11:10-15), and "seals" together the last page of the O.T., and the beginning of "The Book of the Generation of Jesus the Messiah."

The Inter-Relation of the Prophetical Books.

  In the Hebrew Canon we have
  The 5 Books of the "Law". This is the number of Gace.
   (2) The 8 Books of the Prophets" - this is the Dominical number.
   (3) The 11 Books of the Hagiographa - this is the remarkable number (the 5th prime) which plays so important a part in the works of God.
  In the Law, the grace of God was shown to Israel (Deut.4:31-37, &c.); but true grace came by Jesus Christ. (See John 1:1617.)
  In the Prophets, we have Yahaveh's special dealing with Israel. In the "former prophets" we see the law-principle; and in the latter prophets we see faith-principle; the two together presenting us with a wonderful picture of the failure of man on the one hand, and the faithfulness of Yehovah on the other.

The Books of the Prophets.

  Through the changing of the order of the Books of the prophets, by the Translators of the Septuagint, the Church has lost sight of the one grand illustration of the great principle of Old Testament teaching, which is currently supposed to be taught only in the New; vix. that law-principle brings in "the curse", whereas faith-principle brings in "the blessing".
  The non-recognition of the fact that this is Old Testament teaching has obscured the specific doctrine of the New: viz., that over and above belief on the Lord Jesus Christ, a "mystery" or "secret", which had been hid in God "from the beginning of the world" (Eph.3:9), was made manifest after Pentecost, and after the Dispensation covered by the Acts of the Apostles, to the apostle Paul. See Eph.1:9; 3; and 5:32.
  There is another Structure, differing from that given in the Structure of the Books of the O.T. according to the Hebrew Canon, but equally true, viz.: –

The Former Prophets.

A  Joshua.  Israel brought into the Land. God keeps His Covenant. Israel under priests.
 B  Judges.  Israel in the Land. Man breaks the covenant. Failure of priesthood.
 B  Samuel.  Israel in the Land. God shows mercy in appointing prophets, and a king whose throne shall be established forever.
A  Kings.  Israel ejected from the Land. Man breaks the covenant as before; the 10 tribes and the kings break the one made with David.
  Here, in the "former" prophets (Zech.7:7), we see, arranged in an Introversion, the whole of Israel's failure in the Land, set forth by the Lord.
  Now we are shown in the "latter" prophets how God's faithfulness was going to secure His own purposes, and Israel's blessing.

The Latter Prophets

  Priests and kings were anointed: but God would now send an anointed One, i.e. Messiah; and, if they would believe on Him they would be established. For He would be also a Prophet. Corporate testimony had failed: therefore there would be a division among individuals of the nation on account of Him; so that in time of crisis those whose sins had not been expiated by His priestly work would be excluded from the Nation for not hearkening to Him as Prophet (Deut.18:18,19), and extirpated by His work as King (Isa.6:9-13; 7:9; John 7:40-43; Acts 3:19-26; 13:38-52; Matt.13:36-43). In Him, then, the righteous Servant of Yahaveh, the future of Israel is seen in the latter prophets (Isa.49).
  He is both rejected and accepted. The Nation went back to the land to try that question under Divine auspices (Dan.9:24-27). When they rejected Him, they were not established, but again scattered. But when they accept Him they will be regathered, and never again rooted out.
  They can come back only through David (from whom their second breach of covenant referred to was a departure), before the first breach of covenant can be healed up; for the character and form of the Structure (here, as elsewhere) corresponds with the subject-matter; and, in this, the Introversion of the Structure is the same as the principle on which God works: viz., by introversion. The Law must go forth from Zion.
  We find then that the following is the Structure, showing

The Inter-Relation of the Prophetic Books.

C  Isiah.  Restoration of the throne of David through the priestly work of Messiah, from the standpoint of the two tribes.
 D  Jeremiah.  Political disruption, and final restoration of Judah and Ephraim (the twelve tribes)by a new Covenant.
 D  Ezekiel.  Ecclesiastical disruption, God ceasing to rule the Land in demonstration; and final restoration of the same, re-establishing all the twelve tribes.
C  The Twelve Minor Prophets.  Restoration of the throne of David through the priestly work of Messiah, from the standpoint of the ten tribes. (see the Structure of these, proceeding Hosea.)

  The New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 has indeed been made (Matt.26:28); and can never be made again: for "His blood of the Covenant" has been shed, once for all. Had the nation repented on the proclamation of Peter (Acts 2:38; 3:19-26), all would have been fulfilled; in the same way as John the Baptist would have been taken for Elijah the prophet (Mal.3:1; 4:5,6. Cp. Matt.11:10-15) had the nation, through its rulers, repented at his proclamation (Matt.3:1,2) and that of Messiah (Matt.4:17, &c.). But, seeing that these great calls to "repent" were not obeyed, both fulfillments stand in abeyance, until this one great condition of national restoration and blessing shall have taken place. The modern doctrine, in certain circles, that that New Covenant holds good with Gentiles (nations) now, or with the present-day "House of Israel", would bestow justification on unbelievers. This is not the teaching of Heb.8 and 10. This does not affect the position of those who are "in Christ" in this Dispensation of the "Mystery". They have all, and more than all, in that "New Covenant" which will yet bring back blessing to Restored Israel.
  When that national repentance does take place, the time will come for the travailing woman to bring forth (Isa.66:8; John 16:19-22). But that is still future. What is true, is the declaration of Yehovah by Micah: "Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she which travails has brought forth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel" (Mic.5:3)

For the Prophets and their calling see Deut.33:1.

The Formula of Prophetic Utterance.

  It is clear that there was an appropriate and recognized style of prophetic address, and of the introduction to special prophetic utterances.
  By attending to this we shall read the prophetic Books to an advantage that cannot be realized by submitting, without though, to the superficial guidance of chapter-beginning and chapter-ending. These will be found of little use in helping us to distinguish separate and distinct prophecies.
  In Jeremiah, the formula are generally "The word of the Lord came", "Thus says the Lord", or "The word that came".
  In Ezekiel, the call is to the prophet as "son of man" (Without the article. For the expression "The Son of Man" belongs only to Him Who was "the second man", "the last Adam", the successor and super-ceder of "the first man Adam" to Whom dominion in the earth is now committed. Cp. Gen.1:26. Ps.8:1,9; and vv.4-6, Heb.2:8 "not yet"), and the formula is "the word of the Lord came", many ties repeated.
  In the Minor (or Shorter) Prophets, it is "The word of the Lord by", "Hear the word that the Lord has spoken", or "The burden of the word of the Lord".
  In Isaiah, the prophetic utterances have two distinct forms. As to Israel, the chosen People, they open with exclamations, commands, or appeals, such as "Hear", "Listen", "Awake", "Ho", "Arise, shine", "Behold"; while in the case of surrounding nations it was a series of "Burdens" or "Woes"; as well as to Ephraim (28), and to the rebellious sons who go down to Egypt, to the "Assyrian", &c. See the structures on Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
  An illustrative example of the usefulness of noting these formula is furnished by Isa. 34 and 35. Most Commentators make chapter 35 commence a new prophecy, and thus entirely obscure the great issue of the prophecy, which begins in ch.34:1 with the Call: - "Come, Near, All You Nations, to hear; and Listen, All You peoples: let the earth Hear", &c.
  The call is to witness Yahaveh's Judgment on Edom (in ch. 34), which issues in the salvation of Israel (in ch. 35).
  Thus the prophecy is seen to have no break, but forms one complete and comprehensive whole, embracing these two great parts of one subject.
  In ch. 34 we have the desolation of Edom: wild beasts celebrate the discomfiture of its inhabitants: then, in ch. 35, the wilderness and solitary place are seen to be glad: and, as it were, in sympathy with Divine judgment, the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose (35:1,2).
  In the result, ch. 35 shows that the People of Yahaveh enjoy the inheritance of the Edomites. Not only are their enemies gone, but so are the wild beasts which were at once the evidences and tokens of their judgment. It will have become the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; no lion shall be there, but the redeemed shall walk there (35:8,9).
  But all the beauty of this wonderful transition is lost, when chapter 35 is made the beginning of a new and distinct prophecy; and, more than this, the difficulty is created by the Hebrew suffix "for then", in 35:1. Not knowing what to do with it, the Revisers solve the difficulty by simply omitting these two words "for them"; and this in the absence of any Manuscript authority, and without giving in the margin even the slightest hint that they have entirely ignored the Hebrew suffix in the verb susum (i.e. the final "m").
  The two chapters (34 and 35) form a comprehensive message, a matter of world concern: for it combined an implied vindication of the righteousness of God, and a confirmation of His promise to save His People Israel with an everlasting salvation.
  A failure to recognize the formula of Isaiah's prophetic utterances led, first, to a misapplication of the chapter, and then to an unjustifiable disregard of the pronominal suffix.
  This typical case of confusion, resulting primarily from an unfortunate arrangement in chapter-division, suggests the great importance of care being exercised in a correct individualizing of the prophecies of Holy Scripture.

References to the Pentateuch in the Prophets.

  It is alleged by modern critics that, while Deuteronomy was the work of some anonymous writer in the reigns of Josiah and Manasseh, the ritual portions of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers were the work of Ezra and the priests of Babylon. Thus, practically, the greater part of the Pentateuch is assumed to be post-exilic, and therefore not written by Moses; and this in spite of the fact that the claims of the whole Bible necessitate the Mosaic authorship.
  On the other hand, it is admitted by some modern critics that the prophets lived and wrote in the reigns of those kings with whose reigns they are receptively associated.
  But the Pentateuch is full of technical terms and legal phraseology; and has its own particular vocabulary. The constant reference to these by all the prophets proves conclusively that the Pentateuch as a whole must have had a prior existence; and must have been well known by the prophets, and understood by those who heard the prophetic utterances and read the prophetic writings.
  Throughout all the Books of the prophets such references to the Pentateuch have been noted in the margin of the Companion Bible with the brief indication "Ref. to Pent.", followed by the passages referred to. It is not claimed that none have been overlooked: so that the number will be greater rather than less.
  It would occupy too much space here to give the table which had been prepared. Any reader can collect the whole from the notes, and arrange them in the order of the chapters and verses of the Pentateuchal Books.
  An examination of these references will show that altogether 1,531 have been noted, and are distributed as follows: Genesis is referred to 149 times; Exodus, 312; Leviticus, 285; Numbers, 168; while Deuteronomy is referred to 617 times.
  Thus Deuteronomy, of which the modern critics have made the greatest havoc, is referred to more often than any of the other 4 Books: 468 times more often than Genesis; 305 ties more often than Exodus; 332 times more often than Leviticus; and 449 times more often than Numbers. That is to say, more often than any two of the other Books put together.
  It is also remarkable that the references to technical, legal, and ritual terms are more numerous than to those relating to historical events. The latter would necessarily be better known and remembered; but the former could not have been thus referred to unless the ritual itself (less easily remembered) had existed in writing, and thus been generally known and understood. It is evident that it would have been perfectly useless for the prophets to write and quote anything but what was well known, or could be easily referred to and verified.

Isaiah: The Evidences for One Authorship.

  The hypothesis of modern critics is that Isaiah is not the sole author of the prophecy bearing his name, but that he only wrote chapter 1-39 (called by them "the former portion"), and that an unknown author or authors (for there are now alleged to have been three, or more, Isaiah s) are responsible for chapter 40 to the end (called by them "the latter portion").
  Thus, They would treat this prophecy much as Isaiah himself is said to have been treated, who, as tradition tells us, was "sawn asunder".
  This "latter portion" also modern critics would relegate to a latter date: viz., toward the close of the 70 years' exile.
  This is a very modern theory, for, the one authorship of this prophecy has been held without question by both Jews and Christians for over 2,000 years.

1. The Use of His Name in the New Testament.

  A sufficient and conclusive answer to his matter is afforded by Holy Scripture itself, in the fact that Isaiah is 21 times mentioned by name in the New Testament as the author of this prophecy.
  11 of these passages attribute to him words occurring in the "latter" portion of the Book, and 10 of them words occurring in the "former" portion.
  The 21 passages are distributed over 6 Books of the N.T.: viz. Matt. (6 times); Mark (once); Luke (2 times); John(4 times); Acts (3 times); Romans (5 times).
  And the prophet is named by 7 different speakers or writers in the N.T.
  4 Times by Christ Himself; 3 being from the "former" portion of Isaiah (Matt.13:14; 15:7. Mark 7:6), and one from the "latter" (Matt.12:17).
  Twice by Matthew: once from the former portion (Matt.4:14), and once from the latter portion (Matt.8:17).
  4 times by Luke: all from the "latter" portion of Isaiah (Luke 3:4; 4:17. Acts 8:28; 8:30).
  3 times by John the Evangelist: twice from the "former" portion (John 12:39,41), and once from the "latter" portion (John 12:38).
  Twice by John the Baptist: both from the "latter" portion (Matt.3:3. John 1:23).
  6 times by Paul the Apostle: 4 times from the "former" portion (Acts 28:25. Rom.9:27,29; 15:12), and twice from the latter portion (Rom.10:16,20).

II. The Employment of Certain Words.

A further evidence of the unity of Isaiah is furnished by the Structure of the Book: which, as the student of the Companion Bible will readily perceive, does not lend itself to any degree to the arbitrary ending suggested, at chapter 39.
  A "pillar" to this "theory" is found in the supposed occurrence of certain words in the "former" portion of the prophecy which are not found in the "latter" portion, and visa versa. An examination of a few words which are cited by modern critics will show the palpable inaccuracy characterizing their assertions.
  It is asserted that the following are found only in the "latter" portion of Isaiah (chapters 40 to the end): –
   1. The titles Creator, Redeemer, Savior. But the facts of creating, redeeming, and saving are referred to in 1:27; 12:1,2; 14:1; 17:10; 25:9; 27:11; 29:22; 30:18; 33:22; 35:10.
   2. The thought of Yehovah as "Father".But the relation is stated in 1:2.
   3. The word bachar (to chose). But see 1:29; 7:15,16; 14:1.
   4. The word halal (to praise). But see 13:10; 38:18.
   5. The word paer (to glorify). But see 10:15.
   6. The word patsach (to break forth into joy). But see 14:7.
   7. The wod tsemach (to spring forth). But see 4:2.
   8. The word zerõ‘ (the arm [of Yehovah]). But see 9:20; 17:5; 30:30; 33:2.
  There are more than 300 words and expressions which are common to both the alleged "former" and "latter" portions of Isaiah's prophecy; and which do not occur at all in the latter prophecies of Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
  A sufficient number of these, to illustrate this fact amply, will be found given in the notes under their occurrences.

  The Structure, above, declares the unity of the Book, and effectually disposes of the alleged dual authorship and the hypothetical division of the Books by modern critics into two parts: the "former" part being chs1-39, the "latter" parts chs.40-66. The "Voice", in ch.40:1-11, is necessitated in order to complete the "Correspondence" with 6:1-13; and, if an hypothesis is admitted on the one side, then it must be admitted on the other; and it is hypothetically incredible that this dual reference to the "voice" could have been the outcome of a dual authorship.
  The DATE of the Book is given as "in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah".
  In 6:1, the prophecy there is given as being "in the year that king Uzziah died".
  Uziah died in 649 B.C.
  Historically, Isaiah disappears from view after delivering the great prophecy of the Babylonian Servitude (2 Kings 20:16-18 and Isa.39:1-8). This was in the year 603 B.C., after Hezekiah's illness at the close of the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib in Hezekiah's 14th year.
  We thus have two fixed dates, and between them a period of 46 years, during which, undoubtedly, "the Word of Yehovah came" through saiah, and "God spoke" by him.
  Though this period was covered and overlapped by the Prophet's life, it was not the whole of the period covered by the "vision", which goes far beyond the prediction of the Bablylonish Captivity.
  Hezekiah lived for 15 years after his illness, dying therefore in 588 B.C. Manasseh, his son,born in the 3rd of the 15 added years, succeeded in the same year (588 B.C.).
  How soon after his accession the Manassean persecution began we are not told; but it is highly improbable that a boy of 12 years would immediately commence the horrible things of which we are told in 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chron.33.
  The unutterable "religious" practices that lie behind the descriptive words in these chapters point clearly to some 4 or 5 years later, when Manasseh would be 16 or 17.
  According to Jewish tradition, Isaiah perished in Manasseh's persecution; when, it is said, he took refuge inside a hollow mulberry tree, which Manasseh ordered to be sawn trough. This may be referred to in Heb.11:37.
  If we take the 5th year of Manasseh (584 B.C.) as the date of Isaiah's death (violent or natural, we have no means of determining), then, from "the year that king Uzziah died" (6:1, which forcibly suggests the terminus a quo of the whole Book) to this point, we have 65 years from the commencement of the "visions" till the supposed date of his death (649-584 = 65).
  If Isaiah was about the same age as Samuel, Jeremiah, and Daniel were, at the beginning of their ministries, viz.16-18, then we may concede that the length of his life was some 81-83 years.
  There is no evidence That "the Word of the Lord came" to Isaiah after the reign of Hezekiah ended in 588 B.C., therefore the whole period covered by the "vision" of Isaiah is 61 years (649-588 = 61).
  From that year onward till the 13th year of Josiah in 518 .C., there were 70 years during which God did not speak "by the prophets" (588-518 = 70).
  The Chart of the Prophets shows that Isiah was contemporary with Hosea from 649-611 B.C. = 38 years; with Micah from 632-611 B.C. = 21 years; and with Nahum in the year 603 B.C. = 1 year.

The *Scroll of the Prophet


(* For its place in the Heb. Canon, see into to Isaiah. Isaiah = the salvation of Yahaveh.)

649 to 588 B.C.

Isaiah 1)

1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz (This is the title of the whole Book), which he saw in vision (Heb. chāzā, to gaze on, as in 2:1; 13:1. Not the same word as 6:1,6; 21:6,7; but Yahaveh was the speaker. Isaiah's voice and pen, but Yehovah's words [v.2]) concerning Judah and Jerusalem (this is the subject of the Book. It is not concerning the "Church" or the "world": nor to other nations, except as they come into contact with "Judah and Jerusalem". Its theme is the salvation of the action by Yehovah through judgment and grace, as being "life from the dead" [Rom. 11:15]. It is addressed to those who look for Messiah [8:17; 45:22] and those who "wait for Him" [8:17; 25:9; 26:8; 33:2].) in the days of Uzziah (= strength of Yehovah. See 2 Chron. 26:1-23. 649 B.C.), Jotham (= Yehovah is Upright. See 2 Chron. 27:1-9), Ahaz (= possessor. See 2 Chron. 28:1-27), and (the absence of conjunctions between these names, and the Hebrew accents attached to them, seem to indicate that some of them reigned for a time jointly) Hezekiah (= the might of Yahaveh. See 2 Chron. 29:1-32:33, and Isa. 36:1-39:8), kings of Judah.

1:2 — 5:30. Exhortations: Reprehensory and Prophetic.

A  A  1:2-31. The Word of Yahaveh. "Hear you all!" Zion the vineyard.
    B  2:1-5. Zion's future glory.
     C  2:6-22. The sin of Judah (men). Judgment pronounced.
      D  3:1-15. The political ruin of Judah.
     C  3:16-4:1. The sin of Judah (women). Judgment pronounced.
    B  4:2-6. Zion's future glory.
   A  5:1-30. The Song of Yahaveh. "Judge you all!" Zion the vineyard.

1:2-31. The Word of Yahaveh. “Hear You All!” Zion the Vineyard.

A  E¹  F¹  2-. Call to hear. Indictment.
        G¹  _2,3. Israel's sin. Cause: rebellion.
         H¹  4-9. Expostulation.
   E²  F²  10. Call to Hear. Instruction.
        G²  11-15. Israel's sin. Aggravation: formality.
         H²  16,17. Exhortations.
   E³  F³  18-. Call to hear. Rectification.
        G³  -18-20. Israel's sin. Remedy: Divine Grace.
         H³  21-31. Expostulation.

2 Hear, O heavens (Fig. Apostrophe. References to Pentateuch. It commences like the Song of Moses [Deut. 32:1], and is the commentary of it. With "earth" it speaks to all 3 heaven and earth AGES! Note the connection of the two Books, Isaiah the necessary sequel to Deuteronomy. This verse was on the title-page of early English Bibles, claiming the right of all to hear what Yehovah has spoken), and give ear, O earth: for (note the reason) the Lord (Yehovah) has spoken (i.e., articulately. Not Isaiah. All modern criticism is based on the assumption that it is a human book: and that prediction is a human impossibility [which we grant]; and this ends in a denial of inspiration altogether. Against this God has placed 2 Pet. 1:21. Yehovah is the Eternal One: "Who was, and is, and is to come". Hence, His words are, like Himself, eternal; and prophecy relates to the then present as well as the future; and may have a praeterist and a futurist interpretation, as well as a now present application to ourselves),

I have nourished and brought up (cp. Ex. 4:33; Deut. 14:1; 32:6,18,20) sons, and they have rebelled (Heb. pãsh‘a) against Me.
3 The ox knows his owner (fig., put for all that knowledge implies), and the ass his master's crib: but Israel does not know (cp. Jer. 8:7. All Israel's trouble came from the truth of this indictment. Cp. Luke 19:42-44. The trouble will be removed when 54:13; 60:16 are fulfilled. Jer. 31:34. Isa. 11:9. Luke 19:42-44), and My People do not consider.

4 Ah (fig. Note the 4 exclamatory descriptions, and see note on "gone away", below) sinful nation (contrast Ex. 19:6. Deut. 7:6; 14:2,21), a people heavily burdened with iniquity, a seed consisting of evildoers (when you are not doing God's work), sons that are corrupters (see Deut. 32:5): they have forsaken the Lord Himself (Apostasy in disposition. Ref. to Pent. [Deut. 28:20; 31:16]. Occurs in the "former" portions, 41:17; 49:14; 54:6; 55:7; 58:2; 60:15; 62:4,12; 65:11), they have despised (or blasphemed. Ref. to Pent. An old Mosaic word [Num. 14:11,23; 16:30. Deut. 31:26]. Apostasy in words [see note above]) the Holy One of Israel (occurs 25 times [=grace intensified] in Isaiah: 12 times in the "former" portion; and 13 times in the "latter" portion. Outside Isaiah it is used by Himself once [2 Kings 19:22 first occ.]; 3 times in Psalms [71:22; 78:41; 89:18]. Elsewhere found only 3 times [Jer. 50:29; 51:5; and Ezek. 39:7 in Israel. For Holy see Ex. 3:5) to anger, they are gone away backward (they should be going forward. Apostasy in act. See notes on v.4, and notice the threefold apostasy in this verse. Compare also the fourfold exclamatory descriptions of which this apostasy is affirmed: making 7 in all [7 = spiritual completeness]).
5 Why should you all be stricken any more? you all will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart (or mind) faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds (Heb. sing., as are the other two), and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil.
7 Your country is desolate, and your cities are burned with fire: your soil, foreigners (or apostates. Heb. zur. See Prov. 5:3 [not the same word as in 2:6]) devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a booth made of reeds in a vineyard (cp. Job 27:18), as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers (a platform on 4 poles, sheltered by leaves or sacking. Left to the weather at the close of harvest), as a besieged city.(Look at her [Zion/Jerusalem] today!)
9 Except (&c. The first passage in Isaiah quoted in the N.T. [Rom. 9:29]) The Lord of hosts (Yahaveh Sabaioth) (see 1 Sam.1:3) had left to us a very small (Heb. kim‘at. See Prov. 5:14) remnant, we should have been as Sodom (ref. to Pent [Gen. 19:1-22. Deut. 29:23]. Cp. 3:9 for reason), and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

10 Hear the word of the Lord, all you rulers of Sodom (i.e. rulers who ruled as in Sodom); give ear to the law of our God (ref. to whole Pentateuch. 12 times [#12 = governmental completeness] in Isaiah [1:10; 2:3; 5:24; 8:16,20; 24:5; 30:9; 42:4,21,24; 51:4,7), all you people of Gomorrah (i.e. people who acted as the people in Gomorrah acted).

11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” (fig., for emphasis, in describing the hollowness of mere religious observances [as when Christ was on earth. Cp. John 2:6,7 with 14,16]. Matt. 15:3-8) says the Lord (the Heb. fut. of ‘ãmar [= y‘omar], combined with a Divine title, is used thrice in the so-called "former" portion of Isaiah, and 6 times in the "later" portion. Elsewhere only in Psalm.12:5, while the past tense is frequently used): “I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (What good is it to you to "play" church? He is turned off by it))
12 When you all come to appear before Me (see Ex. 23:15; 34:20), who has required this at your hand, to trample (and thus profane. Heb. rãmas. Ezek. 26:11; 34:18. Dan. 8:7,10) My courts? (Who invited you there? If you don't know what you're talking about))
13 Bring no more vain gift-offerings; incense itself is an abomination to Me; the new moons (lunar,darkness, symbolic of Satan and his children. God's children are of light. All prophecies regarding satan are Lunar = Darkness, chaotic calendar. All prophecies regarding God's children are Solar = Light, perfect calendar)) and sabbaths (i.e. "Easter" which is a pagan holiday set by the lunar calendar. God's children observe PASSOVER which our Lord and Savior is and set by the perfect Solar calendar)), the calling of convocations (Heb. mikra’. Ref. to Pent.; out of 23 occurrences, 20 occur in Pent. Occurs only here, 4:5, and Neh.8:8 [in a later sense "reading"], outside the Pentateuch. Not kâha. See Gen. 28:3; 49:6.), I cannot away with (Heb. yâkol = to be able. Here = "I am not able [to endure, or put up with]" The fig. Ellipsis must be supplied.); it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts (as above verse)) My soul (= I [very emphatic]) hate: they are a trouble to Me; I am weary to bear them.
15 Even when you all spread forth your hands (fig., put for "pray"), I will hide My eyes from you (see Luke 13:15,16)): yes, when you all multiply your prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood (fig., put for the acts which shed the blood).

16 Wash you (in the world), make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes (He sees it. Ask for help); cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed (help them), judge the fatherless, plead for the widow (fig., put for all kinds of helpless and bereaved persons).

18 Come now, and let us put the matter right” (or settle the matter. It means the putting and end to all reasoning, rather than an invitation to commence reasoning. Talk and meditate with Him), says the Lord:

“yes, though your sins be as scarlet (red worm for dye, or, scarlet berry used for dying. Symbolic of sin. The first time it is revealed it requires 7 days cleansing), they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (belong to the Lamb of God, i.e. Christ).
19 If you all be willing and obedient, you all shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if you all refuse and rebel, you all shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it (this sets the seal of this Book as a whole, uniting all its parts. Cp. 21:17; 22:25; 24:3; 25:8).

21-31. Expostulation.

H³  J  L  21. The City.
        M  a  22. Metals. (Fig.).    Inhabitants.
            b  23. Officers. (Lit.).       "
             K  24. Judgment on enemies of Yehovah.
    J   M  a  25. Metals. (Fig.).     Inhabitants.
            b  26-. Officers. (Lit.).      "
       L  -26,27. The City.
             K  28-31. Judgment on the wicked among Yehovah's People.

21 How is it that she the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

22 Your silver is become dross, your liquor (or drink) mixed with water:

23 Your princes are rebellious (not a "pun", but the fig. put for solemn emphasis. It may be Englished "your rulers are unruly"), and companions of thieves: every one loves rewards (or bribes), and follows after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither does the cause of the widow come to them.

24 Therefore says THE Lord [Adon] , The Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel (peculiar to Isaiah. Ref. to Pent. [Gen. 49:24]. Cp. Isa.49:26; 60:16), “Ah, I will ease Me of My adversaries, and avenge Me of My enemies:

25 And I will turn My hand (i.e. repeat the judgment [v.27]) upon you (i.e. the city [vv.21,26,27]), and purely refine away your dross, and take away all your tin:

26 And I will restore your judges as at the first (Ex. 18:16-26. Num. 25:5. Deut. 1:16; 16:18; 19:17-19; 21:2), and thy counselors as at the beginning:

afterward you shall be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city (cp. v.21).
27 Zion shall be delivered with judgment (see Ex. 6:6 and 13:13), and they that return of her with righteousness.

28 And the destruction of the rebels and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake Yehovah shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which you all have desired (the trees resorted to for idolatrous worship [57:5; 65:3; 66:17. 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10. Ezek. 6:13]. Note the alternation of "oaks", "gardens", "oak", "garden", in vv.29,30), and you all shall be confounded for the gardens that you all have chosen.
30 For you all shall become as an oak whose leaves fade, and as a garden that has no water.
31 And the strong shall be as tow (occ. only here and Amos 2:9), and his work [whatever it be] (i.e. the idols [doubtless the ‘asherahs]) as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

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