Isaiah is justly accounted the chief of the writing prophets. He has the more comprehensive testimony and is distinctively the prophet of redemption. Nowhere else in the Scriptures written under the law have we so clear a view of grace. The New Testament Church does not appear ( 3:3-10 ), but Messiah in His Person and sufferings, and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full vision.
Apart from his testimony to his own time, which includes warnings of coming judgments upon the great nations of that day, the predictive messages of Isaiah cover seven great themes:
- Israel in exile and divine judgment upon Israel's oppressors.
- The return from Babylon.
- The manifestation of Messiah in humiliation (e.g. Chap. 53).
- The blessing of the Gentiles.
- The manifestation of Messiah in judgment ("the day of vengeance of our God").
- The reign of David's righteous Branch in the kingdom-age.
- The new heavens and the new earth.
Isaiah is in two chief divisions:
- Looking toward the captivities, 1:1-39:8. Key verses, 1:1,2.
- Looking beyond the captivities, 40:1-66:24. Key verses, 40:1,2.
These chief divisions fall into subdivisions, as indicated in the text.
The events recorded in Isaiah cover a period of 62 years (Ussher).