Introduction to Isaiah

By James M. Rochford

The book of Isaiah is the third longest book in the entire Bible—behind only Jeremiah and the Psalms.[1] It is also the book most quoted OT book by the NT authors. In fact, 194 NT passages quote from Isaiah, directly citing or simply alluding to 54 out of the 66 chapters of the book.[2] Some scholars have referred to it as the “fifth gospel,” because it gives us such unique information about the person of Christ.

Who was Isaiah?

Isaiah may have been an aristocrat, because it was easy for him to speak and have access to the kings of Israel (Isa. 7:3; 37:21–22). At the same time that Isaiah was serving as a prophet, Amos and Hosea prophesied in the North, and Micah prophesied in Judah. Isaiah prophesied almost exclusively in Jerusalem—over at least a 34 year span.

He served through the reigns of King Uzziah (~740 BC) and King Hezekiah (~716-687 BC). Uzziah’s reign was peaceful, because the Assyrians were dormant at this time. Later, however, three kings (e.g. Shalmaneser, Sargon II, and Sennacherib) were more ambitious in attacking Judah. The Jewish kings had to deal with these military forces, and Isaiah served as a spiritual counselor to multiple kings throughout this turbulent period in Israel’s history. Because of Isaiah’s influence, the southern kingdom (Judah) lasted a full 100 years longer than the northern kingdom (Israel).

Audience

Isaiah’s audience was primarily Judah and Jerusalem (1:1). However, he also addressed the surrounding Pagan nations (see chapters 13-23, 46-48). During the time that Isaiah wrote this book, Assyria was in power, reigning from 900 to 609 BC.

It’s easy for the reader to trust in God when reading the book, but picture yourself there at the time. John Oswalt writes, “The nation of Assyria was the single most prominent force, both politically and militarily, in the ancient Near East.”[3] Imagine trying to trust God’s word and his prophet when the Nazi’s were looming on the horizon—ready to invade. It would have been frightening to trust God in this era of history, as the fiercest army known to man was ready to invade borders of Israel.

Structure of Isaiah

Isaiah 1-35. In 745 BC, Tiglath-Pileser II rose to power in Assyria, destroying Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel (722 BC). To live in the southern kingdom at this time would be comparable to sitting in Great Britain in World War II just after Hitler invaded France. You would know that war was coming, and it would only be a matter of time before the enemy soldiers were at your borders.

Isaiah 36-39. These chapters form an “interlude” to the book between God’s judgment on his people and his later rescue.

Isaiah 40-55. These chapters describe the great lengths God would later go to reach his people. His solution? God decided to raise up the Persian Empire to punish Assyria (ch. 45). Then he predicted that he would send his Servant to rescue Israel, and eventually all people on Earth (chs. 42, 49, 50, 53).

Isaiah 56-66. These chapters focus on the blessings of God. Amillennialists believe this section is entirely about eternity in the New Heavens and Earth. On the other hand, Premillennialists are split on how to interpret it: Portions may refer to the New Heaven and Earth or the future Millennial Kingdom (cf. Rev. 20).

Important kings during this period

As you read the book of Isaiah, you should already have read 1 and 2 Kings, which is a parallel account to the history here. Just as the book of Acts gives historical context for Paul’s epistles, 1 and 2 Kings give context for the prophets. Morevoer, the prophets give “behind the scenes” events not explicitly mentioned in the historical account of 1 and 2 Kings. Three kings are notable in the book of Isaiah:

Uzziah (Isa. 6). He reigned for a long time until 740 BC. His reign is described in 2 Kings 15:1-6 and 2 Chronicles 26. He was threatened by Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria, which was a powerhouse, military nation.

Ahaz (Isa. 7). Ahaz’s reign is difficult to date—perhaps somewhere around 740 BC. Ahaz needed to fight against Damascus and Syria. These nations wanted to dethrone Ahaz and put a puppet emperor on the throne. In a panic, Ahaz thought, “I should go to Assyria to help fight Syria!” But this would be similar to the men of Rohan asking Sauron in Mordor for help in fighting the orcs (see Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings). While Sauron could definitely help, he’s even worse than the orcs. The Assyrians impaled people, left decapitated heads on spikes, and hooked rings in the noses of their prisoners, leading them around by the nose. Isaiah defends the thought of turning to Yahweh for help instead.

Hezekiah (Isa. 36-39). He is a good king. Read 2 Kings 15-21 and 2 Chronicles 26-33 for a good background of the history at the time.

Themes in Isaiah

There are many themes throughout the book of Isaiah. Oswalt describes Isaiah as “a modern symphony, with themes appearing and reappearing in fascinating harmony.”[4] While we enjoy this book for its diffuse spectrum of themes, this also leads to great difficulty in interpreting it. Here are a number of themes that are important to note:

God is HOLY. Isaiah stresses the holiness of God, his judgment for sin, but also his forgiveness. The term for holiness (qāḏôš) is “used of God more frequently than in all the rest of the Old Testament taken together.”[5] In fact, it is used twenty-five times in Isaiah compared with only seven in the rest of the entire OT.[6]

God knows THE FUTURE. Avraham Gileadi writes, “What distinguishes this and every major literary structure of the Book of Isaiah is that the end is foreseen from the beginning. One cannot, therefore, treat separately the parts from the whole, as scholars have done, or the message is lost from view.”[7]

God is greater than the NATIONS and IDOLS. In particular, chapters 40-48 explain the futility of turning to idols. Ahaz’s failure to trust God, and Hezekiah’s success in trusting God serve as object-lessons of this important fact.

God’s PLAN is eventually spiritual in nature. The book of Isaiah shows the inability for Israel to save herself from her physical enemies, because they were faithless. This leads to two object lessons on how kings will or won’t follow Yahweh (compare Hezekiah with Ahaz). God tells us that the nation of Israel (and the world) will eventually be saved after the Exile (Isa. 40) through the work of his Servant (Isa. 42, 49, 50, 53).

Suggested teaching outline

Read “Introduction to Isaiah” and “Authorship of Isaiah”

Read “Understanding the Prophets” and “Understanding Hebrew Poetry.” Use this material to interpret Isaiah 1-2 (Israel is NOT God’s Servant)

Isaiah 6 (Isaiah’s Calling)

Isaiah 7-8 (Ahaz’s Failure)

Isaiah 9-11 (God’s Plan of Redemption)

Isaiah 13, 24-27 (Judgment and God’s Kingdom)

Isaiah 37-39 (Hezekiah’s Success—Make sure to compare Hezekiah with Ahaz)

Isaiah 40-48 (Pick important passages—The theme is “The Great Deliverance of Israel”—Emphasize how God is going to rescue his people through King Cyrus)

“The Servant Songs” (Read these passages and ask: “What can we learn about the Servant from these passages?”) Read “The Servant Songs” for yourself if you want commentary on these passages for yourself as the teacher.

Isaiah 55-66 (“The Greater Deliverance” This explains God’s complete spiritual deliverance through Christ, to all people in the future millennium and New Heaven and New Earth)

Commentary on Isaiah

Unless otherwise stated, all citations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

Isaiah 1-5 (Israel is NOT God’s Servant)

Chapters 1-5 were placed here to show that Israel is not God’s Servant. Despite God’s work in the Exodus, they have become calloused and hardened by sin and unbelief.

Isaiah 1 (Hypocrisy and Sin—but also Grace)

(1:1) Isaiah was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah. His name meant, “Yahweh is salvation.”[8] For more on the kings mentioned, see the introduction above.

Problems with the Nation

(1:2) God raised up sons in the nation of Israel, but they were rebellious. In this culture, rebellious sons were considered horrific moral degenerates. Moreover, even dumb animals could know their master (v.3), but these sons did not know their Father!

(1:3) This is a case of intensification. It moves from “knowing” to “understanding.” The first implies ignorance, while the second implies an action of the will.

(1:4) The nation as a whole departed from God. Isaiah uses various descriptors of just how sinful the nation had become.

(1:5-6) One reason that sin is so devastating is because it hurts us (Prov. 8:36). Moses had predicted a day when the people would suffer from breaking the Mosaic Covenant (Deut. 28:35).

(1:7) There is intensification from “country” to “cities.” There is repetition of “foreigners” devouring the city.

(1:8) The symbolism of the “booth in the vineyard” could be (1) that a tent in the middle of a field is lonely or (2) that a tent in the middle of a field is temporary. Israel represents both during the Exile.

(1:9-10) The Jewish people are being compared to Sodom and Gomorrah! This would really drive home the point that they are utterly depraved and worthy of judgment.

(Isa. 1:11) Do we need Temple sacrifices or not?

(1:11-13) The people continue to bring sacrifices before the Temple, but God is disgusted because they refuse to change. He hates their religious observances, because they are not accompanied with a sincere change of heart. Leviticus uses the term “abominations” to refer to immorality and impure worship. The abundance of sacrifice could speak to Israel treating God like a pagan deity, who could be bought off with sacrifices (Mic. 6:6-8; Ps. 50:12-13).

(1:14) He hates these things from the bottom of his soul.

(Isa. 1:15) Will God answer prayers or not?

(1:16) God calls on the nation to go back to true spirituality.

(Isa. 1:17) Could Israel clean up their act, or did they need divine aid?

(1:18-20) God predicted that the people would not clean themselves up (v.17), but instead, He would clean them (v.18). In the meantime, the people would still be blessed or cursed based on the Mosaic Covenant (Deut. 28; Lev. 26).

(1:21) The city has fallen spiritually and morally. Being “faithful” is contrasted with being a “harlot.” “Righteousness” is contrasted with “murder.”

(1:22) Metallurgists purify silver and gold by heating it intensely. When the metal is heated sufficiently, dross or impurities float to the top, and they skim it off. The “dross” is the impure portion of the metal (cf. v.25). Isaiah is saying that the city has ceased to be silver, and instead, it has only become dross!

(1:23) This parallels Isaiah’s indictment of their sin mentioned earlier (v.17).

(1:24-26) Isaiah builds up God’s name over and over, until he states that God’s “hand” will turn against Israel, rather than Israel’s enemies (Ex. 3:20; 15:6; Ps. 118:15-16).

(1:27-31) God would bless the “repentant” people in Israel. But those who refused to repent would face judgment. Regarding verse 29, Motyer comments, “Oaks and gardens are the symbols of the life of ‘nature’ and of the fertility gods. Ashamed and disgraced convey more the thought of disappointment than of mere embarrassment, hence ‘reaping shame’ rather than just ‘feeling ashamed’.”[9] When Isaiah says that “you will become like an oak” (v.30), this is similar to our modern proverb: “You are what you eat.” In this case, the proverb is different: “You are what you worship.” When we follow God, we become more like him. In this case, the people become like these lifeless idols.

Isaiah 2 (Future Kingdom)

(Isa. 2:1-22) Does this passage refer to the millennium or not?

(2:1) Isaiah repeats his name in this passage. He probably does this to connect his authority over the contemporary predictions in chapter 1 with his future predictions in chapter 2.

(2:2-3) The Mountain of the Lord is Zion (Jerusalem). All of the nations flock to Jerusalem (v.3). This section of Isaiah is almost exactly word for word with Micah 4:1-4. It is also very similar to Joel 3:10. Since they both ministered at the same time, it’s difficult to see who was copying from whom. Most likely, Grogan[10] and Motyer[11] believe that Isaiah wrote this first, because he was ministering under the earlier attack of Assyria (Isa. 1-37) and his version has a more “poetic quality.”

“In the last days” is a “technical eschatological expression.”[12] When we read Micah, it seems that the first part of the fulfillment occurred during the return from Babylonia (Mic. 4:1-10).

“The mountain of the house of the LORD” refers to the Temple in Jerusalem. There is some symbolism here: The nations “stream” to Jerusalem—even though Jerusalem is at a higher elevation. But the interpreter needs to ask, “Symbolic… of what?” Clearly, the symbolism shows that Jerusalem will become the epicenter of where God will lead and judge the Gentile nations. Since this has never occurred before, this must still await a fulfillment in the future.

(2:4) There will be world peace during this time, and in fact, this will be an end to all war.

(2:5) If the Gentile nations will search out God for his word, how much more should the Israelites follow God’s word in the present?

(2:6-8) Isaiah gives the reasons why God is sending Israel into the Exile. These include their involvement with the Philistines (v.6), their economic and military autonomy and self-sufficiency (v.7), and their idol worship (v.8). God decides to humble them through the Exile. This, however, will not be a permanent Exile (Isa. 4:2-4). Just like Isaiah 2:2-3 parallels Micah 4:1-4, this passage closely parallels Micah 5:10-14.

(Isa. 2:9) Should we forgive others or not?

(2:10-11) The people will hide in the rocks to escape judgment (cf. Isa. 1:24; 2:19; Rev. 6:16-17).

(2:12-18) God is going to judge in order to take down the proud, and humble the people. Their trust in economic and military self-sufficiency will be shown to be misplaced, and their idols will be revealed to be nothing.

Is this section referring to the Exile? The earlier section refers to idolatry, which would fit with the Exile (vv.6-8). Moreover, local geography is mentioned throughout this section (e.g. Lebanon, Bashan, Tarshish).

Is this section referring to the end of history? A number of reasons incline us to hold to this latter view. First, the chapter opens by referring to the “last days” (v.2). Second, the language refers to “everyone” and “every” object of self-sufficiency. Third, the text concludes by referring to the entire “earth” trembling (v.19, 21). Fourth, the language of humans hiding in the rocks to avoid God’s judgment fits with other passages about the end of history (Rev. 6:16-17). While all of these could be hyperbolic language, the text seems to point to judgment at the end of history.

(2:19) God is the true king who deserves to reign.

(2:20) Too late, people will realize that their money, their gold, their silver, and their idols are all worthless. There is irony in the fact that these humans made the idols themselves (Isa. 44:9-20; 46:1-7).

(2:21) Like verse 19, people will try to hide from the judgment of God.

(2:22) The reference to the “breath” in the “nostrils” of humans could be an allusion to Genesis 2:7. Grogan comments, “So, implied the prophet, you are worshiping gods you have made instead of the God who made you!”[13]

Isaiah 3 (Future Judgment)

(3:1) God used the Gentile nations to siege and starve the people. The language of “supply and support” is also alliteration in the Hebrew.[14] God was taking away any human resource from the people, crippling their man-centered autonomy (Isa. 2:22).

(3:2-3) Isaiah seems to be lumping diviners and magicians (who deserve death via Deuteronomy 18) with Israelite leaders and ordinary professionals. The point is that all the people are guilty.

(3:4-5) The top level leaders will be ruled by the most incompetent people (infants and children). This is role reversal, showing that the nation has been turned upside down.

(3:6) Anyone should be competent enough to own a cloak. This is the person who is asked to lead… but they’re leading a pile of burning buildings!

(3:7) This is a quick reference to the fact that the people are starving (v.1).

(3:8-11) Isaiah gives the reason why Judah is under God’s judgment. They have “rebelled” against God in both word and deed (“speech and their actions”). This isn’t an indiscriminate judgment: The righteous will be spared (v.10), but the wicked will be judged (v.11). The comparison that Isaiah uses is the judgment of Sodom—the people of Judah openly sin as though nothing was wrong.

(Isa. 3:12) Why is it wrong for women to rule over the nation of Israel?

(3:13) God isn’t just the judge of Israel—some local deity. He is the judge of all “nations” (plural).

(3:14-15) The leaders are more responsible than the people. Many passages speak of the responsibility of leaders, showing that they are more culpable than others (Jer. 25; Ezek. 34; Zech. 10-11; Jn. 10; Jas. 3:1). One of their major sins was their treatment of the poor and needy.

(3:16-23) The mention of the women’s clothing and jewelry refers both to their sexual promiscuity (v.16) as well as their materialism, which oppressed the poor (v.15).

(Isa. 3:18) Does this mean that women should not wear makeup and jewelry?

(3:24) When the Babylonians captured the people, they shaved the heads of the people and “branded” them.[15]

(3:25) Even the John Rambo and Navy Seals of Israel will be no match against God’s judgment via the Babylonians.

(3:26) Isaiah personifies the city gates as mourning. This is similar to Jeremiah’s description of Israel’s defeat (Jer. 14:2; Lam. 1:1-4; 2:10).

Isaiah 4 (Future Kingdom)

(4:1) This verse follows directly from chapter 3, and should’ve been placed in that chapter. During this extreme warfare, men will died in battle in mass numbers (Isa. 3:25). Since there are so few men left, women will withstand polygamy just to have the support of a husband.

(4:2) Who is the “branch of the Lord”? Older commentators (like John Calvin) held that the “branch” was parallel with the “fruit” of the land. Therefore, agricultural prosperity is in view. However, we contend that the “Branch” refers to the Messiah for a number of reasons: First, the term “branch” (ṣema) occurs in other messianic passages that clearly refer to the Messiah (Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12). Second, Isaiah uses the term branch to refer to the Messiah (Isa. 11:1; cf. Isa. 53:2). Third, the parallelism is not agricultural, but causal. When the Messiah comes, he will bring renewal to the land (“fruit of the earth”). Furthermore, the parallel is not exact, because the language of the “Branch of the Lord is not parallel to the “fruit of the earth). Therefore, seeing strict parallelism here is not warranted.

(4:3) A remnant will still persist in Israel (Isa. 1:9), and they will be called “holy” and righteous. Grogan holds that this refers to the end of history—specifically “eternal life.”[16]

(4:4) The word “spirit” (rûa) can refer to the “Holy Spirit.” It can also refer to “a blast of judgment and a blast of fire.”[17]

(4:5-6) The protection of Mount Zion is similar to the protection of the Israelites after the Exodus (Ex. 13:21; 14:19-20). God is saying that he is going to be present with them just like in the old days, when the Israelites traveled in tents or booths. Historically, the nation of Israel never saw any of this come to pass. So, we should anticipate these prophecies being fulfilled in the future.

Isaiah 5 (Israel is the Vineyard)

The Vineyard and the Vineyard owner

In this section, watch how Isaiah ropes in his listeners (almost like the prophet Nathan with David). Isaiah gets them to think about a fruitless vineyard, and then reveals that Israel is the vineyard at the end, turning the tables on the people of Israel.

(5:1) This section of Isaiah is known for its beautiful poetry in the original Hebrew. Here, Isaiah “assumed the guise of a folk singer,”[18] singing this song to the people. The song starts off well, but by the end of verse 2, we see that this is going to be a sad song—not a happy one. God planted this vineyard to grow good grapes, but it produced “worthless ones” instead.

(5:3-4) Is God responsible for the evil of Israel? God tells the people to judge who was in the wrong, asking them what else he could have done to help them.

(5:5-6) The vineyard didn’t produce fruit (similar to Jn. 15). Therefore, God will tear down the protection of Israel (i.e. the vineyard) and allow them to be destroyed.

(5:7) Isaiah clearly tells us that the vineyard represents Israel, and their bad fruit was “bloodshed” and a “cry of distress.”

Jesus used the imagery of a vineyard owner and a vineyard as well (Mt. 20). In his parable, Jesus says that the people rejected the prophets of the vineyard and killed the owner’s son. Here, Isaiah shows that God had provided everything for Israel, but they had turned from him.

(5:8-10) The land belonged to God, and the people were just his tenants (Lev. 25:23). They tried to prosper without following God’s guidance and will. The wealthy multiplied houses on their land, but God told them that these would become “desolate.” Their works will not result in great wealth (v.10).

(Isa. 5:11) Is it right or wrong to drink alcohol?

(5:12) One of the reasons people feel the need to turn to carnality is because they don’t reflect on God’s love and goodness toward them.

(5:13) Their “lack of knowledge” is not intellectual knowledge, but a willful rebellion (as the context makes clear).

(5:14) Those who are gluttons for food and drink will be swallowed up by death itself. All of their wealth will go with them to the grave, where it will become rotten and useless.

(Isa. 5:14) What is Sheol?

(5:15-17) God will use this judgment to humble the people and to show himself righteous. The land will be given to “sheep” and “strangers,” rather than the Israelites.

(5:18-19) Sin is a burden on the people (v.18). The people mock God’s slowness in bringing judgment (cf. 2 Pet. 3:3-7).

(5:20) Grogan comments, “God is the source of all values; and if we are wrong about him, we can soon be wrong about everything.”[19]

(5:21-23) The problem with the people is that they were starting from themselves (i.e. human rationalism) as the basis for their worldview. Paul picks up on this theme in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:17; 2:16; 3:18-23). Their autonomous reason led them into further depravity (vv.22-23). This is the slippery slope of denying God’s word.

(5:24-25) The reason for judgment was that the people rejected God’s moral law and his word.

(5:26-30) God is going to use a Gentile nation to carry out his judgment (notice the singular the distant nation”). Grogan holds that this refers specifically to the Assyrians.[20]

Isaiah 6: Isaiah’s Calling

(Isa. 6:1) Why does Isaiah’s calling occur in the sixth chapter?

(6:1) Uzziah reigned for a long time until (740 BC), though the exact date of his death “has been much disputed.”[21] His reign is described in 2 Kings 15:1-6 and 2 Chronicles 26. Isaiah became a prophet as this king died.

Is there significance to dating his ministry at the death of Uzziah? Isaiah could be comparing the mortal King Uzziah with the immortal God whom he would serve.[22] It’s also possible that Isaiah was lumping King Uzziah in with the sinful people, who would also die. After all, Uzziah was a wicked king, who trespassed into God’s presence (2 Kin. 15:5; 2 Chron. 26:16-21).

Whom did Isaiah see? John tells us that he saw Jesus (Jn. 12:41). Motyer notes that Isaiah sees many characteristics of a kingly throne room “but the Lord is not described.” This is interested to note, because other Pagan prophets would go into great detail to describe their deities—but not Isaiah.

The expression “high and exalted” is used of the Servant (Jesus) in Isaiah 52:13 and God himself in Isaiah 57:15. Also John writes that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory in this setting (see John 12:38-41), after quoting from Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 6:9. Some commentators also see God’s use of the plural first person pronoun (“Us”) to refer to the Trinity (see comments on verse 8).

Isaiah’s mention of the “temple” is interesting in light of the fact that the Temple was going to be destroyed shortly. God was still meeting with Isaiah—even though he was abandoning the nation. Most modern commentators believe that this was a theophany in the earthly temple—not a vision of the heavenly Temple.[23]

(6:2) There are many different types of angels recorded in the Bible. Seraphim (from the Hebrew word “to burn”) are only mentioned in this passage.[24] The term “Seraphim” literally means “Burning Ones.”[25]

Why are they covering their faces? The context (verse 1 and verse 3) shows that they are emphasizing God’s holiness and transcendence. But why are they covering their feet? Grogan speculates, “Covering the feet suggests humility.”[26] Motyer speculates that they covered their feet to “disavow choosing their own path.”[27]

(6:3) The Hebrews would repeat something in order to express how important it was. For instance, Jesus commonly said, “Truly, truly, I say to you…” We might say, “I’m really, really angry with him!” Similarly, Genesis 14:10 literally says “pits, pits” but is translated “full of pits,” and 2 Kings 25:15 literally says “gold, gold” but it is rendered “pure gold.” Yet Motyer writes, “Here for the only time in the Hebrew Bible a quality is ‘raised to the power of three’, as if to say that the divine holiness is so far beyond anything the human mind can grasp that a ‘super-superlative’ has to be invented to express it and, furthermore, that this transcendent holiness is the total truth about God.”[28]

The term “holy” (qādaš) can either be rendered “brightness” or “separateness.”[29]

God’s glory fills the whole Earth. This passage shows both the immanence of God and the transcendence of God.

(6:4) In the time of Moses, God appeared with earthquakes (Ex. 19:18) and clouds of smoke (Ex. 33:9).

(Isa. 6:5) Why does Isaiah emphasize his unclean lips?

(6:5) Isaiah realizes his brokenness and sinfulness. The word “ruined” (dāmâ) means “to be silent.”[30] The context of this chapter is given in light of the five chapters of judgment that the nation of Israel deserves. Isaiah realizes that he is part of the nation! So he realizes that he too deserves judgment—just like them (“I live among a people of unclean lips”). He can’t praise God like the angels, because he’s too sinful. He was most likely afraid that he was coming into the very presence of God (Gen. 32:20; Ex. 33:20, Judg. 6:22; 13:21-22).

Peter, Job, and John all had this reaction to God’s calling.

(6:6-7) What is the symbolism of the burning coal and the altar? In the Levitical law, God commanded that a constant fire should burn on the altar (Lev. 6:12-13). This was the place where God would forgive the people’s sins (Lev. 17:10-11). This makes sense of verse 7, which states, “Your sin is forgiven.” Isaiah’s confession and need for grace comes before this act (v.5).

The very thing that Isaiah thought was most sinful about himself (his lips) is the very thing God used to speak for Himself. He puts his sin up on the altar (actually, God took the coal of his altar to his lips), and then God transforms it and uses it.

(6:8) What a powerful verse on the balance between the indicatives and imperatives! Isaiah was massively forgiven, and this caused him to want to massively serve God.

God doesn’t force us to do his work. He calls and we have the decision to choose and respond to it.

Isaiah doesn’t make any conditions on his service. He just volunteers to serve without conditions.

The reference to “Us” is an allusion to the Trinity—especially when we see that John applies this passage to refer to Jesus (Jn. 12:41) and Luke uses it to refer to the Holy Spirit (Acts 28:25). For more on this, see comments on Genesis 1:26.

(6:9-10) God tells him to speak to people—even though they knew they weren’t going to respond. There may be a sense of contempt from God toward the people, because he calls them “this people,” rather than “My people.” Later in the book, we discover that God told Isaiah to walk around completely naked, so that the people would see this as an object lesson for how God was going to deport the Egyptians completely naked (Isa. 20:2-4). This would have been rough duty.

(Isa. 6:9-10) Did God not want them to repent?

(6:11-12) Isaiah asks the logical question: How long will I have to do this? God answers: When the city of Jerusalem is in ruins (v.11), the people are deported (v.12), and everything is burned to the ground (v.13). This occurred under the Assyrians (2 Kin. 17) and finished by the Babylonians (2 Kin. 24-25). Isaiah describes the Assyrian deportation (Isa. 7-37) and the Babylonian deportation as well (Isa. 38-48).

(6:13) Even though this looks gloomy, God had a plan of restoration in order. Like a tree stump that grows a sprout, the nation would come back alive after being chopped down. This is unpacked in Isaiah 11:1 (“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit”). This could also be a reference to the remnant of people who will return with him (Isa. 41:8; 43:5; 45:25; 53:10; 59:21; 65:9, 23; 66:22), and an allusion to the Abrahamic Covenant (“seed,” Gen. 17:19; Isa. 51:2). Isaiah had already predicted that the people of Israel would all be called “holy” (Isa. 4:3).

Application

Isaiah didn’t feel like he needed to have success in his ministry. Because of the grace of God, he could serve without conditions.

It’s interesting to see how personal God is with Isaiah. Even though he’s vastly transcendent, he also stoops down to Isaiah’s level and works with him. We feel times like this when God is asking us this question: Whom shall I send?

We have a choice. God won’t force us to serve. He asks us. Will you step forward to lead for God?

Are you willing to follow God—regardless of results? NT believers have many promises from God that we will bear fruit if we persevere in faith (Jn. 15:5; Gal. 6:9; 1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 2:14). If Isaiah could serve when God promised no visible results, how much more should we persevere?

Isaiah 7-8 (Ahaz’s Failure)

Isaiah 7 (Ahaz’s sin)

(7:1) Rezin is the king of Aram. Pekah is the king of Israel in the North. They have teamed up against Ahaz the king of Judah in the South, and Judah is terrified at this!

Ahaz’s reign is difficult to date, but it is somewhere around 740 BC. Ahaz needs to fight against Damascus and Syria. These nations want to dethrone Ahaz and put a puppet emperor on the throne. Ahaz thinks, “I should go to Assyria for help with fighting Syria!” But this would be similar to the men of Rohan asking Mordor for help in fighting the orcs. While Sauron could definitely help, he’s even worse than the orcs. (Yes, that was a Lord of the Rings analogy.) The Assyrians impaled people, left decapitated heads on spikes, and hooked rings in the noses of their prisoners, leading them around by the nose. Isaiah defends the plan of turning to Yahweh instead.

Why does Isaiah mention that these kings “went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it”? Isaiah is giving us the divine perspective for this narrative, so we know who to root for from the beginning. It’s kind of like using DVR to record a football game, but a friend already told you that your team won. When you watch the game, it’s hard to be worried for your team when you know the outcome.

Ahaz was a wicked, evil, and godless king! 2 Kings 16:2-4 states, “Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. 3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before the sons of Israel. 4 He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.”

(7:2) Syria and Ephraim teamed up to attack Israel. The imagery of trees shaking is evocative. “Ahaz was shaking in his boots,” we might say. Isaiah notes that this was a direct attack on the “house of David.” Remember: the messianic promise had to come through one of David’s descendants, so this was an attack on God’s promise.

(7:3) God sends Isaiah and Shear-jashub in to counsel Ahaz, and remind him that God would protect him. Shear-jashub means “a remnant will return.”

(7:4) What does Isaiah mean by “these two smoldering stumps of firebrands”? He is saying that these two “powerful” nations are really like burned up stumps. They make a lot of smoke, but their fire is out! No need to panic. They are all bark, and no bite.

(7:6) Who is the son of Tabeel? We’re not certain. Grogan writes, “‘Tabeel’ may be Aramean, the LXX spelling, (ṭābeʾal, lending support to this. In this case he was probably the nominee of Rezin.”[31]

(7:8) Isaiah predicts that these nations will be taken down in 65 years. God is demonstrating that he has this battle under control, because he knows the future.

(7:9) This is a play on words in Hebrew. These two words are the same in Hebrew (aman). The NET note states, “‘Believe’ (ta’aminu) is a Hiphil form of the verb (’aman); ‘endure’ (te’amenu) is a Niphal form of this same verb.”

(7:10) Isaiah’s prophecy is so authoritative that it is considered God speaking.

(7:11) God is asking Ahaz to ask for a sign to boost his faith. We are not always permitted to do this, but if God commands us to, we should. But look at Ahaz’s response: Motyer writes, “Pious though his words sound, Ahaz is doing the devil’s work of quoting Scripture for his own purposes and thereby displaying himself as the dogmatic unbeliever. This was his moment of decision, his point of no return.”[32]

(Isa. 7:11-12) Was Isaiah encouraging Ahaz to test God?

(7:12) Ahaz is too “humble” to ask for a sign. In reality, he is hardened in his unbelief.

(7:13) Notice that Isaiah switches from your God” in verse 11 to my God” here. The implication? Ahaz is no longer able to call God his God.

(Isa. 7:14) Does this passage predict a virgin birth?

(7:14-17) Isaiah gives Ahaz a sign anyhow. Matthew compares this to the supernatural sign of Jesus’ supernatural virgin birth.

(7:18) Isaiah later calls these nations “nothing” (Isa. 40:17) and like insects compared to God (Isa. 40:22). Grogan writes, “To create a universe, God had only to speak; to gather his instruments of punishment, he had only to whistle.”[33]

(7:19) These weak insects will take over Israel, because of Israel’s unbelief.

(7:20) Shaving a man’s beard was a way of disgracing him (cf. 2 Sam. 10:4-5).[34]

(7:21-25) Because Ahaz failed to follow God, he was handed over to his greatest fear: Capture by Syria! 2 Chronicles 28:5 tells us his fate: “Wherefore, the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Aram; and they defeated him and carried away from him a great number of captives and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who inflicted him with heavy casualties.”

Application

God wants to give us revelation and speak to us. Ahaz’s great sin was that he was using the Bible against God!

Will we turn to God as our protection and our shield? Or to worldly resources and help?

We think that we need to protect ourselves, but the imperative here is to stand firm in our faith. God wants us to trust him and not try and fix problems that are beyond on our control.

As Ahaz was thinking of geo-politics, Isaiah brings it back to faith in God. Ahaz was probably thinking, “What does God have to do with anything?! Get out of here, Isaiah! The adults are talking!” Yet Isaiah was in the right. Is God in control or not? Will we trust God or not?

Isaiah 8 (Isaiah’s Faithfulness)

(8:1) Maher’s name means, “Quick to plunder, swift to the spoil.”[35]

(8:2) Isaiah might be gathering witnesses to fulfill the requirement to have “two or three witnesses” in a capital punishment case (Deut. 17:6). He is showing that God is going to judge Damascus and Samaria. He is looking back to the burning stumps of chapter 7.

(8:3) The prophetess is most likely Isaiah’s wife.

(8:4) Isaiah makes a short-term prediction regarding the destruction of Damascus and Samaria.

(8:5-6) The rivers were God’s provision, which was rejected.

(8:7-8) Now, God is going to turn his provision into an act of judgment. The “river” (i.e. “Euphrates”) is a metaphor of the armies of Assyria that will destroy them.[36] Isaiah is predicting Judah’s destruction. The people had been “rejoicing” over the destruction of the northern kings of Israel. Now, they will face judgment themselves.

(8:9-10) The nations can prepare for battle, wear armor, and seek counsel (cf. Ps. 2). But this results in nothing because God is with the believing remnant of Judah.

(8:11) The people shouldn’t be like the Pagan nations, because they are ultimately going down in judgment. This is really similar to John’s thinking about how Christians shouldn’t love the world, because it is temporary (1 Jn. 2:15-17).

(8:12-13) The word “conspiracy” (qešer) can also be rendered “treaty.”[37] Some understand this “treaty” to refer to Ahaz’s treaty with Assyria.[38]

The people shouldn’t worry about what the Pagans worry about. Instead, they should keep their focus on God.

(8:14-15) The concept of God as the “Rock” of Israel was normally used to describe his shelter and refuge (Deut. 32:4, 15, 18; Ps. 18:2; 71:3). Here Isaiah uses this imagery to refer to the people stumbling over the “rock.” The people should accept God’s refuge, but if they don’t, they will be destroyed. The NT cites this passage as referring to Christ (Mt. 21:44; Lk. 2:34; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:8), because the stumbling block is personified with a “he.” Early Targums believed that this was messianic, too.

(8:16-17) Isaiah wants his book to be given to his disciples. He won’t be there when all of this occurs. Since the people rejected God’s word, Isaiah “bound up” and “sealed” his message. In other words, if they didn’t want to listen, then they would have it taken from them.

(Isa. 8:16) Did Isaiah’s disciples write “Second” Isaiah?

(8:18) Could the rescued remnant be a type of future believers being rescued from the world-system? These people who trusted in God serve as a symbol for future generations.

(8:19-20) The use of “mediums and spiritists” was forbidden according to the “law” (Lev 19:31; 20:6-7; Deut 18:9-14). Isaiah is arguing that only God knows the future, contra false teachers or mediums (Deut. 18:9ff). The “whispering and muttering” is contrasted with the bold and open preaching of Isaiah. If they do not listen to Isaiah’s teaching (i.e. the word of God), they will be in darkness (i.e. “no dawn”). See also verse 22.

(8:21-22) Those who do not trust God will turn to grumbling (“This is all His fault!”). Even in judgment, the people will not repent (cf. Rev. 16:11, 21; Prov. 19:13).

Application

Isaiah and his family serve as a prototype for faith and trust in God (v.18).

If you trust in Yahweh, he is a sanctuary. But if you don’t trust in Him, he will be a snare (vv.12-15).

Isaiah didn’t just believe that God was real for himself, but also for his family. This takes faith to the next level. As the Assyrians were ready to slaughter Israel, Isaiah was willing to lead his loved ones through a life of faith.

Isaiah 9-11 (God’s Rescue Plan)

Isaiah 9 (A Future Messiah)

Isaiah writes about the future of God’s rescue in the past tense, because of its certainty in the future. God knows the future, and if he says something will happen, it is a certainty (cf. Eph. 1:3-14).

(Isa. 9:1-2) Why does Matthew cite this passage in Isaiah?

(9:1) Zebulun and Naphtali were the first areas to fall to the Assyrians under Tiglath-pileser III in 733/732 BC.[39] Isaiah mentions that these provinces will be rescued by God.

(9:2) These promises are given in the past tense (called “prophetic perfects”[40]) to show the certainty of their fulfillment.

(9:3-5) Isaiah compares God’s judgment of the nations as similar to the battle with Midian. During that battle (Judg. 6-7), Gideon led only 300 men to fight the Midianites. Similarly, God will judge the nations—even though this will appear to be improbable. The garments of the enemies—soaked in (their own?) blood—will be burned.

(9:6-7) God’s rescue of the people flashes forward to the reign of the God-man (Jesus). Notice the connecting word (“For…”). The battle being described looks prospectively toward a future Deliverer—the Messiah. This mention of a “child” being born builds on Isaiah 7:14, just as this passage will be further elaborated in Isaiah 11:1-9.

(Isa. 9:6-7) Does this passage predict Jesus?

(9:8-12) Ephraim and Samaria think that they will be able to rebuild after God’s judgment. However, they still aren’t learning the lesson of repentance and turning to God. God will send the Arameans to judge Israel.

(9:13-17) If the people of Israel had only turned to him, rather than diviners, they would have been rescued. This is going to connect with God’s claim to know the future in chapters 42-48. The leaders of Israel are compared to a wild beast, leading Israel away from trusting in God (vv.15-16). The “head” and “tail” are metaphors for the “elders” (leaders) and “prophets,” who led the people into apostasy.

(9:18-21) The spread of “wickedness” is compared to the incendiary spread of a “fire,” destroying everything in sight. The language of being “fuel” for the fire (v.19) is similar to the clothing being used as “fuel” (v.4). The “briars” and “thorns” are used as symbols of judgment (cf. Gen. 3:18).

This passage predicts the civil war in Israel (“No man spares his brother,” v.19). Manasseh and Ephraim should have been close because they were brothers (Gen. 48), but here (v.21), they are described as “devouring” one another. Verse 20 is symbolic language, but symbolic of what? It could refer to the nation falling into civil war, and this thirst for warfare is never satisfied.

Despite all of their wickedness, God still stretches out his hands to these people (cf. Rom. 10:21).

Isaiah 10 (Destruction of Israel by Assyria)

In this chapter, God explains the destruction of Israel by Assyria. He does promise that he will repay Assyria for their sins after he uses them to destroy Israel (v.25).

(10:1) This is an indictment against the northern kingdom of Israel.[41] The leadership of Israel had contradicted God’s law for the nation.

(10:2) These evil laws crippled the poor and needy in Israel, and this is why God was bringing judgment.

(10:3) This refers to God’s more immediate judgment through the nation of Assyria.

(10:4) The imagery here is of prisoners being broken or killed. The scariest part of this verse is that even after the physical judgment of being taken captive or dying, God’s wrath is still not fully exhausted on the people (“In spite of all of this, His anger does not turn away”).

(10:5-6) God was using Assyria to wield his judgment on Israel (v.5). Even though Assyria was “godless” (v.6), God would use them to judge Israel.

(10:7-9) Assyria had the intent of military conquest, and they didn’t realize that God was using them for his own purposes. They were boastful (v.8) and clearly evil, but God had a purpose in using them (v.7).

(10:10-11) The judgment would eventually fall on Judah (i.e. “Jerusalem”), because of its idolatry.

(10:12-14) God used Assyria as an agent of his judgment, but then, he would judge Assyria for its evil as well (vv.7-9). Notice the five-fold use of “I” in the Assyrian boasting (vv.13-14). Assyria glorified itself in conquering Israel—not realizing that God was the one who used them.

(10:15-19) The Assyrians were like an “axe,” “saw,” “club,” or “rod” in God’s hands (v.15). There is sarcasm in the idea that an axe would be proud of its accomplishments. Similarly, Assyria was boasting over its victory, but they were merely a tool in God’s hands. Later, God would judge Assyria for their own sins (vv.16-19). It is astounding that God would later welcome the Assyrians into his people at the end of history (Isa. 19:23-25).

(10:20-23) God would spare the “remnant” of true believers (v.21). This is the exact same word used for Isaiah’s son (Shear-Jashub, Isa. 7:3). Paul cites verses 22-23 to describe how God was looking for a believing remnant in Israel in his day (Rom. 9:27-28).

(10:24-26) God speaks of “My people” which refers to the “remnant” (v.21). While Assyria will destroy the nation, the remnant will be spared and God will later judge the Assyrians. Again, Isaiah compares this to the victory over the Midianites in the time of the judges, where a few hundred destroyed thousands (Judg. 7:25). Isaiah also compares this event to the rescue from Egypt in the Exodus.

(10:27) In this culture, being fat was a sign of blessing and wealth. The picture here is that Israel will become so rich (and fat) that the yoke or neck brace can’t hold them anymore.

(10:28-32) Geba was only six miles from Jerusalem,[42] which would mean that the Assyrians were in Jerusalem’s backyard, so to speak. While Assyria came through Lachish (Isa. 36:2), it’s possible that this was a multifaceted attack on the city.

(10:33-34) While Assyria attacked Israel, God would counterattack Assyria.

Application

This section shows the sovereignty and justice of God. He might use one nation to judge another (i.e. Assyria judging Israel), but he will also bring justice to the evil nation for what they did.

Isaiah 11 (Future Messiah and Regathering of Israel)

(11:1) Isaiah 10 ended with God cutting down the metaphorical tree of Israel. Here we see that there is still hope: the stump of Jesse will bear fruit. Jesse was David’s father. Jesse wasn’t a powerful king—just an ordinary man. This could prefigure the Messiah’s lowly origins, and it could point to “the total absence of royal dignity in the house of David when the Messiah would come.”[43] God wouldn’t give the kingship back until the “one whose right it is” (Ezek. 21:27).

(Isa. 11:1) Why the stump of Jesse and not the stump of David?

(11:2-3a) The Messiah, who will rescue the nation, will have the Holy Spirit, and he will rule the nation and judge based on God’s direction—not his own. Notice the contrast between the Messiah (who has wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, strength, and the fear of the Lord) and the Assyrian king who boasted in his own wisdom (Isa. 10). Notice the double mention of the fact that the Messiah will “fear the Lord.”

(11:3b) The Messiah will not be blind to the evidence. This language shows that he will trust in God’s justice.

(11:4) The Messiah will judge the Earth (cf. Jn. 12:48). A gap must have occurred here. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 states, “That lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” Revelation 19:15 states, “His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.”

(11:5) In the ancient Near East, the “belt” tied all of the clothing together. The Messiah’s “belt” would be made of “righteousness” and “faithfulness.”

(11:6-8) Something about the reign of this person will bring harmony to nature. Even a “little boy” (v.6) and “nursing child” (v.8) will have command and stewardship over these powerful animals (cf. Gen. 1:28; Isa. 65:25).

(11:9) There will be worldwide knowledge and respect for God. The connecting word “for” implies that the knowledge of the Lord is the reason for this new peaceful era.

(11:10) The “signal” (nēs) that God sends to the nations is the same word used in Isaiah 5:26 to bring the nations in judgment against Israel. Here, the nations are drawn to come to Israel in peace.

(11:11) Israel will be regathered at this time.

(Isa. 11:11-12) Does this refer to the modern regathering of Israel?

(Isa. 11:12) Did the biblical authors believe in a flat Earth?

(11:13-14) Israel will be totally protected from enemies at this time, defeating any opposing nations in battle (cf. Ps. 2).

(11:15) The “River” mentioned here is the River Euphrates (see NASB footnote).[44] Revelation 16:12 also states that God will dry up the Euphrates River. Like the Exodus, God will dry up the river with a great “wind” (cf. Ex. 14:21).

(11:16) This could be an allusion to the Exodus as well, where God brought the people safely through the desert (Ex. 14:26-29).

Isaiah 12 (Rescue of Israel)

The first dozen chapters focus on Judah. This chapter is its climax. In this chapter, the people praise God for his rescue of Israel from the surrounding nations.

(12:1-2) This song of praise cannot refer simply to the return from Babylon.[45] The context refers to the Messianic Age (Isa. 11), and God’s anger is completed with Israel.

There are allusions here to the Song of Moses (Ex. 15:2) and the Psalms (Ps. 118:14).

(12:3) Earlier, the people rejected God’s provision of water (Isa. 8:6). Here, Isaiah uses this theme as a metaphor describing “salvation.”

(12:4) This verse is nearly identical to Psalm 105:1. The psalm deals with Egypt and the Exodus. Here, we see a greater Exodus.

(12:5-6) The knowledge of God will reach the entire planet (“Let this be known throughout the earth”). But there is a specificity of God’s love for the people of Israel at the end of human history.

Isaiah 13 (Destruction of Babylon)

The key to interpreting this chapter is to discover when it occurs. This chapter is about Babylon. It begins by describing the destruction of Israel by Babylon, but it quickly transitions to the destruction of the entire “world” (v.11). In this day, it will be more difficult to find a human being than a bar of gold in the dirt (v.12). The entire Earth will shake (v.13). Then the vision flashes back to the contemporary times, explaining the permanent destruction of Babylon (vv.19-22).

(13:1) Isaiah had a vision of Babylon’s destruction—long before Babylon came on the political scene.

(13:2-5) God uses Babylon as an instrument of judgment—just like he used Assyria (Isa. 10:5). The “many nations” (v.4) would include the Babylonians, Assyrians, and the Medes (v.17). While the language of the “whole land” (v.5) is in view, it seems that this is referring to Israel—not the entire planet.

(13:6-8) The “day of the Lord” refers to God’s judgment. These images show the powerlessness of the nations as God brings about judgment. The mention of their faces being “aflame” (v.8) could be literal—though some take this as metaphorically referring to their astonishment.[46]

(13:9) Again, Isaiah refers to the “day of the Lord.” God will give out judgment on this day in a remarkable way.

(13:10) This judgment will black out the skies (cf. Mt. 24:29; Mk. 13:24-25).

(13:11) The entire “world” is in view here—not just Israel.

(13:12) Human life will be so scarce that it will be easier to find a bar of gold, than a human being.

(13:13) Again, the entire “earth” will shake during this time (cf. Isa. 34:4). Grogan understands verses 9-13 to refer to global judgment—not merely the land of Israel.[47] Similarly, Jesus refers to the local judgment of Israel at the end of history, but he also relates this to global judgment (see Mt. 24).

Return to the local judgment?

(13:14) Tiglath-pileser III deported people to various nations.[48] These people return to their own countries for protection.

(13:15) This must be referring to some sort of war, because the people are attacking one another.

(13:16) This war will be so horrific that it will not even protect women or little children. Grogan understands this to refer to the local attack of Babylon on Judah. He understand verses 9-13 as global, but these verses as local: “A prediction of the Day of the Lord may expand and then contract again in this way, because each particular judgment foreshadows the great ultimate punishment to fall on the human race as a whole.”[49]

(13:17) Clearly, this refers to the local judgment—not universal judgment at the end of history. The Medes conquered the Assyrian capital of Ninevah in 612 BC.[50] The text says that they will not “value silver or take pleasure in gold.” Grogan writes, “According to the Greek historian Xenophon, Cyrus acknowledged that the Medes had served his cause without thought of monetary reward.”[51] Many nations attacked Babylon until they were wiped out by the time of Christ. Grogan comments, “The Assyrian king Sennacherib, who detested Babylon, utterly devastated it in 689 BC. This was, perhaps, a partial fulfillment of the prophecy given here (vv.20–22), just as some of the messianic prophecies in Isaiah received an anticipatory fulfillment before their final realization in Christ (see comment at 7:14–17). Babylon was quickly rebuilt, and no comparable destruction took place in 539 BC. The prophecy did find fulfillment, but over a considerable period of time. Darius the Great and Xerxes both issued important decrees of demolition. Alexander the Great apparently had great plans for it, but they did not survive his death; and by the close of the first century BC, Babylon was utterly desolate. So it is today. The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.”[52]

(Isa. 13:19-22) Did Isaiah correctly predict the desolation of Babylon?

Isaiah 14 (Judgment against Babylon and Assyria)

God is going to get back with the nation of Israel, and they will rule over their oppressors.

Judgment against Babylon

(14:1-3) Some of these statements were realized in the return from the Babylonian Exile. However, we agree with Grogan who argues that this passage refers to the end of human history and “the fulfillment at the return from Babylon itself foreshadows God’s ultimate purpose for the people.”[53] After all, after the Babylonian Exile, the people of Israel never took “their captors captive… ruling over their oppressors.”

(14:4-6) This is explicitly a “taunt” against a historical person (i.e. the king of Babylon). The king’s power has “ceased,” because he has died at the hand of God (v.5).

(14:7) Isaiah personifies the “whole earth” as being at peace. This could be hyperbole for Babylonian’s downfall, or it could refer to the end of human history.

(14:8) Grogan comments, “The monarchs of Assyria and Babylon were greedy for wood, and their woodcutters stripped whole districts of their trees.”[54]

(14:9-10) The dead in “Sheol” will rise up to speak to the “weakness” of this king. In death, this “powerful” king will be just as “weak” as any other ruler.

(14:11) The mention of “maggots” and “worms” describe a physical death for this king.

(Isa. 14:12-14) Does this passage describe Satan or someone else?

(14:12) Jesus uses the imagery of how he watched “Satan fall from heaven” (Lk. 10:18). Grogan doesn’t understand this passage as referring to Satan, but he sees the king of Babylon almost like a type of Satan—that is, one who is “truly satanic.”[55]

(14:13-14) It isn’t that the king of Babylon actually ascended into heaven. For one, this was only his desire—not a realized event. Second, the king said this “in his heart.” Third, this is a “taunt,” not an actual reality (v.4). Fourth, the phenomenal language could be a taunt at the gods of Canaan. Grogan writes, “It seems likely that elements of the myth, probably well-known throughout Canaan, provide features of the analogy that runs through vv.12–15. Such an analogy from mythology would be particularly appropriate when applied to the polytheistic Babylonians, whose mythology had many links with that of Ugarit.”[56]

Notice the pride of the king of Babylon. He uses the word “I” five times in these two verses.

(14:15-17) This figure is described as a “man” (v.16) and a “corpse” (v.19). This is not referring to Satan, but a human being—namely, the king of Babylon.

(14:18-19) Kings in the Fertile Crescent at this time had incredibly elaborate burial ceremonies.[57] Therefore, Isaiah is showing the disgrace of the king of Babylon when he writes that he was “cast out of his tomb.”

(14:20-21) Since the king of Babylon had sent so many people to their deaths on the open field of battle, God makes the “punishment to fit the crime.”[58] This king lies unburied on the battlefield. Moreover, Grogan writes, “No throne, no tomb, no progeny, no cities—in all these ways the Lord abases those who seek self-exaltation.”[59] Everything the king of Babylon strived for crumbles after his death.

(14:22-23) God directs his judgment at the nation of Babylon—not just the king of Babylon.

Judgment against Assyria

(14:24-25) The land does not belong to Assyria. God calls it “My land.”

(14:26-27) God’s plan and his power trump anyone who would stand against him.

(14:28) It is difficult to date the time of Ahaz’s death.[60]

(14:29-30) The people of Philistia may have thought that they wouldn’t face judgment. But God tells them that even worse judgment is coming for them (“From the serpent’s root a viper will come out, and its fruit will be a flying serpent”).

(14:31-32) Instead of seeking alliances with other nations, God is the one who will protect the people.

Isaiah 15 (Judgment against Moab and Ammon)

(15:1-4) Moab and Ammon both came from Lot’s incest with his daughters (Gen. 19:30-38). The people of Moab would be humiliated (“Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off”), and they would be destroyed.

(15:5-9) This is not ironic emotion as some commentators hold. Instead, Isaiah is weeping over this nation.[61]

Isaiah 16 (Prophecy against Moab)

(16:1-3) “Sela” was normally controlled by the Edomites, but not during this time period.[62] The “fords of Arnon” were where the Moabite refugees clustered. It seems likely that most of the refugees were women and children (daughters of Moab”).

(16:4-5) This seems like the correspondence back from Jerusalem, telling the people of Sela to take in the refugees. The righteousness and justice of Judah seems to allude back to the rule of the Messiah (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Isa. 9:6-7).

(16:6-7) Isaiah explains why the Moabites were under judgment in the first place.

(16:8-12) God’s heart breaks for the judgment of Moab. This passage probably serves as an allusion to Israel as a vine (Isa. 5).

(16:13) The “earlier” word probably refers to Amos 2:1-3.

(16:14) Isaiah gives an exact timeframe for the judgment (three years). This likely refers to the war from Sargon,[63] which would place the date of this chapter around 718 BC.

Isaiah 17 (Prophecy against Damascus)

(17:1-3) Grogan writes, “Damascus, in fact, fell to the Assyrians in 732 BC, and Samaria, the capital of Israel, fell a decade later.”[64]

(17:4-6) The laws of Israel demanded that farmers leave produce for the poor to glean (Deut. 24:19-22). This passage shows that only scraps will be left for the people, making them worse off than the poorest of the poor.

(17:7-8) The result of this judgment will be that some people will return to God, rather than idols (“the work of his hands”). This was fulfilled during the time of Hezekiah (2 Chron. 30).

(17:9-11) The reference to “planting delightful plants… with vine slips of a strange god” could refer to sympathetic magic, rather than trust in Yahweh. Grogan writes, “Perhaps there is an allusion here to the cult of Adonis or Tammuz. This was a fertility cult in which plant cuttings were grown very rapidly, probably by using the best horticultural techniques known at the time. By sympathetic magic the special qualities of the plants were then believed to pass to those who grew them.”[65]

(17:12-14) The people rise up against God and his people (cf. Ps. 2), but even though they are like “might waters,” God blocks them (an allusion to the parting of the Red Sea and the Exodus motif?). This might have Sennacherib’s attack in view (Isa. 37:36).

Isaiah 18 (Prophecy against Cush)

(18:1-2) “Cush” is most likely Ethiopia.[66] The “whirring wings” refer to insects in the Nile valley. The “sea” (yām) could very likely refer to the Nile River.[67]

The nation “tall and smooth” refers to the “tall, handsome, clean-shaven Nubians of Cush.”[68]

(18:3) These ambassadors would not accomplish peace. God would bring judgment in his timing, as soon as “the trumpet is blown” for war.

(18:4-6) God seems totally calm and in control (“I will look from My dwelling place quietly”). He will bring judgment when he is ready (vv.5-6).

(18:7) Instead of attacking Israel, the men of Cush would bring gifts to them.

Isaiah 19 (Prophecy against and for Egypt and Assyria)

Isaiah predicts the destruction of Egypt. Egypt was really an archetype for all of the oppressors of Israel (e.g. Assyria). The Exodus served as an archetype for God’s rescue. This chapter is interesting because it states that God will rescue the Egyptians and the Assyrians! He will send a savior to rescue them (v.20). They will worship God (v.21). He will heal them (v.22). God places Israel alongside Egypt and Assyria (two of the worst Pagan nations that there were!). This is a scandalous passage on God’s grace.

(19:1) God is depicted in this manner elsewhere—especially when he is entering into human affairs (Ps. 18:10; 104:3). In the Exodus, God defeated the “gods” of Israel—not just the government (Ex. 12:12; Num. 33:4).

(19:2) The Egyptians fell because of internal civil war.

(19:3) Occult practices offered no help to the Egyptians.

(19:4) This “cruel master” is likely “Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who subdued Egypt in 670 BC.”[69] After Esar-haddon’s conquering of Egypt, multiple nations conquered this empire—one after another.

(19:5-10) This is another allusion back to the plagues in the Exodus. God brought drought on Egypt in order to cripple it economically.

(19:11-15) The “wisdom” of Egypt would not rescue the nation. The wise men were consulting mediums and spiritists, and God allowed this to be their “spirit of distortion.”[70] God sent demons to confuse the Egyptians as a form of judgment.

(19:16-17) This section is a “bridge”[71] between the judgment and the rescue of the Egyptians. The expression “in that day” is generally used in the prophets to refer to the end of human history.[72] Therefore, while other nations would be completely destroyed and annihilated, the nation of Egypt would continue to exist until the end of history—even though it would never again be a world power. Judah was never a “terror” to Egypt during this time or even today. This must refer to the future.

(19:18) The “City of Destruction” (ʿîr haheres) seems to be a play on words with the “City of the Sun” (ʿîr haḥeres).[73] This conversion of Egypt hasn’t happened yet, so this is still in the future.

(19:19-22) The description here is not the gospel being spread to Egypt in the Church Age (see Athanasius). The mention of “altars” and “pillars” doesn’t fit with the spread of the gospel. This must refer to God reaching the Egyptians in a unique way in the future. Grogan writes, “The Lord will reveal himself to Egypt again, but this time in an entirely different way, much more after the pattern of his self-disclosure to Israel; for he will deal with them also on the basis of grace.”[74]

(19:23) This verse is an astonishing picture of grace. Remember, Jonah didn’t want to see the Assyrians saved (Jon. 4:1-3). Here, Isaiah not only pictures the salvation of Egypt (an ancient enemy of Israel) but also Assyria (a current and specifically cruel nation). Both nations would come together to worship alongside Israel.

(19:24-25) Isaiah gives God’s titles for Israel to Egypt and Assyria! (Isa. 1:3; 45:11) Obviously, this hasn’t happened yet, but it will be fulfilled in the future.

Isaiah 20 (Isaiah: the naked prophet)

(20:1) The Philistines had five city-fortresses united to fight Assyria at this time, which centered in Ashdod’s revolt (713-711 BC).[75]

(20:2-4) God told Isaiah to walk naked in front of the people to show how the Egyptians would be taken away by the Assyrians. The message was provocative and clear: “Do not take Egypt or Cush as allies, or you’ll end up like me!” Other prophets also acted out their prophecies to the people (cf. 1 Kin. 11:29-32; Jer. 13:1-11; Ezek. 4).

(20:5-6) The Philistines will realize that their hopes in their alliances were misplaced.

Isaiah 21 (Destruction of Babylon, Edom, and Arabian tribes)

This passage likely refers to the fall of Babylon under the reign of Merodach-Baladan in 689 BC.[76]

(21:1) The “wilderness of the sea” refers to Babylon the city or Babylonia the country.[77]

(21:2) Media and Persia had been allies of Babylon, so this would be a strange twist. Grogan entertains the idea that the words of verse 2 are “battle cries of Babylonia’s allies as they launched their attack against Assyria.”[78]

(21:3-4) Isaiah was horrified at this vision of judgment. He hoped for “twilight” (i.e. peace), but he discovered that there would be “trembling” (i.e. war/judgment).

(21:5) Herodotus states that the Persian conquest of Babylon (539 BC) was so fast that the Babylonians were eating and drinking—not knowing that the army had already invaded. By contrast, Grogan holds that the men feasting refers to the men of Judah.[79]

(21:6-10) The “lookout” was posted on the wall to wait for news of Babylon’s destruction (presumably by the Assyrians).[80]

(21:11-12) The prophecy concerning Edom seems to refer to one night after another, which would refer to the destruction after Assyria, and later, the destruction under Babylonia.[81]

(21:13-17) The Assyrian ruler Sargon II attacked the Arabian tribes in 715 BC.[82] Note that Isaiah had a one year term limit on this prophecy (v.16), which is an example of short-term fulfilled prophecy, validating his prophetic office.

Isaiah 22 (Destruction of Judah)

The people were trusting in their resources, rather than God.

(22:1) The “valley of vision” has been understood by commentators in numerous ways, but they “always in reference to Jerusalem.”[83] While we wouldn’t think of Jerusalem as a “valley” because of its elevation, it is actually more like a valley compared to the mountains around it (Ps. 125:2; Jer. 21:13). The reason it is called the valley of “vision” is most likely due to the fact that God gave so many prophetic visions in Jerusalem.

(22:2a) This likely refers to the people of Jerusalem celebrating the defeat of the Assyrians (Isa. 37:36).

(22:2b-3) Commentators wonder over the historical setting here (Sennacherib? 1 Kin. 18:13-16?), but the main point is clear: The Jewish people were celebrating over their victory as if they had beaten the Assyrians, but now they were fleeing at the first sign of trouble. In both ways, they were taking pride in self-effort.

(22:4-8a) This vision made Isaiah weep bitterly. Even though he knew that God was going to judge, he was still emotionally affected by this. This judgment came to fruition in 586 BC under Nebuchadnezzar.[84] It’s possible that Nebuchadnezzar’s army also had Elamite soldiers (v.6).

(22:8b-10) The walls were breached by the Babylonians, and the people were focused on the water supply during the siege (2 Chron. 32:1-5; cf. Isa. 7:1-3). The people ripped apart their own houses in order to reinforce the wall, which shows just how desperate they were.

(22:11) Isaiah concludes by stating that the real problem with the people was spiritual in nature—namely, they didn’t trust God (“You did not depend on Him who made it, nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago”).

(22:12-14) Instead of seeking repentance, the people were frolicking, laughing, feasting, and getting drunk. This is comparable to a party happening on the top floor of a hotel, while the bottom floors are on fire!

(22:15-16) “Sheba” was the steward of the king’s palace (Isa. 36:3, 11, 22; 37:2). Apparently, Sheba was trying to leave behind a massive, beautiful tomb for people to remember him by. But God was telling him that this was a wasted effort, considering the judgment to come.

(22:17-19) Instead of resting in a beautiful tomb, God will throw Sheba into a foreign land (Assyria?). Instead of a glorified burial, he will face utter disgrace.

(22:20-23) “Eliakim” was one of the other servants in the king’s cabinet (Isa. 36:3, 11, 22, 37:2). God chose him—instead of Sheba—to carry on the Davidic dynasty. Grogan writes, “Verse 22 is not intended figuratively but literally, for the steward would have the large master key of the palace fastened to the shoulder of his tunic.”[85] See comments on Revelation 3:7, which alludes to this passage.

(22:24-25) Eliakim eventually faces judgment because of his “nepotism.”[86]

Isaiah 23 (Destruction of Tyre)

“Tyre” was a city seaport located in the larger area of Phoenicia. The people worshipped Melkart—the Tyrian version of Baal.[87] Sennacherib (705-701 BC) laid siege to Tyre for an extended period of time, and later, Babylon attacked Tyre. But it was Alexander the Great who finally decimated Tyre in 333 BC.[88]

(23:1-5) “Tarshish” was probably located in modern-day Spain. “Cyprus” would be a resting place before reaching Tyre, so the news of Tyre’s destruction would be horrifying.

“Sidon” rivaled Tyre as a commercial seaport (v.2). The mention of “Egypt” being in “anguish” over the destruction of Tyre would be because they were such a prosperous trading port.

(23:6-9) Isaiah taunts the neighboring areas (e.g. Tarshish) to show that God was the one responsible for destroying Tyre for her pride.

(23:10-12) Isaiah warned the people on the Mediterranean coastlands that God was going to bring judgment.

(23:13-14) The “Chaldeans” were the Babylonians. Both Sennacherib and Sargon II attacked the Babylonians in this way (~710 BC).

(23:15-18) Assyria did not allow Tyre to trade between the “seventy years” of 700-630 BC.[89] Tyre was ultimately destroyed by Alexander the Great, as Ezekiel predicted after Isaiah (Ezek. 26). This prediction in Isaiah is short term, while the prediction in Ezekiel is long term (see “Predictions of Ruined Cities”).

Isaiah 24-27 (Isaiah’s Apocalypse)

Isaiah 24 (Global judgment)

God will judge the entire world. This chapter makes no mention of individual nations; instead, it refers to global judgment. The only mention of a local territory comes at the end of the chapter, when Isaiah mentions Mount Zion and Jerusalem (v.23). Therefore, it transcends the individual, national judgments of chapters 13-23. Even the islands of the sea are affected, and the ends of the Earth (vv.15-16). Even angels (demons) will be judged, and so will kings (v.21).

(24:1) The word “earth” (ʾere) refers to the entire globe—not just the local “land.”[90] Compare with verse 4, where it is compared with the “world.” The fact that the world is laid “waste” fits with Jesus’ statements of drought, earthquakes, and famine (Mk. 13:8). Like the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:8), the people will be “scattered.”

(24:2) This could mean that the social structures in society will not be able to stop this judgment.[91] Or it could show that social structure are flipped upside down, and are in anarchy.

(24:3) See comments on verse 1.

(24:4-5) The “pollution” mentioned here refers to moral pollution, as the context makes clear (“For they transgressed laws…”).

(24:6) The “curse” could harken back to Genesis 3, or it could refer to humanity breaking God’s universal moral law revealed in the human conscience. The fact that men are “burned” describes warfare or global catastrophes that weren’t present in the 8th century BC.

(24:7-9) People can’t drink away their problems during this time, but rather, they need to confront the coming judgment.

(24:10-13) Many commentators associate “the city” with Jerusalem or Babylon. Grogan understands this as a generic symbol to refer to the world-system, because no details are mentioned and the context is global judgment.[92] Again, the people cannot turn to alcohol to numb their pain or create artificial joy.

(24:14-16a) The people who are praising God could be Jews, Gentiles, or both. However, we favor the view that these are Gentiles praising God, because they do so from the “coastlands of the sea,” which doesn’t seem localized to Israel (cf. Isa. 41:5; 42:4, 10).

(24:16b-20) The judgment is so worldwide that there is nowhere for the people to hide. The earth itself is in danger of falling apart. Even the ground beneath a person’s feet will be shaking in cosmic disorder.

(24:21) The “host of heaven” refers to fallen angels (Eph. 6:12). This further supports the case that a global, cosmic judgment is in view.

(24:22) They are punished “after many days.” This would fit nicely with a premillennial view.[93]

(24:23) Some understand the “elders” to refer to the 24 elders of Revelation 4:4. Yet, the location of Revelation 4 is in heaven—not on Earth.

Isaiah 25 (Heaven?)

This refers to heaven or the millennial kingdom.

(25:1-5) Isaiah praises God in the form of a psalm—not a prophecy. He thanks God for his judgment of the wicked nations, and his protection of the poor and needy (v.4). Isaiah must still be thinking about the future, because the Gentile nations “glorify” and “revere” God at this time.

(25:6-8) This most likely takes place during the Millennial Kingdom or perhaps in the New Heavens and Earth. The fact that God will “swallow up death for all time” (v.8) implies the New Heavens and Earth (cf. 1 Cor. 15:54). It certainly hasn’t happened yet. God will be bringing “choice” meat and “aged wine.” This is in contrast to the spoiled wine of chapter 24.

(25:9) The destruction of death itself results in praise from Isaiah. Despite the coming judgment, Isaiah is looking forward to the end of death and to the resurrection of the death (Isa. 26:19).

(25:10-12) Remember, Isaiah wept over Moab (Isa. 15-16), even though he affirmed that it would face judgment.

Isaiah 26 (Resurrection from the Dead)

The nations are welcomed if they have faith. God will bring about the resurrection of the dead (v.19).

(26:1-2) The Jewish people made an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Deut. 16; Pss. 120-134). This could be the imagery here. But it is expanded to include the righteous nations who also want to come to worship.

(26:3-4) The word “peace” (šālôm) is repeated for emphasis (literally “peace peace”). This is translated “perfect peace” to show the incredible peace found in God’s protection.

(26:5-6) Militarily, an elevated city gave a strategic advantage. God states that these people will find no protection. Notice the amplification employed in verse 5 (“low… ground… dust”).

(26:7-9) God himself is pictured as the “Upright One.” His nature is righteous, and therefore, his leadership and kingdom are righteous. Grogan comments, “This passionate longing is not just a deep desire for a better order, a kind of moral Utopia. The whole expectation is personal. It is God the prophet longs for (cf. Pss 42:1–4; 63:1; 84:2).”[94]

(26:10-11) Despite God’s grace to the “wicked,” they still will not change.

(26:12-13) The “other masters” could refer to both the false idols (demons?) and the foreign rulers who worshipped them and oppressed the Israelites.[95]

(26:14) This is not teaching the annihilation of the unbelievers. Instead, this refers to the comfort of the believer who will never again be oppressed by these evil oppressors.[96]

(26:15) Isaiah uses a “prophetic perfect”[97] to refer to the growth of the nation. He uses the past tense to show the certainty of this future event (cf. Isa. 54:1-3; Ps. 72:8).

(26:16-18) The nation of Israel had all of the pain of childbirth without the blessing of a child. This symbolizes their self-effort to save themselves.

(26:19) Critical scholars presuppose that believe in the afterlife was a late invention of Israel, so they hold that this passage was a later interpolation. However, this simply argues in a circle: They are assuming what they are trying to prove, and alternate evidence cannot contradict their theory.

(Isa. 26:19) Did the ancient Jews believe in the afterlife?

By contrast, we hold this verse to refer to the resurrection of the dead. While there are metaphorical elements in this passage (“the earth will give birth to the departed spirits”), the “metaphorical… must always rest on the literal; and it is with the literal that this verse commences.”[98] Grogan further comments, “The MT and 1QIsa both read neḇēlātî yeq̂umûn, which is rendered ‘their bodies will rise,’ but which actually features the peculiar phenomenon of a singular noun (lit. ‘my body’) with a plural verb (lit., ‘they will arise’). It seems that the noun views the nation as a collective entity while the verb individualizes it. This suggests that the simple renewal of the nation does not do justice to what the prophet had in mind. It is the resurrection of the nation, but in terms of new life for its individuals.”[99]

(26:20-21) In the Exile, the people were to shut their doors and remain distinct from the surrounding peoples. They were told to wait out the Exile until God would come to judge the nations.

Isaiah 27 (The New Vineyard)

God is willing to make peace (v.5). Idolatry is removed (v.9).

(27:1) This passage does not affirm that Isaiah believed in the mythical “Leviathan.” Grogan writes, “The use of mythology here simply shows that Isaiah and his readers knew the mythological stories, not that they believed them. If a modern historian referred to a fierce and aggressive nation as ‘a great dragon,’ would his readers assume he believed in the objective existence of such creatures? Surely not!”[100]

(27:2-6) The repeated use of “in that day” refers to the end of history.[101] In contrast to the barren vineyard of Isaiah 5:1-7, this vineyard in the future of Israel is flourishing. While God will come to bring judgment (v.4), he is also extending the hand of “peace” and forgiveness (v.5). Those who turn to God will bear fruit.

(27:7-11) Verse 7 is a hypothetical objector asking of God brought judgment indiscriminately on the nation of Israel along with the Gentile nations. However, Isaiah is quick to note that God discipline of Israel was to bring her back to repentance (v.9). It isn’t until the nation is completely humbled that God will start to work through them again.

(27:12-13) Isaiah pictures Israel as a nation mixed with wheat and chaff, and God’s judgment would separate the two. God will also gather the righteous who live in Gentile lands (v.13).

Isaiah 28 (The Captivity of Ephraim is predicted)

Chapters 24-27 are called “Isaiah’s apocalypse,” describing the end of human history. Here, Isaiah flashes back to Jerusalem and begins at “square one,” and it seems to correspond to “the period of Hezekiah’s reign.”[102] The priests are drunk and vomiting. Isaiah predicts that the people will be captured by foreigners. God promises to give them a cornerstone to rescue them. God doesn’t enjoy judgment, calling it his “unusual task” (NASB) or “strange work” (NIV, v.21).

(28:1-4) The Assyrians came on the political scene during a time of prosperity for Ephraim.[103] While the leaders are inebriated and filled with pride, the Assyrians (“a strong and mighty agent”) will wipe them out. The imagery of verse 4 describes the quickness of their destruction.

(28:5-8) While the leaders boasted in their crowns, God is the true crown that the people should trust in. Isaiah juxtaposed the “proud crown” with the “glorious crown” (NIV, v.5). By contrast, the leaders of the northern kingdom are so drunk that they are “reeling” and “tottering” and covering the tables with their “filthy vomit.”

(28:9) The NIV interprets verse 9 to refer to the priests speaking. Isaiah needs to teach the priests the basic “spiritual ABC’s.”[104] The priests are like babies who need “milk” to drink.

(28:10) The Hebrew here is not meant “to make sense.” Rather, this is “simply a few stray syllables, some of them repeated, like the baby-talk that delights the child but would insult the adult. They mouth this gibberish back at the prophet.”[105] The sin of the priests is that they had turned the word of God into gibberish.

(28:11-13) God would speak through the “gibberish” of the Assyrians to communicate his judgment to the people.

(Isa. 28:11) Why does Paul cite this passage in 1 Corinthians 14:21?

Isaiah warns the southern kingdom of Judah

(28:14-15) Grogan holds that this “pact” was the political pact with the Egyptians, who worshipped the dead.[106]

(28:16-19) The NT authors understand the “stone” in Zion to refer to the Messiah (Rom. 9:33; 10:11; 1 Pet. 2:4-6). The “stone” was mentioned earlier to refer to God himself (Isa. 8:14). Here, the stone is separate from God (“I am laying in Zion a stone”). This means that the stone is both God, and yet separate from God (cf. Isa. 9:6).

(28:20-22) God will bring judgment—yet he calls this his “unusual task” (NASB) or his “strange work” (NIV).

(28:23-29) The agricultural analogies show that God takes different actions for different situations.

Isaiah 29 (Judgment and Salvation for Jerusalem)

Isaiah predicts Ariel’s (Jerusalem’s) judgment. God predicts that they will not turn to him, because they are not connected with him from the heart (v.13). This chapter predicts both the judgment and the salvation of Jerusalem.

(29:1-3) “Ariel” can be translated “altar hearth” or “lion of God.” It is connected with the city of David (v.1) and Mount Zion (v.8). This implies that this is a name for Jerusalem.[107]

At the time when the people thought they were closest to God (i.e. “feasts” and religious festivals), God would bring judgment (“I will bring distress… lamenting… mourning”). Just as David originally captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites through a military siege, the people of Jerusalem would be under siege by God.

(29:4) This passage does not mean that people can actually speak from the grave. This is a simile to explain their destruction (like that of a spirit from the ground”). In fact, the simile is there to express how quiet the people will be (“whisper from the dust”).

(Isa. 29:4) Does this passage predict the discovery of the Book of Mormon?

(29:5-7) The nations who came to judge Judah would themselves be judged (cf. Isa. 10:5-19). Grogan sees a partial fulfillment in Isaiah 36-37 (701 BC), but a complete fulfillment in the Second Coming.[108] After all, the language mentions “the multitude of all the nations” (v.7).

(29:8) The nations will think that they have conquered Jerusalem, but this will end like them waking up from a “good dream,” only to face reality.

(29:9-12) The blindness of the people (Isa. 6:9-10) and the religious leaders (Isa. 28) has already been explained. No one—not even a “prophet” or “seer”—will be able to understand God’s will during this time. Why are the people so blind? The following verses explain…

(29:13) God blinded the people “because” of their ritualism and formalism—but not true spirituality. Earlier, God rejected the people’s prayers for the same reason (Isa. 1:15). Jesus cited this passage to describe the false religion in his day (Mt. 15:9).

(29:14) Isaiah denounces the wise men of Israel, who are leading the people into judgment. The people don’t need speculation from wise men; they need to return to the revelation from God. Paul cites this passage (1 Cor. 1:19).

(29:15) The alliance with Egypt against Assyria was likely carried out in “secret,” which could be what is in view here.[109]

(29:16) The concept of the “potter” and the “clay” occurs elsewhere (Isa. 45:9; 64:8; Jer. 18:1-10; Rom. 9:19-21).

(29:17) Grogan understands this as changing the land from bad to good, and then a warning of it being turned from good to bad.[110]

(29:18-19) This could refer to the spiritually blind, which are mentioned earlier. It could also relate to the future fulfillment of healing physical blindness (Isa. 35:5-6). Both ideas fit with verse 19 which speaks of justice being given to the “afflicted.”

(29:20-21) Justice was given out at “the gate” (Deut. 21:19-20; Ruth 4:1), so this refers to God’s court of law.

(29:22-24) Abraham was a sinner who needed to be “redeemed.” Here, we see that Abraham will one day look on his many children, fulfilling the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant. The people who were scorners (v.20) will accept instruction during this time (v.24).

Isaiah 30 (Judgment for the Alliance with Egypt. Judgment against Assyria)

(30:1-5) The “alliance” (v.1) refers to the proposed alliance with Egypt to fight Assyria (see v.2), rather than depending on God’s protection. God would crush the Assyrians—not Egypt (v.31).

(30:6-7) This describes Hezekiah’s ambassadors travelling to Egypt through the Negev (south of Judah). “Rahab” was an Egyptian dragon.[111] The trip to Egypt was fraught with dangers, which should have foreshadowed what the ambassadors were doing.

(30:8-11) The people didn’t want God’s revelation. They wanted their prophets to “tickle their ears.” Other prophets received the same treatment (Amos 7:12-13).

(30:12-14) The reason for God’s judgment was the fact that they had rejected his word (vv.8-11). The prophecy was fulfilled in 586 BC under Nebuchadnezzar and later by the Romans in AD 70 (Mk. 13:2).

(30:15) The people were working really hard for their salvation from Assyria. God only wanted “repentance,” “rest,” “quietness,” and “trust.”

(30:16) This passage could refer to taking the Egyptian horses to go fight Assyria. Or it could refer to rushing to Egypt for help, which is Grogan’s view.[112]

(30:17) God wanted the Messiah to be his “signal” that the people gathered around (Isa. 11:10). Instead, the people “flag” would be all alone on the mountaintop.

(30:18) God empathetically stated that there would be judgment, but he also stated that there would be a remnant who would experience his mercy in the future. Grogan writes, “The Babylonian exile and the return from it are chiefly in view here.”[113]

(30:19-26) God would be “gracious” when they would “cry” out for him (v.19). The judgment of God would break the hardened hearts of the people, so that they could learn from him as their “Teacher.” God would bless them as a result. The language of verse 26 seems to be a fulfillment at the end of human history.[114]

(30:27-32) Isaiah uses anthropomorphic language to describe God’s wrath against Assyria. The people rejoice over this, because this will free them from the sadistic oppression of the Assyrians—much like the Jews in the concentration camps rejoiced over the fall of the Third Reich.

(30:33) Grogan writes, “Tophet was in the Valley of Hinnom, to the south of Jerusalem (Jer 7:31–32); and there apostate Jews offered their children by fire to the pagan deity, Moloch. Perhaps the prophet is saying here that the king of Assyria himself must pay it. He had dedicated himself to paganism, and now he would suffer for this in terrible judgment from God.”[115]

Isaiah 31 (Don’t trust in horses)

The people shouldn’t turn to Egypt for help (v.1). God’s rescue will be like the Passover (v.5). God predicts the destruction of Assyria (vv.8-9).

(31:1) Hezekiah was trying to get aid from Egypt and trusting in their “horses.” This is something that kings were directly commanded not to do (Deut. 17:14-20). Like the battle of Midian (Isa. 10:26), the people were not supposed to trust in their numbers or their military strength, but in God.

(31:2-3) The Egyptian military force held nothing in comparison to God himself. The language of God “stretching out his hand” against Egypt harkens back to God’s judgment in the Exodus (Deut. 4:34; 7:19).

(31:4-5) Amos compared God to a “lion” (Amos 3:8), and he also compared Assyria to a “lion” (Amos 3:12). God is the ultimate cause of Egypt’s destruction, but he will use Assyria to accomplish this. It’s odd that the illustration refers to Jerusalem as God’s “prey,” but this is where Isaiah’s analogy breaks down. According to the context, God will protect Jerusalem (v.5). Isaiah uses the tender imagery of a bird protecting her nest to describe God’s loving protection of Jerusalem. Both images—the lion and the bird—complement one another.

(31:6-7) Idols can’t save people—only God can.

(31:8-9) This is not a literal “sword” (Judg. 7:20). We see the destruction of Assyria in Isaiah 36-37. The “rock” of Assyria likely refers to their rocky fortresses.

Isaiah 32 (Judgment and Blessing over Judah)

(32:1-2) In our estimation, the “king” is the future Messiah, who will rule during the Millennial Kingdom. The “princes” are believers who will rule alongside of him (Dan. 7:13-14, 18; Mt. 19:28; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4).

(32:3-4) When Isaiah received his calling, he was told that the people would be deaf, dumb, and blind to the truth (Isa. 6:9-10). This is a lifting of the judicial hardening of Israel (v.3). The former drunkards (Isa. 28:7-10) will speak divine truth (v.4).

(32:5-7) The Messianic King will put an end to the wicked people in the land.

(32:8) By contrast, the “noble man” has a “noble plan.”

(32:9-14) The women of Judah were judged for their ommissive sin (“at ease… complacent”). The timing of this prophecy is likely one year before the invasion by Sennacherib (701 BC).[116] Yet the passage flows from “Sennacherib’s wind” to “Nebuchadnezzar’s whirlwind.”[117]

Blessing over Judah

(32:15-20) Isaiah calls the land a “wasteland forever” (v.14), but then, he qualifies it with the words, Until the Spirit…” (v.15). The mention of the “Spirit” also matches what we read in Isaiah 11 about the Messianic Age. This is a reversal of God’s curse to place a “spirit of sleep” on the leaders of Israel. God will physically restore the land during this time.

Isaiah 33 (Assyria is judged)

(33:1) The “destroyer” refers to Assyria. The Assyrians boasted in their ability to destroy Judah, but they themselves would be destroyed.

(33:2-4) This seems to be the prayer of the people, while the Assyrians were surrounding them (cf. Isa. 30:18-19).

(33:5-6) This section alludes to the Messiah’s wisdom (Isa. 11:4-5), as well as the wisdom literature (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7).

(33:7-9) This refers to the time of Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem under Hezekiah.[118] The “brave men” and the “ambassadors” wept and cried out in fear. The land dried up. “Sharon” was one of the most fertile regions in Israel,[119] and even it was turned into a desert. “Bashan” and “Carmel” were on the west coast of the nation, which shows how all-encompassing the invasion was.

(33:10-12) The word “now” (ʿattāh) is “forceful” and “almost explosive” in its sound.[120] Just as the people were losing hope, God would explode on the scene to judge Assyria.

(33:13-16) God’s message is for everyone (“far away… near”). God himself is the “consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). The way of escape was repentance from sin (vv.15-16).

(33:17-22) The King (the Messiah? God?) will come to Jerusalem and miraculously protect it from the foreign oppressors.

(33:23) Grogan holds that the ship is a reference back to the “mighty ship” of verse 21. This would refer to Assyria.[121] Instead of being a mighty ship, it is intensely vulnerable and open for destruction.

(33:24) Meanwhile, the people of Jerusalem will experience healing and forgiveness (cf. Ps. 103:3).

(Isa. 33-34) Why is there a break in the Isaiah manuscript at this point?

Isaiah 34 (Global judgment and the judgment of Edom)

Just like Isaiah 24-27 function as a prophecy about the end of history, these chapters focus on Edom and expand outward to encompass the entire globe.[122]

(34:1-2) There is a universal scope to this judgment (“nations… peoples… the earth… the world”). Obviously, this judgment hasn’t happened yet, so it must refer to the end of history.

(34:3) This is really vivid, visceral language to describe the corpses. It is reminiscent of Revelation’s description of the blood flowing up to the horse’s bridles (Rev. 14:20).

(34:4) What could Isaiah be envisioning when he refers to the “sky being rolled up like a scroll”? Compare his imagery with the NT descriptions (Mt. 24:29; 2 Pet. 3:10, Rev. 6:13–14).

(34:5-7) Edom had been a longstanding enemy of Israel. They had stolen land during the reign of Ahaz (2 Kin. 16:6). Edom was not mentioned among the long list of cursed nations in Isaiah 13-23. But it is mentioned here.

(34:8-10) The destruction of Edom will be permanent, total, and in perpetuity.

(34:11-15) The purpose of this section seems to be that these unclean animals will inhabitant this once feared nation. The “night monster” (NASB) is also translated as “night bird” (ESV), “night creatures” (NIV, NLT), and “nocturnal animals” (NET). The NET note states, “The precise meaning of (lilit) is unclear, though in this context the word certainly refers to some type of wild animal or bird. The word appears to be related to (laylah, ‘night’). Some interpret it as the name of a female night demon, on the basis of an apparent Akkadian cognate used as the name of a demon. Later Jewish legends also identified Lilith as a demon.” The connection with a demon seems highly unlikely given the context of physical animals, as well as the loose literary connection with the Akkadian cognate.

(34:16-17) The “book of the Lord” likely refers to Isaiah’s own prophecy.[123] Again, the destruction of Edom would be permanent.

Isaiah 35 (God’s restoration of the people from Exile)

The context for rescue is judgment.

(35:1) The “desert” likely refers to the “exiles returning from Babylon and crossing the many miles of desert lying between Mesopotamia and the Promised Land.”[124]

The “crocus” is most likely the asphodel—a plant of the lily family.[125] Regardless, the language is simile: the land will bloom like the crocus.

(35:2) Isaiah personifies the land itself as bursting into singing.

(35:3-4) The encouragement against fear is based on God’s judgment and future salvation.

(Isa. 35:4-6) Did Jesus fulfill this passage?

(35:5-6) Blindness has been mentioned throughout Isaiah as referring to spiritual blindness (Isa. 6:9-10; 29:9-12, 18). This passage is fulfilled spiritually and physically in the ministry of Jesus (Lk. 7:18-23) and the apostles (Acts 3:8).

(35:7) God would restore the physical land as well.

(35:8-10) Ancient people didn’t build highways in deserts, because it was a waste of time and manpower. Here, however, the land itself has been transformed. The returning exiles will be protected from predators (cf. Isa. 51:11; 61:7).

Isaiah 36-39 (King Hezekiah and the Invasion of Sennacherib)

Isaiah breaks from his prophecies to write a few chapters of narrative—just as he did in chapters 6-7 and chapter 20. Isaiah had been building up to this point throughout the entire book. Here, he narrates how Sennacherib—the king of Assyria—comes to fight Judah. How will the king of Judah (Hezekiah) respond to this challenge? If you’ve been reading up until this point, you would know what the right answer is (i.e. “Trust in God!”), but will Hezekiah respond faithfully or not?

These chapters are almost identical to 2 Kings 18-20. It is unclear of who borrowed from whom—though Grogan[126] holds that Isaiah wrote this first.

Isaiah 36 (Rabshakeh’s Taunt)

Hezekiah had formed a coalition against Assyria: Phoenician, Philistine, and the south Syrian states. He also had a pool dug under the city so that they would have water in case of a siege (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chron. 32:3-4). As this chapter opens, we discover that Sennacherib had sieged all of the cities of Judah. Now he’s ready to march on Jerusalem—the capital! Sennacherib sent his Rabshakeh—his military commander—to terrorize the Jewish people (Rabshakeh; 2 Kings 18:17, 22). Rabshakeh makes a frightful argument to Hezekiah’s cabinet (e.g. palace administrator, the secretary, and the recorder).

For discussion, read through this entire chapter and see if you can pull out how the Field Commander argues with these men. What are the arguments that he’s making with them?

(36:1) Who is Sennacherib? He was king of Assyria from 705-681 BC, and the son of Sargon II.[127] You can read about his campaign in 2 Kings 18-19. The 14th year of Hezekiah was in 701 BC.

(36:2) Lachish was a fortress city in Judah that blocked the way to Egypt. Sennacherib had already conquered this city, so Hezekiah couldn’t reach out to Egypt for help. The conquering of Lachish and “the siege of it is depicted on an Assyrian bas-relief in the British Museum.”[128]

“The conduit of the upper pool” is significant, because this is the very place where Hezekiah’s ancestor Ahaz had decided not to trust God years earlier. Would Hezekiah make the same mistake?

(36:3) The parallel account states that Sennacherib sent two others alongside Rabshakeh (2 Kin. 18:17). Here, Hezekiah sent three of his delegates as well.

(36:4) Rabshakeh never calls Hezekiah the king of Judah. He is already talking down to him.

(36:5) All the strategy in the world won’t stop Sennacherib. The language of “counsel and strength” are used of the Messiah (Isa. 11:2); therefore, Rabshakeh was taunting God’s power to rescue Judah.

(36:6) Rabshakeh is mocking the power of Egypt. It’s as if he’s saying, “Egypt? Are you kidding? They are a ‘crushed reed,’ and you’re going to rely on them?” Similarly, Isaiah had warned about trusting in Egypt (Isa. 30:3-7; 31:3), though for totally different reasons.

(36:7) Rabshakeh must have known about Hezekiah’s removal of the pagan altars in Judah (2 Kin. 18:3-7). He is arguing that Hezekiah had removed altars that would save him. The false altars to the false gods were not in Yahweh’s will, but Rabshakeh held the view that religious altars were inherently good. Why then would Hezekiah remove altars to Yahweh, if Yahweh was his God? This is good rhetoric.

(36:8-9) Years ago, a high tech stealth drone was shot down by the Iranians. A commander in the Air Force told the Press that this was bad, but they probably don’t even know what to do with it. He was saying this to show just how advanced the United States military was, and how primitive the Iranians were…

The same taunt is happening here. Rabshakeh’s offer of horses is sarcastic.[129] He is saying that he could give the horses to Judah, and they still wouldn’t be able to stand up to Assyria. Remember, the cavalry of Judah was weak, and this is why they were reaching out to Egypt for help (Isa. 31:1-3).

(36:10) Rabshakeh’s claim is a distortion Isaiah’s prophecy about how God would use Assyria to carry out his wrath (cf. Isa. 10:5-6). Rabshakeh likely didn’t know of this prophecy, but he was basing his argument on God being angry with them (v.7). Grogan writes that “Satan himself could hardly produce a better masterpiece of verbal cajolery.”[130]

(36:11) Hezekiah’s cabinet buckles in fear. They ask Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic—not Hebrew—because the people could understand Rabshakeh’s threats when he spoke in Hebrew. Consequently, the listeners would lose morale, buckling in fear.

(36:12) Rabshakeh refuses to speak in Aramaic, concealing his message from the soldiers. He tells them that they’ll need to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine by the time this siege is finished. Instead of getting quieter, Rabshakeh gets louder, shouting to the listening soldiers and inciting fear (“[Rabshakeh] cried with a loud voice”).

(36:14-15) This is a direct assault on Hezekiah’s faith and leadership.

(36:16-17) Rabshakeh’s claim was that the people would be rewarded if they just surrendered. The people would likely remember Samaria’s exile only 20 years earlier. Who will they listen to? Sennacherib or Hezekiah? Who will Hezekiah listen to? Assyria or God?

(36:18-20) Rabshakeh’s argument is this: “The other nations trusted in their gods… and look where that got them! They’ve all been conquered. What makes your local deity (Yahweh) so special?”

(36:21-22) Hezekiah’s cabinet did not say a word. They quietly returned to Hezekiah to relay Rabshakeh’s message.

Was Hezekiah a real king?

An inscription of Hezekiah was recently discovered (2015) which stated:

לחזקיהו [בן] אחז מלך יהדה”

“Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah”

Isaiah 37 (Isaiah’s rebuttal)

Imagine being in this circumstance! The greatest army you’ve ever seen is gathering outside of your city walls. They’ve destroyed each nation in their path—including Egypt (the greatest nation you had ever seen). Imagine how you’d be feeling. For discussion, read this chapter and answer: What promises and predictions does Isaiah make to Hezekiah during this time? Also, how does Hezekiah respond to this threat? How is his response different from King Ahaz in Isaiah 7?

(37:1-4) Hezekiah was in deep distress. What does he do in this time of peril and panic?

(1) Hezekiah went to the Temple (v.1). He wanted to come into God’s presence for reassurance.

(2) Hezekiah sought out Isaiah—God’s prophet (v.2). God needed to send Isaiah to talk to Ahaz, but here, Hezekiah seeks out Isaiah instead.

(3) Hezekiah sought out Isaiah’s prayers (v.4). Hezekiah knew that this battle would not be won with spears, but with prayers.

(37:5-6) Isaiah had told Ahaz not to be afraid (Isa. 7:4), and now, he tells Hezekiah the same thing.

(37:7-8) As it turns out, Assyria couldn’t attack Israel, because they were busy fighting Libnah. Critics argue that verse 36 contradicts verse 7, but both events likely happened. That is, Sennacherib was busy fighting Lachish, and God sovereignly judged Rabshakeh’s army of 185,000 men. In fact, both events are mentioned in verses 36 and 37.

(37:9-13) The king of Cush (Egypt) was moving against Judah (v.9). Thus, Hezekiah was being threatened by both Egypt and Assyria. Just when Hezekiah believes he’s out of the frying pan, he gets thrown into the fire. Moreover, various other nations had fallen to Assyria. It would be difficult to persevere after hearing all of the reports of the fallen lands. This would be like sitting in France in World War II, as you have been reading the newspapers on what was happening to Poland.

The NIV captures Rabshakeh’s challenge by spelling “God” with a lowercase “g.” Like Satan, Rabshakeh was making a theological attack on Hezekiah.

Hezekiah’s prayer (vv.14-20)

(37:14-15) This passage shows Hezekiah’s faith. He immediately goes to God with his problem—not people.

(37:16-20) Hezekiah begins by acknowledging God for who he is (v.16). He doesn’t ignore the facts (v.18). Biblical faith is realistic—not blindly optimistic. Hezekiah wants God to act based on God’s own agenda of reaching the nations, rather than his own agenda of being spared (v.20).

Isaiah’s encouragement

(37:22) Consider this imagery: Judah is described as God’s virgin daughter who is being mocked by Assyria. If a man harassed a man’s daughter at a bar, how would a good father respond? Similarly, how will God respond to such an insult?

(37:23-25) It’s as if God is asking, “Does Assyria know who they are messing with?” God reminds Hezekiah of his deliverance of the people in the Exodus event to encourage him.

(37:26-29) None of this was beyond God’s foreknowledge and plan. Assyria was boasting, but they were in reality God’s instrument. Regarding verse 29, Grogan writes, “The Assyrians often treated their prisoners like animals, with the use of the rope and the nose-hook. God would do the same.”[131]

(37:30-32) Ahaz refused the sign that was offered to him (Isa. 7:11). But here, Hezekiah receives the sign. God is telling Hezekiah to wait on his timing. God will rescue his believing remnant (cf. Isa. 1:9).

(37:33-35) God promises to protect the city from Assyria. The Assyrians wouldn’t even shoot a single arrow at the Jewish people. The reference to “David” is a reference to the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:11-16).

(37:36-38) Grogan writes, “Herodotus, the Greek historian, recorded that one night Sennacherib’s army camp was infested by mice (or rats) that destroyed the arrows and shield-thongs of the soldiers. He probably got this tradition from Egyptian sources, and it could well be a somewhat garbled version of the event recorded here.”[132]

(37:38) Twenty years pass between verse 37 and 38. The account of Sennacherib’s death corresponds with secular history. John Watts writes, “This account of Sennacherib’s death is partially supported by Assyrian sources. Esarhaddon was Sennacherib’s designated heir and did succeed to his father’s throne in 681 BCE. He was the youngest son. His brothers conspired against him earlier, forcing him into exile. There he received word of his father’s murder. Later sources agree with v 38 in blaming it on the other sons, although these are not named (ANET, 289). Ashurbanipal, who succeeded Esarhaddon, reported that he avenged the murder of his grandfather by striking them with the same statues with which they had killed his grandfather (ANET 2, 288b). This supports the account of murder in a sanctuary.”[133] Furthermore, K.A. Kitchen writes, “The Assyrian sources (including from Esarhaddon himself) and the Babylonian Chronicle plus later sources confirm the putsch. They mention murder by a son (Babylonian Chronicle) and by sons in the plural (Esarhaddon, Nineveh records)… In one form or another, this sad affair became all too well known in various streams of tradition.”[134] Kitchen continues,

Hezekiah is said to have had to produce 30 talents of gold and 300 talents of silver in the Hebrew account (2 Kings 18:14), but an identical talents of gold and heavier 8oo talents of silver in Sennacherib’s account; if graphic or transmission errors be not responsible, it may be that Sennacherib at some point demanded more than his first ‘price’ (perhaps in return for not pressing an assault on Jerusalem?). The siege and capture of Lachish (cf. 2 Kings 18:14, 17; 19:8) is not mentioned in Sennacherib’s annals—curiously!—but it is the centerpiece to a splendid set of scenes showing the Assyrian forces attacking, then actively pressing their siege to break into Lachish, capture the town, and lead out captives to Sennacherib seated in triumph on his high throne. The mound of Tell ed-Duweir shrouds the remains of ancient Lachish, where excavations have revealed the battered bulk of the Assyrian siege ramp (as shown on the reliefs) up to the walls, plus a Hebrew counterramp within the walls. This city, destroyed by the Assyrians, is Lachish level III archaeologically. Later rebuilt, it became the diggers’ Lachish level II, which-again-crashed in flames at the onset of the Babylonians barely 120 years later.[135]

Isaiah 38 (Hezekiah’s Illness)

(38:1) The phrase “in those days” is very general. This could be up to two years later.[136] We aren’t told that Hezekiah was in any kind of particular sin or under God’s judgment. His life is simply coming to an end. This is why God gently tells him to “set his house in order.”

(38:2-3) Hezekiah’s prayer sounds self-righteous. However, this prayer could be the result of “getting his house in order.” Grogan[137] wonders if Hezekiah had an heir at this point, and this prayer could’ve been a request to bank on God’s promises of extending and blessing life for obedience. Moreover, the parallel passages about Hezekiah state that he was a man of faith (2 Kin. 18:5-6). That being said, Hezekiah’s tears were real (“he wept bitterly”), and he was depending on God to do something—not himself.

(38:4-6) God saw Hezekiah’s faith through his prayer and his broken state (“I have seen your tears”). This doesn’t mean that throwing a crying tantrum can change God’s mind, but that God can see true brokenness and responds to it. God may have added time to his life in order to let him defend the city. God did this based on his promise of the Davidic Covenant (“the God of your father David…”).

(38:7) This “sign” parallels the messianic sign in Ahaz’s day (Isa. 7:10-17).

(Isa. 38:8) Did God turn back time?

Hezekiah’s song

(38:9) The parallel account in 2 Kings does not contain this psalm of Hezekiah.

(38:10) Hezekiah had been expecting to die in the middle of his life. The reference to “Sheol” states that it has “gates.” This is poetic language, but it must describe some sort of containment.

(38:11) Hezekiah’s first worry about Sheol was that he wouldn’t see God himself. Second, he wouldn’t see people. But notice that he orders God as first, and people second.

(38:12-14) He seems to think that God is sovereign over his life—one way or the other. He calls out to God to be his “security.”

(38:15-20) It doesn’t seem that Hezekiah has any specific sin in mind. Instead, Hezekiah associated “sin” with death. Hezekiah didn’t want to die, because he wouldn’t be able to have an effect on the living. Once a person dies, they are unable to have any meaningful effect on the world of the living.

(38:21) “Figs” were used for healing in the ancient Near East: “Evidence from Ras Shamra shows that figs were used in healing.”[138] This statement could also simply imply that Isaiah wanted Hezekiah to eat some food to help his recovery.

 (38:22) Hezekiah asks for a clarifying sign, because he heard that he would die (v.1) but then that he would be healed (v.5). He may have felt confused over these two statements and wanted a clarifying sign.

Isaiah 39 (Hezekiah lacks discernment)

(39:1) The king of Babylon came to visit Hezekiah (Merodach-baladan). This man reigned from 721-709 BC (and for a brief nine months in 703 BC).[139]

(39:2) Hezekiah can’t help but show him the treasury of Israel. He may have thought that this display would show Israel’s power as a potential ally against Assyria, but it had the opposite effect. Hezekiah was treating Babylon as an ally, but they end up looting all of Israel’s treasure. This would be similar to inviting a friend over and showing him your giant mansion. As it turns out, the man is a jewel thief, casing the place.

(39:3-4) Isaiah asks these questions to draw out Hezekiah’s pride and sin in showing off his house of gold and trusting in a Babylonian alliance.

(39:5-7) Isaiah predicts that Babylon would loot all of this gold. Isaiah’s reference to Hezekiah’s “fathers” and his “sons” both imply that Hezekiah was bound up with his ancestors in the Davidic Covenant. Hezekiah didn’t earn all of this gold; it was given to him from his fathers. There may be a sign of hope in Judah’s judgment in the fact that Hezekiah’s sons would still continue on—even under Babylonian influence and control.

(39:8) Hezekiah went to his death trusting in God’s sovereignty. He likely called it “good” because Hezekiah wasn’t getting what he deserved in the moment, which was a sign of God’s grace toward him.[140]

Application on the life of Hezekiah

Hezekiah looks for counsel, believed the sign, and fought in faith. Ahaz didn’t (Isa. 7).

His first instinct was to turn to God in prayer.

He could see through Rabshakeh’s arguments. He was tempted to seek the easier life and surrender, but he took the harder path and saw God’s provision.

He could see that this waiting on God was tough (Isa. 38:10-14), but it was worth it (v.15-17).

He knew his sins, but he knew they were forgiven (Isa. 38:17).

The Enemy can twist Scripture against us. Don’t trade what you don’t know, for what you do know.

Isaiah 40-48 (The Great Deliverance)

Between the time of Hezekiah until now, roughly 150 years have passed. The southern kingdom Judah has gone into Exile under the Babylonians.

(Isa. 40-55) How does Isaiah use the Exodus motif in this section?

Isaiah 40 (God is utterly unique)

When reading this chapter, you need to try and figure out what was happening for Isaiah to write all of this. If this is the answer to their problem, then what was the question? This is sort of like playing Jeopardy. See if you can figure out what Isaiah was responding to when he wrote this.

(40:1) The words “comfort… comfort” are imperatives. God is telling Isaiah (though the words are in the plural) to comfort the people with this vision. The two-fold use of “comfort” implies emotion on God’s part.[141]

This contrasts with earlier statements about this people (Isa. 6:9-10). Here God calls them “My people.”

Earlier, Isaiah had been told that the people would be hardened until the nation was destroyed (Isa. 6:9-13). Here, we see that this judicial hardening will be lifted after the Exile.

(40:2) Consider coaxing a dog or cat to come to you. You speak tenderly to it, in order for it to trust you. Similarly, God was speaking this way to gain the trust of the broken nation.

(Isa. 40:2) Why does God punish them “double” for their sins?

(40:3-4) In the NT, this passage is understood to predict how John the Baptist paves the way in the wilderness for Christ (Mk. 1:2). In this context, Yahweh leads his people back from Exile. This is fulfilling Isaiah 35:8-10, where God promised to build a “highway” for the people. This is a figurative highway that describes their physical return to Jerusalem, showing that God will “let nothing stand in the way of the exiles’ return.”[142]

(Isa. 40:3) Does Mark 1:2 correctly cite this passage?

(40:5) There is more going on here than just the immediate return of the exiles to Judah. “All flesh” have not yet seen the “glory of God.” We can still expect this passage to be fulfilled in the future.

(40:6-7) Humans are just as transitory and temporal as grass on the ground. This reminds us of Isaiah 15:6, which states, “Surely the grass is withered, the tender grass died out.” In an arid climate like Israel, grass would only be green for a few months out of the year. Since God created people through his word, he can take away their lives through his word as well.

(40:8) God’s word outlasts his world. This is similar to Jesus’ statement: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mk. 13:31).

(40:9-11) The people were to shout from the mountains about God’s glory and power.

(40:10) God’s “arm” is later revealed fully through Christ (Isa. 53:1). His “reward” and “recompense” can refer to God giving out rewards to believers. Though, Grogan holds that the reward belongs to God; that is, the rescued people are God’s own reward.[143]

(40:11) God comes mightily like a king, but he also gathers the people tenderly like a shepherd. Jesus has the same nature as God in the NT. Even though Jesus is the Christ (i.e. “King”), he is also the “good shepherd” (Jn. 10).

The incomparable God

Isaiah shows how God is incomparable to anything on Earth. He does this to reassure his readers that God is going to deliver on his rescue of people. It isn’t like comparing the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Golden State Warriors. It’s comparing a tee ball team with the New York Yankees. God isn’t in the same weight class.

(40:12) This is reminiscent of Job, where God shows his grandeur over creation.

(40:13) God cannot be measured, because he is an immaterial being—not a part of creation.

(40:14) God is the greatest conceivable being. He doesn’t need an instructor.

(40:15) The nations of the Earth seem important, until you compare them with God (see v.17). Your middle school drama seems like the end of the world, until you become President of the United States, and you realize what real problems look like.

(40:16) The burning of the trees might refer to an adequate sacrificial offering for God—namely, even the forests of Lebanon wouldn’t be enough.[144]

(40:17) See verse 15.

(40:18-20) All of this shows the utter ridiculousness of idolatry. These expert craftsmen create an idol, and they will be lucky if it doesn’t topple over.

(40:21) The existence of God has been clear since the beginning of history (Rom. 1:20).

(40:22-24) God is so transcendentally powerful that people, rulers, and empires are like “grasshoppers” compared to him (see verse 15). The unbelieving people in Moses’ day said that they looked like “grasshoppers” in the sight of the Canaanite warriors (Num. 13:33).

(40:25-26) There are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe. And God created every one of them! Grogan comments, “This passage is antimythological; for it asserts that—far from being deities in their own right—the heavenly bodies are simply the creatures of the one Creator-God.”[145]

(40:27) The reason for sin (in this context) is having a low view of God’s omniscience (“My way is hidden from the Lord…”).

(40:28) This is surely rhetorical. Of course they’ve heard! The problem isn’t with hearing; it’s with understanding. They may have thought that God had grown tired with the people. Instead, Isaiah states that God had an “inscrutable” plan.

(40:29) Isaiah specifically emphasizes how even the weak can be built up by God. God can empower Israel, too, if they merely have faith in him. The same God who created the stars in the universe (v.26) will also strengthen the people.

(40:30) Humans grown “weary and tired,” but God does not (v.28).

(40:31) Here is the lesson of this chapter: trust God.

Isaiah 41 (God knows the future, while the idols are worthless)

This chapter begins Isaiah’s argument that God knows the future, which extends throughout chapters 41-48. God tells us the future in order to comfort the people of Judah. God also attacks the use of idols, because they are man-made.

Chapter 41 refers to the coming of Cyrus to deliver the people from Babylon. But there are overtones of a greater deliverance. Global language is used, and Israel conquers the globe. Perhaps the deliverance under Cyrus is a partial fulfillment of God’s deliverance at the end of history through Christ. (Note: both Cyrus and Jesus are called God’s “anointed”).

(41:1) This statement is directed at the nations (“coastlands… peoples”), but it is given as an encouragement for Israel.

(41:2-3) Commentators are divided on who is the “one from the east.” Several interpretations have been offered:

(1) Abraham (The Talmud and John Calvin). They argue this on the basis that Abraham defeated “kings from the east” (Gen. 14), and he is mentioned in verse 8.

(2) The nation of Israel personified.

(3) The Messiah.

We agree with Grogan that this refers to King Cyrus of Persia, who would destroy the Babylonians (see v.25).[146] Cyrus attacked the Babylonians after crossing the Tigris River from the east.[147] Moreover, these four chapters climax by naming Cyrus as God’s “anointed” (Isa. 45:1), who would rescue Israel. Therefore, this vague reference would pique the curiosity of the reader to discover who this mysterious figure is.

(41:4) God can raise up Cyrus because he is sovereign over history.

(41:5-7) This alludes back to the creating of idols (Isa. 40:18-20). In fear, the peoples of the Earth turn to their idols, but they are sadly disappointed (v.29).

(41:8-10) God pulled the people together from the “ends of the earth.” In this context, it likely is hyperbole,[148] because Abraham (v.8) was taking form Ur to Canaan.

(41:11-13) The neighboring nations would be angry with Israel and want to attack Israel, but they would fail.

(41:14-16) Israel thought of itself as a “worm” (v.14), but God would use this little “worm” to thresh the nations (cf. Mic. 4:10-13).

(41:17-20) Again, global restoration is in view. This could be partially fulfilled in the return from Babylonian Exile, but ultimately fulfilled in the return of Jesus (Rom. 8:18-22).[149]

(41:21-24) Isaiah taunts the false idols to (1) know the future and (2) to do anything at all. While the people were trusting in their idols (vv.8-10), this trust was misplaced.

(41:25-29) The Babylonian false gods couldn’t see their demise through King Cyrus. Grogan writes, “The Babylonian idols might have been expected to predict Cyrus’s coming, for his activities would greatly concern the people who worshiped them; but they were silent.”[150]

Isaiah 42 (Introduction of the Servant and a reminder to respond to God’s teaching and prophecy)

(42:1-7) This is the first of four Servant Songs (see “The Servant Songs” for a verse by verse exegesis).

(42:8) God won’t give his “glory” to idols, because these idols (1) aren’t real and (2) have a destructive effect on those who worship them.

(42:9) The “former things” could refer to Isaiah’s earlier prophecies or to the entire corpus of prophecy given in the Bible that had been fulfilled in that day.[151] In other words, the reason why we should trust the unfulfilled future prophecies is because of the fulfilled past prophecies.

(42:10-13) The various people (perhaps impacted by God’s Servant?) are told to sing praises to God for what he has done. There is a paradox in the gentle Servant (vv.2-3) and the Lord as a mighty warrior (v.13). This is explained in the first and second comings of Christ.

(42:14-17) God pictures himself as a pregnant woman, who gives birth to Israel. Meanwhile, those who trust in idols are put to shame (v.17). Perhaps these people sought out idols because they had to wait on God’s deliverance.

(42:18-20) The reason that the people are “blind” and “deaf” is because of their hardened hearts. After all, verse 20 states that the people could see and hear “many things,” but they volitionally rejected God’s truth.

(42:21-22) “Law” (tôrāh) most likely means “teaching.”[152] However, we should note that verse 24 uses “law” to refer to God’s commandments. The people were sent into Exile because of their rejection of God’s teaching (through Isaiah?).

(42:23-25) The people were deaf to God’s teaching, so God brought judgment on the people.

Isaiah 43 (Israel’s Redemption)

(43:1) This verse begins with “but now…” This is showing the contrast between the sin of Israel in chapter 42. This chapter will explain God’s forgiveness and salvation for his people.

Isaiah mentions “Jacob” and “Israel” together in their forgiveness. Even though they were ripped apart by a civil war, God will forgive them together and unify them.

Twice, Isaiah writes that the people should “not be afraid” (v.1, 5).

(43:2) The mention of “passing through the water” and the “fire” are allusions back to Exodus 14 and Daniel 3.

(43:3-4) Instead of having to pay for their own sin, “Egypt” would be ransomed instead. This is probably an allusion back to the Passover and how God judged the Egyptians, rather than the Israelites. God did this because the Israelites were “precious” and “honored” and “loved.”

(43:5-7) This seems like a global regathering, because all four parts of the compass are mentioned (“east… west… north… south”), as well as mentioning those who live “afar” and even to the “ends of the earth.”

(43:8) The “courtroom”[153] imagery is used again (Isa. 1:2; 41:1, 21). The legal case consists of God’s sole existence and uniqueness in a world of false idols. Earlier, God had referred to the people of Israel being “blind” and “deaf” (Isa. 6:9-10; 42:18-20).

(43:9) The idols cannot know the future—only God can.

(43:10-13) Even though Israel was formerly blind (v.8), now they are God’s witnesses to the nations.

“Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me…” This verse really speaks against the polytheism of Isaiah’s day, and it speaks against the concept of Gnosticism and Mormonism in our day: Only one God has ever existed from eternity past and on into eternity future. He is the only “savior” (v.11).

(43:14-15) This is the first mention of “Babylon” since chapter 39.

(43:16-21) God was the rescuer in the Exodus (vv.16-17), but he will perform a New Exodus (vv.18-19). The fact that the land itself will be transformed seems to speak beyond the immediate rescue from Exile in the sixth century BC. This would fit with our view of a global regathering in verses 5-7 above.

(43:22-24) At the beginning of the book, Isaiah rebuked the people for their false religious worship (Isa. 1:2-17).

(43:25-26) Despite their sin, God will take initiative to forgive them. The language of “let us argue our case together” (v.26) is very similar to earlier in the book: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool’” (Isa. 1:18). From the very beginning of the book, the people would be asking, “How can God forgive our sins like this?” Later, we discover how God planned to do this (Isa. 52:13-53:12).

(43:27) The “forefather” could be Adam, Abraham, or Jacob. Most commentators believe that Isaiah is referring to Jacob.[154] Regardless of our understanding, the point is that even the forefather of Israel was a sinner; therefore, the people are also sinners.

(43:28) The word for “ban” (ḥērem) is the term used for the destruction of the Canaanites! How could anyone survive this ban? Remember, Isaiah already recorded that a remnant would remain (Isa. 6:11-13).

Isaiah 44 (The Big Reveal: King Cyrus!)

The uniqueness of the true God

(44:1) Israel is called the “servant” of God. The ultimate Servant (Jesus) came out of Israel, and thus, he represents Israel.

(44:2) God uses maternal language to describe the creation (i.e. birth) of Israel.

(44:3-4) Grogan[155] understands the rain to be metaphorical in light of the spiritual blessings in this verse (“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring”). We would agree in light of verse 4, which describes the descendants as “springing up among the grass.” Joel also predicts God’s Spirit descending upon believers in the future (Joel 2:29).

(44:5) Many commentators understand these descendants to be Gentiles, joining into Israel’s community of faith.[156] Yet the text never names them as Gentiles—only descendants of the people of Israel.

(44:6-8) The descriptions here allude back to the Exodus again. God shows his complete uniqueness over the false gods (as he did in the plagues), and he is called Israel’s “Rock” (Deut. 32).

Polemic against idolatry

(44:9-17) Isaiah gives a long polemic on the absurdity of idolatry. For one, idols are formed by fallen humans who themselves are “hungry” and “weary” (v.12). Second, the idols are created to look like humans (v.13); therefore, they are really engaging in self-worship. Third, the idolater uses half of the wood to cook his food and the other half to create his idol (vv.14-17, 19).

(44:18) When Isaiah received his commission, God warned him that the people would be blind and hardened to the truth (Isa. 6:9-10). Here, we see that the blinding was due to their idolatry.

(44:19-20) The statement “he feeds on ashes” is literally “he herds ashes.”[157] This could show the absurdity of gathering the “sacred” ashes from the fire.

Forgiveness of Israel and Redemption through King Cyrus

(44:21-23) God originally called on “heaven and earth” to serve as witnesses against his people in judgment (Isa. 1:2). Here, we see that creation is now a witness to God’s glorious forgiveness of his people.

(44:24) Commentators believe that the prediction of Cyrus is proof of a “Deutero-Isaiah” or “Second Isaiah” writing after the fact (ex eventu prophecy). However, these verses (vv.24-28) serve as a composite poem. Grogan writes that the “poem is most carefully constructed and that a study of its form shows most clearly that the revelation of the name of Cyrus comes at its dramatic climax.”[158] In other words, the previous four chapters all state that God knows the future, and this section is the climax of God’s foreknowledge. It would be highly ironic if the so-called “Second Isaiah” wrote about Cyrus as a “prediction” to inspire the Israelites, when his whole argument is that God knows the future. Isaiah alluded to Cyrus earlier (Isa. 41:2, 25), but here he reveals him by name.

(Isa. 44:28-45:1) How could Isaiah predict King Cyrus?

Isaiah 45 (God’s salvation through Cyrus and then even further through Jesus)

(45:1-2) While “Cyrus” is called God’s “anointed” and “shepherd” (Isa. 44:28), God repeatedly says, “I am the Lord” three times throughout this section (v.3, 5, 6). Only one other Gentile king is ever referred to as anointed (2 Kin. 19:15-16).

(45:3) In the Cyrus Cylinder, Cyrus attributes his victory to the god Marduk. However, Josephus claimed that Cyrus had read Isaiah’s prophecy. Josephus writes, “This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies; for this prophet said that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision:—‘My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple.’ 6 This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished. Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written; so he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, and the temple of God” (Josephus, Antiquities, 11.5-6).

(45:4-6) God raised up Cyrus and empowered him in order to rescue the Israelites.

(Isa. 45:7) Does God create evil? (cf. Lam. 3:38; Jer. 18:8; Amos 3:6)

(45:8) God originally called on the “heavens and earth” to be witnesses of Israel’s sin. Here, they serve instruments of God’s blessings.

(45:9-10) The people likely had a “quarrel” with God because they were upset that he used a Gentile king to rescue them.[159] In Romans 9:20-21, the Jewish people again were upset that God could use Gentiles in his plan (cf. Jer. 18:1-10).

(45:11-13) God states that he is the Creator, so it would be simple to predict Cyrus 200 years in the future (v.13).

(45:14) This passage might be looking ahead to chapter 60. The people will come and acknowledge Yahweh as the true and only God (cf. 1 Cor. 14:25).

(45:15-17) The context for God “hiding” himself is the fact that the Gentiles were seeking idols. Meanwhile, God will save Israel with an “everlasting salvation” and “to all eternity.”

(45:18-19) When God reveals himself, it is very clear to the people. Gap theorists understand this verse to support their view about creation (see “Different Views of Genesis 1-2”).

(45:20-21) This is another taunt against idols and idol worshippers. God claims to be the only being who knows the future, and thus, he is the only “Savior.”

(45:22) God calls on all people (“all the end of the earth”) to be saved, because he is the only God.

(45:23-25) This entire section is punctuated by some of the strongest affirmations of monotheism in the Bible. And yet, Paul cites from this passage, stating that Jesus is the fulfillment of it (Phil. 2:10-11). This is, therefore, a strong affirmation of the deity of Christ.

Isaiah 46 (The Fall of Babylon’s gods)

(46:1-2) Since the Persian Cyrus would conquer Babylon, Isaiah names two of the gods of Babylon: “Bel” (Marduk) and “Nebo.” The names Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar originate from these gods. In Isaiah 45, we saw that all people would bow before Yahweh. Here, we see these pagan gods bowing before him. These idols will be carried into captivity.

(46:3-4) Instead of the people carrying their gods, God carries his people! Instead of the gods being a burden to the people, God would bear their burdens!

(46:5) God is absolutely unique. This passage has implications for the Trinity—namely, we wouldn’t expect God to fit into preconceived human conceptions.

(46:6-7) God hates these idols because they are impotent and cannot help anyone. People waste their “gold” creating idols that cannot help them.

(46:8-13) This prediction of Cyrus (“a bird of prey from the east,” v.11) would be hard to fathom. In fact, it is so incredible that modern critics deny it (!). But God reaffirms the fact that he is sovereign over history, and he can do what he pleases—knowing the future and bringing about his purposes.

Isaiah 47 (The Fall of Babylon)

God is going to punish Babylon (v.5). He takes them down because they were trying to be God (v.8).

(47:1-2) This describes the degradation of Babylon from being a “virgin” to being thrown to the ground, forced into slavery, and ultimately shamed.

(47:3) The NET Bible translates this as, “Let your private parts be exposed! Your genitals will be on display!”

(47:4) The Babylonians worshipped the stars (v.13). This could be why Isaiah refers to God as “The Lord of hosts.” Isaiah is stating that these heavenly bodies are creations of God—not gods themselves (cf. Isa. 40:26).[160]

(47:5-7) Babylon was not only judged for its treatment of the Israelites, but also for their pride.

(47:8-11) Babylon was claiming the prerogatives of God: “I am, and there is no one besides me” (v.8, 10). This is the very claim that God makes about himself! (Isa. 43:11; 44:6, 8; 45:5-6, 21). With their occult practices of “charms” (v.11), “spells” (v.12), “sorceries” (v.12), and “astrologers” (v.13), the Babylonians thought that they were “secure” (v.8, 10). In reality, this is what brought their downfall. The “virgin” Babylon would die childless and alone (v.9).

(47:12-15) Babylon couldn’t rely on the astrologers to save them; in fact, these astrologers couldn’t save themselves. The Babylonians were obsessed with “fire.” (see Dan. 3) Here, they would die by fire.

Isaiah 48 (Sinful and Stubborn Israel)

(48:1-2) The people had the right ethnicity (“came forth from the loins of Judah”) and religious profession (“who swear by the name of the LORD”), but they were not coming to God on his terms (“not in truth nor in righteousness”).

(48:3-6a) The people were “obstinate,” despite all of the prophecy God had given to them. God wanted to show them that he was the true God—not their idols (v.5).

(48:6b-11) God has more prophecy to reveal (v.6b). Israel cannot be the Servant of the Lord, because they have been “a rebel from birth” (v.8). God chose not to wipe out the people of Israel for his own sake (v.11)—due to his covenant with Abraham.

(48:12-15) God again affirms that he is the Creator of the universe, and therefore, he is sovereign over history. He explains for the first time that Cyrus would specifically defeat the Babylonians (v.14).

(48:16) This is a good passage for the concept of the Trinity developing in the OT. The figure seems to speak as God (“From the first I have not spoken in secret, from the time it took place, I was there”), but then he mentions the “Lord God” and the “Spirit.” This figure is God’s Servant. Notice that this verse opens with the statement “Listen to this.” Later, the second Servant Song opens with “Listen to Me.”

(48:17-18) The problem wasn’t with God’s teaching or his commandments. The problem was that the people didn’t listen.

(48:19) God promised to bless Abraham’s offspring like the sand of the sea. Here, many of the Jewish people were being “destroyed.” God was not taking back the Abrahamic Covenant, but individual people were opting out of its blessings.

(48:20-22) God would eventually rescue the Jewish people from Babylon.

Application for Isaiah 40-48

God keeps repeating that he is the only God, and he is the only savior. All idols are false.

God’s people have “spiritual long-term memory loss.” They can only remember what God has done for them lately, rather than remember his acts of love and redemption in the past.

The worship of idols is ultimately futile—whether it’s marriage, career, sex, money, family, New Age thinking, religion, etc. Any one of these things can be considered an idol. This isn’t just foolish, but it’s detestable to God.

Isaiah 49 (God’s love for Israel)

(49:1-7) This is the second of four Servant Songs (see “The Servant Songs” for a verse by verse exegesis).

(49:8-9) Paul cites this passage (2 Cor. 6:2). The “favorable time” likely harkens back to the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-55; cf. Isa. 61:1-2).[161]

(49:10-12) John alludes to this passage (v.10; Rev. 7:16-17). The imagery is God restoring the land for his people.

(49:13) Instead of indicting the people (Isa. 1:2), the “heavens” and “earth” are told to “rejoice” over the people for God has done.

God’s love for Israel

(49:14-15) God uses maternal language to describe his love for Israel. We’ve seen this imagery throughout the book (Isa. 44:2, 24; 46:3; 49:1, 5).

(49:16) Some Bible teachers think that this is an allusion to Jesus’s hands being pierced by the nails on the Cross. Grogan thinks that Isaiah “may have tattooing in view.”[162]

(49:17-21) The land will be restored. The former “barren” Israel will have many descendants once again.

(49:22-23) God’s Servant would rule over the kings and princes of the Earth (Isa. 49:6). Because of the Servant’s work, the nation of Israel will benefit from what the Servant has done (cf. Isa. 11:10-11).

(49:24-26) This seems to look back to the Abrahamic Covenant, where God promised to curse those who cursed Abraham’s offspring. This is graphic imagery to describe their judgment. The result of this judgment is for all people (“all flesh”) to come to realize who God is.

Isaiah 50 (Despite their unbelief… God would send his Servant)

(50:1) God is pictured as married to Israel through his covenant. Jeremiah depicts God as Israel’s “husband” (Jer. 31:32). God doesn’t “divorce” Israel here or sell her to “creditors.” These are rhetorical questions. Grogan writes, “God her husband has not divorced her nor sold her to pay off his debts; for he, the Creator, has none. The cause of the Exile was simply sin on Israel’s part; and, it is implied, if she returns to God, he will restore her.”[163]

(50:2-3) The reason that the people were not saved was because of their unbelief. God is incredibly powerful. He could have forcibly rescued them. But he wanted them to come to him.

(50:4-9) This is the third of four Servant Songs (see “The Servant Songs” for a verse by verse exegesis).

(50:10-11) The people are told to come out of the “darkness” and into the “light,” obeying God’s “servant.”

The mention of “fire” is complementary to the “light” mentioned. However, the light heals the people, while the fire consumes them.

Isaiah 51 (Israel received her judgment… Now Israel’s enemies would receive theirs)

(51:1-3) God demands their attention to “listen.” He calls on them to remember their humble origins in Abraham and Sarah. God promised to do another miracle. This time he would restore Israel to an Eden-like state, creating it into a “garden of the Lord.” This must be referring to the future, because this (obviously) hasn’t happened in Israel’s history. Revelation 22 could be an allusion to this.

(51:4-5) This language is reminiscent of the Servant (Isa. 42:1-4).

(51:6) God’s salvation is more secure than the material universe.

(51:7-8) God’s “law” was supposed to be kept and treasured in the “heart” of the people (Deut. 30:14), and it would be permanently kept there (Jer. 31:31-34).

God’s word and his salvation will last—but people won’t. Which will you “fear”? Humans who will perish, or God’s word and salvation which will not?

(51:9-11) Isaiah turns directly to God to pray. He petitions God to act on the many promises that he has already given about rescuing the people from Babylon. Like God’s rescue in the past (i.e. the Exodus), God would rescue the people in the future (i.e. the Exile). Rahab and the “dragon” were false gods that the Egyptians believed in, and these were “symbols of that land.”[164]

(Isa. 51:9) Does the Bible support the belief in mythical monsters?

(51:12) God himself comforts the people (Isa. 40:1). When we have the comfort and encouragement of God, we can see victory over the fear of man.

(51:13-16) God is the Cosmic Creator: why would they fear fellow humans? God will soon rescue the people from captivity in Babylonia.

(51:16) This is a reference to the Servant of the Lord.[165] Like Isaiah 48:16, it seems that Isaiah puts in sporadic references to the Servant throughout this section, leading up to Isaiah 53.

(51:17) Jesus drank the “cup of [God’s] anger” for us (Mk. 10:38).

(51:18-20) Before God could bring in a double comfort (Isa. 40:1), he would bring a double judgment: (1) “devastation and destruction” and (2) “famine and sword.”

(51:21-22) This section offers judgment but also a cessation of judgment. They will experience judgment from their enemies, but this will be limited in its scope. It will not go on forever.

(51:23) We might assume that this is figurative language. However, Grogan notes, “The barbaric practice referred to in v.23 is well documented in the ancient Near East, featured especially, but not exclusively, in Assyrian inscriptions.”[166] The ancient Near Eastern militaries would humiliate their victims by walking over their bodies (!).

Isaiah 52 (Freedom from Exile)

(52:1-2) Isaiah called on God “awake” in the previous chapter (Isa. 51:1). Here, he calls on the nation of Israel (“Zion” being the capital) to “awake.” Remember, these invaders had killed and enslaved many Jewish people, as well as polluting the religion of the people (cf. Ps. 79:1). God was bringing retribution on them.

(52:3) The Babylonians conquered and enslaved the Jewish people without money, so God would take them back without money.

(52:4-6) The Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians all conquered Israel. God brought judgment on all three nations. As a consequence, the Jewish people would be reaffirmed in their faith in God.

(52:7-10) Paul cites this passage as an allusion to the spreading of the gospel (Rom. 10:15). In this context, the messenger tells the “watchmen” of Israel what God has done, and they rejoice. Yet this text takes on greater significance in the Church Age.

(52:11-12) The people are told to flee from “there” (i.e. Babylonia). More language supports the Exodus motif, where God would be their “rear guard” (cf. Ex. 13:21-22; 14:19-20).

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (The Suffering Servant)

This is the fourth and final servant song. For a complete exegesis of this text, see Evidence Unseen: Exposing the Myth of Blind Faith (2013, Chapter 5: “What Will Jesus’ Death Accomplish?”).

Isaiah 54 (God’s Bride)

(54:1) This seems like a break in the flow of thought at first. However, this theme of praising God for his deliverance has been anticipated the entire time. Isaiah writes that the “The sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman” (v.1). While the people were rejected, God had promised to stay faithful to Israel (Isa. 49:14-23; 50:1-3). Paul cites this passage to refer to the Church (Gal. 4:27).

(54:2-3) The people of Israel started as a nomadic group, which could be why Isaiah refers to their tents. Israel will expand farther than the territory they originally received from God.

(54:4-8) Because of Israel’s sin, God sent the nation into Exile. But God doesn’t “divorce” his bride. He keeps his covenant to her.

(54:9-10) God compares the fidelity of his promise to Israel with the Noahic Covenant (Gen. 9). The reason that God cannot break his promises is because of his character (Heb. 6:14-20) and his “loyal love” (ḥese).

(54:11-15) The theme of marriage continues. Israel is pictured as God’s bride—ready to be married. In the NT, John sees the Church as God’s bride (Rev. 21:2). The period doesn’t refer to the New Heavens and Earth, because there will still be people that will try to attack Israel (v.15). At the same time, these people will fail (“Whoever assails you will fall”). Therefore, this likely refers to the Millennial Kingdom.

(54:16-17) God refers to Israel as his “servants.” Since the Servant has accomplished his mission (Isa. 52:13-53:12), these are the servants of the Servant. In fact, the word servant “never occurs again in the singular in this book.”[167]

Isaiah 55-66 (The Greater Deliverance)

This section is a literary chiasm, which makes it a unit:

(A) 56:1-8 Foreign Worshippers

(B) 56:9-59:15 Righteousness

(C) 59:16-21 Yahweh the Warrior

(D) 60-62 Eschatological Hope

(C) 63:1-6 Yahweh the Warrior

(B) 63:7-66:17 Righteousness

(A) 66:18-24 Foreign Worshippers

Isaiah 55 (God’s word)

The context for this very famous passage is God’s word about the end of human history (vv.10-11). We can certainly apply this to all of God’s word, but the context here is eschatology.

(55:1-2) “Ho!” is translated as “come!” in other English translations. It was a way to get the people to pay attention.

God wants the people to turn to him, rather than idols. If they come to him, they don’t even need to pay.

(55:2) Many commentators hear “the voice of the Near Eastern water vendor”[168] in these words, haggling with his customers. However, instead of trying to get the people to pay more for the water, God is giving away water for free.

The context for this statement likely refers to the Israelites who had settled in Babylonia during the Exile.[169] In a sense, these people were settling for less than what God wanted to offer them.

(55:3) Some commentators believe that God is replacing the Davidic Covenant here with a different covenant for this generation. We agree with Grogan[170] that Isaiah wouldn’t so flippantly overturn God’s promises. Instead, this is God personalizing the benefits of the covenant to these people. The covenant was unconditional for the nation, but individual people could opt in or out of the covenant.

(55:4-5) The Davidic Covenant promised a ruler who would reign from Israel. Here, we read that the peoples of the earth would come under the kingship of this Davidic king.

(55:6-7) This is both a message of comfort and a warning of judgment. God makes his offer of forgiveness personal to each individual. They can take it or leave it. God is ready to have “compassion” and “abundantly pardon” people, if they will “call upon Him” and “return” to him.

(55:8-9) God’s mind and thoughts are far above human thoughts. In context, God’s incredible mercy would be unexpected, and yet, this is exactly what we see.

(55:10-11) Just like grass takes a long time to grow, so God’s word takes time to produce an effect in some cases. In context, God’s “word” was to forgive the people after the Exile. God kept his promise to his people.

(55:12-13) This is metaphorical language. It isn’t referring to “Groot” from Guardians of the Galaxy. Isaiah uses the literary device of personification here (“the trees of the field will clap their hands”). Isaiah foresees the land itself being healed, and this will be “an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.” Clearly, this hasn’t occurred yet, so we can anticipate God doing this in the future of Israel.

Isaiah 56 (Eunuchs and foreigners are welcome)

(Isa. 56) Does this chapter mark the beginning of “third” Isaiah?

(56:1) This is not teaching a works-based righteousness. God doesn’t give salvation to people who are righteous; instead, the people should be righteous because God’s salvation is near.[171]

(56:2) At the beginning of the book, the people obeyed the Sabbath (Isa. 1:13), but their hands were “covered with blood” (Isa. 1:15). A sign of true spirituality is to obey the Sabbath and to “keep his hand from doing any evil.”

(56:3) “Foreigners” (Deut. 23:2) and “eunuchs” (Deut. 23:1) didn’t have access the way that the Israelites did. At the end of human history, something has changed. In light of the Servant’s work in Isaiah 53, all people are welcome who love God and want to know God.

(56:4-5) “Eunuchs” will enter if they love God and keep his covenant. Regarding the end of verse 5, Grogan writes, “There may even be a suggestion of eternal life in the closing affirmation.”[172]

(56:6-7) “Foreigners” will enter if they love God and keep his covenant. Jesus cites this passage because he is so frustrated with the religious leaders turning God’s temple into a “den of robbers” (Mk. 11:17; Jn. 2:16). The temple was given to the Jewish people as a light to the nations, but these same Jewish people were treating it with contempt. Meanwhile, eunuchs and foreigners would experience true godliness in the temple—despite the religious leaders in Jerusalem.

(56:8) God will not replace the Jewish people with foreigners, but he will add to the believers in Israel with foreigners.

(56:9-12) The “beasts” and “dogs” are the false prophets and “shepherds” of Israel. Ezekiel picks up on this concept of evil “shepherds” of the people (Ezek. 34:1-6). These people can be identified by their deeds (“love to slumber… greedy… not satisfied… unjust gain… let us drink heavily”) and their lack of doctrine (“blind… know nothing… no understanding… tomorrow will be like today, only more so”).

Isaiah 57 (God brings judgment and gives out grace)

(57:1-2) From our perspective, justice isn’t accomplished on Earth. The “righteous” are killed, and no one seems to care (v.1). However, from God’s perspective, this person “enters into peace” (v.2).

(57:3-4) “Sorcery” and “adultery” were often combined in “pagan fertility rites.”[173] Moreover, both were capital crimes in Israel. The young people were flagrantly engaging in these practices.

(57:5) “Inflame yourselves among the oaks” is translated by the NET as “practice ritual sex” (NET). The Canaanites practiced ritual sex under trees like this.[174]

“Slaughter the children in the ravines…” This refers to child sacrifices, which accompanied pagan fertility rites. Ahaz (2 Kin. 16:3-4) and Manasseh (2 Kin. 21:2-9) both performed this practice in Israel.

(57:6-8) Literal and spiritual adultery was carried on the “high and lofty mountain” (v.6; cf. Jer. 2:20). Instead of putting God’s word on their “door” and “doorpost,” (Deut. 6:4-9), they put up signs of paganism. The NET translates verse 8 as “gaze longingly on their genitals.”

(57:9) The “oil” and “perfumes” could refer either to offerings or to sexual promiscuity.[175]

(57:10) The people were too “weary” to seek God (Isa. 40:27-31), but they were not too “weary” to seek these idols.

(57:11-13) The sin of the people is that they “feared” their idols more than God. Those who choose to take “refuge” in God will benefit from the covenant.

(57:14-15) The people are told to get rid of any obstacles (idolatry?) that are in the way of coming to God. Then, God will accept the “contrite and lowly of spirit.” As James and Peter write, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5; Jas. 4:6).

(57:16-18) Verse 16 seems to be an allusion to Genesis 6:3. But unlike the Flood, God will show mercy to many (v.18).

(57:19) Paul cites this passage (Eph. 2:17). This could refer to the people being regathered—not just Jews but also Gentiles.

(57:20-21) Revelation uses the imagery of the “sea” to describe the wicked (Rev. 13:1; 17:15; cf. Dan. 7:3; Isa. 17:12).

Isaiah 58 (Meaningless fasting)

(58:1-3a) In chapter one, Isaiah denounced the false religious observances of the people. Here, he focuses on one aspect: fasting. This section opens with a wake-up call to realize their sins (v.1). Yet, Isaiah continues to describe (sarcastically?) how the people are “seeking” God (v.2). They are not a righteous nation; Isaiah uses simile to describe them (As a nation that has done righteousness…”). The people ask God why he doesn’t notice their fasting (v.3a).

(58:3b-5) While the people were fasting, they were working their servants to the bone (“drive hard all your workers”). While they were outwardly keeping religious rituals, they were inwardly filled with “contention and strife.” God asks why they would think that this was something that he would want.

(58:6-9) God wants the “weightier portion of the law” (Mt. 23:23). He wants them to lighten up on how they treat their servants, do justice in the land, and feed the poor. If they do this, God will hear their prayers again (v.9).

(58:10-12) God will bless the people, and even the post-exilic nation (v.12).

(58:13-14) This encapsulates the Mosaic Covenant. The people should return to actually enjoying the Sabbath, rather than mere outward religious duties.

Isaiah 59 (God: the warrior)

(59:1-2) Earlier, God didn’t answer their prayers because they were praying to the wrong God (Isa. 57:13) and because they were hypocrites (Isa. 58:4). Here, Isaiah explicitly states that their sin is the reason that God is not hearing them.

(59:3-4) This indictment is similar to Isaiah 1:15.

(59:5-6) These things seem good at first, but the result is deadly. Similarly, the people outwardly look like they are doing good, but this outward façade is resulting in evil. Grogan writes, “The metaphors seem to imply that what these evil people produce seems at first wholesome and constructive, only to be revealed for what it really is later.”[176]

(59:7-8) Paul cites this passage as a view of the general human sinful condition (Rom. 3:15-17).

The people confess

(59:9-11) The people admit their sinful condition (cf. Isa. 58:10-11; Deut. 28:29).

(59:12-15a) The people expound upon how sinful they are. They specifically see this as sin committed against God.

(59:15a-18) God puts on the helmet of salvation and breastplate of righteousness (v.17; cf. 61:10). These are the weapons he gives to NT believers (Eph. 6:10-18). While we put on God’s armor, we do not take “wrath,” but leave that part to God.

(59:19) God’s judgment will cause people to repent across the globe. This cannot refer to the New Heavens and Earth, because there will be no place for repentance or salvation at this point. This must refer to the Millennial Kingdom.

(59:20) Paul cites this passage to show that Israel will have national repentance (Rom. 11:25-27).

(59:21) The result of their repentance will be that the people will be forgiven forever through this “covenant.” God will give them his “Spirit” and his “words” that will not depart from them. In the NT, we discover that the Holy Spirit will actually live inside of the believer.

Isaiah 60 (The Millennium? The New Heavens and Earth?)

(60:1-2) God will single out Israel (Jerusalem?) as the place where he will show his “light” and “glory.”

(60:3) This harkens back to the kings’ reaction to the Servant (Isa. 52:15). The light and glory of God in Israel will draw these kings there.

(60:4) Abraham was told to “lift up [his] eyes” to see the land that God was promising him. Here, the people will look upon the regathering of the Israelites.

(60:5) Whatever is going to happen is going to be astounding. Isaiah seems to be using synonymous parallelism. The “abundance of the sea” seems parallel to the “wealth of the nations.”

(60:6-7) Grogan writes, “The gold, incense, and lambs all finding their place in the decoration and worship of the temple.”[177]

(60:8-9) It’s possible that Gentiles are included here (cf. Isa. 19:23-25). But the focus seems to be on the Israelites being regathered.

(60:10) The foreign nations used to attack the walls of Jerusalem to pillage the city. Now, they will help rebuild these walls.

(60:11) This is similar to Revelation 21:25-26. Grogan writes, “Like other Near Eastern cities, Jerusalem’s gates would have been shut every night as a protection against sudden attack.”[178] Because of God’s protection, the gates will be left wide open.

(60:12) This must refer to either the Millennial Kingdom or to the New Heavens and Earth, because Israel has never had this sort of protection.

(60:13-14) Lebanon originally supplied wood for Solomon’s Temple (1 Kin. 5). Now, they would do this again (cf. Ezek. 40-42). The “Holy One of Israel” refers to “Zion” or Jerusalem.

(60:15) This will be a “permanent” protection. This hasn’t been fulfilled, and won’t be until the Millennium or the New Heavens and Earth.

(60:16) This illustration seems quite odd, because male kings cannot produce milk (!). The point is that these savage kings would be like a nursing mother to Israel, caring for her.

(60:17-18) God will upgrade everything in Israel. Everything is amplified for the good.

(60:19-20) John uses similar language to refer to the New Heavens and Earth (Rev. 21:23; 22:5). When God created the sun and moon (Gen. 1:14-19), this was an attack on Paganism, which believed that these heavenly bodies were themselves gods. Here, God himself supplies the light for the people. Pagan theology could never again question whether God was the true God.

(60:21-22) Isaiah returns to the illustration of the “shoot” or the “branch” that would appear to save Israel (cf. Isa. 4:1; 6:13; 11:1; 53:2).

Isaiah 61 (A Fifth Servant Song?)

Many older commentators believed this to be the Fifth Servant Song, while more modern commentators hold that this could be Isaiah, the nation of Israel personified, etc. Regardless of how we title this passage, it’s clear that Jesus identified himself with this figure, because he cites directly from this passage (Lk. 4:17-21; 7:22). Furthermore, there are many literary links with this passage and the other Servant Songs (compare Isa. 42:1 with Isa. 61:1; Isa. 49:9 with Isa. 61:2; the repeated use of “Sovereign Lord,” Isa. 50:4, 7, 9). Finally, this passage expounds upon the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:9), which began on the Day of Atonement (Isa. 52:13-53:12).

(61:1) This mysterious figure has the Holy Spirit (Isa. 42:1), and his mission is to preach “good news” to the afflicted (Isa. 11:4). He is both the Savior and the Judge.

(61:2) Jesus taught about the Day of Judgment (Lk. 18:7-8), but it’s interesting that he stopped quoting this passage halfway through a Hebrew strophe (Lk. 4:18-19). In our estimation, this shows that Jesus was teaching a gap in OT prophecy. In other words, first he would come to preach good news, but later, he would come to judge. That gap in prophecy has been ~2,000 years.

(61:3) The “ashes” of grief and mourning will be replaced with a “garland” of rejoicing. The “oaks of righteousness” show that they will be immovable (cf. Isa. 60:21).

(61:4-5) The nations will rebuild Israel—just as they had formerly destroyed the nation.

(61:6) God had originally called the nation of Israel a “kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6). This was “never fully realized,”[179] but it will be fulfilled in this future era.

(61:7) The nation had received a “double” portion of judgment (Isa. 40:2), but now, they would receive a “double” portion of reward.

(61:8-9) The “everlasting covenant” probably “undergirds the existing covenants.”[180] That is, God will not break the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants—especially since it outlines how God will protect Israel and punish those who curse the nation (Gen. 12:3). On the other hand, this could be a fulfillment of the “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31ff).

(61:10) Grogan understands the speaker to be “personified Zion,”[181] because he is “clothed” just like Israel is clothed earlier (v.3). However, we respectfully disagree. The reference to being clothed is not mentioned in verse 3. Instead, those are symbols for turning Israel’s mourning into rejoicing. Instead, notice the context. God (“Yahweh”) is speaking in the first person throughout this section (v.8), but here, the speaker states that he will “rejoice greatly in Yahweh.” This is similar to how the chapter opened—by showing how God had given the speaker his Spirit. We contend that this is an allusion to the different persons in the Trinity (see “Defending the Trinity”).

(61:11) This could be an allusion to God’s word accomplishing its purpose (Isa. 55:10-11).

Isaiah 62 (Salvation for Israel)

There is debate over whether Isaiah is speaking here, or whether God is speaking in the first person. Grogan[182] holds that Isaiah is the speaker.

(62:1) Isaiah anticipates the regathering and restoration of Israel.

(62:2) God will give Israel a “new name” (cf. Isa. 56:5; 65:15). This is still referring to the future, because all of the “nations” and “kings” will see the glory of Israel.

(62:3) The idea that Israel will be crowned with a “diadem” may “reflect the idea that a wife, especially a queen, should be an adornment to her husband.”[183]

(62:4) God “delighted” in his Servant (Isa. 42:1). Here he will delight in Israel. Because these believers will be forgiven by Christ, God will have love for them.

(62:5) This is certainly a “strange”[184] analogy. We’re not exactly sure how to interpret this. It must mean that the “sons” of Israel (i.e. a future generation) will be the ones to inherit the promises of God, and this will make Israel (i.e. the current generation) God’s bride. Regardless of the analogy, God will “rejoice” over Israel, as a man rejoices over his new bride.

(62:6-7) God doesn’t need “reminding” from the people. This is anthropomorphic language to refer to prayer (cf. Ps. 44:23).

(62:8-9) This is referring to the future, because Israel will “never again” give their food to others. Clearly, this hasn’t happened yet.

(62:10) The language of building a “highway” is fulfilling earlier prophecy (Isa. 40:3; 48:20; 49:22; 52:11; 57:14).

(62:11-12) Salvation will finally come for Israel. The “new name” they are given (v.2) may be alluded to here.

Isaiah 63 (God: The Avenger of Israel)

(63:1) “Bozrah” was the capital of Edom.[185] Incidentally, Edom means “red,” and the Lord’s clothes are colored red. “Edom” is singled out because they attacked Israel (Lam. 4:21-22, Ezek. 25:12-14; 35:1-15). The watchmen of Israel see the Lord approaching, and they wonder if he is coming to judge or to save.

(63:2-3) The imagery of the “winepress” and the stained clothes is picked up by the book of Revelation to describe Jesus (Rev. 14:19-20; 19:11-16). This is a good passage that demonstrates the deity of Christ, and it shows that Jesus’ clothes are dipped in the blood of his enemies—not his own blood (Rev. 19:13).

(63:4-6) Edom is not the only nation which is judged. All of the “peoples” (v.6) are judged by God.

The people praise God for his judgment

We often cringe at the judgment of God. However, Isaiah praises God for his judgment, because God is ending evil. If God looked lovingly on evil, he wouldn’t be loving.

(63:7) God’s “lovingkindness” (ḥese) is his “loyal love” or “covenant love.” God promised to stay faithful to his covenant with Israel.

(63:8) God had called Israel his “firstborn” (Ex. 4:22-23). Here, he calls them “sons.”

(63:9) God was personally “afflicted” by the suffering that Israel went through. Grogan comments that this verse “is one of the most moving expressions of the compassionate love of God in the OT.”[186]

(63:10) There are “Trinitarian overtones”[187] in this passage: God’s “Holy Spirit” is a personal being—not just a force—because he can be “grieved.”

(63:11-14) Isaiah harkens back to God’s redemption from Egypt to describe his faithfulness. The mention of “rest” is similar to other passages as well (Deut. 12:10; Josh. 21:44, Heb. 3-4).

(63:15) God’s “holy and glorious habitation” could refer to the Temple (see v.18). It could also refer to the nation itself—or even, the people.

(63:16) The people call God “Father” corporately. In the NT, each believer can relate to God in this way.

This passage shows that the Abrahamic Covenant was not conditional on Abraham’s faithfulness or Israel’s faithfulness (i.e. Jacob). God was faithful to the people—even if they were not.

(63:17-19) Isaiah concludes by petitioning God to act based on his own character of love and faithfulness.

Isaiah 64 (Israel doesn’t deserve forgiveness)

(64:1-3) This is another allusion to the Exodus, where God’s glory shook Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:16-19).

In Exodus, the Israelites “trembled” before God, and the nations heard about him. Isaiah now prays that God would make his power known to the nations again, and make them tremble.

(64:4) Paul draws from this passage (1 Cor. 2:9). The emphasis is that God rewards those who “wait” for his promises to come to fruition.

(64:5) Isaiah wonders if the people “out-sinned” God’s forgiveness.

(64:6) Isaiah 64:6 likens our self-righteous acts to “filthy rags.” Literally, the Hebrew word for “filthy rags” (beg̱eʿ iddîm) refers to “menstrual cloths.”[188] Thus, Isaiah was really saying our self-righteousness is similar to used menstrual rags. To put this in modern terms, he was comparing our righteousness to bloody tampons.

(64:7) Because of their sin, the people ceased to pray, which only made matters worse. When we fall into sin and become aware of our depravity, we don’t want to draw near to God. In reality, this is the best thing we could do (Jas. 4:8).

(64:8) Isaiah depicts God as both the “Father” of Israel, as well as the sovereign “Potter.” God is loving like a father, but he chooses what he wants to do (in this context, in regards to judgment; cf. Jer. 18:1-10; Rom. 9:19-21).

(64:9) Instead of appealing to self-righteousness, Isaiah appeals to God’s promise to the nation of Israel (“All of us are Your people”).

(64:10-12) Isaiah shows how the nation had endured serious judgment: destruction of cities, destruction of Jerusalem—the capital, destruction of the Temple, etc. He asks if God will judge them forever.

Isaiah 65

(65:1-2) Paul cites this to refer to the Gentiles and the Jews (Rom. 10:20-21). Grogan holds verse 1 to refer to the Gentiles, and verse 2 to refer to the Jews.[189]

(65:3) God held out his hands “all day long” (v.2), while the people “continually” sinned against him.

(65:4) This mention of “graves” likely refers to necromancy (Isa. 57:9; Deut. 18:9-13).[190]

(65:5) These necromancers and swine-eaters are self-righteous (“I am holier than you!”).

(65:6-7) God promises to repay “in full” (v.6, NLT).

(65:8-9) Earlier, Isaiah depicted Israel as the vineyard (Isa. 5:1-7). Here, we see the remnant within the vineyard that believes and trusts in God.

(65:10) “Sharon” was known for being beautiful and fertile, but Achor was known for being under God’s judgment (cf. Josh. 7:24-26). Here, Achor is depicted as under God’s blessing (cf. Hos. 2:15).

(65:11) “Fortune” (laggad) is a pagan deity. NLT renders this as preparing “feasts to honor the god of Fate.”

(65:12) This passage speaks against irresistible grace. God’s calling is not overwhelming (cf. Isa. 55:1-7).

(65:13-15) In the book of Revelation, John records all of these themes of eating, drinking, and fellowshipping with God (Rev. 2:7, 17; 3:20; 21:6; 22:2, 17). Also, the concept of getting a new name comes up there as well (Rev. 2:17).

(65:16) The reason that they are forgiven is due to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.

(65:17) The New Heavens and Earth are mentioned again in Isaiah 66:22. John also uses this language in Revelation 21:1. This could refer to the Millennium (based on verse 20), to the New Heavens and Earth, or to a blending of the two. Some translations render this passage in the future tense. The NIV states, “I will create new heavens and a new earth,” making the New Heavens and Earth future to the Millennium. David Garland writes, “The prophets did not make distinctions between the millennium and the eternal state when describing the period of messianic blessing,”[191] sometimes blending the events together. Theologian Wayne Grudem adds that OT prophets often didn’t make distinctions between future events “just as these prophecies do not distinguish between the first and second comings of Christ.”[192]

(65:18) The mention of rejoicing “forever” clearly hasn’t happened yet. This refers to the future kingdom.

(65:19) There will be no more “weeping” or “crying,” which reminds us of Revelation 21:4.

(65:20) For an extended explanation of this passage, see James Rochford, Endless Hope or Hopeless End (2016), pp.163-164.

(65:21-23) The people will be materially blessed during this time.

(65:24) There will be a harmony between their prayers and God’s will.

(65:25) This alludes back to Isaiah 11:6-9. The “dust will be the serpent’s food” is an allusion to Genesis 3:14, as well as Revelation 20:2. Satan will be “bound” at this time.

Isaiah 66

(66:1-2a) Earlier, Isaiah mentioned Jerusalem (Isa. 65:18-19) and the holy mountain (Isa. 65:11). However, there was a conspicuous silence regarding the Temple. Why? God explains that he is going to transcend the Temple in the New Heavens and Earth (cf. 1 Kin. 8:27). Since God is the Creator of everything, he is not confined to a Temple.

(66:2b-3) Instead of animal sacrifices, God will look to the “humble” person who “trembles at [His] word.” The people of Israel were substituting sacrifices for true spirituality (cf. Isa. 1:10-20). God compares this to “abominations.”

(66:4) This passage speaks against the Calvinistic doctrine of irresistible grace and meticulous divine determinism. God “called” the people, but they didn’t “listen.” They did “evil,” and God did not “delight” in this.

(66:5) This refers to “religious persecution and theological hatred”[193] of the true believers (cf. Jn. 9:24, 34).

(66:6) God will begin his judgment in the Temple itself. This would’ve been scary for religious hypocrites, because this is the place where they felt most safe. This reminds us that Jesus came to cleanse the Temple in his ministry.

(66:7-11) This section alludes back to Isaiah 54:1-3. When God acts to recreate Israel, it will be sudden and swift (v.8).

(66:12-13) God uses feminine language to describe his love for Israel.

(66:14-16) Part of God’s love toward his people involves judgment against those who have persecuted and attacked Israel.

(66:17-21) God’s glory will reach the distant nations (v.19). The people will be regathered by the nations who once oppressed them. The regathered Israelites will be taxied into the nation by the nations who once tried to kill and enslave them.

(66:22) The perpetuity of the nation of Israel is as certain as the New Heavens and Earth.

(66:23) All people will come to worship Yahweh.

(66:24) The NT picks up on this language to refer to hell (Mk. 9:48; Mt. 3:12; cf. Jer. 7:32-8:3).

[1] Grogan, G. W. Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 6: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (F. E. Gaebelein, Ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1986. 3.

[2] Merrill, Eugene H.; Rooker, Mark; Grisanti, Michael A. The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing. 2011. 376.

[3] Oswalt, John N. Isaiah: The New Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003. 19.

[4] Oswalt, John N. Isaiah: The New Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003. 41.

[5] Motyer, J. A. The prophecy of Isaiah: An introduction & commentary. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 1996. Introduction.

[6] Motyer, J. A. The prophecy of Isaiah: An introduction & commentary. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 1996. Introduction.

[7] Gileadi, Avraham. The Apocalyptic Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretative Key. Provo, UT: Hebraeus, 1982. 174.

[8] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 29). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[9] Motyer, J. A. The prophecy of Isaiah: An introduction & commentary. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 1996. Is 1:29.

[10] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 34). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[11] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 58). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[12] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 34). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[13] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 38). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[14] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 41). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[15] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 43). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[16] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 46). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[17] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 46). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[18] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 48). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[19] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 52). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[20] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 53). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[21] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 54). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[22] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 79). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[23] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 55). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[24] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 55). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[25] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 80). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[26] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 55). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[27] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 81). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[28] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 81). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[29] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 81). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[30] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 81). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[31] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 61). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[32] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 88). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[33] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 65). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[34] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 65). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[35] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 67). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[36] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 68). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[37] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 69). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[38] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 69). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[39] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 73). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[40] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 73). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[41] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 78). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[42] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 85). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[43] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 87). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[44] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 91). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[45] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 92). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[46] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 101). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[47] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 101). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[48] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 102). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[49] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 102). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[50] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 103). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[51] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 103). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[52] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 103). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[53] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 104). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[54] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 105). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[55] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 105). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[56] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 108). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[57] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 106). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[58] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 106). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[59] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 106). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[60] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 109). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[61] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 113). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[62] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 114). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[63] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 115). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[64] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 118). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[65] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 119). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[66] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 122). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[67] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 122). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[68] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, pp. 122–123). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[69] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 126). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[70] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 127). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[71] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 128). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[72] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 128). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[73] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 128). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[74] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 129). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[75] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 131). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[76] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 134). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[77] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 134). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[78] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 135). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[79] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 135). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[80] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 135). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[81] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 137). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[82] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 137). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[83] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 140). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[84] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 141). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[85] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 143). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[86] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 143). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[87] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 145). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[88] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 146). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[89] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 147). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[90] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 151). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[91] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 152). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[92] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 153). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[93] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 155). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[94] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 164). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[95] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 166). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[96] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 166). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[97] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 166). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[98] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 167). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[99] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 168). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[100] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 170). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[101] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 170). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[102] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 175). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[103] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 178). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[104] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 179). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[105] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 179). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[106] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 180). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[107] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 187). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[108] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 188). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[109] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 189). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[110] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 189). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[111] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 195). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[112] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 197). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[113] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 197). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[114] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 198). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[115] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, pp. 199–200). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[116] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 206). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[117] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 207). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[118] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 212). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[119] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 212). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[120] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 212). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[121] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 214). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[122] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 215). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[123] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 219). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[124] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 221). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[125] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 221). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[126] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 223). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[127] Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). In Harper’s Bible dictionary (1st ed., p. 924). San Francisco: Harper & Row.

[128] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 227). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[129] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 228). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[130] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 228). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[131] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 232). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[132] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 233). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[133] Watts, John. Isaiah 34–66 (Revised Edition., Vol. 25). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2005. 578.

[134] Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003. 42.

[135] Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003. 42.

[136] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 236). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[137] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 236). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[138] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 238). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[139] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 239). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[140] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 240). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[141] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 242). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[142] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 242). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[143] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 243). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[144] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 245). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[145] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 246). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[146] This verse describes Cyrus’ conquering of the Medes “from the north” (Isa. 41:25).

[147] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 250). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[148] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 250). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[149] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 251). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[150] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 252). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[151] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 256). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[152] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 257). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[153] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 260). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[154] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 261). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[155] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 264). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[156] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 264). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[157] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 265). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[158] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 269). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[159] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 271). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[160] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 277). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[161] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 286). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[162] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 286). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[163] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 288). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[164] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 295). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[165] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 295). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[166] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 296). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[167] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 310). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[168] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 312). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[170] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 312). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[171] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 315). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[172] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 316). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[173] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 319). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[174] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 319). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[176] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 326). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[177] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 330). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[178] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 330). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[179] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 334). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[180] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 334). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[181] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 334). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[182] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 336). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[183] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 336). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[184] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, pp. 336–337). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[185] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 339). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[186] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 342). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[187] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 342). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[188] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 344). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[189] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 349). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[190] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[191] David E. Garland (et al.), Jeremiah-Ezekiel (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 870.

[192] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), 1127.

[193] Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 352). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.