Isaiah’s prophecies consist of two distinct parts: Chapters 1-39 and Chapters 40-66. Within those parts we will see:
• Prophetic, of Israel and Gentile nations, especially Assyria (ch. 1-35)
•Historic, relating to the reign of Hezekiah (ch. 36-39)
•Messianic, especially regarding deliverance of a remnant in Israel (ch. 40-66)
Those three parts will be broken down into more specific parts as we travel through the book.
In Part One, we will read prophecies concerning Judah and Israel. To understand why Israel, which had been united under Saul, David, and Solomon, became divided into two kingdoms, we need to go to I Kings 12. Briefly, after Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king. He continued Solomon’s heavy taxes and demands on the people, and they asked him to lighten their burden. He went to some counselors, older and wiser, who advised him to comply with the demands of the people. But Rehoboam could see no reason why he should live any less lavishly than his father had, and he refused to ease their burden. Jereboam, who had led the people to ask relief from Rehoboam, was then crowned king of the northern ten tribes, and Rehoboam remained as king of Judah and Benjamin, the two southern tribes.
This division among the tribes of Israel was nothing new. There had been insurrections, rebellions, and battles throughout their history. All through the period of the judges, and then the beginning of the rule of kings, Israel had turned time after time to the idolatry of the nations around them, and there was constant internal strife as well as war with surrounding nations.
And now we are ready to begin the actual verse-by-verse study of this amazing book. I will acknowledge that I’m moving forward with more than a little trepidation. Far greater Bible scholars than I have already written volumes on this book, and I will rely on some of them in my own study. Mostly, I covet the prayers of my readers, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.