BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 23

Isaiah (Part 1) - BibleProject

In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of Isaiah by exploring its historical context, authorship, and purpose. You will examine the literary features of Isaiah, including its structure, outline, style, and language. As you delve deeper into the document, you will discover major themes such as judgment and hope, the Messianic prophecies, and the Suffering Servant. Furthermore, you will appreciate the significance of Isaiah in the Old Testament by learning about its contributions to a larger understanding of the Old Testament and its impact on the original audience.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 23
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Isaiah (Part 1) - BibleProject

BP100-23: Isaiah Part 1

I. Introduction to Isaiah

A. Historical Context

B. Authorship and Purpose

II. Literary Features of Isaiah

A. Structure and Outline

B. Style and Language

III. Major Themes in Isaiah Part 1

A. Judgment and Hope

B. The Messianic Prophecies

C. The Suffering Servant

IV. Significance of Isaiah Part 1 in the Old Testament

A. Contributions to a Larger Understanding of the Old Testament

B. Impact on the Original Audience

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-23 Isaiah (Part 1)

The book of the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah lived in Jerusalem in the latter half of Israel's Kingdom period and he spoke on God's behalf to the leaders of Jerusalem and Judah. He spoke first of all a message of God's judgment; he warned Israel's corrupt leaders that their rebellion against their covenant with God would come at a cost, that God was going to use the great empires of Assyria and after them Babylon to judge Jerusalem if they persisted in idolatry and oppression of the poor, but that announcement was combined with a message of hope. Isaiah believed deeply that God would one day fulfill all of his covenant promises: that he would send a king from David's line to establish God's kingdom (remember 2nd Samuel 7), that he would lead Israel in obedience to all of the laws of the Covenant made at Mount Sinai (remember Exodus chapter 19), and all of this was so that God's blessing and salvation would flow outward to all of the nations like God promised to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12, and it's this hope that compelled Isaiah to speak out against the corruption and idolatry of Israel in his day. Now the book has a pretty complex literary design, but there's one simple way to see how it all fits together: chapters 1 through 39 contain three large sections that develop Isaiah's warning of judgment on Israel, and it all culminates in an event pointed to at the end of chapter 39 - the fall of Jerusalem and the exile of the people to Babylon - but in chapters 1 to 39 there's also a message of hope that after the exile God's covenant promises would all be fulfilled, and chapters 40 to 66 pick up that promise of hope and develops it further. In this video we're just gonna focus on chapters 1 to 39. The first main section focuses on Isaiah's vision of judgment and hope for Jerusalem, and it begins as Isaiah accuses the city's leaders of Covenant rebellion, idolatry, injustice, and God says he's going to judge the city by sending the nations to conquer Israel. Isaiah says that this will be like a purifying fire that burns away all that's worthless in Israel in order to create a new Jerusalem that's populated by a remnant that has repented and turned back to God and Isaiah says that that's when God's kingdom will come and all nations will come to the temple in Jerusalem and learn of God's justice, bringing about a age of universal peace and harmony. Now it's this basic storyline of the old Jerusalem, purifying judgment into the New Jerusalem, this is going to get repeated over and over throughout the book getting filled in with increasing detail. So, at the center of this section is Isaiah's grand vision of God sitting on his throne in the temple and he's surrounded by these heavenly creatures that are shouting that God is holy holy holy, and Isaiah suddenly realizes just how corrupt he and his people Israel are, and he's certain that he's going to be destroyed by God's holiness, but he's not. God holiness in the form of this burning coal comes and burns him, but not to destroy, rather it purifies him from his sin. And as Isaiah ponders this strange experience God commissions him with a very difficult task: he is to keep announcing this coming judgment, but because Israel has reached a point of no return his warnings are going to have a paradoxical effect of hardening the people. But Isaiah is to trust God's plan. Israel is going to be chopped down like a tree and left like a stump in a field, and that stump will itself be scorched and burned but after all of that burning God says that this smoldering stump is a holy seed that will survive into the future. It's a small sign of hope but who or what is that Holy Seed? The rest of this section offers an answer. Isaiah confronts Ahaz, a descendant of David and a King of Jerusalem, and he announces his downfall. God says that it's the great empire of Assyria who will first chop Israel down and devastate the land, but there's hope. Because of God's promise to David he's going to send after this destruction a new king named Emmanuel, which means "God with us", and Emanuel's Kingdom is going to set God's people free from violent oppressive empires, and Isaiah describes this coming king as a small shoot of new growth that will emerge from the old stump of David's family. It's this king that's the holy seed from chapter six, and the king is going to be empowered by God's Spirit to rule over a new Jerusalem and bring justice for the poor and all nations will look to this messianic king for guidance. His kingdom will transform all creation bringing peace. Now you finish chapters 1 through 12 with pretty good understanding of Isaiah's message of judgment and hope, but when will this all happen? Isaiah saw another Empire arising after Assyria, and thats Babylon, who would also attack Jerusalem and actually succeed in destroying it, and that brings us in the next sections of the book. So first we have a large collection of poems that explore God's judgment and hope for the nations. We learn first of all of the fall of Babylon and Israel's neighbors. Isaiah could see that a serious world power would one day be replaced by the empire of Babylon, a nation even more destructive an arrogant. Babylon's kings claimed that they were higher than all other gods and so God vows to bring Babylon down. And not only Babylon, Isaiah goes on to list Israel's neighbors accusing them all of the same kind of pride and injustice, and he predicts their ultimate ruin. But remember for Isaiah God's judgment is never the final word for Israel or the nations, and that leads into the next section with a series of poems that tell a tale of two cities. There's the lofty city that has exalted itself above God and become corrupt and unjust. This city is an archetype of rebellious humanity and is described with language that's all borrowed from Isaiah's earlier descriptions of Jerusalem and Assyria and Babylon all put together. This city is destined for ruin and one day is going to be replaced by the New Jerusalem where God reigns as king over a redeemed humanity from all nations and there's no more death or suffering. These chapters are the climax to this section and it shows how Isaiah's message pointed far beyond his own day, it was a message for all who are waiting for God to bring his justice on violent oppressive kingdoms and bring his kingdom of justice and peace and healing love. The following section return the focus to the rise and fall of Jerusalem, and first we find a whole bunch of poems where Isaiah accuses Jerusalem's leaders for turning to Egypt for military protection against Assyria. He knows this will backfire and Isaiah says that only trust in their God and repentance can save Israel now, which gets illustrated by the following story about the rise of Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem. Just as Isaiah predicted, the Assyrian armies come and try to attack the city and so Hezekiah humbles himself before God and he prays for divine deliverance and the city is miraculously saved overnight, but Hezekiah's rise is immediately followed by his fall. So he hosts a delegation from Babylon and he tries to impress them by showing everything in Jerusalem's treasury and temple and palaces, it's clearly an effort to make another political alliance for protection. Isaiah hears about this and he confronts Hezekiah for his foolishness. He predicts that this ally will one day betray him and return as an enemy to conquer Jerusalem, and we know from 2nd Kings chapters 24 and 25 that Isaiah was right. Over a hundred years later Babylon would turn on Jerusalem, come and destroy the city, its temple, and carry the Israelites away to exile in Babylon. And so all of Isaiah's warnings of divine judgment in chapters 1 to 39 lead up to this moment. He's shown to be a true prophet because it all came to pass like he said. But remember the purpose of God's judgment was to purify Jerusalem and bring the holy seed and messianic Kingdom over all nations, and it's that hope that gets explored in the next part of the book, but for now that's what Isaiah chapters 1 to 39 are all about.