Isaiah is notably one of the most masterful writings of the Bible. In my earlier posts dealing with “Introduction to Isaiah” (Part I) and “Isaiah’s interlude” (Part II): I explained the style of writing in Part I is set as a drama which plays out as a courtroom scene with the characters being God (judge), Heavens and Earth (witnesses), and Israel (defendant) and Part II is a narrative historical framework in which we are given information about what was happening in Isaiah’s time as well as his prophecy of future Messianic events.
The conclusion of Isaiah is contained in chapters 40:1 through chapters 66:24. Instead of simply siting texts with explanations, I’d like to focus on the mastery of the poetic form in which it was written. There is a great deal of difference between our English (evolved from Greek) form of poetry and Hebrew poetry.
Biblical writing has strong usage of parallelism. Parallelism is taking a phrase and slightly modifying and repeating it to reinforce its meaning. It is used not only in poetry, but throughout the bible it is stylistically true of most of the Old Testament writings. I took a form of parallelism called “chiasmus” to write one of my poems called “Who’s right? Who’s wrong?” (Dec 29, 2017). It’s a perfect balance expressing the same thought except the reinforcing statement is reverse from the original. [My point in the poem was to illustrate we often say the exact same thing, but disagree on how to say it….(example political correctness)].
Starting out in chapter 40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people says your God.” This is reinforced in 40:2 (the next line) “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for , that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
This expression is the start of the conclusion which is the restoration of Israel after her 70 year captivity in Babylon. However intertwined in this poetry of grace is the parallel prophecy of the coming of the Messiah 40:3 “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for God‘.” Of all the prophecies about the messiah in the OT, Isaiah has written more clearly and concisely the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
It is hard to overstate the beauty of the book of Isaiah. If you have fallen in love with the Word of God and seek him diligently by making it your life study, you will find Isaiah covers it all. From beginning to end, Isaiah is the bible in miniature form. It contains God’s hunger for a personal relationship with man and how man is not able to understand God due to his human state. And God is not able to understand man’s human state until Jesus Christ (fully divine and fully human) becomes the intercessor between the Creator and His creation.
© Phyllis Weeks Rogers 3/20/2018
Faithlife Bible Study
NIV Study Bible: Introduction Isaiah