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Overview: Isaiah 1-39


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.

100 Replies to “Overview: Isaiah 1-39”

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  • Great animation and wonderful exposition. Only criticism is this chap speaks a bit too fast. It's hard to ponder on the points he raises as he belts on to the next point and the next. It would be good if he could measure his words a bit more and come up for air. There are no pauses. It's like a text without paragraphs. Thanks for this though.

  • The god of the Jews is NOT ~The Almighty, Eternal, Infinite, Omniscient, Ubiquitous God Of The Universe… Yahweh is a jealous, psychotic, petty, minor Middle Eastern kitchen deity, whose future will be eternal damnation, when The ONE Real God decides to met out an ass whomping for his pretentious insolence. TRUTH.

  • Isia h chapter 14 does not say that. It says The Lord will have compassion on the House of Jacob and their will be strangers that will cleave to the house of Jacob. They will be possessed and made into hand maids and hand servants. They will rule over their oppressors and take those captive who took their people captive. Slavery

  • Its my favourite book, thank you so much guys, i am thankful for y'all, and for these amazing videos, I pray God bless you and use y'all for His glory as He alread is through these videos, cant express how joyful and thankful i am to God, in words, after watching the videos of book of Isaiah.

  • In the settings video in the How to Read the Bible series, they mentioned that Moab was one of the nations with a unique relationship to the story. What would that be, and is there any significance to Moab being mentioned in the judgements on the nations in Ch 13-27? I only think of Ruth, and that seems like a positive redemption story.

  • Are there other texts or commentaries you recommend for Isaiah? This is great and a wonderful overview. Do you have more source material you recommend for a deeper dive?

  • On one that I found on Google play..to be exact it was Making the bible Jewish exile..and these 2 goones..laughted the whole time. Hard to take them seriously. I really like that channel, look that episode up and see how giddy they are. SMH

  • back then, this perfect king they kept hoping for, did they know it would be God in the flesh? Messiah means anointed.

  • I have a question. I know God made a promise to Abraham and David about the Messianic King. But how did Isaiah know about the promise? Because yes He knew Kind David but does he know him personally to talk about the promise?

  • Ice be like to Hezekiah handshaking Merodach-Baladan:

    EHEM!!!!! did you know that this guy was a Babylonian? Should you be wary that your kingdom will take it from you even your descendants also?

  • Thank you for your wonderful ministry. These videos are very helpful. May God bless your service with sweet fruits! Just a little note, Ahaz was a King of Judah kingdom, not only Jerusalem 🙂

  • Dude who does the animation and art for these videos? Not only are we understanding the bible but we are blessed with a visual explanation that flows naturally with the narration? Gosh these videos are so high quality, I actually want to read the Bible

  • In a way we are like gold ore as we have some good things but are quite impure. We need the fire to be refined so we can reach heaven.

  • Thank you for providing these very instructive videos that help people like me who want to read the Bible but are sometimes dismayed and confused by it all. It makes for better reading and in-depth study. God bless you!

  • I read the book of Isaiah months ago. Then last night got to the end of 2nd Kings where the king of Assyria shows up to threaten Jerusalem..talking smack for almost a page. Then King Hezekiah says " Don't even answer him."
    Then, they go right to Isaiah. (that was a surprise appearance, to me). Very cool.

  • Speaks in a way everyone understand – Spiritual understanding is vital here.
    As it is written there is a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame. The New Jerusalem is

  • I encourage everyone to read the bible:)! You can get a bible app and you can read a daily verse if you don't have a lot of time. There are also plans you can find connected to bible verses that can help you through whatever you are struggling with! You will feel closer to God(God is always with you though) and grow spiritually and become a new you!

  • Ok I’m for the videos but they totally ignore when the Bible brings up Satan, it’s like to the bible theory he doesn’t exist.

  • Hi, I've been watching these and have been learning a lot thanks for posting them.

    I definitely have a problem with what I would call the "logic of purification" presented in the Bible and in this video. It is to my eyes extremely problematic that the Christian god just decides to wipe out whole populations (in previous books) and sends mass murder down on people and that this is considered "purifying". The idea that this is done out of love or as a way to teach people a lesson seems to be a bad explanation, since there many other ways to teach people a lesson. And the defense that this is just beyond human understanding and simply the mysterious workings of god seems like a cop out to not answer the concern or hand wave it away. I am particularly worried about how this logic is understood by modern Christians. As a non-christian, thinking that a vast majority of people in my corner of the world believe in this "logic of purification" is actually quite terrifying. It means that they have a belief which could in theory justify the massacre of thousands. How would you respond to this?

  • i don't know if anyone felt this, but i feel like jesus may have not been the messiah. i mean there is still no world peace, could it be that he was just a profet. please comment, i am seiresly confused. pleeaseee answer.

  • I never used to believe in Jesus. I had a very “arian” view where I believed he was a morale leader but NOT God. Since accepting Christ as my savior however I have been revisiting the Old Testament and it could not be clearer that Jesus is all over the old testament.

  • please answer
    what did the prophet say to the people?
    was the prophet successful in convincing the people to change?
    how did the prophet react?
    how were the people being unfaithful to God?

  • And lo the pussy in eastgate read that liberation in generic cheating & ‘electric.‘ for jehovah is ok & felt emboldened in taking shortcuts othere people were just using yea

  • Had to take a sneak peak. Reading the whole Bible right now. Read the NT first, now I’m in the OT looking for Jesus. Spoiler alert, He’s everywhere.

  • So Isaiah and God himself would be classed as antisemitic!?!😨 Godd thing Jesus isn't around. If he overturned tables and orotested in Jerusalem today, he'd get…oh history repeating itself.

  • At 3:45 you write the name and persona of Ahaz in the lower left, chapters 7-12 box. But at the end of the video when you do a pull back of the entire Isaiah poster, you have went back and added a tiny phrase underneath Ahaz' name that wasn't there when you originally drew the picture. What does this phrase say? It's too small for me to read.

  • I'm a Muslim, I have read the entire Bible in a span of 2 years with some long stops in between however I have studied it bit by bit, the most interesting books imo are Isaiah, Proverbs, Genesis and the Gospel of John, also Ezra is very important in my opinion I like his overall role to the scriptures, my favorite verse is Isaiah 53:3 if I'm remembering correctly

  • God has told me to read the book of Isaiah for a while now, and I'm finally buckling down on it. From it, I've now found you and it led me to your site and video on spiritual beings. I have seen so many things that I did not understand and no one could explain but God is teaching me through your videos. Thank you for all that you do!

  • Being a person who is new to christ, videos from bible project has been a blessing it allows me to understand the bible more as when I read it now it's more clearer…shout out to bible project! Thank you for your hard work guys…God Bless You All!

  • Thank you for this overview! Somehow I've been having trouble reading through the book of Isaiah. I have a desire to read however it keeps losing me the first dozen chapters.

    This will help me understand it a bit better.

  • The artwork is nicely done. I like the artwork of the Seraphim with the eyes covered. Really nicely done. ❤❤❤

  • ISAIAH 23 – ISAIAH
    “Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.” (Isaiah 23:18)

    WORDS BY: FATHER

    "Isaiah! The mini Bible. The book of vision; of warfare; but most of all a glorious prophecy of the age to come. Those with eyes to see will see My message to the Church – My manifested sons of light, the coming darkness, and the glory that lies ahead. I am calling forth My chosen ones like Isaiah to walk before Me in devotion and submission to My word, who do not compromise the truth but reveal My likeness according to My image. From all the inhabitants of the world, I have set apart you to do My work. Are you willing to step up to this calling and walk where no man has? Are you willing to do what the world has not seen before and receive the rewards I have in stall for you? The wealth of the wicked is indeed set apart for those who dwell before Me, and I will lay the treasures of the world at the feet of the just. What need then do you have to strive? You are part of My creation which means you will be part of fulfilling the prophecies of the end times. This is the path of life I offer and it begins with choosing life over death.

    In everything you do you have the option to bring life or death. Your actions and choices will spring forth into a tree in which others will partake from, affecting every generation after you. This is the power of choice. Therefore, what are you imparting to history? It is not an impossible thing to live a disciplined life, but it begins by being a faithful listener to My voice and being ready for every good work as My prophets were. In this you will move from glory to glory as all My manifested sons do. What more do I desire than for you to walk before Me and be thou perfect even as I am?"

  • The book of Isaiah is very difficult to understand but extremely prophetic and eye opening about sin. Thank you guys for helping me understand it better!

  • Love these videos. I disagree with this one slightly though. Isaiah is all about the coming of Christ, and also the gathering of scattered Israel through the restoration of the fullness of His Gospel as manifested by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • This is so cool it has taken me a while to get through the old testament and I know Isaiah is complicated, but I hope to learn through the Holy Spirit the meaning and then apply to my life.

  • What is the modern day translation of a holy seed? Is it the first teachings of Judaism or is it the DNA of Jewish people? Thanks!

  • HOLLOW BONES

    "When We Become Hollow Bones There Is No Limit To What The Higher Powers Can Do In And Through Us In Spiritual Things."

    "If we want to be of maximum use to the Creator, we must ready ourselves to do so. if we are to become a channel for His purposes, we must prepare ourselves to do so. If we have resentment, fear, selfishness, or anger, we are not hollow bones. We must be rid of these things. We must change ourselves. We must ask for forgiveness for ourselves and forgive our brothers and sisters. We must keep our insides clean. We cannot use our power in a good way when we have blockages such as hate, judgement and envy. When we are free of these things the Higher Powers can use us beyond our wildest imagination. Then we can really help ourselves and help our people. Only when we are hollow bones can we have an effect on the world."

    "Oh Great Spirit, Remove from Me the Things that Block My Usefulness to You. Remove from My Day All Thinking that is Out of Harmony with Your Ways. Grant Me Your Peace and Allow Me to Function as a Hollow Bone."

    ~ Frank Fools Crow, Ceremonial Chief & Holy Man, Oglala Lakota,

  • More errors. Clearly LUCIFER is the other name for Satan. TBP has soooo many errors, its not even amusing! And the errors they spew are MAJOR errors in Doctrine, such as Post-Trib nonsense in Jude and Revelation, and failing to identify the enemy of Israel and the Church – Roman Catholicism – in Daniel, and now in Isaiah likening human men to take the place of Lucifer. Those mortal men didn't even know God! Or the "mount" of His rule! They most certainly knew nothing! I mean good grief! The text even reads that Lucifer is cut down FROM HEAVEN!! No MAN is IN HEAVEN! smh

    At the very least, this is a DUAL PURPOSE Scripture. At best, it is clearly about the archangel Lucifer, who is removed from his position and is now simply called Satan. Parallel what Isaiah wrote with Ezekiel and its painfully clear.

    The more I listen to this channel, the more I see the subtle removals and assertions, and I KNOW Christians are a dumb as cult members because you people do NOT read/study the Bible. Many of you are already fated for HELLFIRE anyway. But these things cannot fool those who KNOW this Word of God.

    Are these people catholic?

    Crept in unawares?

    Having a FORM of godliness, but deny the power (no relationship)

    TARES that grow among the wheat?

    Rider on a white horse?

    NOT heeding sound doctrine, but turning to fables and new winds?

    Jesus said that there will be RAMPENT RELIGIOUS DECEPTION in the earth in the last days, that if it were possible, deceive even the elect. You people are waaaayyy too undiscerning and naïve! You clearly do not know this Word of God … which begs the question on whether or not you know HIM either!

  • Hey, love your videos, just requesting for you guys to do a deeper explanation of Isaiah 19, there is a lot of misinterpretation out here. Thanks

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