Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


25. Isaiah 1–39: Prophet of Judah's Royal Court

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Outline the content of Isaiah 1–39
  • Explain the major themes of Isaiah 1–39
  • List the key features of the kingdom of God
  • Summarize the details of Isaiah’s call
  • Discuss possible interpretations of Isaiah’s prophecy of Immanuel
  • Discuss key Isaianic prophecies that are fulfilled in the messianic era
  • Explain how Isaiah’s “Oracles against the Nations” section (chapters 13–23) illustrates God’s sovereignty over all nations

Chapter Summary

  1. Isaiah served in Judah’s royal court but also prophesied concerning Israel and other nations.
  2. The major themes of chapters 1–39 include the remnant, the sovereignty of God, the servant, the Holy One of Israel, and the Messiah.
  3. Isaiah’s prophetic call came in 740 BC, when he had a vision in which he saw the majesty of God as well as his own sinfulness.
  4. Isaiah offered Ahaz a sign from God (the birth of Immanuel) but Ahaz declined it because he trusted more in the power of Assyria than he did in God.
  5. Isaiah’s prophecies about the messianic era tell how the northern tribes would be influenced by the Messiah, describe the Messiah by different names, tell about the Messiah’s ministry, and describe Messiah’s first and second comings.
  6. In Isaiah’s “Oracles against the Nations” God’s judgment was declared on Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Israel, Cush, Edom, Arabia, Jerusalem, and Tyre.
  7. Chapters 24–27 have been designated by many scholars as the “Little Apocalypse” because of their similarity to apocalyptic literature.
  8. The woe oracles of chapters 28–33 include woes against foreign alliances.
  9. Hezekiah experienced deliverance from Sennacherib, king of Assyria, when Hezekiah trusted in the Lord.

Study Questions

  1. What do we know about Isaiah the man from the details in his book? What themes were most important to him?
  2. If you only had Isaiah 1–12, what insights could you learn about the role of Messiah?
  3. Against which nations did Isaiah pronounce judgment in chapters 13–23? Why did he take the time to deal with each one?
  4. Identify the main details of chapters 36–39. What function do these chapters serve in the book of Isaiah?