Isaiah ~ "Yah is salvation"

Authorship and Audience

According to Isaiah 1:1, "Isaiah the son of Amoz" wrote this book. Based on 7:3, we know that he had a son and was presumably married. Isaiah was written primarily to Judah (the Southern Kingdom) as evidenced by the references to Judah's kings and the confrontation with Judah's idolatry.

Date and Historical Context

Base on Isaiah 1:1, Isaiah was writing during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. As 'bookends' for the dating of the book, King Uzziah likely died around 740/739 BC and Judah was taken into captivity in 686 BC. Thus, the book was likely finished by 686 and parts of it were likely started before 740 BC. This was a tumultuous time in Judah's history as the Northern Kingdom would be taken into captivity by Assyria in 720 BC and the Southern Kingdom was heading into exile as well.

Literary Context

Isaiah is quoted "over 65 times" in the New Testament which is "more than any other OT prophet".1 Jerome describes Isaiah as an 'evangelist' and notes that the book deals with 'the mysteries of Christ and the Church'.2 Isaiah is, indeed, a very forward-looking book as it presents what will happen to Israel (and the entire world) in the future. If you are well-read in the rest of the Bible, you will see a lot of connections between Deuteronomy, Isaiah, the gospels, and the book of Revelation (not to mention the overlap between Isaiah and the other prophets and Isaiah and Paul's letters).


I. Book of Judgement [1 - 39]

A. Judgements Against Judah [1 - 12]

  1. Introductory Courtroom Scene [1 - 5]

  2. Isaiah's Commission [6]

  3. Judah's Coming Judgement and Messiah [7 - 12]

B. Judgements Against the Nations [13 - 24]

C. Hope for Deliverance [25 - 27]

D. Woes and Warnings [28 - 35]

E. A Present Example of God's Salvation [36 - 39]

II. Book of Comfort [40 - 66]

A. Comfort of the Coming Deliverance [40 - 48]

B. Comfort of the Coming Servant [49 - 55]

C. Comfort of Everlasting and Global Restoration [58 - 66]

Theological Theme

  • God saves. Isaiah's name means "Yah is salvation" and this is the theme of his book. Isaiah emphasizes God's ability and His plans to save. God is able to save and He intends to do so.

    Isaiah discusses God's ability to save by contrasting God with other nations from which Judah was seeking protection (Egypt and Babylon) and by contrasting God with idols. Humans and idols are incapable of saving Israel; only God is powerful enough to save them.

    Isaiah lays out with remarkable clarity God's plans to save Israel from both the temporal oppression and their sins. The message is that Israel ought to have hope because God is not only able, but also has a plan in place to save Israel and the rest of the nations (Isaiah 7 - 11, 40 - 66).

    You could capture the basic arguments of this book in the following structure:

    • God Saves
      • Because God is able to save
        • Supporting evidence:
          • God knows the future
          • God is creator
        • This is in contrast with:
          • Idols
          • Men
          • Other nations
      • Because God has plans to save
        • Supporting evidence:
          • God has been faithful to Israel in the past
          • God knows the future


  • Nahum 1:15 quotes from Isaiah 52:7
  • Isaiah 1:2 begins with a similar phrase as Deuteronomy 31:1. In this sense, it is as though Isaiah is starting where Moses stopped. Moses and Isaiah are calling creation as witness against Israel.


1. "Isaiah," Grace to You, April 19, 2010, accessed March 15, 2018,

2. Jerome, "Jerome, Prologue to Isaiah," The Tertullian Project, accessed March 20, 2018,

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