The Ministry Of Isaiah Theology Religion Essay

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The history of Israel was far from perfect. Israel did see many old ages of peace on godly leading. But, because of their wickedness, they besides experienced Gods judgement. God ‘s intent for His chosen people was to move as priests to the universe ( Ex. 19:6 ) . Israel did non carry through God ‘s intents. This would non halt God from carry throughing His promises. During the ministry of Isaiah, Judah ‘s devotion reached a flood tide and God chose to penalize His people for their wickedness. Judgment was a world, but it was non the concluding world. God planned to bless His people and convey salvation and Restoration to them. God planned to make this through the sending of His chosen Servant.

This exegesis will analyze Isaiah 42:1-9. First, the transition will be placed in its proper context, which includes historical, cultural, and literary context. After the context is established, this exegesis will travel on to the specified part of Bible. This transition will be examined verse by poetry and in its context. After the undertaking of analysing the text is done, this exegesis will stop in a decision.


Historical – Cultural Context. The first line of the book of Isaiah reads, “ The vision of Isaiah the boy of Amoz, which he say refering Judah and Jerusalem in the yearss of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, male monarchs of Judah ” ( Is. 1:1 ; ESV ) . Harmonizing to the Bible, Isaiah the boy of Amoz is the writer of this book of the Bible. Not really much is known about Isaiah ‘s male parent, Amoz because he is non mentioned anyplace else in the Bible. However, Judaic tradition claims that he was the brother of Amaziah, male monarch of Judah.[ 1 ]If Judaic tradition is right, that would put Isaiah in the blue degree in society. Isaiah himself was a good educated adult male and was called to prophesy God ‘s prophets.[ 2 ]The day of the month of Isaiah ‘s ministry is difficult to put. The bulk of bookmans agree that his ministry started in 740 B.C. ; the difference in belief comes with the stopping point of Isaiah ‘s ministry. Some bookmans believe his ministry ended in 701 B.C. and some believe that his ministry ended in 681 B.C. One can deduce from these day of the months that Isaiah ‘s ministry lasted for 40 to 60 old ages, get downing in 740 B.C.

The fact that the beginning of the book of Isaiah provinces that Isaiah is the author of the book does non intend that the position of Isaiah ‘s writing has non been challenged. The positions on the writing of Isaiah can be grouped into two classs, Multiple Authorship View and Single writing position. The multiple writing position can be broken down even further into two different positions. The first of the two is that Isaiah is the writer of the first 30 nine books of Isaiah but from 40 until the terminal, it is viewed that a “ Deutero-Isaiah, ” who lived in the clip of Judah ‘s expatriate was responsible for the text.[ 3 ]The 2nd position besides agrees that Isaiah himself was responsible for the content of the first 30 nine chapter of the book of Isaiah. However, the 2nd position holds to a “ Deutero-Isaiah ” and a “ Trito-Isaiah. ” The 2nd position gives Isaiah recognition for chapters one through 30 nine, it so says a Deutero-Isaiah wrote chapters forty through 55, and so a Trito-Isaiah wrote chapters 56 through sixty-six.[ 4 ]The chief ground why bookmans hold to this split position of Isaiah is because of a displacement in state of affairs. Chapters one through 30 nine speak of Judah ‘s subjugation under Assyria and chapters forty through 66 speaks of Judah ‘s subjugation by Babylon. Besides, in the first 39 chapters, Isaiah references himself frequently, but in 40 through sixty-six, Isaiah ‘s name ne’er appears.

The individual writing position gives Isaiah the recognition for the content of all 66 chapter of the book of Isaiah. This does non intend that the individual writing position believes that Isaiah himself penned the whole book, but that the messages themselves derive from the prophesier.[ 5 ]The individual writing position is the more compelling of the two and makes more sense of the book of Isaiah. There are three primary grounds why the individual writing position is superior to the multiple authorship position: ( 1 ) the multiple writing says that the stylistic difference is an index to alter in writing. However, this may simple indicant alteration in state of affairs, as we know that the state of affairs did alteration, ( 2 ) While there are differences between the first and 2nd half of the book, there are besides many similarities, and ( 3 ) The New Testament quotes Isaiah from both the first and 2nd half of the book, bespeaking that the whole book was to be considered a work of the prophesier. This author clasp to the individual writing position and this exegetical work will be written in visible radiation of the individual writer position.

The naming of Abraham, by God, and the promise to Abraham, by the really same God, was that through his posterities, the universe would be blessed. Likewise, the promise to David, a descendent of Abraham, was that his throne would take the universe into God ‘s redemption.[ 6 ]The audience that Isaiah had in position was the posterities of Abraham and David. However, since the clip Abraham and David, Judah had come to non longer trust in the God of their sires. Alternatively, they learned to swear in themselves and the foreign states around them. The wickedness of Judah was progressively atrocious and the realisation of their wickedness did non take them to repentance but farther into wickedness ( 22:1-14 ) . Isaiah ‘s position of God is high and lifted up, crowned head over all things. Much of Isaiah ‘s sermon was spent pressing the people toward penitence and pressing them to swear in God entirely.

Throughout the book of Isaiah, there are three chief intents. First, God ‘s people got themselves into a bad state of affairs with the states around them, peculiar Assyria and Babylon. Isaiah ‘s intent was to assist them recognize that their trust must be placed in Yahweh. Second, Isaiah besides addressed the hereafter captives in Babylon. Isaiah ‘s message to them was the future Restoration of Israel by the coming Messiah. Third, Isaiah besides referenced the returned expatriates and reminded them of their hereafter hope and encouraged them trust in God ‘s promises.[ 7 ]

Literary Context. The literary genre of the book of Isaiah is prophecy. To modern-day audiences, the word prognostication largely invokes ideas of the hereafter, which, is non precisely incorrect. The Prophetss did speak of future events. However, they besides spoke of events presently taking topographic point in their current civilization and were non ever speaking about future events. The word prophesier comes from the Hebrew word nabi, which means one who is called to talk.[ 8 ]Isaiah was God ‘s prophesier and was called to talk God ‘s word. Prophecy is merely God ‘s word spoken through a human go-between and sometimes it is futuristic and sometimes it is non. In plants of prognostication there exists what is called double fulfilment, which means that the message spoken by the prophesier was talking of an existent event that did or will take topographic point in the prophesier ‘s lifetime and that it was besides talking of a future event to be fulfilled sometime later.

The possibilities of future fulfilment and double fulfilment can do construing any work of prophecy hard. However, there are several guidelines that can maintain the translator on the right path of reading. First, the translator must maintain in head the writer ‘s purpose in vaticinating. The chief intent in any prognostication was non to merely foretell the hereafter but to take the audience to faith.[ 9 ]It is possible for the translator to utilize excessively much wonder and imaginativeness in construing prognostication and both of these can take to misunderstanding. Second, it is helpful to retrieve that the Prophetss were non all-knowing, they merely delivered the message that God told them to present.[ 10 ]It is of import to read the plants of the prophesier in visible radiation of the immediate context, in visible radiation of the context of other scriptural plants of prognostication, and in visible radiation of the bible as a whole.

Third, in visible radiation of double fulfilment, the translator must utilize cautiousness when construing the work of a prophesier. It is easy to do a double fulfilment transition a individual fulfilment and frailty poetries. Some prophesies had direct actual fulfilment in the twenty-four hours in which they were declared, some spoke merely of a clip to come, and some radius of both at the same clip. It is of import that the translator merely remain with the Bible and read it in visible radiation of the context of the whole of Bible. The usage of excessively much imaginativeness will take to misunderstanding.

Having discussed some interpretative guidelines, it is non proper to put the transition of this exegesis, Isaiah 42:1-9, in its context. As seen earlier in treatment on the different positions on writing, there is a displacement in fortunes between chapters 39 and 40. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah have in focal point Judah ‘s wickedness and their judgement, Assyria ‘s aggression toward Judah, prophets of judgement to other states, and the anticipation of expatriate.[ 11 ]In chapters 40 through 66, the state of affairs alterations and the message is less about judgement and more about future Restoration. The judgement that was predicted in the first half of the book of Isaiah is presented in the 2nd half has already fulfilled. Besides, in chapters 1 through 39, the major universe power was Assyria but in chapters 40 through 66, the major universe power is Babylon.[ 12 ]Chapter 42 is at the beginning of this new subdivision that ‘s focal point is on life in expatriate and hope of future Restoration.

The immediate context of chapter 42 is chapter 41. In 41:1-20, God declares himself as the 1 who sent the foreign states to capture His people and it is really of import for Judah to cognize that it did so come from God ( 1-9. Besides, God wanted them to cognize that they were still his people and he had non abandoned them. The states that He used to penalize Judah will besides be judged ( v.10-12 ) . God declares that his people will non for good remain in expatriate but they will be restored and God will be their therapist ( 13-20 ) . In 41:21-29, a contrast is made between God and the graven images of foreign states. The graven images are presented as unable to talk and worthless objects made by the custodies of adult male.

The most of import poetry in chapter 41, in sing chapter 42, is verse 29, “ See, they are all false! Their workss sum to nil ; their images are but wind and confusion ” ( NIV ) . The graven images in position here are the graven images that the people served and it was n’t merely foreign states who had given themselves to pagan devotion, but Judah had every bit good. These graven images were non of God and were really opposite of Him. The graven images were non put in topographic point by God and they could non talk for God. However, God did hold a retainer in head, who can talk for Him, and whom he did appoint. The retainer in position is God ‘s sanctum retainer and this retainer will convey Restoration to God ‘s people.


The Lord ‘s Chosen Servant ( 42:1-4 )

v.1: The retainer in which God is traveling to name will hold certain features that stand in stark contrast to those of earthly swayers. First is the fact that He is God ‘s retainer. The word retainer in this context does non touch to a specific individual, but it is merely tied to naming. This retainer is one who embodies true servanthood.[ 13 ]God ‘s retainer is upheld by God and is delighted in by God. God ‘s servant finds His strength in the strength merely God can supply. Not merely does God continue his retainer but His psyche besides delectations in Him. God ‘s chosen retainer is God ‘s adult male for the occupation and God ‘s adult male for himself.[ 14 ]

The term servant points to the fact that this chosen one of God has a mission to finish. God declares that He has put his spirit upon His retainer and this most surely must be seen as authorization to travel about His specific mission. What is this mission? In this text, the retainer ‘s mission is merely briefly stated as, “ to convey for justness to the states ” ( NASB ) . Chapter 41 brings the reader into a courtroom seen in which God and heathen graven images are in legal proceedings. God pronounces judgement on these graven images and says they are non existent. The whole universe, which includes God ‘s people, left Yahweh worship for idol worship. God has been wronged and justness must be served. God ‘s chosen retainer will convey for this justness. The word justness, in this context, denotes good regulated authorities.[ 15 ]The undertaking of the retainer is to convey the whole universe back under the authorization of God and obeisance to Him.[ 16 ]

v.2: In poetry 2, the retainer will non “ shout out or raise his voice, nor do His voice heard in the street. ” The image here is that God ‘s chosen retainer will non pull attending to himself. Most swayers of the twenty-four hours and most blue people did the antonym. Rulers and high functionaries taunted their high offices and wealths in forepart of the common people ; they wanted people to give them acknowledgment.[ 17 ]It can non be wholly concluded that a contrast between the swayers of Isaiah ‘s twenty-four hours and God ‘s chosen retainer is what is in head here. However, it can be concluded that God ‘s chosen retainer stands in blunt contrast to those who wish to laud themselves.[ 18 ]The chosen retainer ‘s address will non dwell of loud announcement, but it will dwell of quiet direction.[ 19 ]

v.3: In this poetry, the retainer is farther described as lovingness for the weak and laden. Reeds grow in the fen or on the river bank and are themselves delicate.[ 20 ]A bruised reed would be a reed that is half broken and tilting over to one side. Realistically talking, the contusion of this reed can non be restored and the best class of action seems to be to do a clean interruption. But, this clean interruption will badly damage the reed. This image of a bruised reed is used by the prophesier to typify the retainers attention for people. The retainer will place with the weak and lowly ; the bruised. However, He will non complete interrupting them, but he will care for them. The 2nd symbol has the same significance of the first but a different image is used. The 2nd image is that of a lamp being extinguished.

The Lord ‘s chosen retainer will non wholly interrupt the weak, but he will convey approximately true justness. True justness does non wholly oppress the weak, it sympathizes with the weak. True justness seeks stands up for the weak and laden, particularly against the oppressor. It is of import to observe the usage of the word dependably in this poetry. The word dependably implies that in truth He will convey forth justness. The retainer ‘s agencies for conveying about justness will non be tied to misrepresentation but will be bound up in truth.

v.4: Merely as the retainer will non cruse those already bruised, He himself will non be crushed and he will non lose bosom. In this poetry, the retainer is associated with the people. He is found capable to the same force per unit areas which have made others burn low.[ 21 ]The world of life is that the force per unit areas that worlds face discourage them. In times of failing and subjugation, it is easy for human being to acquire sidetracked and lose focal point. However, God ‘s chosen retainer will non be this manner. He will travel through the same feelings of failing and subjugation, but they will non hold the same consequence on Him as they do on everyone else. The Lord ‘s chosen retainer will non be deterred until he brings forth justness. The Lord ‘s retainer will non be prevented from finishing His work. The people will wait expectantly for the authorities that He will convey.

Declaration of New Things ( 42:5-9 )

v.5: In this poetry, the Lord is declared as the writer of the words spoken. But, which words? Is the author speaking about poetries 1-4 or poetries 5-9? The reply to this inquiry is both. For, in the first subdivision of poetries, God was speaking about the features that will be exhibited by His retainer. Now, in this following subdivision, God is declaring what the coming of His retainer will intend for the states. God depicts himself here as the 1 who “ created the celestial spheres and stretched them outaˆ¦and gives breath to all that walks on it. ” The focal point here is the sovereignty of God. God is the 1 who made all things and He is the 1 who appoints His retainer.

v.6: Until this point in Bible, it has non been wholly clear who precisely this retainer of the Lord is. Watts, says that the retainer of the Lord is Cyrus[ 22 ], but this reading can non be supported. In the beginning of this poetry, God identifies himself and the fact that it is He that calls His retainer into righteousness. The righteousness in position here is conformance to a fixed criterion.[ 23 ]God calls His retainer into His absolute criterion of justness. God so declares that He will hole the manus of His retainer and ticker over him. God watching over His servant Tells what exactly it means for Him keep his manus ; He will be His defender and defender.[ 24 ]God will besides name His retainer as a compact for His people and His retainer will be a light to the states. It is at this point that the reader begins to acquire a image of who this retainer is. The retainer in position here is the 1 that will go a compact for the people ; the Messiah.

v.7: This poetry tells even further of the work of the retainer and why it is the Lord will direct Him. The Lord ‘s retainer will come to open blind eyes. If it is the Messiah that is in position here, we know that he literally opened unsighted eyes. This transition, at first may look to be speaking about physical sightlessness, but that is non the deduction. The deduction may non even be on religious sightlessness but more on a status. Sin caused worlds to hold a status in which it is impossible for them to see world ; that is, the world of their wickedness.[ 25 ]The retainer will besides convey out those who are prisoners in the keep and those who dwell in darkness. The deduction of this phrase is the same as the old ; the Lord ‘s chosen retainer will put His people free from their wickedness.

v.8: God declares, one time once more, that He is the Lord and it is straight tied to His autonomous action in the appointing of His retainer. All glorification from what the Lord will carry through through His servant belongs to Him and He will non give it to another. The statement, “ I will non give my glorification to another, ” means that no 1 can take it off from Him and if His glorification is dispensed, it would be by His enterprise. Likewise, His congratulations will non be given to sculpt images. This portion of poetry 8 ties this chapter back into chapter 41. Graven images are nil other than a adult male made thing and they can non be trusted. Merely the Lord can be trusted and merely He deserves all the glorification.

v.9: In the shutting of this verse subdivision, God declares that the former things have come to go through. What former things are in head here? The reply may be twofold. First, as already seen, chapter 42 is the beginning of a new subdivision speaks of Restoration, while the first half radius of judgement. Now, judgement is over and Restoration is on its manner. The former things that have come to go through speak of the judgement that is now over. Besides, the former things that have come to go through speak of the old compact that will be fulfilled and the new compact, for the Lord will give His retainer as a compact to the people. New things are coming, viz. a new compact. The new compact will be established by the Lord ‘s retainer and he will dependably convey forth justness. God is sovereign over all things, even clip. His programs have been made and are traveling to come to go through. Therefore, before any of this takes topographic point, the Lord is able to proclaim them to His people. The intent of this announcement is to promote the people and do them to trust. They can cognize, in visible radiation of the judgement that has passed, Restoration is on its manner.


It is non clear at first who the retainer of the Lord is. However, as the transition moves on, it becomes clear that the transition refers to Jesus. Jesus was the Lord ‘s retainer and He dependably fulfilled all that this transition speaks about. Israel, at this point in history, was non concerned with justness. It is the position of some observers that Israel is who is in position in this transition and that this transition speaks to a clip when Israel will go what they were meant to be. This is non a right reading. Israel was ne’er presented as a compact to anyone, but they themselves were the receivers of the compact.

It is true that God ‘s purpose for Israel was that they would be a state of priests and lead the whole universe to God ( Ex. 19:6 ) . Israel did non make go a light to other states ; instead, they gave themselves to transgress and idolatry. But, the deficiency of recognition of God from His people would non halt God ‘s programs. God would direct His retainer and His retainer would be the incarnation of everything that Israel was suppose to be. The spirit of the Lord would be upon Him and He would truly care for the people. He would non be crushed but He would convey forth justness in truth. The manus of the Lord would be upon Him and be His defender. The Lord ‘s retainer would convey a new compact of salvation to His people. The former times of judgement would go through off and new things would come. For all this, God entirely would have all the glorification.

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