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700's B.C.:  God Speaks Through Isaiah

  The Book of Isaiah records the words that God told the prophet Isaiah to speak, and tells something of his life and times.  Isaiah's ministry was possibly from the 740's B.C. to the 690's B.C. or more.  That's a respectably long ministry, and he was certainly a major voice from God for the Israelites during his time.  A certain tradition that's not in the Bible holds that he was sawed in two during the reign of King Manasseh because his ministry angered the Israelites that had gone pagan in those days. 

  I'm going to work on this account off and on as I get a chance or find new things to add to it, but for now, I'd like to merely mention that the Book of Isaiah, the record left of the sayings of this very valuable and important prophet of God, has some pretty interesting properties.  Not only do the words of Isaiah contain God's speech, but also, the structure of the book itself speaks of God.  Some have called it the 'Little Bible' because it resembles the Bible somewhat in it's structure, and seems to speak even of New Testament events.

  Take the chapters of the Book of Isaiah, for instance:  there are 66 chapters in Isaiah even as there are 66 books in the Protestant Bible.  There might be a hint in that alone that Isaiah is like a shadow of the Bible.

  In the first 5 chapters of Isaiah the Lord speaks almost continuously through His prophet, just as in the first 5 books of the Bible the Lord spoke very much through and to His prophets...in the Bible the pre-flood time is discussed, and Noah, and Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Joseph, Moses and Aaron and Miriam speak much to and for the Lord.  And finally it ends with the death of Moses and the successsion of Joshua.  The sixth book covers the commission of Joshua to win the promised land, to conquer it's evil inhabitants and posess Canaan for God's people Israel.

  In the first 5 chapters of Isaiah, there is a correlation to many things in the first 5 Bible books.  For instance, the second chapter of Isaiah talks about the Lords mountain just as the 2nd Bible book - Exodus - speaks of Mt. Sinai, where Moses received the Commandments the Lord.

  And the 6th book of the Bible, Joshua, talks of Joshua's commission to take the promised land just as the 6th book of Isaiah is where Isaiah receives his commission to speak God's words to God's people.  Isaiah saw the Lord seated on His throne, with His train filling the temple with glory.  Isaiah saw six winged seraphs, heavenly creatures, attending God.  They sang "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;  the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3

  In the Protestant Bible, there are 39 Old Testament books, then 27 New Testament Books.  So, you might expect there to be a reflection of that in the Book of Isaiah.  And there certainly is. 

  Book 32 of the Bible is of Jonah, who warns Assyria's chief town Ninevah to repent. Jonah tells them that in a short time (about 40 days) their destruction is coming.  They do repent - the king puts on sack cloth.  God relents.  In chapter 32 of Isaiah the women of Jerusalem are warned that trouble is coming in 'little more than a year', and that they should repent and wear sack cloth.  There are other similarities if you compare the two 32's.    

  As mentioned, in the Bible, the Old Testament ends with book 39 (Malachai) and Book 40 (Gospel of Matthew) begins the New Testqment.  In the Gospels, John the Baptist prepares the way for the Lord Jesus to begin His ministry.  Chapter 40 of the Book of Isaiah?  It says to tell Jerusalem tenderly that her sin has been paid for (v.2)  It speaks of "the voice of one calling:  "In the desert prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." (v.3)  Those are almost the exact words spoken of the mission of John the Baptist!  See Mark 1:2,3 

  It also says in chapter 40 Isaiah: "You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain.  You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!" "  (v.9)  That can only make us think of Jesus, right?  He goes up on the mountain after His baptism (the temptation by Satan) and later He talks of the good tidings He brings as He begins to choose the Apostles, remember?  Mark 1:14 

  In the Protestant Bible, the Gospels are books 40, 41, 42, and 43.  Let's compare that to the summation headings placed before those very same chapters in the Book of Isaiah.  A summation heading is merely something that a Bible translation team or editor placed in front of the chapter to sort of sum up that chapter's major theme, so far as they estimated it to be.  It's not actual scripture.  But, for comparison, here are the summation headings for the Chapters of the Book of Isaiah that correspond to the Bible's 4 Gospels in an NIV Bible that I have: 

   

Isaiah Chapter 40 - Equates to Gospel of Matthew - heading:  "Comfort For God's People"

Isaiah Chapter 41 - Equates to Gospel of Mark - heading:       "The Helper of Israel"

Isaiah Chapter 42 - Equates to Gospel of Luke - heading:       "The Servant of the Lord"

Isaiah Chapter 43 - Equates to Gospel of John - heading:        "Israel's Only Savior"  

  The last chapter of Isaiah is chapter 66.  Here is Isaiah 66:6   :  " Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple!  It is the sound of the Lord repaying His enemies all that they deserve."  It speaks of the protection the Lord will show His servants, but the fury that the Lord will show to His foes.  (Isaiah 66:14)

  And in the Bible, book number 66 (the final book) is the Book of Revelation, where the Lord repays His enemies, who are led by the anti-Christ, whose number, or 'mark', is 666.  And in Revelation, we are told how God will destroy His foes, and establish His people Israel in peace and safety, with the nations all streaming to the Lord's holy mountain. 

  This is also spoken of in Isaiah 66:20 where it says "And they will bring all your brothers, from all nations, to my holy mountain in jerusalem as an offering to the Lord..."  And there are many more correlations between Book 66 of the Bible and Chapter 66 of Isaiah. 

  Isaiah truly is the 'Little Bible'.  It was written in the 700 B.C. time frame, however.  Who but our mighty God could have so fully foreseen it all?  All praise to our sovereign Father, Who just knows....He just knows all.  He has seen the end from the beginning, and no one but Him can say that.  Not everything in Isaiah necessarily correlates to the Bible in this way, but so many things do that it becomes senseless to call it chance after a while.  The Book of Isaiah seems to have foreshadowed the Holy Bible.  And even as it is said of Isaiah outside of the Bible that he was sawn in half, the Book of Isaiah has both 'halves' of God's word, the Old Testament, and the New, divided at precisely the same spot it seems.

       

   

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