The 19 Writing Prophets

Short Form of the OT Message Part II:

4-1:  Isaiah Summarizes the History of Israel by Witness and Prediction.

Also you will find that Isaiah is easily divided into three parts, Isaiah 1-39 where that Prophet describes Israel and Judah during his short lifetime of only 38 years and from 739 – 701 B.C., Isaiah 40-55 describes the history of Israel {I am using it in the sense of the northern and southern kingdoms} BY PREDICTION from 605 – 539 B.C., and Isaiah 56-66 predicting the events and disasters of the period of from 539 – 400 B.C. The actual Biblical history and spiritual welfare of God’s people of this last period of the OT comes to us in the books of Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi, the three Prophets of which will form part of this chapter outline, immediately after Isaiah 56-66. {Likewise the preceding Writing Prophets–Jonah, Amos, and Hosea as a grouping will precede the Isaiah 1-39 division of 739 -701 like they preceded the life and writings of the Prophet Isaiah; the 40-55 division of the predictive Isaiah of 700 to 604, 605 to 539 will be followed by the chronicles of the history and the messages of the time–Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah; and so on.}

We now know that Bishop Usher in his dating scheme was a little off, especially on the exact date of the birth of Jesus, however it is still a good approximation. Approximately 1500 B.C. the children of Israel were in and rescued from Egyptian bondage to start their 40 years of wilderness wanderings; approximately 1420 B.C. under the leadership of Joshua God’s people came into the promised land of Canaan; approximately 1095 after years under the judges and priests the people chose their first king, Saul, of the kingship of David from approximately 1048 to 1018 and then Solomon {Solomon reigned 40 years, I Kings 11:42} and then in approximately 975 the divided kingdom with Judah on the south and Israel on the north, so that when in 739 we come to the history of Isaiah, we are still in the divided kingdoms and facing captivities from Assyrian and Babylon.

                  God predicted history through Isaiah.

 

historical timeline with Isaiah

As general mental guidelines, we can summarize the history of God’s group people, the nation of Israel, as truly beginning with the people in the land of Canaan approximately 1420, then (1) 125 years under judges and priests before a king; (2) 120 years under kings and the United Kingdom; (3) a passage of united kingdom history of approximately 236 years before Isaiah started writing the current history of the kingdoms. And for further perspective if you would consider the Pre-Isaiah history of Israel as before 739, starting with into the land of Canaan that would be in the ballpark of 700 years, and post-Isaiah period as another 700 years; so that what you might call the official existence of Israel as a nation and a divided nation is centered around Isaiah. And after in Isaiah 1-39, as presented above, Isaiah records the history in Israel of his own times, then first in 40-55 Isaiah predicts accurately the history for the another 66 years {from 605 – 539} and beyond that to still another 139 years {539 – 400 B.C} bringing up to the end of Malachi and the beginning of the 400 year before Christ intra-biblical period. Of course the ability of the Prophet Isaiah to accurately predict the subsequent history of Israel, with correspondingly accurate predictions on the life and death of the Christ, has caused many, especially those of historical criticism, to doubt Isaiah until a complete copy was found in the Dead Sea scrolls dated far before the life and death of Jesus. However, what we should really say is that God predicted history through Isaiah; for what you find often in Isaiah is “thus saith the LORD”, or words like “God said” or the LORD spoke. We must think of the words of Isaiah on this subject.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10,11)

{Oh to be among the remnant of God’s people of any time, the sowers who receive seed and the eaters who receive the bread of life, those who beyond living by bread alone live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God. Those people of God of Israel for the most part were blind, completely cutoff from the knowledge and salvation of God a few years after they cutoff the Messiah. Yet Paul in answer to his own question in Romans of “what profit is it then to be a Jew?” Answers because to them were given the Oracles of God. Israel became custodians of the Word of God, written by a few believing Apostles and Prophets, in spite of the majority opinion which rejected faith in God and Christ.}

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