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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-9

THE LAND IN THE TIME OF ISAIAH

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH

Isaiah, known as "chief of the 16 writing prophets," is believed to have written this book; about 760 B.C. and 698 B.C. It was addressed to Judah and Jerusalem, though his prophecies often concerned other nations, Isaiah 1:1.

His message was first, one of coming judgment captivities upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their sins, chapters 1-39; Part of the book, chapters 40-66, look beyond the captivities to an hour of Redemption for Judah, Jerusalem, and the believing of the Gentile nations who would accept the coming Redeemer as Messiah, the Righteous Branch of David.

About the Writer of This Commentary

The material of this commentary of Isaiah was written and compiled by Elder Eugene Garner, pastor of Landmark Baptist Church of Rockford, Illinois for the past 33 years. It is believed [in 1984] that it’s content and presentation will be widely acclaimed as a special contribution of handy and helpful material for diligent Bible students, teachers, and ministers.

Eugene Garner is the younger brother of Albert Garner, founder of the Blessed Hope Foundation, which was founded to publish a verse by verse commentary on all the Bible. They have been joined by Dr. Jerry Crumley, who will soon complete a large volume covering the entire Pentateuch [now complete].

The writer of this volume has also agreed to do a commentary of one volume, covering Jeremiah and Lamentations, expected to be released in about two years [now complete]. Dr. Albert Garner, Editor and Publisher of the commentary, expects to release the Minor Prophets in a single volume in late 1984 [now complete].

ISAIAH CHART I

PROPHECIES OF JUDGMENT AND RESTITUTION

1. JEHOVAH’S DEALINGS WITH JUDAH AND JERUSALEM,

(Isaiah 1:1 to Isaiah 6:13).

II. JEHOVAH’S DEALINGS WITH ISRAEL, (7:1 - 12:13).

III. PROPHECIES AGAINST FOREIGN, HOSTILE NATIONS, (Isaiah 13:1 to Isaiah 23:18).

IV. PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE ENDING OF THE AGE, (Isaiah 24:1 to Isaiah 27:13).

V. PROPHETIC WARNINGS AGAINST MISPLACED TRUST, (Isaiah 28:1 to Isaiah 33:24).

VI. THE DAY OF THE LORD’S VENGEANCE AND REDEMPTION, (Isaiah 34:1 to Isaiah 35:10).

VII. HISTORICAL NARRATIVE RELATIVE TO REIGN OF HEZEKIAH, (Isaiah chapters. 36-39).

ISAIAH ... CHART 11

PROPHECIES OF MESSIANIC REDEMPTION

I. JEHOVAH’S SUPREMACY REVEALED IN HIS ACTS, AND ATTRIBUTES, (Isaiah 40:1 to Isaiah 48:22).

II. THE MESSIANIC SERVANT AS REDEEMER, (Isaiah 49:1 to Isaiah 57:21).

III. JEHOVAH’S CHALLENGE TO A THOUGHTLESS PEOPLE, (Isaiah 58:1 to Isaiah 66:24).

ISAIAH - CHART III

(A clearer presentation of this chart is found in the hardbound edition of the commentary)

KINGS - NEAR THE TIMES OF ISAIAH THE PROPHET

Kings of Israel Kings of Judah Kings of Assyria

Jehoash Uzziah (Ahazariah) Shalmaneser II

Jereboam II Ashurdan ill

782-745 B.C. 771-753 B.C.

Zechariah Ashurnirari V

745 B.C. 753-745 B.C.

Shallum Tiglathpileser III

745 B.C. 745-726 B.C.

Menahem Jotham

745-736 B.C. 740-735 B.C.

Pekahiah Ahaz

736-735 B.C. 735-715 B.C.

Pekah

735-732 B.C.

i

Hoshea Shalmaneser V

732-724 B.C. 726-721 B.C.

Hezekiah Sargon II

721-686 B.C. 721-705 B.C.

Sennacherib 705-681 B.C.

Manasseh

686-641 B.C.

(SINCE NO TWO CHRONOLOGISTS SEEM TO AGREE, THESE ARE BUT APPROXIMATE DATES.)

CONTENTS

OUTLINE OF ISAIAH - PART I

PROPHECIES OF JUDGMENT AND RESTITUTION

(Chapters 1-39)

I. JEHOVAH’S DEALINGS WITH JUDAH AND JERUSALEM,

(1:1-6:13)

A. AN INTRODUCTORY VISION, (1:1-31)

B. THE DAY OF THE LORD - an initial vision of the Messianic

Kingdom, (2:1-5:30)

1. The Nature of the Kingdom, (2:2-4)

2. Judgments Required by a Rule of Righteousness, (2:5-4:1)

3. The Future Glory of Mt Zion, (4:2-6)

4. The Parable of the Lord’s Vineyard, (5:1-7)

C. THE PROPHET’S CALL AND COMMISSION; (6:1-13)

II. JEHOVAH’S DEALINGS WITH ISRAEL, (7:1-12:6)

A. A SIGN FOR AHAZ - Who Fears the Alliance Between Israel and Syria, (7:1-25)

B. SAMARIA TO BE SPOILED AND BROKEN BY ASSYRIA, (Ch. 8)

C. DARKNESS BANISHED BY "THE LIGHT OF ISRAEL" - a Message of Hope After Judgment, (Ch. 9)

D. ASSYRIA, THE INSTRUMENT OF GOD’S WRATH, (Ch. 10)

E. THE REIGN OF "THE BRANCH" OVER A RE-UNITED THEOCRACY, (Ch. 11)

F. MILLENNIAL THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE FOR MESSIANIC DELIVERANCE, (Ch. 12)

III. PROPHECIES AGAINST FOREIGN AND HOSTILE NATIONS,

(13:1-23:18)

A. AN ORACLE CONCERNING BABYLON, (13:1-14:23)

B. AN ORACLE CONCERNING ASSYRIA, (14:24-27)

C. AN ORACLE CONCERNING PALESTINA, (14:28-32)

D. AN ORACLE CONCERNING MOAB, (15:1-16:14)

E. CONCERNING DAMASCUS AND SAMARIA, (17:1-14)

F. AN ORACLE CONCERNING ETHIOPIA, (Ch. 18)

G. AN ORACLE CONCERNING EGYPT, (Ch. 19-20)

H. CONCERNING BABYLON, EDOM AND ARABIA, (Ch. 21)

I. THE ORACLE OF "THE VALLEY OF VISION", (Ch. 22)

J. AN ORACLE CONCERNING TYRE, (Ch. 23)

IV. PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE, (24:1-27:13)

A. JEHOVAH JUDGES A SINNING WORLD, (Ch. 24)

B. ZION PRAISES JEHOVAH FOR HER SALVATION AND COMFORT, (Ch. 25)

C. A SONG OF PRAISE FOR REDEMPTION, (Ch. 26) D. PUNISHMENT AND PRESERVATION, (Ch. 27)

V. PROPHETIC WARNING AGAINST MISPLACED TRUST,

(28:1-33:34)

A. THE WOE OF EPHRAIM - A Warning to Judah, (Ch. 28)

B. A NECESSARY DISCIPLINE, (Ch. 29)

C. A WOE UPON JUDAH FOR HER FOLLY, (30:1-31:3)

D. JEHOVAH REDEEMS HIS PEOPLE AND REIGNS GLORIOUSLY FROM MT ZION, (31:4-33:24)

VI. THE DAY OF THE LORD’S VENGEANCE AND REDEMPTION,

(34:1-35:10)

A. DIVINE INDIGNATION AGAINST HUMAN REBELLION, (Ch. 34)

B. THE BLESSEDNESS OF ISRAEL IN THE COMING AGE, (Ch. 35)

VII. HISTORICAL NARRATIVE RELATIVE TO HEZEKIAH’S REIGN, (Chapters 36-39)

A. THE ASSYRIAN AT THE GATES OF JERUSALEM, (Ch. 36)

B. THE HUMILIATION OF THE PROUD ASSYRIAN, (Ch. 37)

C. THE SICKNESS AND HEALING Of HEZEKIAH, (Ch. 38)

D. HEZEKIAH RECEIVES EMISSARIES FROM BABYLON, (Ch. 39)

OUTLINE OF ISAIAH - PART II

PROPHECIES OF MESSIANIC REDEMPTION AND THE CONSUMMATION OF GOD’S PURPOSE (Chapters 40-66)

I. THE SURPREMACY OF JEHOVAH REVEALED IN HIS ACTS

AND ATTRIBUTES, (40:1-48:22)

A. COMFORT FOR THOSE WHO TRUST, (Ch. 40)

B. ISRAEL’S DELIVERANCE AND RESTORATION, (Ch. 41)

C. MESSIAH, THE ELECT SERVANT OF JEHOVAH, (Ch. 42)

D. JEHOVAH, THE ONLY REDEEMER OF HIS PEOPLE, (Ch. 43)

E. JEHOVAH FAITHFULLY BLESSES HIS PEOPLE, (Ch. 44)

F. GOD’S PURPOSE FULFILLED THROUGH CYRUS, HIS ANOINTED SERVANT, (Ch. 45)

G. DIVINE JUDGMENT ON THE IDOLS OF BABYLON, (Ch. 46)

H. DIVINE JUDGMENT ON BABYLON, (Ch. 47)

I. A REBUKE OF JUDAH’S INFIDELITY, (Ch. 48)

II. THE MESSIANIC SERVANT AS REDEEMER, (49:1-57:21)

A. SALVATION THROUGH THE SERVANT OF JEHOVAH, (Ch. 49)

B. AN EXHORTATION TO THE UNBELIEVING IN ISRAEL, (Ch. 50)

C. EXHORTATIONS TO THE FAITHFUL REMNANT, (Ch. 51)

D. ZION’S JOY IN THE SALVATION OF JEHOVAH, (Ch. 52)

E. THE VICARIOUS SUFFERING OF THE MESSIANIC SERVANT, (Ch. 53)

F. THE RESTORATION OF ZION THROUGH MESSIANIC SUFFERING, (Ch. 54)

G. DIVINE MERCY AND SALVATION FREELY OFFERED TO ALL, (Ch. 55)

H. AN EXHORTATION TO RIGHTEOUSNESS IN VIEW OF DIVINE DELIVERANCE, (Ch. 56)

I. MESSIANIC BLESSINGS CONTINGENT ON RIGHT HEARTS, (Ch. 57)

III. THE CHALLENGE OF JEHOVAH TO A THOUGHTLESS PEOPLE, (58:1-66:24)

A. CONDITIONS FOR DIVINE ACCEPTANCE AND BLESSING, (Ch. 58)

B. THE REDEEMER COMES TO ZION, (Ch. 59)

C. THE GLORY OF THE LORD IN ZION, (Ch. 60)

D. MESSIAH’S MINISTRY, (Ch. 61)

E. JERUSALEM, A PRAISE IN THE EARTH, (Ch. 62)

F. THE DAY OF GOD’S VENGEANCE, (Ch. 63)

G. THE PRAYER AND ASPIRATION OF THE REMNANT, (Ch. 64)

H. DIVINE RESPONSE TO ISRAEL’S SUPPLICATION, (Ch. 65)

I. ZION RENEWED AND JUDGMENT EXECUTED, (Ch. 66)

JEHOVAH’S DEALINGS WITH JUDAH AND JERUSALEM, (Isaiah 1:1 to Isaiah 6:13)

AN INTRODUCTORY VISION

Verse 1-9: THE SINFUL CONDITION OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM

1. The prophet Isaiah first identifies himself, (Verse 1).

2. His message relates what has come to him in a series of visions, during the reign of four successive kings in Judah. "Without a vision the people perish"; but, the people of Judah need not perish if they will heed the word of this true man of God, (Proverbs 29:18; Amos 8:11-12).

3. Specifically, the vision is for the benefit of Judah and Jerusalem - the Southern kingdom, and "city of the Great King", (Psalms 48:2; Matthew 5:35).

4. The heavens and earth are called to attention at the grief of their Creator Who speaks through the prophet Isaiah, (comp. Deuteronomy 32:1; Micah 1:2).

a. He has nourished and brought up children who, through violence and self-will, have rebelled against Him so as to destroy the fellowship they once enjoyed, (Isaiah 30:1; Isaiah 30:9; Isaiah 65:2).

b. Lower creatures, regarded by most as "dumb animals", know their masters - the source of their sustenance; but, Israel does not know or consider, (Isaiah 5:12-13; Isaiah 44:18; Jeremiah 8:7).

c. Highly honored, and richly blessed, by a divine call to special intimacy with Jehovah; the nation exalted to a position of covenant-fellowship With Him, at Mt Sinai, seems totally void of any spiritual discernment, (Deuteronomy 14:2; Exodus 19:3-6; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:9).

5. Called to be a "holy nation" and "peculiar people", Israel has been a sinning nation - a proud people bent under the weight of their own iniquities! (Isaiah 5:18; Jeremiah 10:14).

a. Descendants of evil-doers, they have acted corruptly, (comp. Isaiah 14:20; Isaiah 31:2; Psalms 37:28; Nehemiah 1:7; Daniel 9:5).

b. Forsaking the Lord, they have shown contempt for "the Holy One of Israel" in such a way as to provoke His anger, (Verse 28, Isaiah 5:24-25).

c. Thus, they have so alienated themselves that fellowship has been broken between them and their God.

6. Further discipline seems futile - since they have only rebelled against it and deliberately insisted on rejecting the truth. The fruit of corrective discipline is determined, for good or evil - NOT by the hand that administers it, but by the heart-attitude of its recipient, (Verse 5-6; Isaiah 31:6).

a. The depravity of their rebellious hearts has corrupted their whole beings, (Verse 5).

b. From head to foot there is a lack of moral soundness in the nation, (Verse 6; Ezekiel 34:4-6; Ezekiel 34:16; comp. Psalms 38:3).

c. The prophet views them as weak and diseased - with rotten sores and bleeding wounds to which no healing balm has been applied, because none has been sought.

7. Detestable moral disobedience has brought devouring judgment, (Verse 7-9; Isaiah 6:11; Leviticus 26:33; Jeremiah 44:5-6).

a. Their cities have been burned; their fields plundered by the enemy.

b. Devastation and desolation have come upon them at the hands of aliens.

c. So complete is the devastation that Jerusalem is likened unto: a temporary shack - erected for use during harvest, but now deserted and silent; a besieged city which, though left standing, is desolate.

d. But for a small remnant, graciously spared by the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 10:20-22; Isaiah 37:4; Isaiah 37:31-32; Isaiah 46:3), its overthrow would have been as complete as that of Sodom and Gomorrah, (Romans 9:29; Jeremiah 49:18; Jeremiah 50:40).

Verse 10

Va. 10-15: THE EMPTINESS OF MERE RELIGIOUS EXERCISES

1. Addressing her rulers as "Sodom", and her people as "Gomorrah", the prophet pleads with the nation to "Hear the word of the Lord" and "Listen to the teaching of our God"! (Verse 10)

a. This suggests that their wickedness is very great, (Isaiah 3:9; Ezekiel 16:46-51).

b. It implies that the judgment awaiting them will be very severe, (Amos 4:11).

c. How vitally important, therefore, that they "Hear (give heed to) the word of the Lord"! (Isaiah 8:20; Isaiah 28:14-15).

2. How can one expect to profit from a flurry of pious religious activity, if his heart is not in it? (Jeremiah 6:19-20).

a. The Lord is "fed up" with their burnt offerings, without obedience, (Verse 11; Amos 5:21-24).

b. And He takes no pleasure in the multitude of their blood sacrifices so long as the attitude of their hearts is not right toward Him, (Malachi 1:10; Micah 6:6-8).

3. Who has deceived them into believing they can profit by such defilement of His courts with their unholy feet? (Jeremiah 7:9-10; Jeremiah 7:21-26).

4. They must not appear before Him again with such vanity, (Verse 13; Isaiah 66:3-4).

a. Their burning of incense is abominable to Him; their celebration of the monthly and yearly feasts are such a wearying grief that He cannot continue to endure, (Verse 14). ,

b. He will, henceforth, close his eyes and stop His ears when their blood-stained hands are lifted toward Him in prayer! (Verse 15; Deuteronomy 31:16-18; Micah 3:4; Jeremiah 14:12; Isaiah 59:1-2).

Verses 16-20

Verse 16-20: A CALL TO REPENTANCE AND OFFER OF BLESSING

1. The change required in them must be a radical one.

a. There must be a cleansing from their defilement (Psalms 26:6; cf. Exodus 30:19); God’s own people still need such cleansing when they have turned aside from the way of holiness, (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 1:9).

b. They must repudiate, abandon and turn from such wickedness as has become a stench in God’s nostrils, (Jeremiah 25:4-5; Isaiah 55:7).

c. Learning the way of righteousness, they must see that justice and equity become, the ruling principles of their national life (Jeremiah 22:3-5; Zephaniah 2:3). When this happens: ruthlessness will be restrained, orphans will be defended, and the cause of the widow will not be without an advocate, (Isaiah 58:3-8). ,

2. What follows (in Verse 18-20) is NOT an invitation to negotiate; it is a summons to judgment! (Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 43:26-28; Micah 6:2).

a. If Israel, the covenant nation, is willing to meet the conditions already held down by their Lord; then, He will be merciful and show kindness toward them - offering forgiveness and cleansing, (Isaiah 44:22; Isaiah 43:25; Psalms 51:7; 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:22).

b. If they obey, with willing heart, they shall "eat the good of the land", (Deuteronomy 30:15-16; Isaiah 30:23-24; Isaiah 55:2-3; Isaiah 58:13-14).

c. But, if they despise His offer of goodness and mercy and continue in their rebellion (in disobedience of unbelief); then, they will be devoured by the sword, (Isaiah 3:25-26; Isaiah 65:12).

d. They are duly informed of the only alternatives open to them - obedience and blessing, or rebellion and ruin!

Verses 21-31

Verse 21-31: A VISION OF JUDGMENT AND REDEMPTION

1. Here is a lamentation in which Jerusalem, the once-faithful city, is likened to a prostitute; by her idolatry she has departed from and corrupted God’s ways, (Verse 21a; Isaiah 57:3-9; Jeremiah 2:20).

a. At one time justice reigned within her gates and righteousness made its dwelling within her walls; now she is a habitation of murderers! (Isaiah 59:7).

b. Corruption and disintegration are everywhere in evidence. Her silver is impure, unrefined and full of dross (Ezekiel 22:18); her once-sterling character shamefully compromised. Her wine is diluted with water- the "joy of the Lord" having faded in the breach of fellowship with her divine husband.

c. Her rebel-hearted princes are the associates of thieves -loving bribes and chasing after reward, (Isaiah 3:14-15; Micah 7:3; Exodus 23:6-8).

2. Thus, judgment is perverted: the orphan is defenseless, and a deaf ear is turned to the widow’s plea - a situation concerning which the righteous Lord cannot remain silent, (Isaiah 10:1-2; Jeremiah 5:28-29; Zechariah 7:9-12).

3. In setting forth His purpose of redemption, the rightful King of Israel identifies Himself by three divine titles, (Verse 24).

a. He is the "Lord" of all creation.

b. He is "LORD (Jehovah) of Hosts" - whose will and command the heavenly creatures eagerly await.

c. And He is "the Mighty One of Israel" - by whose power the covenant-nation may prevail, (Genesis 49:24; Psalms 132:1-5; cf. Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 60:16).

4. He to whom vengeance belongs (Romans 12:19) will relieve Himself of His adversaries and deal justly with His enemies.

5. By means of justice and judgment the Lord will purge, refine and purify His people, (Ezekiel 22:19-22; Malachi 3:2-3). The concept of a "remnant" of Israel - cleansed through fiery trials and brought into harmony with God’s holy purpose - is a constantly-recurring theme in Isaiah, (Isaiah 4:2-4; Isaiah 10:20-22; Isaiah 37:30-32, etc.).

a. Her judges and counselors will be restored to function according to the righteous principles that were to be inherent in their offices from the beginning, (Isaiah 60:17-18; Isaiah 32:1).

b. Restored to the divine pattern, Jerusalem will be known as a stronghold of righteousness - "the Faithful City", (Isaiah 33:5; Isaiah 60:14; Isaiah 62:1-2; Zechariah 8:3).

c. So, Zion will be justly ransomed, and a repentant remnant -which is permitted to return, according to righteous principles, (Isaiah 35:9-10; Isaiah 62:12).

6. When the Lord is roused to anger, rebel transgressors and sinners will fall together; those who forsake Him, for idols, will be consumed by His fiery indignation, (Isaiah 24:20: Psalms 9:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Isaiah 66:15-16).

a. When they stand before Him they will be ashamed of the "oaks" under which they have practiced their idolatries, (Isaiah 57:5).

b. And, under His searching gaze, they will blush in remembrance of the shameless sensualities practiced in their choice gardens, (Isaiah 65:3; Isaiah 66:17).

7. When the fire of divine judgment is unleashed, they will be as a withered oak and a parched garden, (Isaiah 64:6-7).

a. The sinner and his sin will be consumed together by the wrath of divine indignation, (Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 33:11-14; Hebrews 12:29).

b. Nor will there be anyone to deliver them from the consequences of their folly! (Matthew 3:12; Mark 9:43).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/isaiah-1.html. 1985.
 
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