The Book of Isaiah Summarized chapters nos. 1 to 10
The Brit-Am Summary of Isaiah
chapters 1 to 10
Below we present an overall impression of the Book of Isaiah from a Brit-Am point of view.
For details see our Brit-Am Commentary to the Book of Isaiah and our other writings.
We do not necessarily understand these prophecies any more than anyone else but here and there we can perhaps shed some light on the meaning of individual verses and that is a worthwhile beginning.
Isaiah begins his prophecy (1:1) from the viewpoint of (a) Judah and Jerusalem. The People of Israel are Children of the Almighty but they do not act like it but are a sinful nation (1:4). They are physically and ecologically suffering for their sins (1:7). Alien foreigners are taking over (1:7). If God did not have mercy upon us we would be destroyed altogether (1:10). Your prayers and worship will not be accepted unless you act righteously (1:12-16) meaning especially the practice of social justice with protection and care for the vulnerable (1:17). If we repent God will forgive us and show us favor (1:18-19) but if not violence will overtake us (1:20). Violence, fraud and graft are among our major offences (1:21-23). This will change. The "bad eggs" among us will be removed (1:24-25, 28).
Righteous rulers (judges) and counselors will come forth and show us the way to redemption (1:26-27). This applies especially to "Zion" (1:27) who according to the Midrash Tanchuma in Prophecy may also represent Joseph. We will be ashamed of our pagan practices and punished through them and for them (1:29-31).
Isaiah turns again to Judah and Jerusalem (2:1). In the End Days the Temple will be rebuilt and all the Peoples of the World will come up to Jerusalem for instruction (2:2-4). There will be no more war. The energies formerly expended in Warfare will be channeled to economic enterprises (2:4).
The House of Jacob is called upon to go in the way of the Almighty (2:5). Until now the House of Jacob (Yanks and Union Jack) have denied their Israelite origins and brotherhood with Judah ("REJECTED THY PEOPLE") and followed pagan foreign practices. Eastern Religions are fashionable (2:6). The House of Jacob is immensely wealthy and full of automobile-chariots (2:7). Their culture is materialistic and emphasizes the acquisition of wealth in an idolatrous way (2:8) at the expense of human dignity (2:9). They will try to take refuge in underground shelters from the wrath of God (2:10). God will be glorified and Israel (Lebanon, Bashan, Tarshish) along with all other nations humbled (2:11-17). When people run and hide under the earth they will discard their idolatry and acknowledge that only the God of Israel is true (2:18-21).
Jerusalem and Judah will suffer from lack of water and food (3:1). They will lack leadership (3:4) and will oppress each other with no respect for age or position (3:5). Judah and Jerusalem will suffer because of their wickedness but the righteous amongst them will be watched over (3:10). Women and children will rule the People of God because of their sins. This is a punishment (3:12).
Oppression of the poor, and deliberate sexual provocation by women will bring disaster upon Zion (3:15-15) including severe physical afflictions that leave ugly symptoms and cause physical repulsion in others (3:17-24). Young men will die in battle and strategic points ("gates") be lost (3:26). The losses will be so great that there will not be enough males for all the women who will then endeavor to enter into polygamous relationships (4:1).
Those who survive in Zion and Jerusalem will be sanctified and upraised by the Almighty (4:2-3). We will be rehabilitated (4:4). A supernatural Cloud by day and a Fire by night will appear over the physical area of Mount Zion (4:5).
Isaiah (5:1-2) relates a parable of his friend who bought a vineyard and invested heavily in its development and upkeep but the vineyard only brought forth worthless fruit. Jerusalem and Judah are that vineyard which will have to be demolished (5:3-6).
The parable however applies even more so to The House of Israel (The Ten Tribes) who spill blood and lack justice (5:7). Judah was supposed to bring forth good fruit through association with the House of Israel but both sides failed (5:7). They who pursue development at ecological expense are condemned (5:8) alongside they who devote themselves to self-indulgence and partying (5:11-12). Because of these offences the People of the Almighty are sent into Exile due to their own lack of knowledge. Hunger will strike them both in the physical and spiritual sense (5:13). The best families will perish (5:14). At this stage God will be exalted (5:16).
[It is a recurring theme in Isaiah that from the depths of despair will emerge salvation and everything be turned over again from bad to good].
Isaiah condemns they who continue to sin and look forward to the End Times or defy the bad results of their actions (5:19). They call evil good and good evil both in ideology (5:20) and in deed (5:21-23). They are traitors to the People of the LORD GOD of Israel (5:24). They shall be punished just as they caused punishment to come upon their fellow men (5:25). Hordes of foreigners from a distant nation at the geographical extremity of a continental land mass (5:26) will attack with rockets, guns, armored vehicles and flying machines (5:28). They will take captives and darken the sky (5:30).
Isaiah had a vision in which he saw the angels worshipping the Almighty in which he was chosen as a messenger to the people (6:1-9). It was destined that the people would hear but deny or fail to comprehend until it will be too late and the whole land shall be desolate (6:11). Only a tenth will remain and they too will undergo severe tribulation (6:13).
In the time of Isaiah, Rezin the King of Aram ("Syria") and Pekah the son of Remaliah the King of the northern entity of "Israel" (the Ten Tribes) attempted to conquer Jerusalem the capital of Judah but they could not (7:1). Isaiah was told to take a message to King Ahaz of Judah and tell him to be strengthened (7:4). The plans of his enemies would not succeed (7:5-7). Ephraim (Samaria) was destined to be exiled completely at the end of a prophesied sixty-five years. Rashi says that the expression "WITHIN SIXTY-FIVE YEARS EPHRAIM WILL BE BROKEN TO PIECES SO THAT IT WILL NO LONGER BE A PEOPLE" (7:8) was a well-known quotation from Amos that Ahaz should have been aware of and that the already-predicted 65 year waiting period would soon be up (7:8-9). Ahaz King of Judah was requested to ask for a sign from heaven to affirm the reassurance from heaven that Isaiah had imparted (7:10-11). He refused and was rebuked (7:11-12). The sign given is that a young woman (a wife of King Ahaz?) who was already pregnant would bear a son named "Emanuel"(7:14). Shortly after the child is weaned the combined Land (?) of "Israel" and "Aram" will be abandoned (7:16). The disaster would be occasioned by the King of Assyria and the calamity will be as great as when the Northern Ten Tribes split away from Judah and formed their own kingdom (7:17). The area will be cleaned out of inhabitants like a razor passing over a head of hair and the rest of the body (7:20). There will be desolation in the Northern Kingdom (7:22-25). How this ties up with the 65 year scenario noted above is not clear. Pekah is listed as ruling over Israel in the tears 737-735 BCE. The Exile of the northern kingdom occurred in stages and is conventionally considered to have been completed with the fall of the city of Samaria in 722 BCE. Isaiah was told to take a writing tablet and write words before witnesses indicating the speed of the coming events involving the fall of Ephraim (8:1). He also begat (by his wife who was a prophetess in her own right) a child to whom he bestowed the same indicative expressive names he had written. The events were to take place before the child learned to say "Daddy" or "Mummy" (8:4). The attack of Assyria would be like an overflowing flood that would also involve a good portion of Judah (8:8). Even so, despite the antagonism of foreign nations God will be with Judah (8:10). We are warned against belief in "Conspiracy" Theories (8:12). We must fear God only (8:13). He is "The Great Conspirer in the Sky." He judges both Houses of Israel (8:14). God dwells on Mount Zion (8:18). Do not go to spiritualists, witch doctors, and the like for they are involved with death whereas our God is the God of Life (8:19). They who put their faith in entities other than God will be disappointed and will end up cursing the other entities (8:21).
There will be no gloom for Israel at the Time of Redemption. In Former Times (do not look for strict time sequences in Prophecy) they were exiled beginning with the Lands of Zebulon and Naphtali, after that even more severely by Way of the Sea, Across the Jordan, the Highlands of the Nations (9:11). In their place of Darkness and Exile the Ten Tribes suddenly achieved freedom (9:2). They multiplied greatly and threw off the yoke of their oppressor and one of their offshoots became the Nation of Khazars (9:3-4).
Israel will be mighty warriors (9:5) under a great leader who will from Childhood be destined to lead with Divine Inspiration (9:6). His rule of justice and righteousness will last forever. He will sit on the Throne of David (9:7).
Isaiah returns to speak of the coming disaster upon Samaria: This is the way of Prophecy, a constant flitting back and forth between time and events with the past merging into the future and the future suddenly describing the past. Ephraim will attribute his disaster to natural causes that can be rectified (9:9-10). This attitude causes God to set still more adversaries against them, Aram (Syrians) in the east and Philistines in the West (9:12). They remained obstinate so God will cut them off in one day (9:14). Their leaders and false prophets have misled them (9:15-16). They are all bad including those who themselves are victimized and vulnerable and will be burnt up (9:17-18).
Manasseh is against Ephraim, Ephraim is against Manasseh, and they both gang up together against Judah and this is not the end of it (9:21).
Authorities make evil decrees and "experts" write books and articles to justify them (10:1-2). The experts will not be there to help you in time of trouble when you have to crouch down amongst the corpses and pretend to be dead in order to save your life (10:3-4).
Assyria is a tool of punishment employed by the Almighty (10:5). Assyria will be sent against Israel who are described as a "godless" nation (10:6). It is the nature of Assyria to destroy other nations even though the Assyrians themselves may not be consciously aware of it (10:7). Assyria considers Samaria (the Ten Tribes) with its idols to be no different from other pagan nations that it has destroyed (10:9-11) and will think to treat Jerusalem in the same way (10:11). Assyria attributes its success to its own merits and for such arrogance will be punished with sickness and burning fire out of Israel (10:12-19). In that time instead of masochistically looking to Assyria, their tormentor, for help, the Remnant of Israel and the Survivors of the House of Jacob will genuinely turn to God (10:20-21). Israel will have ben as numerous as the sands of the sea but only a remnant will survive the decreed destruction (10:22). The People of God are called upon not to fear Assyria who is doomed to destruction and his yoke of oppression will be broken (10:24-26).
Isaiah then begins to describe the passage of the Assyrian host through the countryside of Judah, from Rimmon, to Aiath, through Migron, Michmash, etc., until reaching Jerusalem (10:26-32). Assyria cuts down the cedars of Lebanon to prepare his siege against Jerusalem (10:34). We pointed out that the name "Lebanon" is cognate with "Albion" which is another name for Britain.