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24 Cards in this Set

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What is the function of Chapter 1 in relation to the rest of the book of Isaiah?
Chapter 1 functions to introduce the major themes of Isaiah:

1. The sinfulness of Judah (vv3-8)
2. The tender appeals of the LORD (vv16-19)
3. The certainty of coming judgment (vv24-25, 29-31)
4. The blessedness of the salvation to come (vv26-27)
5. The remant that will be saved (v9)
What is the function of Chapter 6 in relation to the rest of the book of Isaiah?
Chapter 6 functions to give:

1. The source of Isaiah's authority
2. The source of Isaiah's message
3. Judah's obligation to listen to Isaiah.

After the dire warnings and threats of chapters 1-5, he needed to introduce his credentials. It also functions to inform us of the source of Isaiah’s most prominent themes (study notes pg. 51). Also of note is the parallelism between Israel and Isaiah. His experience of repentance, confession, cleansing, and commissioning foreshadows Israel’s (e.g., sinful – “man of unclean lips”; atoned for – coal from the altar; mission of Israel – commission of Isaiah).
What is the setting of the book - historical?
Major events:

Syro-Ephraimite War - 732
Fall of Samaria - 722
Egyptian Agitation to revolt against Assyria - 705
Sennacherib's invasion - 701


Uzziah (767-740) - good
Jotham (740-732) - good
Ahaz (732-715) - BAD
Hezekiah (715-687) - good
Manasseh (687-642) - BAD
What is the setting of the book - religious?
situation is varied depending on the king.
Under Uzziah and Jotham, worship of Yawheh dominated, but idol worship was somewhat tolerated on the high places.

Under Ahaz, idolatry reigned (including child sacrifice)

Under Hezekiah, the high places were torn down, and pure religion returned (though the worship of the people was likely not as pure as that of the king).

Under Manasseh, the high places were rebuilt, idolatry was worse than ever in Judah (child sacrifice again), and Judah did more evil than the other Canaanite nations ever had.
What is the setting of the book - social?
Generally, it was a time of prosperity for Judah, but also increased oppression of the poor.
What is the setting of the book - Internationally?
In the beginning of Isaiah's ministry, Assyria is weak, but with the ascension of Tiglath Pileser III in 745, Assyria's power grew.

This put pressure on Israel--Syro-Ephraimite war in 732

Damascus sacked in 732, Samaria in 722

Egypt's pressure on Judah to revolt (705) leads to invasion of Sennacherib and his defeat at Jerusalem (701)

Assyria is still the most powerful nation at time of Isaiah's death (Bablyon is not yet strong).
What is the intended audience?
Judah of Isaiah’s time;

but chapters 40-66 do also speak to post-exilic Israel. I think we need to be careful here, since the prominence of idolatry in the later chapters is a major factor in arguing for single authorship. Obviously, Isaiah is still speaking to an audience in the grip of this idolatry (pre-exile), but the context of the later chapters is one of return from exile, and the recipients are addressed as such.
What some of the main themes of the book?
-the sin and rebellion of Judah and Jerusalem
- the tender appeals of the Lord
- the certainty of the coming judgment
- the blessedness of the salvation to come
- the holiness of God
- the Messiah/Servant of the Lord
- remnant motif
- spiritual blindness/darkness
- idolatry
What are the arguments against the traditional view of authorship of Isaiah?
(a) historical setting of chs. 40-66 reflects the exilic period, because Jerusalem is depicted as having fallen and been deported;

(b) the striking differences in language, style, and concepts between the two parts of the book (1-39, 40-66) point to different authors;

(c) the Hebrew prophet was, the theory holds, primarily given a message for
his own day (addressing contemporary issues with God’s word); chs. 40-66 are said not to be addressed to the people of the 8th century.
What are the arguments responding to critical theories of Isaiah?
1. the present literary context attributes the whole book to Isaiah, as do Jewish tradition and NT authority (Josephus in Antiquities; 1QIsa(a) [no break at the end of ch. 39 even though it’s near the bottom of a column] NT John 12.38-44 citation of Isa 53.1 and 6.9)

2. there are enough similarities in language and concepts to maintain a single authorship; differences can be explained by new subject matter,
altered intention, and later date in prophet’s life.

3. supernatural quality of prophecy is jeopardized if 40-66 written during exile. Can prophets predict the future or not?
Breakdown of arguments contra the traditional view on 5 fronts
1. linguistic.
--diff. of lang. type and date. contra Driver, of the allegedly “late” Heb. expressions of 40-66 none is demonstrably later than the latter part of Isaiah’s life.
--linguistic affinities. contra Driver, who lists his perceived differences of word usage between the two parts. But when compared to Margalioth’s list, they are not impressive.
--style. contra Driver, who attributes stylistic differences to multiple authors. But must these differences (which no one disputes) be due to multiple authors? The stylistic differences are better explained by different subject matter (the future of Judah during and after exile [Delitzsch])

2. literary
--how could the unknown author of such a beautiful work as ch. 40-66 just disappear into oblivion and have his work simply attributed to Isaiah by all subsequent tradition?
--there is no escaping the thematic connection between the two parts of the book. Even those like Childs who accepts multiple authorship cannot ignore the multiple instances of unity.

3. tradition
--Isa. appears in other OT authors (quoted in Jer., Zeph. from 7th cent.
--how do you account for the tradition of unified authorship (no mention in tradition of multiple authors)

4. content
--predictive prophecy. It is unscientific to rule out a priori the possibility of predictive prophecy. Once you allow this possibility you are open to a unified authorship. If you deny unified authorship you are suggesting that someone somewhere was being fraudulently deceptive in passing off his work of the 6th cent. as predictive prophecy of the 8th.
--polemic against idolatry. The references to idolatry in 40-66 make sense only in a Canaanite context, not a Babylonian one.
--relevance to Isaiah’s time. Even though the event of 40-66 are still future for Isaiah’s audience, there is still a present moral significance, especially the anti-idolatry passages of 45, 48, 57, and 66.

5. ideology.
the unspoken presupposition of the critical view is a naturalistic worldview. They rule out supernatural events from the start and this drives all their conclusions.

the bottom line according to the basics of the philosophy of science
which theory of authorship
1. accounts for all the data?
2. adheres to Ockham’s razor? i.e. which theory accounts for the data with the simpler solution?
3. has coherence (with itself and other outside phenomena)?
4. generates fruitfulness?
What are the main messianic sections of Isaiah?
Why is 7:14 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
Short answer: Because of the focus on God's preservation (through supernatural means) of the House of David.

Long: This passage is Messianic as it speaks to the survival of the Davidic dynasty (to which God’s blessing is tied – 2 Sam 7:12ff). Vv. 10-14 indicates that a “sign” will be given (= evidence that God keeps his promise): the birth of a special child. (Collins, p.56) In short, Immanuel is a sign of God’s enduring purpose for the house of David (and not just in the face of threat from Ephraim and Aram, but also Assyria) (Collins, p.56) Greater detail about this child is revealed as we move through the book of Immanuel (ch.7-12). Please see Bill Connors review of Bergey’s article to further clarify how the child must be the Messiah.
Why is 9:2-7 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
Short: It builds on the unique/special Davidic interests of ch.7 (consider "el gibor")

Long: This passage speaks again to the Davidic king that offers hope amid troubling circumstances. To that end, ch 9 offers further description of the child from ch.7. The fact that Immanuuel is a sign of God’s enduring purpose for the house of David, and that the child of ch.9 is a Davidic king, and that ch.11 continues the picture of the Davidic king, with ch.12 as the reaction of praise, suggests that we should identify the boy of ch.9 with Immanuel, and distinguish them from Isaiah’s two sons (Shear Yashub, 7.3, and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, 8.3), who are signs for the more immediate situation (8.18). (Collins, p.56)
Why is 11:1-10 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
Short: Shows focus on the reign of this special Davidic heir. Whenever there is an interest in the nations, it is a solid criteria for the messiah. Ministry to the nations is a kingly function (ala 2 Sam 7) and KING = MESSIAH = DAVIDIC Heir.

Long: This passage shapes how the “story” will end by building a picture of the Messiah’s kingship/reign. The language shows how the Davidic Messiah is expanding his reign over the Gentiles—which for Christians, is the age in which we now live. (Collins, p.58)
Why is 42:1-9 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
1st Servant Song” This passage shows that the Servant is Yahweh’s anointed (v.1) and this servant exercises the royal functions of ‘bringing justice to the nations’ (v.1,3-4). The servant will also serve as a "light for the nations" (v6).
Why is 49:1-13 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
(alt: 1-13) “2nd Servant Song” The first Servant song does not raise the question of the identity of the Servant but concentrates on his task. Here the Servant brings back Jacob/Israel to the LORD (v5), and also is a light to the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.
Why is 50:1-11 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
(alt: 1-11) “3rd Servant Song”

- prophetic authority of Servant
- innocent suffering of Servant
- Vindication of Servant and followers
- punishment of opponents
Why is 52:13-53:12 Messianic, and what picture does it paint of the Messiah?
Why messianic?

1. "high and lifted up" is clearly about YHWH in 6:1 & 57:15
2. the interest in nations and kings puts the servant in touch with the kingly mission of the Messiah.

1. While the Messiah primarily is a kingly figure, here we have the priestly act supplemented into the kingly work (sprinkle, sacrifice, intercession).
2. Shocking to us what the Servant/Messiah must go through to accomplish his task. Especially since the grief, sorrows, iniquity that he bears is not due to any fault of his own, but is due entirely to the people of God. The servant ultimately will die, taking the place of those who identify themselves with him as their representative.
3. Yet, there is VINDICATION on the other side of his suffering and death.
4. The servant here is shown to be fulfilling the kingly task of taking the light to the nations.
Some other potentially Messianic sections to be aware of...
2:1-5 This passage is Messianic insofar as it depicts the era inaugurated by the coming of the Messiah, particularly by his resurrection and ascension (= his coronation day, Acts 13:33; 1 Cor 15:25). (Collins, p.49) The language is so striking (esp, v.4) that it cannot correspond to anything we have yet seen. (Collins, p.47)

8:8 This passage shows that God’s judgment is not only for Judah’s enemies, but also for Judah itself. This passage addresses the sure doom of Judah, but hope and God’s good purpose will ultimately prevail because of Immanuel—the sign-child mentioned from ch7. (This passage is highly debated, and unlikely of any interest to Dr Collins)

61:1-11 This passage details the Servant’s ministry to Israel. The anointed one of the Lord announces his divine commission (v.1-3). The mission of deliverance and justice is a distinctly royal task that links him with the royal figure of the first two servant songs and with the ideal just king portrayed in Isaiah 11. Jesus would later identify himself with the speaker in Isaiah 61 (cf. Lk 4:18-21) (Chisholm, p.129-130) Delitzsch agrees that the speaker is indeed, the Servant of Jehovah, by the fact that the speaker not only appears as the herald of the new and great gifts of God, but also as the dispenser of the them. (Delitzsch, p.580) Consider also the renewed covenant relationship described in v8b, that will be permanent.
What do we make of the servant of the LORD?
Collins notes: "He is all that Israel should have been (41.8; 45.4; 49.3); but he’s also a specific individual with a mission to Israel and beyond (49.5-6 ). He is the Lord’s chosen (42.1), and exercises the royal [king] function of judgment (42.1, 3-4), displays the marks of a prophet (49.1-2; 50.4, 10), and in 52.13ff he does the work of a priest. All this favors the “pyramid” view described in Bullock, 154."

Summary: The servant represents and embodies the people of God. This is a Davidic Kingly role--the servant is a king.

The servant leads the people of God in bringing the light to the nations (thus expanding his kingdom)

This servant king also acts as a priest to the people (i.e. sprinkling the nations).

Servant fulfills Israel's role - the "true Israel"

But also an Individual who ministers to Israel and world

Lord's chosen

Prophet, Priest, King
How does the servant relate to the people of God?
The servant of the LORD can be used both ways, as the people of Israel and as the designated rep who embodies the people. Take them on a case by case basis based on context. And if you can't decide, that's significant. Outside of the Servant Songs (42,49,50,52/53), the servant is mostly the coporate entity Israel.

The individual servant springs from Israel/people of God, acts as Israel/POG should act (thus is the "true Israel/POG") but also ministers to Israel/POG and the world.

The servant acts as the covenant representative of the people of God, just as the Davidic king did.
How does the servant relate to the messiah?
The servant is the messiah (i.e. the anointed one).

For at least three reasons:

1) The distinction b/w Israel as the servant and an individual who is an embodiment of Israel, yet distinct.

2) Connection with Davidic mission (towards gentiles)

3) The phrase "my servant David" in Ez 34, 37 links the servant to the davidic messiah.

See also Mt 8:17, 12:18-21, Acts 8:32-33.
Name the Servant Songs
Traditional: 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12

Collins/Kidner: 42:1-9, 49:1-13, 50:1-11, 52:13-53:12