Isaiah: Volume 1 Chapters 1-39 (EP Study Commentary)
MacKay, John L.
There were no investigative journalists in the ancient world, but to a certain extent their role was fulfilled in Israel by the prophets, among whom was a numbered Isaiah. He exposed the follies of the rich, denounced oppression in society, warned against the dangers of foreign alliances and resolutely confronted wayward kings. Unlike a journalist, however, the prophet acted as a spokesman for God, assessing the activities of the nation, whether economic, social, political or religious, in the light not of earthly political considerations, but of the standards God had laid down in his word.
Nor was the message proclaimed by the prophets of old exclusively negative. They held out God's way back for his erring people, and pointed forward to the provision that he would make for their restoration and salvation. Of no prophet was this more the case than it was of Isaiah, whose messianic descriptions are fuller than many in the Gospels and whose prophecy is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament book except the Psalms.
Volume 1 of this commentary covers the first 39 chapters of Isaiah, which record the prophet's ministry against the background of the ever-present threat posed by the mighty Assyrian Empire, culminating with God's deliverance of the southern kingdom of Judah in the time of Hezekiah. The section concludes with a warning of the Babylonian exile, thus providing a link with the later chapters, in which the prophet's vision will be drawn forward to a time when Yahweh will again intervene to deliver his people and ultimately to the coming of Christ.
About the Author
John L. Mackay is a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. After several years in the pastorate, in 1983 he was appointed Professor of Old Testament in the Free Church College, Edinburgh, and has lectured there ever since. He has also engaged in a widespread speaking ministry, and has written expository commentaries on several Old Testament books.
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