Isaiah Chapters 7-12 —Judah's Politics and The Messiah

Chapters 7-12 form a natural unit, the most autobiographical section of the book.

Isaiah encounters the earthly king, Ahaz, in a time of political crisis. Ahaz has a choice to make: have faith in God or in man.

His decision leads to prophecies about a coming King, the Messiah.

This king will be from the same house of Judah but will rule very differently than Ahaz and the other kings from the house of David.

Contrast chapters 7-12 with chapters 36-38 in which Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah, confronts a similar question of faith in God but with a different outcome.

Isaiah uses some of the same words and phrases to tie them together.

Isaiah Chapter 7-8

This uses many people and place names. In the end we are only talking about three kingdoms—Judah, Israel, and Syria — with different titles for each:

  • Syria = Damascus (capital city) = Rezin (king)
  • Israel = Samaria (capital city) = Ephraim (dominant tribe) = Pekah, son of Remaliah (king)
  • Judah = Jerusalem (capital city) = Ahaz, son of Jotham (king)
Isaiah Chapter 9-10

The Northern Kingdom is sometimes referred to as “Samaria,” or “Ephraim”.

It was apostate and corrupt since the days of Jeroboam, who had led them in their separation from the Southern Kingdom.

The Southern Kingdom comprised the tribes of Judah (Judea), Benjamin, and any others who wanted to keep their religion pure and worship in the Jerusalem temple.

Isaiah Chapter 11-12.

The Son becomes the King. Judgment against Israel.

Assyria an instrument in God's hands. Destruction of Assyria a type of the Second Coming. A Remnant shall return. The Stem of Jesse.

After declaring God’s judgment and mercy through the saving of the remnant, Isaiah and the people conclude with a song of triumph, praise, and thanksgiving.

Isaiah Chapters 13-23 — Prophecies to the nations

Isaiah Chapter 13-16

The burden of Babylon” (Isa. 13:1); Isaiah foresaw its rise and destruction. ‘Burden’ as used in Isaiah is a message of doom ‘lifted up’ against a people.” Isaiah’s warnings to Babylon regarding it’s fall are both literal and spiritual; literal fall, and the fall of the World or Satan’s kingdom (also called Babylon) in the latter days.

The sense of wonder and awe over Babylon’s [double] destruction is evident in both Isaiah’s and John’s writings. How is it possible that a city/empire/world so admired by men, so powerful and rich, could come to naught?

Isaiah Chapter 17-23

Isaiah's calls to repentance and prophesies of coming judgment were not limited to Judah and Israel, but extended to many Gentile nations surrounding his own land... it would be easy to ask: How can the Lord use as his servant such evil empires, like Assyria and Babylon?

In the early part of chapter 13, Assyria was a tool in the Lord’s hand to chasten Israel and Judah (see chapters 7-8). Babylon will later be the same kind of tool against a wicked Judah.

Because Aram (Syria) and Ephraim (Israel) allied against Judah, they are combined in their oracle.

These chapters sum with two words: "sin"and "punishment". Isaiah deals in contradictions: the heavens and the earth; now and later; judgment and salvation; sin and punishment. Sin has consequences that the Lord will exact on his recalcitrant children.

Today, our sins may not be exactly those of the people Isaiah taught but they have the similar consequences. Unless we exercise the faith (hearing and seeing), repentance (turning around), baptism (washing and cleansing), receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (the spirit), and endure to the end, we are eternally at risk, like the peoples of old.