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Reading in Context—An Interpretive Principle

Word Links

Built into Isaiah’s prophecy—and indeed into all scripture—are two different ways one may interpret them. The first is superficial, presumptive, and conceited. The second is in-depth, inquiring, and unassuming. That is one way God divides people—“rendering void the knowledge of their sages and the intelligence of their wise men insignificant” (Isaiah 29:14)—when the truth finally comes out. Besides inheriting a Christian tradition that bears little resemblance to the religion of Jesus, the modern world has inherited an entire array of scriptural interpretations that don’t reflect what their texts actually say. Particularly is that the case with the writings of Isaiah.

One of the first principles of scriptural interpretation is to read everything in context—meaning you can’t isolate even one word, verse, or idea and let that become a point of focus without taking into account all its interconnections and word links to other parts of the text. In Isaiah’s case, however, that principle extends to the entire book, as all its components—literary patterns, typologies, codenames, keywords, and concepts—are interwoven into one grand tapestry. These mechanics of Isaiah’s prophecy, in other words, preclude the casual reader from coming to understanding, even as they inspire a kind of divine awe in the reader who unravels them.

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About Isaiah Institute

The Isaiah Institute was created in the year 2000 by the Hebraeus Foundation to disseminate the message of the prophet Isaiah (circa 742–701 B.C.). Avraham Gileadi Ph.D’s groundbreaking research and analysis of the Book of Isaiah provides the ideal medium for publishing Isaiah’s endtime message to the world. No longer can the Book of Isaiah be regarded as an obscure document from a remote age. Its vibrant message, decoded after years of painstaking research by a leading authority in his field, now receives a new application as a sure guide to a rapidly changing world. To those who seek answers to today’s perplexing questions, the Book of Isaiah is God’s gift to humanity.

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