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Importance of Understanding Isaiah
According to the prophet Isaiah, the message of his book is intended specifically “for the endtime” (Isaiah 30:8). In-depth, modern-day research has revealed the enormous relevance of Isaiah’s message to current worldwide events, coinciding with the very time his writings have been deciphered. Rather than wait to find out if the words of Isaiah are important, make the attempt with the new literary tools now available and you will soon discover the answer.
As the most quoted prophet in all of scripture, Isaiah is accorded the highest honors among God’s prophetic messengers. So when Jesus says, “Search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, for they are those that testify of me” (John 5:39), or when the Book of Acts says, “They received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11), they likely had Isaiah principally in mind.
Isaiah voices a complaint against God’s endtime people, whom he saw in vision, lamenting that they neglect his words instead of searching and teaching them: “You have heard the whole vision; how is it you don’t proclaim it?” (Isaiah 48:6). Isaiah’s “vision” of “the end from the beginning” and his “good tidings” of Messiah’s salvation (Isaiah 1:1; 46:10; 52:7), instead of empowering them for the coming Day of Jehovah, leave them uninformed and deprived.
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and others prophesy of God’s endtime servant who gathers Israel’s twelve tribes from dispersion and restores them to lands of inheritance on a parallel with the prophecies of Isaiah. As a descendant of David named David, God’s servant reunites Israel and Judah, builds the temple in Jerusalem, and establishes the political kingdom of God on the earth in preparation for Jehovah’s coming to reign among his elect people as King of Zion.
People who search the words of Isaiah using different interpretive tools, come to a far greater understanding than those who fail to search them or who see no need to do so. In the very act of their searching Isaiah’s messianic prophecies—connecting key words, word links, and imagery—the Spirit of God endows the searcher with a testimony of the truth that Jesus Christ is indeed that same Jehovah whose first and second comings to the earth Isaiah predicts.
The Message of the Prophet Isaiah
In contrast to non-Jews, who often use the words of Isaiah as a prooftext or “evidence” for their doctrinal beliefs, Jews show the deepest respect for God’s inspired Word. Their approach is to draw out the meaning from what the scripture actually says, not what they want it to say. Anyone else, however, is able to learn the Jewish approach or methods they use for analyzing Isaiah and to enjoy the same benefits. The means for doing so are now available.
Because possessing the spirit of prophecy implies having a testimony of Jesus (Revelation 19:10)—that he is Israel’s Messiah and the Savior of the world—searching Isaiah’s words under the influence of that same Holy Spirit gives one so much more the advantage. The “spirit of prophecy,” however, is but one of two dimensions involved in gaining an understanding of Isaiah’s words. The other is the “letter of prophecy,” the requirement to analyze them.
Isaiah’s prophecies cover the brief period of time that immediately precedes the coming of Jehovah to reign on the earth, also known as the “Day of Jehovah.” It begins with God’s raising up his endtime servant in response to a general apostasy of his people and the concurrent rise to world power of a militaristic antichrist ruler from the North. Each, respectively, rallies the righteous and wicked inhabitants of the earth to their side, some to life, others to death.
The Process of Understanding Isaiah
Because the Book of Isaiah consists of a totality of things, all its passages are layered and interrelated. Like pealing an onion, its outer layers may easily be understood while others take longer. Diligent searching and a godly life uncover layer after layer, enlarging our understanding. The beautiful thing about the words of Isaiah is that they reveal themselves from the moment we begin our search as we take advantage of the tools for analyzing them now available.
Before attempting to understand Isaiah passages quoted in other scriptures, it is necessary to comprehend Isaiah’s words in the Book of Isaiah itself. While a modern English translation helps a great deal, Isaiah’s literary features and inner workings must first be analyzed and understood under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with the aid of the study tools provided. How other inspired writers nuance and interpret Isaiah’s words will then become abundantly clear.
Resources for Understanding Isaiah
The purpose of the Isaiah Institute modern English translation of Isaiah is to make it more readable and understandable to people while remaining true to the Hebrew original. Many minor discrepancies in the Ben Asher Codex have been resolved by careful comparisons with the Dead Sea scroll of Isaiah, 1QIsaa, and the Septuagint Version, each annotated and explained in footnotes. A surface reading, however, yields but a small part of Isaiah’s deeper message.
As you begin your journey of searching the words of Isaiah, you will at first have more questions than answers. That is a normal part of acquiring an understanding of Isaiah. The challenge is to persist with searching using the literary tools available until a comprehensive picture begins to emerge. That may involve letting go of popular interpretations that are unsupported by actual scriptural evidence. In the end, you will find ways to answer your own questions.
Avraham Gileadi was born in the Netherlands, grew up in New Zealand, and immigrated to Israel, where he lived five years and attended rabbinical school before moving to the United States. After completing doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern literature, he spent forty years decoding the Book of Isaiah using structural, typological, and rhetorical modalities of literary analysis. Today, he and his wife live in Sequim, Washington State.
Because the Book of Isaiah contains its own checks and balances, it isn’t difficult to verify Avraham Gileadi’s interpretations of Isaiah for oneself. All are based on the book’s own internal literary features that are explained in the several works he has published. A reader has only to delve into the different literary approaches Avraham Gileadi uses in order to see how they confirm the meanings he has uncovered that Isaiah has layered into his book.
About The 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.