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Book of Isaiah
Isaiah’s Six Woes
Introduction to Isaiah 28-33
Isaiah, chapters 28-35, has been properly called the Book of Woes, because each of the prophecies, with the exception of chapters 34 and 35, begin with the ominous word woe. Chapters 28-33 consist of separate prophecies directed at Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, Jerusalem, the capital of the southern kingdom, and Ninevah, the royal city of the great Assyrian empire, which was in Isaiah's time threatening the security of Israel. Chapter 34 deals with the world situation in the last days and singles out Edom, an confirmed enemy of Israel, upon whom God's judgments will fall. In contrast with these world judgments is the prediction of chapter 35 which deals with the great Kingdom Age when the curse will be lifted and the glory of God will encircle the globe.
In each of these prophecies Isaiah dealt with the situation which was confronting him and the nation at that time and then combined these predictions with prophecies regarding the world-wide situation of Israel during the final Tribulation from which she will eventually be delivered. We have in these chapters, as we find in many places in the prophets, the law of double reference, with the Lord enabled the prophets to speak predictions and descriptions of both the immediate and distant future situations. When we fail to see this law, it throws the words of the prophets totally out of focus. Micah, as all Bible students know, was a contemporary of Isaiah's, for his ministry fell in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. If we closely examine the Book of Micah, it reveals the fact that there is echoed in it the same situation which we see in Isaiah chapters 28-35. If we really want to get a clear understanding of the situation of these chapters, it would be wise to also study the Book of Micah in connection with this section of Isaiah.
This part of Isaiah has been described as Judah’s Grapes of Wrath because of its series of six woes, hurled against six groups of people who were responsible for producing bad fruit . . . meaning that which was shameful in the eyes of Almighty God.
The word woe, introduces a wailing sorrow as much as a threat. Isaiah is not only angry and accusing, he is also grief-stricken because of the sins of his people. It is interesting to see just how restrained and reasoned Isaiah was in his ministry, as were all God’s prophets. Anyone who thinks that the prophets were simply condemning agitators who ranted, raged and rebuked, fails to see that they ministered to the Lord on the basis of the overwhelming evidence of their sin, woes. They carefully spoke and/or wrote sound, inevitable conclusions, in a series of therefores, given to them by none other than Almighty God Himself. And once God, through the prophet, handed down a judgment, that judgment would take place EXACTLY as it was handed down! NO one could change it!
These six chapters are clearly divided into five or six parts, depending on whether you think that Isaiah 29:15 is a part of chapter 29 . . . or if it is a stand-alone section. Each section is clearly started with the word woe. These woes (afflictions, despairs, miseries) do not seem to be a collection of strange prophecies, but instead a series of prophecies, exposing Judah’s wickedness. Judah is portrayed with all her evils including trusting Egypt to protect her.
The background is different than in Isaiah chapters 7-11, where Ahaz, an evil king, encourages all sorts of evil behavior. In those chapters, God brings to light some beautiful promises to the faithful remnant. Comfort and hope was given to them.
Here, however, with King Hezekiah encouraging acts of reform, the Lord has very few comforting words. Judgment (God’s verdict) of the still existing evils is the main message in chapters 28-33. God without any doubt, (then and now) demands our sincere trust and holiness, NOT just an outward sign with no deep, heart-felt feeling and love for God. Dear one, God does NOT change! Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (KJV)
It is so clear that God was urging Israel to follow her calling of a true theocracy. A theocracy is a government in which Almighty God is the Source from which all authority comes. This would affect Israel in two major ways:
#1. They would trust in God alone, and
#2. They would reflect and reveal God’s moral law.
Simply stated, they would trust and believe in God . . . BUT . . . they refused to do this. And there are millions today who are bound for judgment and Hell on that broad road (Mat.7:13-14)! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_it_there.htm
This section does not end with the burdens (judgments) on nine surrounding nations but extends through six woes in chapters 28-33 and ends with the calm and blessing after the storm in chapters 34 and 35. These last two chapters give us a picture of the Millennium (Rev.20:1-4).
ISAIAH’S SIX WOES . . . Chapters 28-35
Pronouncement of Woes (#1)
#1. First Woe . . . Isaiah 28:1-29
#2. Second Woe . . . Isaiah 29:1-24
#3. Third Woe . . . Isaiah 30:1-33
#4. Fourth Woe . . . Isaiah 31:1-32:20
#5. Fifth Woe . . . Isaiah 33:1-24
Result: World Judgment . . . Isaiah 34:1-17
Conclusion:World Blessing . . . Isaiah 35:1-10
Pronouncement of Woes (#2)
#1. Woe to Ephraim (28:1-13)
#2. Warning to the Rulers of Judah (28:14-29)
#3. Woe to Jerusalem (Ariel) (29:1 -24)
#4. Woe to the Egyptian Alliance (30:1-31:9)
#5. The Righteous King Who Will Deliver (32:1-20)
#6. Woe to Assyria (33:1-24)
HOW TO INTERPRET OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES
The Book of Isaiah is filled with symbolic speech and flowing language in general, but we must not think that they represent a world of strange unreality. It does not do this! Instead, Isaiah’s words point to actual circumstances. Someday words such as the following ones will be true: Isaiah 33:5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. (KJV)
Much confusion arises in interpreting Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets. One major problem comes from refusing to see the difference between Israel and the church. So many people deny any future to Israel as a nation and compares the throne of David with God's Throne in Heaven. It is incredible that those Christians who are eager to claim Israel's future blessings in the Kingdom Age, are NOT at all willing to accept Israel's curses and judgments because of sin. All through Isaiah (Isa.9:1-7.11:1-16; 16:5; 55:1-13), he refers to a future King, and always this King is said to fulfill the Davidic covenant and the One who will sit forever on David's throne.
The only consistent interpretation of the Old Testament is that which takes seriously and accurately the many and sometimes extended Old Testament Passages that speak of Israel's eternal possession of the land and the throne of David’s eternal occupancy of the throne (Christ Jesus, the Messiah). The fact is, the New Testament opens in just that way, showing that Christ Jesus to be the Fulfiller of both the Abrahamic and the Davidic covenants (Mat.1:1).
Only when we follow an accurate interpretation that allows us to recognize dispensational distinctions, can we ever come to an acceptable deduction.
Isaiah 32 is in perfect harmony with Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1, and other Passages in Isaiah and the Old Testament. Psalm 2 is a critical and crucial Passage that sets the stage for the future Kingdom of the Messiah. Only in Psalm 2, can we see an evangelistic message for the present day which is in such a hopeless mess. I cannot help but think of what it was like before the Flood came. Genesis 6:5-8 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (KJV) . . . Only Noah and his family were saved, out of the entire world population (Gen.7:13; 8:16,18)! NO one else was saved because NO one else paid any attention to preacher Noah, and God’s Hand came down HARD, and killed them all!
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (KJV) . . . Do you really SEE what this Verse states? So shall also the coming of the son of man be . . . Christ will come in a day which will be similar to the days of Noah, NO one paying attention, NO one watching, people will be wickedly living in immorality. It will be a day of vengeance on the Jews, coming suddenly and unawares, when they would NOT be looking for it, both at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Rapture. Even though the Jews were forewarned of it by Christ and His apostles, their destruction would be widespread; all would be involved in it, except a few (Mat.7:14), that were told a little beforehand, to go out of the city of Jerusalem to Pella; where they were saved, as Noah and his family were in the ark. http://www.godcannotlie.org/matthew_ch24.htm
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57