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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Isaiah - Introduction

In the second division of the Hebrew Bible canon, * the Prophets, Isaiah is the first of the four major books, or collections, of prophecies. The other three are Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets (Hosea—Malachi) formed into one book. Isaiah contains prophecies originating with Isaiah son of Amoz in the eighth century BCE, which have been recorded, added to, and edited during the following three centuries. Its sixty-six chapters, which comprise a “collection of collections,” can bewilder the reader because of the complex manner in which the individual units have been structured. Three major themes dominate the book. First is the unity and destiny of Israel as the people of the LORD God as they face the threat posed by imperial domination from Mesopotamia (Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia). Second, Jerusalem is the spiritual center and symbol of Israel's role among the nations of the world. Third, the Davidic dynasty * bears a special significance. David, the founder, had first established a united kingdom of Israel, with a capital in Jerusalem. The fate of this royal house plays a dominant role in the prophecies of chs. 6–12 , but thereafter the theme appears less prominently. This link with the language and themes associated with the Davidic kingship and its future has made Isaiah the “messianic” prophet of the Old Testament. (Messiah * means “anointed * one,” a key royal title.)

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