Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Isaiah: "The Little Bible"
The Book of Isaiah has 66 chapters, and this number is significant because there are 66 books in the Bible. I’ve heard it said that the chapters in Isaiah actually mirror the books of the Bible, and I have found this to be true based on my own personal study. I haven’t found all of the correlations because some are stronger than others, but here are just a few examples that I hope will spark your interest and motivate you to do your own reading.
Isaiah 1: Genesis
First of all, in Isaiah Chapter 1 the heavens and the earth are mentioned--just like in Genesis Chapter 1. Also, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is mentioned, which was also from Genesis.
Isaiah 5: Deuteronomy
The first time the Bible mentions Hell is in Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible, and the first time Isaiah mentions Hell is in Chapter 5.
“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” –Isaiah 5:14
“For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” –Deuteronomy 32:22
Isaiah 40: Matthew
It is interesting that Isaiah has a major gear change once you get to Chapter 40, which is the chapter that corresponds with the beginning of the New Testament. In fact, many Jewish rabbis I have spoken with and other Bible "scholars" wrongfully believe that Isaiah was written by two different people since chapters 1-39 are so different than chapters 40-66. John the Baptist is prophesied in Isaiah 40, verse 3, and he is also talked about in Matthew Chapter 3 (which quotes Isaiah 40).
Isaiah 45: Romans
In Isaiah Chapter 45, the potter and the clay analogy is used, and it comes up in again in the Book of Romans.
“Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?” –Isaiah 45:9
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”—Romans 9:20-21
I’ve found a lot more correlations, but those are just a few examples that I hope will pique your curiosity about this fun way to study the Bible. As you read through each book, read the corresponding chapter in Isaiah and try to spot the tie-ins. Hint: Sometimes it is just one phrase.
Here is the sermon on the Major Prophets where I discuss a few more of these interesting parallels.