Understanding Captivity and Messianic Prophecy

Before we go any further I want to take a moment to explain what is going to happen.  As we read through Isaiah and other prophet books, they just won’t make sense unless you understand the big picture.  Tomorrow we are going to read some detailed prophecies about “a Captivity” or “an Exile”.  The way I explain this when I do a study with teenagers is: God says to his children…I put you in this land, shape up and start obeying me or I will take you out of this land”.

My adult answer would be-The captivity or exile refers to the time period in Israel’s history when Jews were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. It is an important period of biblical history because both the captivity/exile and the return and restoration of the Jewish nation were fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies.

God used foreign nations to bring judgment against Israel for their sins of idolatry and rebellion against Him. There were actually several different times during this period when the Jews were taken captivity.  During the captivity, the enemy nations would kill many people, destroy the Jewish temple, take captive many thousands of Jews, and left Jerusalem in ruins.

Assyrian & Babylonian Captivity & Exile of Israel & Judah Map

If you look at this map you will see that Israel (purple) will fall (captivity)to Assyria in 722.  But remember when Jeroboam and Rehenboam split the kingdom I told you to remember the “J” and the “R”.  Rehoboam comes from the line of David-the line with the Covenant to bring the Messiah.  Jereboam does not.  So when the Assyrians take Israel they do not come back.  However…Judah (who the scepter will not depart from) has to survive it. They are taken into Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. The few that survive it are called the “Remnant”.  As prophesied in Scripture, the Jewish people would be allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile. That prophecy was fulfilled in 537 B.C., and the Jews were allowed by King Cyrus of Persia to return to Israel and begin rebuilding the city and temple. The return under the direction of Ezra led to a revival among the Jewish people and the rebuilding of the temple. This might help:

30. Understanding the Writing Prophets

In the overview, I talked about Isaiah being the most quoted prophecies in the New Testament.  Example: Matthew 1 says: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). The prophecy of this will be in tomorrow’s read.  Here is a list of the fulfilled prophecies from Isaiah.  At the bottom of this post, I will attach all 3 visuals in a printable format just in case you like them as much as I do.

Fulfilled  Prophecies From Isaiah

The Prophecy The Fulfillment
The Messiah Jesus Christ
will be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) was born a virgin named Mary (Luke 1:26-31)
will have a Galilean ministry (Is. 9:1,2) ministered in the Galilee of the Gentiles (Matt. 4:13-16)
will be an heir to the throne of David (Is. 9:7) was given the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32,33)
will have His way prepared (Is. 40:3-5) was announced by John the Baptist (John 1:19-28)
will be spat on and struck (Is. 50:6) was spat on and beaten (Matt. 26:67)
will be exalted (Is. 52:13) was highly exalted by God and the people (Phil. 2:9,10)
will be disfigured by suffering (Is. 52:14; 53:2) was scourged by the soldiers who gave Him a crown of thorns (Mark 15:15-19)
will make a blood atonement (Is. 53:5) shed His blood to atone for our sins (1 Peter 1:2)
will be widely rejected (Is. 53:1,3) was accepted by many (John 12:37,38)
will bear our sins in sorry (Is. 53:4,5) died because of our sins (Rom. 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24
will be our substitute (Is. 53:6,8) died in our place (Rom. 5:6, 8; 2 Cor. 5:21)
will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment (Is. 53:7,8) was silent about our sin (Mark 15:4; John 10:11; 19:30)
will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Is. 53:9) was buried in the tomb of Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea (Matt. 27:57-60; John 19:38-42)
will save us who believe in Him (Is. 53:10,11) provided salvation for all who believed (John 3:16; Acts 16:31)
will die with transgressors (Is. 53:12) was numbered with the transgressors (Mark 15:27; Luke 22:37)
will heal the brokenhearted (Is. 61:1,2) healed the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18)

Isaiah 1-4

kings for Isaiah.png

First, I want you to take a moment to look at the visual.  I have never posted it before.  If a stranger asked you to explain it could you?  I am not talking about pronouncing names or memorizing which kings were good or bad-just overall would you be able to talk about how the kingdom divided?  Who is Judah and Israel?  Which one has the Covenant that will bring a Messiah? Is this a dark period in Bible History?  If you cannot let me know…I want you to be able to.  We can Zoom! (Most of you don’t know what I look like…it might shock you)

Now the new information on this visual is the time span Isaiah was a prophet.  He was a prophet that brought a message spanning 4 Kings in Judah.  Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

Chapter 1- Verse 1 says:The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

I want you to think of this book like a TV (vision)- and Isaiah has a remote control in his hand and we are going to channel surf a lot.  We are going to see a vision of what will happen in the present time of the kings, what will happen when Jesus comes, the 2nd coming (Revelation), and often times it will look like a split screen-pertaining to more than one.  (I hope that helps)

ok, back to Chapter 1-Clearly I could talk about each and ever verse but you would kill me.  So overall we know that the kingdoms have been oppressing the poor, idol-worshipping, making alliances with enemies, and perverting justice.  That’s our view.  Chapter 1 is how the nation looks from God’s view.

I want to point out verses 10-15. God instituted the proper way to approach and worship Him.  He is not deleting the system He created-he is disgusted with the hearts/attitude when they do it:

Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me…

When you spread out your hands in prayer,
    I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
    I am not listening.

However, God is Love.  Even at our worst, He craves to have us close.  He begs to forgive us!

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

Chapter 2 “in the last days”-We changed the channel- We can read this and know God is talking about Revelation 21, the New Heaven and New Earth.

by verse 6 we are definitely in a split-screen. We can see “the day the Lord: God will allow the Babylonians to capture them and take them out of the land as well as the Tribulation for the Church age.

Chapter 3- This was taken off of the Evening news last night! Just kidding.

The look on their faces testifies against them;
    they parade their sin like Sodom;
    they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
    They have brought disaster upon themselves.

We begin to see the word “Woe”.  It is a serious word.  In my head when I read it I say “Beware”. It means ruinous trouble: calamity,

Chapter 4- The Branch of the Lord- THIS is a  “Messianic Passage”

  • I haven’t pointed it out but do note that he has referenced several times “those who remain”- he is talking about the remnant people that will survive in the Line of Judah (not Israel) in the Old Testament to fulfill many prophecies.
    • and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.-Genesis 12
    • The scepter will not depart from Judah,-Genesis 49
    • Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever. 2 Sam 7

As you read this paragraph about the Branch of the Lord hang on every word “Beautiful” “Glorious” but my favorite sentence was  It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”

If you want more to read of the Branch look up Jeremiah 23:5, Zechariah 3:8-9, and Isaiah 11-1.

OK, Day 1 of Isaiah, feeling better about the book than I thought.  I researched these 4 chapters for about 12 hours soooo if you read something today and want clarification or to discuss we can.  😁




Book Overviews · Isaiah

Isaiah Overview for tomorrow!!

The Major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. (I am not sure where Lamentations fits in yet). 

Prophecy has a “Near/Far” view.  The message may be talking about something that will happen in the near future BUT the same message might also happen in the future on a grander scale.  Make sense? So with each chapter, you might say is this talking about Israel, the Messiah, or Revelation.  The answer is All.

Prophets were NOT liked because they brought words of consequence due to sin and lifestyle.  But their words were from God; the Prophet was just a messenger.  Prophets were NOT liked because they brought words of consequence due to sin and lifestyle.  But their words were from God; the Prophet was just a messenger.  So feel free to read this book in the present-day as well.

Isaiah means “Jehovah Saves”, the key to the book of Isaiah is Salvation

The book of Isaiah is a masterpiece in itself.  A Bible inside the Bible. 

  • This book has 66 chapters (the Bible has 66 Books). 
  • The book is clearly divided into two sections (just like the bible). 
    • The first section is 39 Chapters (just like the Bible) Those chapters talk about the Law and Condemnation (just like the Bible)
    • The first section will begin with the people’s sin, and ends with a prophecy of the coming Messiah (just like the Old Testament).
  •  The second section opens in Chapter 40 with the very words that John the Baptist will say in the beginning of the New Testament (Yes I am not kidding). 
    • The second section has 27 chapters (just like the Bible)
    • The second section will talk about Salvation, Grace, and Love (just like the Bible)
  • The book of Isaiah will end with visions of heaven and a new earth, just as we will read in Revelations. 
  • Unbelievable!
  • Isaiah is the most quoted prophet in the New Testament (22 times)
  • Jesus will literally open the book of Isaiah and say (paraphrase)  “Dudes, they are talking about me here!
  • This book will explain to us who Lucifer is and where he came from and why he is here (ch 14)
  • The word Salvation is used 31 times!

The Messianic prophecies are so accurate that skeptics have said “this must have been written after Jesus came.  So (to my apologetic friend,  Lucas)…how do we defend that?

Jewish people memorized the scriptures in order to preserve God’s word.  When the Temple is destroyed in 70 AD many of the original writings were destroyed.  Traditionalists had memorized every scripture (side note: ever see the movie Book of Eli with Denzel Washington…must see).  Anyway, they wrote with accuracy the Jewish teachings.  “We” call it the Old Testament.  This is called the Masoretic Text, which was completed in the 9th Century.  So, Lucas, I can argue “How do we know THIS TEXT is accurate?  I mean c’mon who could memorize the Bible, I struggle to memorize single scripture??

In 1947 a Bedouin shepherd discovered seven scrolls housed in jars in a cave near what is now known as the Qumran site. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on planet earth.  It is 1,388 feet below sea level (to give you perspective Death Valley California is only 282 feet below sea level). Besides the topography used as preservation (from God), the saline of the area is so salty that nothing lives there.  Not one fish. The salt in the area/cave kept theses hidden scrolls preserved!

Dead Sea - Qumran    Water Topographic Cross Section

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the twentieth century is the defense. In a cave in Qumran, Archaeologists discovered thousands of fragments of biblical manuscripts that predated the Masoretic Text.  They were pieced together and it included every book from the Hebrew Bible (except Esther).  These are the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, dating 1100 years before the Masoretic text,  and what do they tell us? The Masoretic Text is remarkably reliable.  What was different: 9 spelling words!!  So I say to the skeptics…put that in your pipe and smoke it.

So we will read the accurate words of Isaiah.  I am not going to lie: this won’t be easy.  As I prayed for all of you to fall off the reading so that I didn’t have to study this book (not kidding) God was all over me “You think I am asking a lot of you Trish?  What about Isaiah?  He preached a message of doom through 4 kings and tradition says he was stuffed in an empty log and sawed in half for it”.  Ok,  Ok, I will not fall off the read through!

If you have a hot minute click here and read just the first chapter.  I read the first verse and it said a “vision”.  I immediately was excited to read it.  Here is what my warped brain said when I finished it: “If God was a news anchor today, this is what he would say to our nation”.  OH MY STARS!!