The Place That Isaiah Holds in Prophetic Truth -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 093:372 (Oct 1936)
Article: The Place That Isaiah Holds in Prophetic Truth
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg


The Place That Isaiah Holds in Prophetic Truth

Charles Lee Feinberg

Isaiah (lit. “Salvation of Jehovah”) is the first of the major prophets in our canon. In respect of material the book is greater than all the minor prophets combined. The field or scope of the prophecies is world-wide and the outlook of the great prophet is far into the glorious future, glorious for Christ, Israel, and the nations. Isaiah is truly the universal prophet of Israel. Not only was he a great preacher of the righteousness of God, but he was an incomparable statesman as well. The political situation of the time was most complicated, but the prophet had been prepared by God for the occasion. For literary style there is no superior to Isaiah in any of the Hebrew writings, inspired or secular. The critics are pleased to class him as the greatest of the literary prophets. G. L. Robinson tells us that his “style marks the climax of Hebrew literary art.” It was Ewald, howbeit an outstanding modern critic, who writes in his Prophets thus: “Of the other prophets, all the more celebrated ones were distinguished by some special excellence and peculiar power, whether of speech or of deed; in Isaiah all the powers and all the beauties of prophetic speech and deed combine to form a symmetrical whole; he is distinguished less by any special excellence than by the symmetry and the perfection of all his powers.... There are rarely combined in the same mind the profoundest prophetic emotion and purest feeling, the most unwearied, successful, and consistent activity amid all the confusions and changes of life, and lastly, true poetic ease and beauty of style, combined with force and irresistible power; yet this triad of powers

we find realized in Isaiah as in no other prophet.” It was indeed great messages which the prophet was commissioned to proclaim and his medium of communication was suited most admirably to the thought. It is of further interest to note that Isaiah is quoted with more significance by our Lord and His apostles in the New Testament than any other writer of the Old Testament. While Jeremiah is mentioned by name in the New Testament three times, Ezekiel not at all, and Daniel twice, Isaiah is mentioned twenty-one times. In fact, the very first quotation in the New Testament from the Old Testament is from the Book of Isaiah in Matthew 1:22, 23.

For breadth of divine revelation covered, the Book of Isaiah reminds us of the Epistle to the Romans. Some have called Isaiah the Paul of the Old Testament. C. S. Robinson goes even further when he maintains that it “is, perhaps, not too much to say that, if the New Testament were lost, a h...

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