Eighth Century Israelitish Background of Isaiah 40-66 Part III -- By: J. Barton Payne

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 30:2 (May 1968)
Article: Eighth Century Israelitish Background of Isaiah 40-66 Part III
Author: J. Barton Payne

Eighth Century Israelitish Background of Isaiah 40-66
Part III

J. Barton Payne

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 47–76, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–30 respectively.}

II. Book of the Gospel Call (49-57)

With the commencement of Isaiah’s second post-Sennacherib book in chapter 49, the prophet’s references to Cyrus and to the idols of Babylon cease, while the central features of his message become God’s Servant and His redemptive work. Illustrations from past history become correspondingly reduced, but direct appeals to trust in Christ and in Yahweh (49:1; 50:10, etc.) assume prominence for the first time. The 2nd Servant Song (49:1–9a),1 with which the “Book of the Gospel Call” opens, correlates closely, moreover, with the Messiah-prophecies of the authentic 8th century Isaiah. Both figures, for example, are divinely chosen and named prior to birth (49:1; cf. 7:14; 9:6–7).2 Both, though initially humble (49:4; cf. 50:6 with 7:15), are empowered by God’s Spirit (42:1, 6; cf. 11:2) to establish righteousness and are equipped with a mouth that can smite (49:2; 50:4; cf. 11:4–5). The Servant becomes a light to the Gentiles (49:6). Compare Isaiah’s later identification of the Davidic Messiah as a “witness to the peoples” (55:4). Eventually, even kings come to worship before Him (49:7; cf. 6:5; 32:1; 33:17–19).3 In verses 9b–12 the people to whom the Servant will some day minister are described in terms of deliverance from Egypt (

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