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The Prophets: God’s Spokesmen. Introduction. Background: Kingship Established. After the death of Joshua, Israel was ruled by elders or Judges . Israel asked the priest Samuel to appoint a king God granted their request and Saul was chosen

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The Prophets: God’s Spokesmen


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Background: Kingship Established

  • After the death of Joshua, Israel was ruled by elders or Judges.

  • Israel asked the priest Samuel to appoint a king

  • God granted their request and Saul was chosen

  • Saul was succeeded by his son, Ish-Boseth, then David, and finally Solomon.

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Background: Kingdom Divided

  • After Solomon’s death, the kingdom divided into two parts with Israel in the North and Judah in the South.

  • Both kingdoms had mostly bad kings who worshipped idols, though Israel was the worse of the two regarding leadership.

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Isaiah: “Jehovah is salvation” (740-680 B.C.)

  • Prophesied for a period lasting forty to sixty years during the reigns of four rulers of the southern kingdom of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

  • Primarily called to prophesy to the Kingdom of Judah.

  • Proclaimed a message of repentance from sin and hopeful expectation of God’s deliverance in the future.

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Book Divisions

The Book of Isaiah easily divides into two major sections:

  • First, the prophet foretells a coming judgment upon the Hebrew people if they do not return to the Lord (Ch. 1-39). That judgment finds its immediate fulfillment in the impending Babylonian captivity.

  • Second, in spite of that temporal judgment, deliverance ultimately can be theirs (Ch. 40-66). There will be a return from the captivity; and, finally, ultimate salvation will be provided by the coming Messiah.

  • There are numerous prophetic glimpses of Christ in Isaiah, so much so that he is called “the messianic prophet”.

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Isaiah’s Foreshadowing

The imagery of chapter 53 is poignant and prophetic and contains a complete picture of the Gospel.

  • Jesus was despised and rejected (v. 3; Luke 13:34; John 1:10-11),

  • Stricken by God (v.4; Matthew 27:46),

  • Pierced for our transgressions (v. 5; John 19:34; 1 Peter 2:24). By His suffering,

  • He paid the punishment we deserved and became for us the ultimate and perfect sacrifice (v. 5; Hebrews 10:10).

  • Although He was sinless, God laid on Him our sin, and we became God’s righteousness in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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Jeremiah “Jehovah Exalts” (627-585 B.C.)

  • Jeremiah prophesied during the reigns of five of Judah’s kings: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.

  • His total preaching career probably spanned more than sixty years. Known as “the weeping prophet,” was the most persecuted character of the Old Testament era.

  • His own Jewish kinsmen cursed him, beat him, threw him in prison, etc. (15:10; 20:; 32:2-3; 37:15).

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Jeremiah’s Warnings

  • The southern kingdom (Judah) was in a downward spiral. Jeremiah commenced his ministry in the thirteenth year of Josiah’s administration. His message was two-fold:

    • He initially sought to bring his people to a state of genuine repentance

    • Warn the people of the punishment that mighty Babylon, God’s instrument of wrath, would inflict upon them.

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Jeremiah’s Lamentations

  • (586 B.C.) Jerusalem was breached by the Babylonian army and the Hebrew temple was burned to the ground.

  • Lamentations is a sort of funeral song, commemorating the tragic destruction of Jerusalem.

  • Zion, or Jerusalem, is desolate!