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Apocalyptic Commentary of the Book of Isaiah

Renowned Hebrew scholar and literary analyst, Avraham Gileadi presents an informed and enlightening interpretation of the most important prophecy in the Bible. He shows how the writings of the prophet Isaiah, though grounded in the history of the ancient Near East, make use of literary devices to predict the end of the world.  

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                      

ISAIAH 1 — Israel’s ancient apostasy typifies an end-time apostasy, with salvation reserved for some who repent
ISAIAH 2 — The end-time restoration of Zion/Jerusalem contrasts Jehovah’s judgment of the world at his coming
ISAIAH 3 — Wickedness in society leads to anarchy, internal collapse, destitution, and invasion by enemies
ISAIAH 4 — In his Day of Judgment Jehovah preserves alive those whose names are inscribed in the Book of Life
ISAIAH 5 — Jehovah’s vineyard yields bad fruit, leading to Assyria’s invasion and covenant curses on offenders
ISAIAH 6 — Jehovah appears to Isaiah in the temple and sends him as a prophet to warn of imminent judgments
ISAIAH 7 — King Ahaz’ transgression of the terms of his covenant leads to a hostile world power gaining supremacy
ISAIAH 8 — A new Flood in the form of Assyria’s world conquest awaits all but those who find refuge in Jehovah
ISAIAH 9 — A fiery holocaust engulfs the land as leaders and people apostatize and Jehovah empowers his servant
ISAIAH 10 — Jehovah appoints the king of Assyria to despoil and destroy the wicked of his people and the nations
ISAIAH 11 — As an ensign to the nations Jehovah’s servant gathers a remnant of Israel and Judah in a new exodus
ISAIAH 12 — Songs of Salvation and exultation follow Jehovah’s deliverance of a remnant of his people in Zion
ISAIAH 13 — The Assyrian alliance destroys the wicked world that is Babylon as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
ISAIAH 14 — The king of Assyria/Babylon conquers the world and ascends the heavens but his soul descends to Hell
ISAIAH 15 — Moab, a kindred people, suffers calamity in Jehovah’s Day of Judgment, their prayers to no avail
ISAIAH 16 — Moab’s prideful people receive three years’ warning before Jehovah destroys them and their land
ISAIAH 17 — Disaster overtakes the people of Ephraim and their allies for forgetting Jehovah and loving idols
ISAIAH 18 — People’s dread of Assyria’s world conquest is unfounded as Jehovah has prepared a way of escape
ISAIAH 19 — Although the world’s superpower Egypt suffers internal collapse Jehovah delivers his covenanters
ISAIAH 20 — Assyria subjugates the superpower Egypt after Jehovah’s prophet–servant gives three years’ warning
ISAIAH 21 — Jehovah appoints a watchman to warn of Babylon’s imminent fall at the hands of the Assyrian alliance
ISAIAH 22 — Sports and amusement addicts suffer enemy invasion; Jehovah appoints his servant in place of another
ISAIAH 23 — Tyre, the world shipping empire with its magnates, comes to a sudden end in Jehovah’s Day of Judgment
ISAIAH 24 — Wickedness by the earth’s inhabitants leads to a cataclysmic destruction and collapse into chaos
ISAIAH 25 — Survivors of the earth’s catastrophic destruction sing praises when Jehovah does away with death
ISAIAH 26 — Unlike their oppressive rulers, the righteous survive the earth’s desolation while others resurrect
ISAIAH 27 — At his harvest of the earth’s wicked Jehovah gleans out individually his people who bear good fruit
ISAIAH 28 — Ephraim and its prophets reap disaster for being delusional and for rejecting divine revelation
ISAIAH 29 — Unsealing the sealed Book of Isaiah overturns the learning of academics and exposes spiritual error
ISAIAH 30 — At Jehovah’s coming the rebellious suffer destruction but those who prove loyal enjoy deliverance
ISAIAH 31 — Those who trust in Egypt’s military might rely on an arm of flesh as Jehovah alone is all-powerful
ISAIAH 32 — Jehovah guides and protects the just but he turns the tables on perverse preachers and complacent women
ISAIAH 33 — Jehovah preserves the righteous at his coming but the wicked of his people And the nations burn up
ISAIAH 34 — The nations are slaughtered and their lands laid waste in Jehovah’s day of vengeance on behalf of Zion
ISAIAH 35 — At the new exodus to Zion the righteous regenerate and the desert blooms, heralding Jehovah’s coming
ISAIAH 36 — The king of Assyria invades many lands and lays siege to a remnant of Jehovah’s people in Jerusalem
ISAIAH 37 — As King Hezekiah intercedes on behalf of his people Jehovah delivers them from the besieging Assyrians
ISAIAH 38 — When interceding with Jehovah on behalf of his people against Assyria Hezekiah suffers nearly to death
ISAIAH 39 — Upon his recovery from illness and Jehovah’s victory over Assyria Hezekiah gains notoriety
ISAIAH 40 — Having spiritually ascended, Zion/Jerusalem declares good tidings to those who have yet to ascend
ISAIAH 41 — Jehovah’s righteous servant, who hails from the east, leads Jacob/Israel’s returnees in a new conquest
ISAIAH 42 — Jehovah’s appointing his servant as a light to the nations leads to a new exodus or to captivity
ISAIAH 43 — Jehovah’s people who repent of idolatry return in a new exodus from the four directions of the earth
ISAIAH 44 — Jehovah’s servant resembles Moses and Cyrus in dissuading people from idols and rebuilding the temple
ISAIAH 45 — Jehovah’s servant resembles David and Cyrus in restoring Jehovah’s people and routing their enemies
ISAIAH 46 — Jehovah sends his servant as a bird of prey to turn his errant people from idolatry to righteousness
ISAIAH 47 — The Harlot Babylon, who rules as Mistress of Kingdoms, descends into the Dust in Jehovah’s Day of Judgment
ISAIAH 48 — Jehovah’s servant calls on Jacob/Israel to forsake its idols and return in a new exodus out of Babylon
ISAIAH 49 — Jehovah empowers his servant after he is rejected to restore his people and to implement their new exodus
ISAIAH 50 — Jehovah’s servant meets hostility from those who sell themselves, who light their way with mere sparks
ISAIAH 51 — Jehovah empowers his servant as an arm of righteousness to deliver his people in an exodus to Zion
ISAIAH 52 — Jehovah’s servant and Zion’s watchmen accomplish Zion’s restoration beginning with a new exodus
ISAIAH 53 — Jehovah’s descent phase as a sacrificial lamb (before his ascent as King of Zion) atones for transgressors
ISAIAH 54 — Jehovah’s millennial covenant is a composite of all covenants he made with his people and with individuals
ISAIAH 55 — As a witness and lawgiver to the nations Jehovah’s servant mediates the new covenant with his people
ISAIAH 56 — Jehovah curses the blind watchmen of his people but exalts his servants who hold fast to his covenant
ISAIAH 57 — Jehovah gathers the righteous from among the wicked whose practices turn cultic and perverse
ISAIAH 58 — Relieving the oppressed and observing the Sabbath sanctifies fast days and begets covenant blessings
ISAIAH 59 — Jehovah’s coming spells retribution for deceivers and predators but deliverance for those who repent
ISAIAH 60 — At the return to Zion of kings and peoples Jehovah transforms the land and the millennial age begins
ISAIAH 61 — For having endured shame those whom Jehovah’s servant endows receive a twofold millennial inheritance
ISAIAH 62 — Zion/Jerusalem’s watchmen cry to Jehovah day and night as they prepare the way for Jehovah’s coming
ISAIAH 63 — At his coming Jehovah takes vengeance on those wh om he had redeemed but who yet rebelled against him  
ISAIAH 64 — As Jehovah’s coming draws near transgressors suffer for their misdeeds at the hands of their enemies
ISAIAH 65 — As the millennial age approaches blessings and curses separate Jehovah’s servants from their oppressors
ISAIAH 66 — Cultic practices and persecution by ecclesiastical leaders coincide with Zion’s rebirth before Jehovah comes

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Introduction to the Apocalyptic Commentary of the Book of Isaiah 
by Avraham Gileadi Ph.D. published by Hebraeus Press 

As you delve into the Apocalyptic Commentary of the Book of Isaiah, preconceived ideas you may have about Isaiah’s prophecy may require a second look. Written in a cryptic code from a primordial age, the Book of Isaiah will most likely be different from anything you have studied before. To comprehend this enigmatic prophecy, moreover, will require you to devote as much time to it as if you were learning a new language. The understanding of all sacred texts that you will gain, on the other hand, will more than compensate you for your efforts.

To that end, a foremost principle you will need to apply when searching Isaiah’s words for meaning is to diligently analyze what Isaiah says on a particular subject, not what others say he says. While Isaiah provides ample check and balances by which to verify any interpretation, he also warns against the teachings of the learned of the day who have perverted his words. The fact that many occupy the highest echelon of society may make disregarding their explications a challenge, particularly as you may already have internalized them as the truth.

Without seeing the need to apply the Jewish methodology of eliciting from a sacred text what God is telling his people—taking into account the many interconnections Isaiah has layered into his book such as literary structures, typologies, and words links—many who speak in God’s name fall into the trap of using Isaiah’s words as just proof text for what they believe. Isaiah’s prophecy far transcends such a self-serving and manipulative approach. Its spiritual riches can’t reveal themselves except to those who draw near to its message with humility.

While the many layered literary structures that govern the Book of Isaiah entirely change the rules for interpreting it—transforming it from a historical prophecy to an apocalyptic or end-time prophecy—care needs to be taken in determining how what is historical prefigures the end-time. Without diminishing the significance what happened in Isaiah’s day, for example, Isaiah’s use of historical types and codenames requires that we match up the ancient nations and persons he mentions with their modern counterparts if we want to know who is who.

For the end-time look-alikes, however, former names lose their use. Ancient Assyria, for example—a militaristic world power from the North that conquered the ancient world—and its rival superpower, Egypt, don't compare with any nations in the Middle East today. When read as an end-time prophecy, the Book of Isaiah is about events that aren’t confined to the Middle East. To match up the ancient nations and persons in his prophecy with their end-time counterparts, in fact, we must be guided by how Isaiah characterizes them, not by their names.

In cases where historical types of nations and persons don’t adequately portray what takes place in the end-time, moreover, Isaiah develops composites of types or resorts to imagery from life or nature to round out the end-time scene. Having seen the end from the beginning, he thus manages to capture both the past and the future in a single prophecy. Still, not all that happened historically interests him, only what foreshadows the end-time. Isaiah’s worldview is typological, not always logical. In his writings, the old is also new and the new is also old.

If Isaiah uses types from the past to prophesy the end-time, therefore, then which ancient nation do we suppose matches up with modern America? And what will happen to this nation in the end, especially as until now America has been such a major world player? Using Isaiah’s key of matching up his characterization of a world superpower that resembles America, we find that ancient Egypt matches modern America almost precisely, allowing only for several major events to develop. Of course, Isaiah speaks also of the Jews and other tribes of Israel.

Although scriptural concepts that are familiar to us appear in the Book of Isaiah—such as God’s destruction of the wicked and his deliverance of the righteous at the end of the world—we shouldn’t simply take for granted what these mean. Isaiah tells us precisely what he means in the context of his end-time scenario. His literary structures that stretch from one end of his book to the other, for example, systematically develop a Hebrew gospel that not only preempts the New Testament gospel of Jesus but sustains and elucidates it as an ancient theology.

Here too we must set aside sectarian ideas—that if our religion doesn’t teach something, or if we haven’t heard it before, then it can’t be true. Going back to Isaiah, the idea of ascending spiritual levels that he develops which are grounded in the terms of covenants God makes with his people and with individuals, completely modifies creed-bound concepts of heaven and hell that stem from misinterpretations of the scriptures. If some things you read thus seem controversial, wasn’t God’s word always so? If not, why did God’s people kill the prophets?

As typified by the many layered literary structures and patterns on which Isaiah builds his prophecy—each of which carries its own message over and above what we read on the surface—the Book of Isaiah contains many layers of divine truth that don’t reveal themselves all at once. His linear structure of Trouble at Home, Exile Abroad, and Happy Homecoming, for example, is layered over that of Apostasy, Judgment, Restoration, and Salvation, which overlays Three Tests of Loyalty and others, including Isaiah’s synchronous Seven-Part Structure.

Although this book barely touches on these underpinnings of the Book of Isaiah, the fact that they deeply impact Isaiah’s prophetic message demands respect for his words, showing that there is far more to his writings than meets the eye. Isaiah’s covenant theology of proxy salvation that functions on higher and lower spiritual levels on which people operate similarly permeates his writings. Differences between spiritual and temporal salvation, including God’s protection in an end-time setting, make perceiving Isaiah’s message an inviting prospect.

As the inner workings of the Book of Isaiah disclose their secrets, therefore, you may be tempted to feel offended at your religion for not correctly informing you. Or for not telling you that, according to the prophet Isaiah, your end-time religion has become degraded and that its adherents are the very catalyst of God’s judgments coming upon the world. Consider, however, that a loving God foresaw these things and that in his divine wisdom he made provision for that eventuality by giving us the Book of Isaiah and also keys for understanding it.

To participate in events ushering in a glorious age of peace could under no circumstances come cheaply. Those who are willing to pay the price of learning Isaiah’s message will thus have so much more the advantage over those who attempt to glean such knowledge from superficial sources. As God operates solely within the covenant relationships he establishes with his people and with individuals, their knowledge of those covenants, which Isaiah teaches, empowers them to align their lives with God through the end-time events that Isaiah predicts.

Even so, the Apocalyptic Commentary of the Book of Isaiah provides but basic insights into Isaiah’s prophecy that introduce the novice to his awe-inspiring vision. Those who wish to deeply investigate Isaiah’s message or acquaint themselves with the research that supports this commentary I refer to my book The Literary Message of Isaiah and its synopsis Isaiah Decoded. Although God grants his elect remarkable visions, I know of no one besides Isaiah who captures the entire end-time scene and interweaves it with the “good news” of Messiah.

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