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Opening up Isaiah

By Andrew Thomson
April 2013 | Review by Stanley Jebb


The book of Isaiah is a tale of two cities: the Jerusalem Isaiah knew, and the Jerusalem that he saw. We are introduced to both in the opening five chapters. They are like two photographs marked, 'before' and 'after'. But how will the transformation come about? Isaiah's answer is 'Judgment!' And it's coming soon. The opening of Isaiah's vision is not a pretty sight. The Lord has twenty- twenty vision, x-ray vision even, when it comes to the sins of his people. While God sees perfectly, Judah's hearing is not good at all. So bad, in fact, that the Lord initially addresses the heavens and the earth, rather than the people, with his analysis of the situation. That can be summed up in one word: rebellion! What follows is a kind of 'state of the nation' address, that says, to put it bluntly, that the nation is in a state. 'They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel' (1:4). And where has it got them? 'Your country lies desolate' (1:7).

  • Publisher: Day One Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-84625-352-2
  • Pages: 160
  • Price: 6.00
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Book Review

Opening up Isaiah
Andrew Thomson
Day One Publications
160, £6.00
ISBN: 978-1-84625-352-2
Star Rating: 3

After the Book of Psalms, the prophecy of Isaiah is the longest book in the Old Testament. So, in approaching Andrew Thomson’s commentary, I wondered how he was going to pack an overview of this magnificent prophecy into 160 pages. The answer is, very well indeed.

     The author divides the prophecy into short sections and neatly summarises the content of each. Occasionally the author brings together material from different chapters in a thematic rather than consecutive manner. A helpful chart makes this clear.

     In all cases, the main message is clearly brought out and, where appropriate, application made to our modern situation. Important doctrinal points are emphasised and devotional thoughts inserted from time to time.

     Each chapter concludes with suggestions for further study and points to think about and discuss. There are several diagrams and charts intended to make certain points clearer. For anyone wanting to get to grips with Isaiah, this little book provides an ideal introduction and overview.

     The format makes it suitable for devotional reading, for family worship, where the children are old enough, or for a Bible study group or class.

     The book is conservative in theology and readable for both young people and adults. It gives the big picture rather than minor details, and where appropriate makes contemporary applications. The author clearly demonstrates that Christ and his glory are the major themes of Isaiah.

     As an easy to read introduction to Isaiah that really does ‘open up’ the prophecy, this book is recommended.

Stanley Jebb


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