Today is Wednesday—writing day! All writers should read a lot. Today I’d like to bring the book of Isaiah to your attention.
Isaiah is considered a great writer of ancient works, using poetry, prose and personification. “The wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.” (35:1-2a)
In addition he wrote history…and prophecy. He penned detailed predictions about a coming Messiah which were fulfilled 700 years later in the life of Jesus.
The Book of Isaiah was a big news item about 60 years ago, when a boy stumbled across a cave…and found many ancient scrolls. (The “Dead Sea Scrolls”) Among them—a complete Manuscript of the Hebrew text of Isaiah. It is dated by paleographers to about 125 B.C. This old scroll was a copy…not the original. The original was probably written about 700 B.C. When this ancient scroll-copy of Isaiah is compared to the book of Isaiah we have today we find that it has been copied accurately over a period of 2000+ years. Wow!
A Glimpse Inside the Book
It was a turbulent time in Jewish history when Isaiah was writing. The Assyrian empire was expanding and had recently captured the northern kingdom! It was about 722 B.C., and now…the southern kingdom was in danger!
The Assyrian field commander sent a message to King Hezekiah:
“This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: ‘On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have strategy and military strength—but you speak only empty words.’”
Then the commander called out in the Hebrew language—so Hezekiah’s soldiers would understand…
“Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you!”
What happened next?
“Come now, make a bargain with my master…the King of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them!”
Isaiah adds interesting details, that give us a glimpse of what life and war looked like back in 700 BC.
Read Isaiah chapters 36 and 37 to find out what happens!