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Prophesy, History and Context as Explored through the Period of Isaiahs Prophecies - Essay Example

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The history of the time period in which Isaiah was working as a prophet provides a backdrop for his position in revealing the power of God and the nature of faith in God. Understanding how the telling of history is given a focused purpose as it is related in the Bible provides meaning in revealing how Isaiah should be taken as a character…
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Prophesy, History and Context as Explored through the Period of Isaiahs Prophecies
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Download file to see previous pages The background of the book of Isaiah is an essential part of understanding the meanings of the writings that are within the book. The historical background puts the writing into context, helping to inform the reader on which aspects were relevant to the contemporary and which are relevant to future events. Although not every part of any of the passages of the ancient writings can ever fully be identified as one or the other, there are some frameworks of meaning that are well known and can be related in order to help the reader interpret what is read. According to Oswalt, the way to understand the writing is through the time and place in which it was written, that “God’s revelation is always incarnational” or humanized through the context of location in which they are written. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the nature of historical context of the book in order to begin to understand the nature of the meanings that are revealed.
To begin with, it is highly likely that the book is the work of multiple authors, each contributing through their own perspective. One of the first indications of this way in which the book came into existence is because there are three distinct time periods in which the book relates events. The first time period occurs during Isaiah’s lifetime and likely represents 739-701 BCE....
One of the first indications of this way in which the book came into existence is because there are three distinct time periods in which the book relates events. The first time period occurs during Isaiah’s lifetime and likely represents 739-701 BCE. The second and third time periods are reflections of the time periods after the death of Isaiah and are about the time of the exile (605-439 BCE), which is discussed in chapters 40-55, and the return (539-500 BCE) which is defined through chapters 56-66 (Oswalt 4). The first section of time, the time of Isaiah’s life, is also representative of Assyria’s last period of great influence as part of human expansion. This period of Assyrian influence ended in 609 BCE as the Medo-Babylonian culture completely destroyed the Assyrian seat of power. Part of the destruction of Assyria came about through a series of very weak ruling Kings who could not hold what their ancestors had gained through conquest. Therefore, the areas that were at the outer edges of the expansion of the Assyrians had a period of tranquility, lasting from approximately 810 to 750 BCE. Two of the regions that benefited from this tranquility were Judah and Israel. During this time, the second king named Jeroboam was in rule over Israel and the kingdom of Judah was being ruled by Azariah, or sometimes known as Uzziah. Because of this time of peace, the Judeans and the Israelites believed that God was pleased with his children, the efforts of both prophets that had been sent to warn them of coming doom unheeded, the messages of Amos and Hosea. Through the apostate course that the nations were traveling, the end of this peace was inevitable (Oswalt 4-5). A ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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