Sunday School Bible Survey:      ISAIAH

Theme: The salvation of the LORD

Key verse: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
Isaiah is justly accounted the chief of the writing prophets. He has the more comprehensive testimony and is distinctively the prophet of redemption. Nowhere else in the Scriptures written under the law have we so clear a view of grace. The New Testament Church does not appear (3:3-10), but Messiah in His Person and sufferings, and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full vision.

Apart from his testimony to his own time, which includes warnings of coming judgments upon the great nations of that day, the predictive messages of Isaiah cover seven great themes:

  1. Israel in exile and divine judgment upon Israel's oppressors.
  2. The return from Babylon.
  3. The manifestation of Messiah in humiliation (e.g. Chap.53).
  4. The blessing of the Gentiles.
  5. The manifestation of Messiah in judgment ("the day of vengeance of our God").
  6. The reign of David's righteous Branch in the kingdom-age.
  7. The new heavens and the new earth.

Isaiah is in two chief divisions:

  1. Looking toward the captivities (1:1—39:8). Key verses, 1:1, 2.
  2. Looking beyond the captivities (40:1—66:24). Key verses, 40:1, 2.

These chief divisions fall into subdivisions, as indicated in the text.

The events recorded in Isaiah cover a period of 62 years (Ussher).


  1. Merrill F. Unger said, "Isaiah is the greatest of the writing prophets and orators. For splendor of diction, brilliance of imagery, versatility and beauty of style, he is unequalled" (Introductory Guide to the Old Testament).
  2. Isaiah is often referred to as "the evangelical prophet." He is often quoted in the New Testament, frequently by the Lord Himself.
  3. Philip used Isaiah 53 to lead the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ (Acts 8:26-39).
  4. Isaiah's name means, "Salvation of Jehovah."
  5. Coincidently, there are 66 chapters in Isaiah, and 66 books in the Bible.
  6. Furthermore, these divide into 39 and 27, as do the books of the Bible — 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
  7. The Scofield Study Bible division of the two parts:
           Part I — Looking toward the captivities (1—39).
           Part II — Looking beyond the captivities (40—66).
  8. Isaiah was born during the reign of King Uzziah (1:1; 6:1). He continued his ministry through the days of Kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1).
  9. He lived during the time of the Assyrian captivity when the northern kingdom of Israel was besieged, and their capital Samaria sacked.
  10. He saw Ahaz, the wicked king of Judah, being enticed by Assyria, and he warned against it in chapters 7—9.
  11. King Ahaz was succeeded by his son Hezekiah, who was a good king. Hezekiah was one of the best kings of Judah and led the people in a great revival.
  12. Isaiah was a great help to King Hezekiah (Isa. 36, 37). Though they were good friends, Isaiah did not hesitate to confront King Hezekiah when the king foolishly showed the Babylonian ambassadors all his treasures (39).
  13. Isaiah lived on into the reign of King Manasseh, the son born to King Hezekiah during the fifteen-year extension of his life (38:1-5).
  14. Unfortunately, Manasseh was a terrible king. Tradition has it that Manasseh had Isaiah murdered by having him "sawn asunder" (cf. Hebrews 11:37).
  15. Liberal critics have attacked the authorship of the book of Isaiah, claiming there are two or three authors. However, the many New Testament quotations attest to the unity of Isaiah (cf. John 12:38-41; Romans 9:27-29; 10:16-21).


  1. Isaiah's visions reached far beyond the borders of Judah and Israel, and reached out into Assyria, Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Egypt, Edom, Arabia, Tyre, and into the far-flung corners of the world.
  2. Long before Babylon became a world power, Isaiah predicted their rise and their conquest of Jerusalem.
  3. Many of his prophecies have already been fulfilled (cf. 7:14; 9:6; 40:3; 42:1-3; 52:13—53:12; 61:1; etc.), but some are yet to be fulfilled (cf. 2:2-5; 9:7; 42:4; 59:20; 63:1-6).
  4. Speaking of Isaiah, John Phillips wrote, "One moment his book is black with the thunder and the darkness of the storm. The next, the rainbow shines through, and he sweeps his readers on to the Golden Age that still lies ahead for the world" (Exploring the Scriptures).


  1. Isaiah preached against Judah's idolatry and immorality (cf. 1:2ff).
  2. Isaiah struck against the root of the problem in Judah — many of the people were religious but lost (1:11-18).
  3. God told Isaiah that the people would not respond to his preaching (6:9, 10). But a remnant would repent and turn to God (cf. 1:9; 6:13).
  4. A remnant did turn to God during the revival under King Hezekiah. And through this remnant the Messiah would come (53:1ff).


  1. Judgment and Prophecies of the Millennial Kingdom (1—39).
  1. Judgment Upon Israel (1)
  2. Future Blessings for Judah and Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom (2).
  3. Judgment Upon Judah and Jerusalem (3).
  4. Another Preview of the Millennial Kingdom (4).
  5. Parable of the Vineyard, and Six Woes Upon Israel (5).
  6. Isaiah's Wonderful Vision and Call (6).
  7. Prophecies Regarding the Assyrian Invasion and Birth of the Messiah (7—9).
  8. Judgment Upon Assyria (10).
  9. Blessings of the Coming Millennial Kingdom (11, 12).
  10. Prophecies Against Foreign Nations (13—23).
  • Babylon (13, 14:1-27).
  • Philistia (14:28-32)
  • Moab (15, 16)
  • Damascus (17)
  • Land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (18)
  • Egypt (19, 20)
  • The desert, Edom, Arabia (21, 22)
  • Tyre (23)
  1. Prophecies Regarding the Coming Tribulation and Millennial Kingdom (24—27).
  2. Prophecies Regarding Judah and Assyria (28—33).
  3. The Day of the LORD'S Vengeance (34).
  4. Blessings of the Millennial Kingdom (35).
  5. Historical Interlude (36—39).
  • Sennacherib's invasion (36)
  • King Hezekiah's prayer (37)
  • King Hezekiah's sickness, prayer, and recovery (38)
  • King Hezekiah's foolish mistake in showing the Babylonians his treasure (39)
  1. Prophecies Looking Beyond the Babylonian Captivity (40—66).
  1. Comfort from the LORD (40—48).
  2. Salvation in the Coming Messiah (49—57).
  3. Promises of the Future Restoration of Israel (58—66).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —