Isaiah and Jeremiah: 10 Key Verses to Consider With Commentary

by Dr. Michael L. Williams · Print Print · Email Email

Most people who read the Bible are aware of two great prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. However, when you stand back and look at their ministries you will find that each were called by God for a specific time and purpose in the history of Israel. A brief overview of some key verses will reveal that there are differences in their ministries that demonstrate to us two very important factors in the lives of all believers that we all should consider.

What does the Bible teach us about the times of Isaiah and Jeremiah?

Isaiah and Jeremiah lived during a time in Israel’s history when there were great changes taking place. Isaiah lived about 100 years before Jeremiah. Chronologically, Isaiah lived during a time just after the northern 10 tribes of Israel were destroyed by the Assyrians. Jeremiah lived afterwards during a time leading up to the carrying away of the southern two tribes of Judah into bondage in Babylon. Both were called by God to address different aspects of going on in the nation of Israel and God’s warning an plans for what God had in store going forward for the nation.

Isaiah and Jeremiah

What does the Bible teach us about Isaiah?

The most notable thing about the prophet Isaiah is that his message was centered on the salvation of God’s people by the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ about eight centuries before Jesus was born. Likewise, Isaiah foretold the Messiah’s role in the literal rescue and restoration of Israel during the end times events of the world. At the time of Isaiah’s ministry, his message was a warning to the Kingdom of Judah that God was calling them individually as a people to turn from their sinfulness and growing wickedness and to trust God’s promised Messiah. It is for this reason that Isaiah is quoted many times in the New Testament, even by Jesus Himself. We see references to these things as follows:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:1-4)

And he [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:16-21)

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (Revelation 19:13-15)

What does the Bible teach us about Jeremiah?

Not long after Isaiah lived, God raised up the prophet Jeremiah to give a final warning to the southern Kingdom of Judah to stop their idolatrous practices and unrepentant sin before casting them out of their land and allowing them to be carried away in bondage by the kingdom of Babylon. God called Jeremiah from the womb to take upon this task of warning God’s people, which brought him to tears because the people were hardened by sin and would not listen (Jeremiah 1:4-5). His warnings to God’s people are echoed in New Testament reference to God’s people today. We see references to these things as follows:

Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. Jeremiah 3:20-22

For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land; They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 16:3-4)

And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. (Jeremiah 27:8-10)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Revelation 22:11-16)

Conclusion

Isaiah and Jeremiah lived during a time in Israel’s history when there were great changes taking place. Isaiah’s message was centered on the salvation of God’s people by the coming Messiah and His role in the literal rescue and restoration of Israel during the end times. God raised up the prophet Jeremiah to give a final warning to the southern Kingdom of Judah to stop their idolatrous practices and unrepentant sin before allowing them to be carried away in bondage to the kingdom of Babylon. The teachings of both prophets have applications to people today in their need to trust Christ as their Savior and to live their lives in a way that honors God.

Read more about the major prophets here: Who Were the Major Prophets?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version

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