Volume two of two in the EP Study Commentary series, covering chapters 40-66. This section contains some of the most sublime passages to be found in Old Testament prophecy. It culminates in the vision that Isaiah has of the Servant and its implications for the people of God. John Mackay shows how these things were relevant to Isaiah’s contemporaries, but also how they apply to our own.
There were no investigative journalists in the ancient world to bring to the attention of the public matters which the rich and powerful wished to keep hidden. But to a certain extent their role was fulfilled in ancient Israel by the prophets of Yahweh, amongst whom was numbered Isaiah. He exposed the follies of the rich, oppression in society, commented on the inadequacies of foreign alliances, and resolutely confronted wayward kings.
The role of a prophet, however, differed in many key respects from that of a journalist. For one thing, the prophet was called and commissioned by God for the role that he had to play. A true prophet did not opt for this as a career: it was divinely assigned to him.
John L. Mackay is a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. After several years in the pastorate, in 1983 he was appointed Professor of Old Testament in the Free Church College, Edinburgh, and has lectured there ever since. He has also engaged in a widespread speaking ministry, and has written expository commentaries on several Old Testament books.