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The Prophecy of Isaiah

, 1996
ISBN: 9780830814244
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Drawing on a lifetime of study and teaching the book, J. Alec Motyer presents a landmark, single-volume commentary on the prophecy of Isaiah. He emphasizes the grammatical, historical, structural, literary, and theological dimensions of the text, and pays particular attention to three central and recurring themes: the messianic hope, the motif of the city, and the theology of the Holy One of Israel.

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Top Highlights

“A single theme binds the first thirty-seven chapters of Isaiah: the king who reigns in Zion.” (Page 37)

“Faith is the central reality of the Lord’s people, not just their distinctiveness but their ground of existence. No faith, no people.” (Page 83)

“Holiness is God’s hidden glory; glory is God’s all-present holiness.” (Page 77)

“As a title it is full of majesty and mystery: the God who is transcendent in holiness has brought himself into close relationship with a specified people whereby they may claim that he is theirs and he that they are his. The whole Isaianic literature is an explication of this basic situation: the awesome threat which holiness constitutes to an unworthy, careless, rejecting and unresponsive people (chapters 1–37); the lengths to which the Holy One will go to deal with sin, reclaim the sinner and create a righteous people for himself (chapters 40–55); and the eternal state of holiness which he will prepare for them and wherein they will enjoy him for ever (chapters 56–66).” (Page 18)

“The following commentary attempts this task in detail, but an initial overview will set the scene by tracing five unificatory lines which bind the Isaianic literature: the Messianic hope, the motif of the city, the Holy One of Israel, history and faith and literary and structural features.” (Page 13)

  • Title: The Prophecy of Isaiah
  • Author: J. Alec Motyer
  • Publisher: IVP
  • Print Publication Date: 1996
  • Logos Release Date: 2001
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. O.T. Isaiah › Commentaries
  • ISBNs: 9780830814244, 0830814248
  • Resource ID: LLS:29.28.2
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-28T20:02:06Z

J. Alec Motyer (1924–2016) was a renowned Old Testament pastor and scholar. With extensive experience in parish ministry, he was principal of Trinity College in Bristol, England, and was well known as a Bible expositor. His books include The Prophecy of Isaiah, and he was the Old Testament editor of The Bible Speaks Today commentary series.


53 ratings

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  1. Mathew Haferkamp
    I give a one star rating because logos has poorly linked this book. Any thing in bold type (as in titles of sections) that has verses ( 1. The title (1:1) page 42) is NOT LINKED. Every other book I have read from logos has these linked. Is time saving not a priority anymore??? But I have just started reading the book, so it does not reflect on the content of the book.
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson


  3. Philemon Schott
  4. Sande James

    Sande James


    Be blessed at all
  5. Charlie O'Neal
    Great work here. I love it.
  6. Hwang Jun Chul
  7. Charles Campbell
  8. Daniel E Lee

    Daniel E Lee


  9. Paulo Rabello

    Paulo Rabello


  10. Logosed



    There can be no doubt that this is a major commentary. The author argues from a modern evangelical standpoint for the intrinsic unity of the work and proves that evangelical scholars are not inferior to their liberal counterparts. Motyer divides the work into three sections (Book of the King 1-37, Book of the Servant 38-55, Book of the Anointed Conqueror 56-66) thereby placing the Messianic focus at the centre of the prophet's vision. For me the strength of the work lies in its detailed exegesis, although a great deal of attention is also devoted to structural analysis of each section. Pastors will find this an outstanding commentary for sermon preparation. The author has a gift in his ability to translate ancient Isaianic concepts into a modern idiom, making Isaiah thoroughly contemporaneous. In addition, the author penetrates into the heart of the work in a way other evangelical writers have not (e.g. Oswalt's commentary which is steady but dry and nowhere near as engaging). Motyer's brilliance may be illustrated in his discussion of Isaiah 58 which deals with the question of fasting. Motyer reckons that the problem here is that the Sabbath had been turned into a fast day, when in fact it was a feast day: He writes: "The Lord is more interested in enjoyment of his blessings through obedience than in self-imposed deprivations. The heart of true religion is to conform to what God has ordained." (483) On the critical level: the visual presentation of the commentary is difficult to follow. The structural analyses of units seems forced and the Motyer often provides no answer to questions that I had raised in my reading. I would also have liked, since this is a Christian reading, a greater dialogue with ancient interpreters, notably Calvin. Motyer quotes Calvin but he has clearly not engaged with his exegesis, nor that of Luther, or any other ancient writer for that fact. Once I detected a clear anti-liturgical bias ("A religion of rite and formalism has no divine authorization", 46) and there are some typos (Is 57.19 on page 479 should be 57.18). In conclusion: this is a wise commentary choice on Isaiah (alongside that of Brueggemann and Child) although the author does not really engage with the critical issues raised by modern scholars. Motyer also wrote a commentary on Isaiah in the Tyndale series. This large commentary is to be preferred to that. The Tyndale edition is a poorly edited downsized edition of this one, and leaves out most of the good stuff.


Digital list price: $26.99
Save $7.00 (25%)