Main Themes in Septuagint Isaiah
Here is a brief summary of the main themes in Septuagint Isaiah.
I. God Himself Saves
The overriding theme in Septuagint Isaiah is God is Savior of Israel. He himself has done it (Septuagint Isaiah 59:16-18). There is no Savior of Israel but God. The main theme in Septuagint Isaiah is to prophesy God’s saving of Israel by means of the sending of his divine Servant to them as a sacrifice for their sins (Isaiah 53). Everything else Isaiah says flows out from this main theme.
II. None Other Can Save
Isaiah spends a great portion of text proving that both the nations outside of Israel and Israel itself are rebelliously sinful and unable to obtain God’s righteousness on their own. No person of the nations nor of Israel can come forward to save. They are all deserving of God’s wrath (Septuagint Isaiah 59:16). God alone can save, and he does so by sending his Servant (Septuagint Isaiah 53).
III. A Remnant of Israel Will Be Saved
IV. God Includes Gentiles in His Plans for Israel’s Future
He further establishes by repetition that God will bring Gentile believers to build up the numbers and strength of redeemed Israel, the remnant who will be saved (Septuagint Isaiah 2:2-3; 42:6-7; 55:4-5; 60:2-5). God’s salvation of Israel extends as blessing to the entire world (Septuagint Isaiah 2:2; 52:10; 56:7; 61:11).
Where Is the “Millennium”?
Isaiah’s text continually returns to the “first” Advent of the Servant. We know that Septuagint Isaiah 61:1-2 speaks of the Servant’s initial coming, because Jesus Christ quotes these verses at the outset of his ministry (Luke 4:18-19). There is no reason to suppose that the text of the remainder of chapter 61 jumps to an unnamed, unspecified “second” Advent. Any such idea would be imported and inserted into the text from elsewhere. Isaiah himself (up to this point) knows but one Advent.
So, where is the “millennium” in Septuagint Isaiah 61? Not present. All of chapter 61, in its own context of everything that has preceded, speaks of the Servant’s one advent (complete life) and ministry.
The fact that the Servant would accomplish His ministry in two advents, separated by thousands of years, was unknown to the Old Testament prophets. –Dr. Thomas Constable (1)
The context of the above quotation from Dr. Constable indicates his own belief in “two advents.” Nevertheless, by his own admission, as clearly and plainly stated in the sentence quoted just above, Isaiah himself knew nothing of the idea of “two advents.” The purpose of this blog is to follow Septuagint Isaiah as closely as possible. Within the context of Isaiah from 56:9 forward, Isaiah speaks of one advent. The results of this singularity in human history for God’s people Israel and for all humankind are overwhelmingly significant. The remainder of chapter 61 details some of these results.
1 Constable, Thomas. DD. “Commentary on Isaiah 61”. “Dr. Constable’s Expository Notes”, available at https://www.studylight.org/