Isaiah’s Parallel Chapters
The Book of Isaiah, which gives us such a clear overview of the Bible, has yet another surprise for students of the Word. There are 66 chapters in Isaiah, and there are 66 books in the Bible. Some students believe that the 66 chapters of Isaiah parallel the 66 books of the Bible. The nine chapters that correspond to the New Testament books written to Gentiles and Gentile Churches confirm this fascinating pattern.
- Chapter 49 of Isaiah is about the servant of the Lord (Jesus). Ephesians, the 49th book, is about Jesus the Messiah. “Christ,” or Messiah, appears 45 times in Ephesians.
- Chapter 50 of Isaiah is about the obedience of the servant of God (Jesus). Phillipians is about the humility of Jesus and being obedient as He was.
- Chapter 51 of Isaiah is about the supremacy of “my salvation.” The word for salvation is jeshua, the Hebrew version of “Jesus.” Colossians, the 51st book, is about the supremacy of Jesus. “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)
- Chapter 52 of Isaiah is about Jerusalem and the Lord’s protection of that city. The 52nd book, First Thessalonians, is about the Church (New Jerusalem) and the Lord’s protection. (Please see First Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9)
- Chapter 53 of Isaiah is a beautiful prophecy of Jesus and is frequently quoted. It prophesies the First Coming of Jesus. Second Thessalonians, the 53rd book, is clearly about the Second Coming.
- Chapter 54 of Isaiah is about the faithfulness of the Lord to His people. Likewise First Timothy, the 54th book, is about the faithfulness of the Lord to all people.
- Chapter 55 of Isaiah is about encouragement and reward. In Second Timothy, the 55th book, the Apostle Paul speaks of encouragement and reward.
- Chapter 56 of Isaiah is about salvation for Gentiles (see verses 3 and 7). The 56th book, Titus, is also about salvation for Gentiles.
- Chapter 57 of Isaiah is about the restoration of sinners (see verses 14-19). The wonderful little Book of Philemon, the 57th book, is about the restoration of a sinner, Onesimus.
Some chapter/book parallels are not as evident as others. I would not be surprised if this parallel applied to all chapters of Isaiah, but I have focused on the nine books of the New Testament that were written to Gentiles or Gentile Churches.
There are yet other “markers” for this set of nine chapters in Isaiah. The 48th book is Galatians which is the concluding book of the first nine New Testament books written to Jews or about Jewish subjects. There is a cryptic statement from the Lord in the concluding verse of this chapter; “[There is] no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22) Likewise, the very same statement is found at the end of chapter 57, paralleling Philemon, concluding the nine books written to Gentiles or Gentile Churches; “[There is] no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:21)
These two markers are a strong indicator that there is something unique about these nine chapters. They confirm the pattern of nine “Jewish” books, nine “Gentile” books, and nine “Jewish” books, and show how Gentiles are inserted into the Lord’s Plan.
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