Understanding Prophecy - D. Yamartino
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Chapter 39 of  60

A Great Light (39:1)

Verse from Old Testament (39:2)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (isa 9:2) (39:3) see

Predictions (39:4)

Again, Isaiah's words seem to refer to an event in the past: the shining of a great light. Therefore, as with many other verses from the Old Testament, it is hard to imagine that someone would have regarded this verse as foretelling a future event or circumstance (39:5)

As with all prophecies, a seeker might have assumed that the "light" spoken of above, may have been either a physical light, or a symbol of God's blessings, and Isaiah's words do not explain whether a literal or symbolic meaning (or both) was intended (39:6)

It would certainly seem that at the time the light shined, the people would be astonished, maybe even overjoyed. They were a people who walked in darkness, who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death. Whether literal or figurative, the light would surely be a welcome change from the darkness (39:7)

Fulfillment (39:8)

Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed in Galilee; (39:9)

And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: (39:10)

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, (39:11)

The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; (39:12)

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (mat 4:12-16) (39:13) see

Commentary (39:14)

We see from the fulfillment of this prophecy, the great meaning intended by Isaiah. Christ was the Light of the world, and the people to whom He appeared were living in darkness (39:15)

That the "light", which was intended by Isaiah, was to be the Messiah is something that could hardly have been guessed. Seeing Jesus of Nazareth as that light required recognition of Him as the Son of God (39:16)

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