How is Sefer Yeshaya structured? It doesn't seem to be chronological. The book seems to start with chapter 6 which presumably took place during the reign of Uzziah. Rashi says chapter 1 started after the Northern Kingdom was destroyed.


1 Answer 1


One structure I saw from a teacher of Tanach is as follows:

In terms of general structure:

Perakim 1-39 are rebuke.

Perakim 40-66 are comfort.

One can then look at the details of the first half of prophecies:

Perakim 1 and 11 are actually not rebuke, and are about the end of days. Therefore, the Malbim proposes:

  1. If you do not repent, you will have problems
  2. Look how great it can be if you repent! (Perek 2)
  3. The downfall of the North followed by Assyria moving into the South = big problems and destruction.
  4. It's a lost cause, so discuss the furture again rather than rebuke. (Perek 11)

The Malbim further mentions that a discussion of the end of days and "utopia" is only relevant when bnei yisrael are in trouble.

Lastly, I vaguely remember that Perek 2 is about the end of days that could have come right then if we were good, ie it's an actual option if we repent. However Perek 11 is now only a glimpse of what is destined to come at some point, but not an immediate choice.

  • More like 1-35. 36-39 are straight history/story.
    – Double AA
    Nov 14, 2016 at 4:24

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