Isaiah has been called the 'fifth gospel'. Why? Because in it God speaks through his prophet of his people's departure from truth, the need for repentance and the redemption provided by a coming saviour. Isaiah's imagery is some of the most beautiful, and terrifying, in the Bible.
It was written in the 8th century BC at a time of material prosperity. This wealth had brought increased literacy and so God's people could be brought back by a book of 66 chapters to understand a world that had spiritual, as well as physical, dimensions.
This is a key Old Testament book, as well as charting a key change in the life of God's people it provides some of the most important prophecies fulfilled only in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Its lessons for the contemporary church are particularly apt.
Too often modern commentaries become a discussion between commentators rather than an exploration of what the text has to say to contemporary readers. Allan Harman's methods follow those of Leon Morris and Allan McRae in that he devotes most of his energy to discovering what God is saying through his prophet, rather than what we are saying amongst ourselves.