Isaiah quotations in Matthew

Delene Holm

Chiasmus in  direct quotations of Isaiah in the gospel of Matthew. Note that A and A’ only refers to “a prophet’ or ‘it is written’ and does not explicitly name Isaiah in the Matthew quote.

A. Beginning of the house / birth of Jesus (Matt 1:22-23; Isa 7:14)

B. The need for change (Matt 3:3; Isa 40:3)

C. Darkness and the need for light (Matt 4:14-16; Isa 9:1)

D. The suffering servant (Matt 8:17; Isa 53:4)

D’. Behold my servant (Matt 12:17-21; Isa 42:1-4)

C’. Dullness and the need for healing (Matt 13:15-15; Isa 6:9-11)

B’. The need for change (Matt 15:7-9; Isa 29:13)

A’. A house of prayer (Matt 21:13; Isa 56:7)

I think that these quotes were included to show his Jewish readers that Israel had turned their backs on God’s house and so needed to change. This would happen through a light shining to the whole world, including the gentiles, in the form of God’s beloved suffering servant.

One thought on “Isaiah quotations in Matthew”

  1. The first seven quotes are introduced by longer formulae of “fulfilment”. Are these seven chiastically arranged

    A. Virgin birth of Immanuel (Matt 1:22-23; Isa 7:14)

    B. Ministry of John the Baptist to introduce the “glory of the LORD” (Matt 3:3; Isa 40:3)

    C. The light shines in Galilee of the gentiles (Matt 4:14-16; Isa 9:1)

    D. The suffering servant (Matt 8:17; Isa 53:4)

    C’. Judgment will come to the Gentiles (Matt 12:17-21; Isa 42:1-4)

    B’. Blindness to the “glory” (Matt 13:15-15; Isa 6:9-11)

    A’. Vain worship based on tradition not the Word of God (Matt 15:7-9; Isa 29:13)

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