|Born||8th century BC|
|Died||7th century BC|
|Venerated in|| Judaism |
|Feast||May 9 |
Thursday after the Feast of the Transfiguration (Armenian Apostolic Church)
|Major works||Book of Isaiah|
Isaiah (Hebrew : יְשַׁעְיָהוּ, Yəšaʻyahū or Yešaʻyāh, "God Is Salvation"; Arabic : إشعيا, Ašaʿyāʾ or Šaʿyā; Syriac : ܐܹܫܲܥܝܵܐ, ˀēšaˁyā; Ancient Greek : Ἠσαΐας, Ēsaïās; Latin: Isaias); ( US: // or UK: // ; "Yah is salvation" ) was the 8th-century BC Israelite prophet after whom the Book of Isaiah is named.
Within the text of the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah himself is referred to as "the prophet",but the exact relationship between the Book of Isaiah and the actual prophet Isaiah is complicated. The traditional view is that all 66 chapters of the book of Isaiah were written by one man, Isaiah, possibly in two periods between 740 BC and c. 686 BC, separated by approximately 15 years, and that the book includes dramatic prophetic declarations of Cyrus the Great in the Bible, acting to restore the nation of Israel from Babylonian captivity. Another widely held view is that parts of the first half of the book (chapters 1–39) originated with the historical prophet, interspersed with prose commentaries written in the time of King Josiah a hundred years later, and that the remainder of the book dates from immediately before and immediately after the end of the exile in Babylon, almost two centuries after the time of the historical prophet.
The first verse of the Book of Isaiah states that Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah (or Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah.Uzziah's reign was 52 years in the middle of the 8th century BC, and Isaiah must have begun his ministry a few years before Uzziah's death, probably in the 740s BC. Isaiah lived until the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah (who died 698 BC). He may have been contemporary for some years with Manasseh. Thus Isaiah may have prophesied for as long as 64 years.
According to some modern interpretations, Isaiah's wife was called "the prophetess",either because she was endowed with the prophetic gift, like Deborah and Huldah, or simply because she was the "wife of the prophet". They had two sons, naming the eldest Shear-jashub, meaning "A remnant shall return", and the youngest, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, meaning, "Spoil quickly, plunder speedily."
Soon after this, Shalmaneser V determined to subdue the kingdom of Israel, taking over and destroying Samaria (722 BC). So long as Ahaz reigned, the kingdom of Judah was untouched by the Assyrian power. But when Hezekiah gained the throne, he was encouraged to rebel "against the king of Assyria",and entered into an alliance with the king of Egypt. The king of Assyria threatened the king of Judah, and at length invaded the land. Sennacherib (701 BC) led a powerful army into Judah. Hezekiah was reduced to despair, and submitted to the Assyrians. But after a brief interval, war broke out again. Again Sennacherib led an army into Judah, one detachment of which threatened Jerusalem Isaiah on that occasion encouraged Hezekiah to resist the Assyrians, whereupon Sennacherib sent a threatening letter to Hezekiah, which he "spread before the LORD".
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying: "Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Whereas thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,
this is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
Whom hast thou taunted and blasphemed? And against whom hast thou exalted thy voice? Yea, thou hast lifted up thine eyes on high, even against the Holy One of Israel!"
According to the account in 2 Kings 19 (and its derivative account in 2 Chronicles 32) an angel of God fell on the Assyrian army and 185,000 of its men were killed in one night. "Like Xerxes in Greece, Sennacherib never recovered from the shock of the disaster in Judah. He made no more expeditions against either Southern Palestine or Egypt."
The remaining years of Hezekiah's reign were peaceful.Isaiah probably lived to its close, and possibly into the reign of Manasseh. The time and manner of his death are not specified in either the Bible or other primary sources. Later Jewish tradition says that he suffered martyrdom by being sawn in two under the orders of Manasseh.
The book of Isaiah, along with the book of Jeremiah, is distinctive in the Hebrew bible for its direct portrayal of the "wrath of the Lord" as presented, for example, in Isaiah 9:19 stating, "Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire."
The Ascension of Isaiah, a pseudepigraphical Christian text dated to sometime between the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 3rd, gives a detailed story of Isaiah confronting an evil false prophet and ending with Isaiah being martyred – none of which is attested in the original Biblical account.
Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335–395) believed that the Prophet Isaiah "knew more perfectly than all others the mystery of the religion of the Gospel". Jerome (c. 342–420) also lauds the Prophet Isaiah, saying, "He was more of an Evangelist than a Prophet, because he described all of the Mysteries of the Church of Christ so vividly that you would assume he was not prophesying about the future, but rather was composing a history of past events."Of specific note are the songs of the Suffering Servant, which Christians say are a direct prophetic revelation of the nature, purpose, and detail of the death of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Isaiah is quoted many times by New Testament writers. [ non-primary source needed ]Ten of those references are about the Suffering Servant, how he will suffer and die to save many from their sins, be buried in a rich man's tomb, and be a light to the Gentiles. The Gospel of John says that Isaiah "saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him."
The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Isaiah the Prophet on May 9.Isaiah is also listed on the page of saints for May 9 in the Roman martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Book of Mormon quotes Jesus Christ as stating that "great are the words of Isaiah", and that all things prophesied by Isaiah have been and will be fulfilled.The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants also quote Isaiah more than any other prophet from the Old Testament. Additionally, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider the founding of the church by Joseph Smith in the 19th century to be a fulfillment of Isaiah 11, the translation of the Book of Mormon to be a fulfillment of Isaiah 29, and the building of Latter-day Saint temples as a fulfillment of Isaiah 2:2.
Isaiah, or his Arabic name أشعياء (transliterated: Ishaʻyā'), is not mentioned by name in the Quran or the Hadith, but appears frequently as a prophet in Islamic sources, such as Qisas Al-Anbiya and Tafsir.Tabari (310/923) provides the typical accounts for Islamic traditions regarding Isaiah. He is further mentioned and accepted as a prophet by other Islamic scholars such as Ibn Kathir, Al-Tha`labi and Kisa'i and also modern scholars such as Muhammad Asad and Abdullah Yusuf Ali. According to Muslim scholars, Isaiah prophecised the coming of Jesus and Muhammad, although the reference to Muhammad is disputed by other religious scholars. Isaiah's narrative in Islamic literature can be divided into three sections. The first establishes Isaiah as a prophet of Israel during the reign of Hezekiah; the second relates Isaiah's actions during the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib; and the third warns the nation of coming doom. Paralleling the Hebrew Bible, Islamic tradition states that Hezekiah was king in Jerusalem during Isaiah's time. Hezekiah heard and obeyed Isaiah's advice, but could not quell the turbulence in Israel. This tradition maintains that Hezekiah was a righteous man and that the turbulence worsened after him. After the death of the king, Isaiah told the people not to forsake God, and warned Israel to cease from its persistent sin and disobedience. Muslim tradition maintains that the unrighteous of Israel in their anger sought to kill Isaiah. In a death that resembles that attributed to Isaiah in Lives of the Prophets , Muslim exegesis recounts that Isaiah was martyred by Israelites by being sawn in two.
In the courts of Al-Ma'mun, the seventh Abbasid caliph, Ali al-Ridha, the great grandson of Muhammad and prominent scholar (Imam) of his era, was questioned by the High Jewish Rabbi to prove through the Torah that both Jesus and Muhammad were prophets. Among his several proofs, the Imam references the Book of Isaiah, stating "Sha‘ya (Isaiah), the Prophet, said in the Torah concerning what you and your companions say: ‘I have seen two riders to whom (He) illuminated earth. One of them was on a donkey and the other was on a camel. Who is the rider of the donkey, and who is the rider of the camel?'" The Rabbi was unable to answer with certainty. Al-Ridha goes on to state that "As for the rider of the donkey, he is ‘Isa (Jesus); and as for the rider of the camel, he is Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. Do you deny that this (statement) is in the Torah?" The Rabbi responds "No, I do not deny it."
Allusions in Jewish rabbinic literature to Isaiah contain various expansions, elaborations and inferences that go beyond what is presented in the text of the Bible itself.
According to the ancient rabbis, Isaiah was a descendant of Judah and Tamar,and his father Amoz was the brother of King Amaziah.
While Isaiah, says the Midrash, was walking up and down in his study he heard God saying, "Whom shall I send?" Then Isaiah said, "Here am I; send me!" Thereupon God said to him," My children are troublesome and sensitive; if you are ready to be insulted and even beaten by them, you may accept My message; if not, you would better renounce it".Isaiah accepted the mission, and was the most forbearing, as well as the most patriotic, among the prophets, always defending Israel and imploring forgiveness for its sins. When Isaiah said, "I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips", he was rebuked by God for speaking in such terms of His people.
It is related in the Talmud that Rabbi Simeon ben Azzai found in Jerusalem an account wherein it was written that King Manasseh killed Isaiah. King Manasseh said to Isaiah, "Moses, your master, said, 'No man may see God and live';but you have said, 'I saw the Lord seated upon his throne'"; and went on to point out other contradictions—as between Deuteronomy and Isaiah 40; between Exodus 33 and 2 Kings Isaiah thought: "I know that he will not accept my explanations; why should I increase his guilt?" He then uttered the tetragrammaton, a cedar-tree opened, and Isaiah disappeared within it. King Manasseh ordered the cedar to be sawn asunder, and when the saw reached his mouth Isaiah died; thus was he punished for having said, "I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips".
A somewhat different version of this legend is given in the Jerusalem Talmud.According to that version Isaiah, fearing King Manasseh, hid himself in a cedar-tree, but his presence was betrayed by the fringes of his garment, and King Manasseh caused the tree to be sawn in half. A passage of the Targum to Isaiah quoted by Jolowicz states that when Isaiah fled from his pursuers and took refuge in the tree, and the tree was sawn in half, the prophet's blood spurted forth. The legend of Isaiah's martyrdom spread to the Arabs and to the Christians as, for example, Athanasius the bishop of Alexandria (c. 318) wrote, "Isaiah was sawn asunder".
According to rabbinic literature, Isaiah was the maternal grandfather of Manasseh of Judah.
In February 2018, archaeologist Eilat Mazar announced that she and her team had discovered a small seal impression which reads "[belonging] to Isaiah nvy" (could be reconstructed and read as "[belonging] to Isaiah the prophet") during the Ophel excavations, just south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.The tiny bulla was found "only 10 feet away" from where an intact bulla bearing the inscription "[belonging] to King Hezekiah of Judah" was discovered in 2015 by the same team. Although the name "Isaiah" in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet is unmistakable, the damage on the bottom left part of the seal causes difficulties in confirming the word "prophet" or a name "Navi", casting some doubts whether this seal really belongs to the prophet Isaiah.
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the first of the Major Prophets in the Christian Old Testament. It is identified by a superscription as the words of the 8th-century BCE prophet Isaiah ben Amoz, but there is extensive evidence that much of it was composed during the Babylonian captivity and later. Johann Christoph Döderlein suggested in 1775 that the book contained the works of two prophets separated by more than a century, and Bernhard Duhm originated the view, held as a consensus through most of the 20th century, that the book comprises three separate collections of oracles: Proto-Isaiah, containing the words of the 8th-century prophet Isaiah; Deutero-Isaiah, the work of an anonymous 6th-century BCE author writing during the Exile; and Trito-Isaiah, composed after the return from Exile. Isaiah 1–33 promises judgment and restoration for Judah, Jerusalem and the nations, and chapters 34–66 presume that judgment has been pronounced and restoration follows soon. While virtually no scholars today attribute the entire book, or even most of it, to one person, the book's essential unity has become a focus in more recent research.
The Book of Micah is the sixth of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. Ostensibly, it records the sayings of Micah, whose name is Mikayahu, meaning "Who is like Yahweh?", an 8th-century BCE prophet from the village of Moresheth in Judah.
Hezekiah, or Ezekias, was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the son of Ahaz and the 13th king of Judah. He is considered a very righteous king in both the Second Book of Kings and the Second Book of Chronicles. He is also one of the more prominent kings of Judah mentioned in the Bible and is one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. "No king of Judah, among either his predecessors or his successors, could ... be compared to him", according to 2 Kings 18:5. Edwin Thiele concluded that his reign was between c. 715 and 686 BCE.
Ahaz an abbreviation of Jehoahaz II, "Yahweh has held" was the twelfth king of Judah, and the son and successor of Jotham. Ahaz was 20 when he became king of Judah and reigned for 16 years.
Manasseh was the fourteenth king of the Kingdom of Judah. He was the oldest of the sons of Hezekiah and his mother Hephzibah. He became king at the age of 12 and reigned for 55 years.
In approximately 701 BCE, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of the Kingdom of Judah in a campaign of subjugation. Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem, but failed to capture it — it is the only city mentioned as being besieged on Sennacherib's Stele, of which the capture is not mentioned.
Matthew 1:10 is the tenth verse of the first chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible. The verse is part of the section where the genealogy of Joseph, the father of Jesus, is listed.
Matthew 1:9 is the ninth verse of the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible. The verse is part of the non-synoptic section where the genealogy of Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, is listed, or on non-Pauline interpretations the genealogy of Jesus. The purpose of the genealogy is to show descent from the line of kings, in particular David, as the Messiah was predicted to be the son of David, and descendant of Abraham.
According to the Hebrew Bible, Micah was a prophet in Judaism and is the author of the Book of Micah. He is considered one of the Twelve Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Bible and was a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Amos and Hosea. Micah was from Moresheth-Gath, in southwest Judah. He prophesied during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah.
Isaiah 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Isaiah, one of the Book of the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, which is the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. In this "vision of Isaiah concerning Judah and Jerusalem", the prophet calls the nation to repentance and predicts the destruction of the first temple in the siege of Jerusalem. This chapter provides an introduction to the issues of sin, judgement, and hoped-for restoration which form the overarching structure of the whole book. It concludes with 'a reference to the burning of those who trust in their own strength', in a fire which cannot be 'quenched', a relatively rare word which is also used in the last verse of the book, thereby linking together beginning and ending of this whole book. It is traditionally read on the black sabbath immediately preceding the 9th of Av fast day.
Isaiah 7 is the seventh chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah and is one of the Books of the Prophets.
Isaiah 30 is the thirtieth chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is one of the Books of the Prophets. The Jerusalem Bible groups chapters 28-35 together as a collection of "poems on Israel and Judah". The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges describes this chapter as "a series of Oracles dealing with the Egyptian Alliance and its consequences; the present state and future prospects of Israel, and the destruction of the Assyrians".
Isaiah 36 is the thirty-sixth chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is a part of the Book of the Prophets. The text, describing the invasion of the Assyrian king Sennacherib to the Kingdom of Judah under Hezekiah.
Isaiah 37 is the thirty-seventh chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is a part of the Book of the Prophets.
2 Kings 18 is the eighteenth chapter of the second part of the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible or the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is a compilation of various annals recording the acts of the kings of Israel and Judah by a Deuteronomic compiler in the seventh century BCE, with a supplement added in the sixth century BCE. This chapter records the events during the reign of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, a part of the section comprising 2 Kings 18:1 to 20:21, with a parallel version in Isaiah 36–39.
2 Kings 19 is the nineteenth chapter of the second part of the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible or the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is a compilation of various annals recording the acts of the kings of Israel and Judah by a Deuteronomic compiler in the seventh century BCE, with a supplement added in the sixth century BCE. This chapter records the invasion of Assyrian to Judah during the reign of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, a part of the section comprising 2 Kings 18:1 to 20:21, with a parallel version in Isaiah 36–39.
2 Kings 20 is the twentieth chapter of the second part of the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible or the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is a compilation of various annals recording the acts of the kings of Israel and Judah by a Deuteronomic compiler in the seventh century BCE, with a supplement added in the sixth century BCE. This chapter records the events during the reign of Hezekiah and Manasseh, the kings of Judah.
2 Chronicles 32 is the thirty-second chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles the Old Testament in the Christian Bible or of the second part of the Books of Chronicles in the Hebrew Bible. The book is compiled from older sources by an unknown person or group, designated by modern scholars as "the Chronicler", and had the final shape established in late fifth or fourth century BCE. This chapter belongs to the section focusing on the kingdom of Judah until its destruction by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar and the beginning of restoration under Cyrus the Great of Persia. The focus of this chapter is the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
2 Kings 21 is the twenty-first chapter of the second part of the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible or the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is a compilation of various annals recording the acts of the kings of Israel and Judah by a Deuteronomic compiler in the seventh century BCE, with a supplement added in the sixth century BCE. This chapter records the events during the reign of Manasseh and Amon, the kings of Judah.
2 Chronicles 33 is the thirty-third chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles the Old Testament of the Christian Bible or of the second part of the Books of Chronicles in the Hebrew Bible. The book is compiled from older sources by an unknown person or group, designated by modern scholars as "the Chronicler", and had the final shape established in late fifth or fourth century BCE. This chapter belongs to the section focusing on the kingdom of Judah until its destruction by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar and the beginning of restoration under Cyrus the Great of Persia. It contains the regnal accounts of Manasseh and Amon, the kings of Judah.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Isaiah". The Jewish Encyclopedia . New York: Funk & Wagnalls.