- The name Isaiah means, "Yahweh is salvation."
- Isaiah prophesied from roughly 740-700BCE.
- Stories of Isaiah are also found in 2 Kings
19-20 and 2 Chronicles 26-32.
- He lived in Jerusalem throughout most of the
second half of the eighth century.
- The year king Uzziah died (736BCE) was probably
a turning point in his life.
- The death of Uzziah marked the beginning of
the Assyrian threat - an event that would forever
change the life of Israel. His reign was characterized
by a long period of decadence, and Isaiah knew
that God's judgment was at hand.
- Isaiah might have been in the temple at the
time of his call experience, which came in the
form of a vision.
- Isaiah claims to have seen a vision of the
heavenly court - he saw God administering the
affairs of men attended by seraphim flying above
- Isaiah's response to this was to feel the
inadequacy and sinfulness of humanity. He uses
a word meaning "I am doomed."
- After one of the seraphim placed a burning
coal against his mouth, Isaiah was forgiven.
- Just then he heard God ask, "Whom shall
I send?" and Isaiah replied, "Here
am I. Send me!"
- Right off the bat, Isaiah was told that the
people would not listen to him.
- Ironically, he was told to make the people's
hearts calloused, their ears dull, and their
eyes shut. These are words of judgment that
describe what happened.
- When Isaiah asked "How long?," the
answer was until all had been destroyed.
- The life of a prophet was filled with painful
- Isaiah probably had two sons. One was named,
Shearjashub, which means "a remnant shall
return." His very name was a prophetic
sign of hope. The other was Maher-shalal-hash-baz,
which means something like "quick to plunder,
swift to the spoil." (Some scholars think
he had a third son, named Immanuel. Immanuel
means "God with us" or "God is
- In 733, Isaiah and his son confronted King
Ahaz by the water conduits - a clear sign that
the king was anxious about a siege when he should
have been turning to God for help.
- The word of the Lord through Isaiah to the
king was simple: "If you do not stand by
me (Yahweh), you will not stand at all."
(The king, of course, did not alter his plans.)
- The Lord oftentimes spoke to Isaiah to encourage
him in his work.
- For one three-year period, Isaiah walked around
with only a loincloth to make his point that
the land would be stripped and naked and the
people would be humiliated by going into captivity.
- Isaiah is, perhaps, best remembered for his
activity during the time of King Hezekiah.
- When faced with a threat from Sennacherib,
King of Assyria, Hezekiah prayed, then asked
Isaiah for God's word.
- Isaiah correctly foretold that nothing would
come of it and that Sennacherib would be cut
down with the sword. (Although scholars point
out that this event didn't occur until 20 years
later, in the Bible it happens immediately.)
- Isaiah also told Hezekiah he would see a sign:
The suffering of the people would last for two
years. But they would survive, and in the third
year, things would return to normal. This pointed
to the future glory of Judah.
- When Hezekiah fell ill, Isaiah carried a message
of doom, but that was immediately changed by
Hezekiah's petition to Yahweh to one of restoration.
Isaiah hadn't even returned home yet, before
he was instructed to return with a different
- He instructed Hezekiah's assistants on how
to treat him, which led to his healing.
- Hezekiah was given fifteen more years to live,
sanctioned by the sign of the shadow on the
sundial that moved back ten steps.
- Even though Hezekiah would have peace and
security in his days, Isaiah foretold the Babylonian
- There is no information about the demise of
Isaiah. The century and a half between chapters
39 and 40 are silent years.
Goldingay, John. "Isaiah." New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2001.
Herbert, A.S. "Isaiah 40-66." The Cambridge Bible Commentary. Great Britain: Cambridge University Press, 1975.
Knight, George. "Servant Theology, A Commentary on the Book of Isaiah 40-55." International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1984.
Sawyer, John. "Isaiah." Daily Study Bible Series. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1984.
Whybray, R.N. "Isaiah 40-66." The New Century Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1990.
Widyapranawa, S.H. "Isaiah, 1-39, The Lord is Savior, Faith in National Crisis." International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1990.