Isaiah Biography

Isaiah, an 8th-century BC Israelite prophet, is known for his prediction of the coming of Jesus Christ. Considered a significant figure in Christian and Jewish traditions, not much is known about his personal life, although evidence suggests he came from an aristocratic family. Born in Jerusalem, Isaiah was called to be a prophet through a divine vision after the death of King Uzziah. He was deeply educated in the language of prophetic speech and may have been born into a family of prophets. Isaiah was a compassionate man who spoke out against societal inequalities and the evils committed by men. He empathized with the poor and served as a mouthpiece of God, warning the common people of the consequences of sinful actions. Married with at least two sons, his wife is referred to as “the prophetess” in his writings.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Prophet Isaiah
  • Died At Age: 100
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: The Prophetess
    • Father: Amoz
    • Children: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, Shear-Jashub
  • Born Country: Israel
  • Died on: 700 BC
  • Place of death: Kingdom of Judah

Isaiah’s Background and Family

Isaiah was born in the 8th century BC in Jerusalem, Israel. His father’s name was Amoz, but there is no mention of his mother’s name. Not much is known about his childhood or early life, but it is believed that he came from either an aristocratic or priestly family. Some even speculate that he came from a family of prophets. According to ancient rabbis, Isaiah was believed to be a descendant of Judah and Tamar, and his father, Amoz, was allegedly the brother of King Amaziah.

Isaiah’s Writing Style and Influence

From his writings, it is evident that Isaiah was trained in the traditional styles of prophetic speech. He wrote in the finest of classical Hebrew, using refined and formal language. Isaiah is counted among the four eminent Hebrew prophets of the 8th century BC, along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah. His writing style is similar to that of Amos, who was an older contemporary. Isaiah was known for his kind-heartedness and sympathy towards the poor, underprivileged, and downtrodden. He had contempt for those who hoarded riches and exploited the poor, and he was deeply disturbed by the inequalities and injustices in society.

The Book of Isaiah

The Book of Isaiah is named after the prophet Isaiah and is the first of the Major Prophets in the Christian Old Testament and the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah is believed to have written the first 39 chapters of the book, known as Proto-Isaiah. The book was highly popular among Jews in the Second Temple period and was also highly regarded in Christian circles, where it was called “The Fifth Gospel.”

Isaiah’s Vision and Prophecies

According to the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah was first called to prophecy around 742 BC. He had a vision, possibly in the Jerusalem Temple, where he “saw” God and had a profound spiritual experience. During this time, he realized that God was looking for a messenger to communicate with the people of Israel. Despite feeling inadequate, Isaiah offered his service to God. He proclaimed to the people of Israel the coming of a messiah, describing a mysterious figure who would be a suffering savior and a light to the gentiles. This messiah would suffer for the transgressions of the common people. The words of Isaiah are believed to have come to fruition, as stated in The Book of Mormon.

Isaiah’s Family and Personal Life

Isaiah was married and had at least two sons. His wife is referred to as “the prophetess” in his works, possibly because she had prophetic abilities or simply because she was the wife of a prophet. Their elder son was named Shear-jashub, meaning “A remnant shall return,” and their younger son was named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, meaning “Spoil quickly, plunder speedily.” Isaiah died sometime in the 7th century BC, and the exact circumstances of his death are unknown. Some sources suggest that he was killed by King Manasseh, the 14th king of the Kingdom of Judah. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, May 9 is designated for celebrating Saint Isaiah the Prophet.

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