Isaiah (sometimes spelled as Esaias), was the son of Amoz (Isa 1:1), was married and had two children. God called for him in the year King Uzziah died (740 BC). His ministry was a long one, during the reign of four kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Isa 1:1). Isaiah means “Yah is salvation.”
Isaiah was sent primarily to Judah, although his message concerns the Northern Kingdom of Israel as well. He lived through the awful days of the civil war between Israel and Judah in 734 – 732 BC. The grim lesson taught by Israel’s fall was not lost on Isaiah, and he used it to encourage Hezekiah to trust in the Lord (Isa 36:6-7). After King Hezekiah’s prayer to God for deliverance (Isa 37:15-20) God saved them from the mighty Assyrian army (Isa 37:36).
Isaiah is considered by some to be the greatest of all Old Testament prophets, his disciples continued to transmit his teachings long after he died. Isaiah also looked beyond his own time to the coming exile of Judah and the deliverance that God would provide. He also foretold the coming of Jesus (Isa 7:14, 9:6-7).
Jesus had quoted from the book of Isaiah often, which is not surprising, considering that salvation is a central theme in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah made that famous prediction in Isaiah 66:8 that a nation would be born in a single day, even before the birth pains come. This prophecy was fulfilled in May of 1948, when Israel declared independence without a war, but then was engulfed in war, with the surrounding nations, within hours of its declaration.
Today, we can see with our own eyes that many of Isaiah’s prophecies have found fulfillment with the worldwide dispersion of Jews, the worldwide persecution of Jews, the recent worldwide migration of Jews back to Israel during the past century, the recent re-establishment and restoration of Israel, and the worldwide impact that Jews have had on the world. Yet, also today there are many, many false Jews, as there are many Christians that are not true Christians.
Isaiah is the first of the Major Prophets, and the longest of all the Prophets. The story of Isaiah is found in the Book of Isaiah.