The name Isaiah means Jehovah’s Salvation. This is a prominent feature of Isaiah’s prophecies. Key words throughout the book include save and salvation.
Isaiah’s call to ministry came in the year that King Uzziah died, in 756 b.c. We’ll read about it in Chapter 6.
There are three distinct periods of Isaiah’s ministry:
•Reigns of Uzziah and Jotham
•Beginning of reign of Ahaz to that of Hezekiah
•To the 15th year of Hezekiah’s reign.
Isaiah lived until the beginning of the reign of Manasseh. Tradition says that he died by being cut into parts with a saw ( Heb. 11:37, also the Tanakh, Talmud, and Apocryphal books–his manner of death is not specifically stated in the Bible.) Tanakh is the term used for the Hebrew scriptures; the Talmud is a collection of debates and discussions in which the classical rabbis engaged — topics include Halakha (Jewish law), ethics, values, traditions, etc. The Apocryphal books, a set of 14 books that span a period of time between the Old and New Testaments, are not considered as authoritative as the rest of the Bible, for several reasons which are discussed at length in many places on the internet. They are the source of some things that have become traditional beliefs down through the years.
If you’d like a more complete historical setting for Isaiah’s ministry, it is an easy matter to look up the names of the kings under whom he served. You will find that Israel had drifted very far from God and godliness, and had once again become entrenched in idolatry
Tomorrow we’ll look at how the book of Isaiah is divided.