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Bible Dictionaries

1910 New Catholic Dictionary


Prophet, son of Amos, and himself father of two sons, called to the office of prophet 738 B.C. as he describes in his prophecy (Isaias 6). He was probably a counselor at court under Ezechias. Jewish tradition makes him a martyr for his religion some time after 693. Jerome regards him as more evangelist than prophet because of his frequent explicit references to the Messias and His Kingdom. He prophesied at a time of religious disorder and excitement. Ezechias was suppressing the idolatry fostered by Achaz. The Assyrians were invading Galilee and Palestine. Babylon fell, 689 B.C. Political parties were advocating relations with Egypt, Babylonia, Ethiopia. It was part of the prophetic office of Isaias to guide Juda in all this. He prophesied the downfall of Israel, Syria, Assyria; the birth of Emmanuel and the coming arid days of the Messias; misfortunes of Babylonia, Moab, Egypt, Arabia, Ethiopa, the Messianic Kingdom in Jerusalem, the redemption of Israel. Chapters 36,37 are historical. The remaining 19 chapters foretell that Cyrus will liberate Israel from Babylonia, the sufferings of the Messias, and His Kingdom. The historian Josephus narrates that Cyrus knew of the prophecy and was moved by it to free Israel. The Biblical Commission, June 29, 1908, decided that Isaias is the real author of the book attributed to him and that he uttered real prophecies, not merely political conjectures. The prophecies are read in the Divine Office during Advent, and are a good preparatibn for Christmas. They are often quoted and contain many sublime passages concerning the birth, office, characteristics, and Kingdom of Christ, and passages of great pathos concerning His Passion.

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Bibliography Information
Entry for 'Isaiah'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. 1910.

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