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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


Isaiah (î-zâ'yah or î-zä'yah), salvation of Jehovah. One of the great Hebrew prophets. Of Ms personal history very little is known. He was the son of Amoz, Isaiah 1:1, whom rabbinical tradition represents as the brother of king Amaziah. He was married, his wife being called "the prophetess," Isaiah 8:3, not because she exercised the prophetic gift herself, but simply because she was married to a prophet. He had at least two sons, with symbolical names, Shear-jashub and Maher-shalalhash-baz. Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 8:1-3. It is presumed that he ordinarily wore a hair-cloth garment, Isaiah 20:2; but there is no reason for believing that he was an ascetic. He probably resided at Jerusalem, where he exercised his prophetic ministry during a long course of years. Isaiah prophesied under Uzziah, receiving the divine call in the last year of that monarch's reign, Isaiah 6:1-13; and under the succeeding kings, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Isaiah 1:1. Whether he lived on into Manasseh's reign is uncertain. Jewish tradition asserts that he did, and that he was martyred by being sawn asunder; and this has been supposed to be alluded to in Hebrews 11:37. Isaiah is the evangelist among the Old Testament prophets. He is more frequently quoted in the New Testament than any other. In him the Messianic prophecies reach their highest perfection. He draws the picture of the suffering and triumphing Saviour of Israel and the world, until at last he stands before us in unmistakable clearness and fulness. Isaiah is also one of the greatest of poets. "Everything conspired to raise him to an elevation to which no prophet, either before or after, could as writer attain. Among the other prophets each of the more important ones is distinguished by some one particular excellence and some one peculiar talent; in Isaiah all kinds of talent and all beauties of prophetic discourse meet together, so as mutually to temper and qualify each other; it is not so much any single feature that distinguishes him as the symmetry and perfection as a whole.... In the sentiment he expresses, in the topics of his discourses and in the manner, Isaiah uniformly reveals himself as the king prophet."—Ewald.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Isaiah'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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