"Come now, and let us reason together," says Yahweh: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
|The prophet Isaiah|
|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS|
Isaiah (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ "Salvation is the LORD") was a major prophet in the Old Testament. He was the son of Amoz, and the author of the Book of Isaiah, although many scholars believe he wrote only the first half of the book (up to and including chapter 39).
Isaiah was born in the 8th century BC to a man named Amoz. He married a woman known as "the prophetess" (Isaiah 8:3). Why she was called this is not certain, but it may simply have been because she was the wife of a prophet. Isaiah had by her two sons, who bore symbolic names - Shear-jashub ('Remnant will return' - Isaiah 7:3) and Maher-shalal-hash-baz ('To speed the spoil he hastens your prey' - Isaiah 8:1-4).
His ministry as a prophet was between 742 BC and 688 BC. The following were the kings of Judah during his ministry:
Uzziah reigned fifty-two years in the middle of the 8th century BC, and Isaiah must have begun his ministry a few years before Uzziah's death. He lived until at least the fourteenth year of Hezekiah. Thus Isaiah prophesied for a long period of time.
Isaiah's prophetic ministry
Isaiah 6 is a record of God's commission of Isaiah.
The first five chapters of the book reveal the themes of Isaiah's message. His messages included accusations of a lack of knowledge of God, and a reliance on idolatory, as well as oppression of the poor. With these messages, Isaiah took God's message of judgement to the people, revealing that they would lose the land and be exiled.
Isaiah, however, also took a message of forgiveness and hope to the people. He told the people that there would be a time of justice and restoration to the land, where the people would live under an ideal king, from David's line.
Isaiah 1:18 contains the very well known and beautiful words of God's forgiveness.
- "Come now, and let us reason together," says Yahweh: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.