The Calling Of Isaiah

Powerful Essays
The Calling of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 6:1-13

The prophet Isaiah lived during a very troublesome era during the years 742-701B.C.E. He preached during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah (783-742), Jotham (742-735), Ahaz (735-715), and Hezekiah (715-687). Judah faced many challenges and crises throughout those years primarily at the hands of the Assyrian Empire. Isaih interpreted the events as part of the Lord's will, and he encourages the people to trust in the Lord rather than relying on political alliances.
Isaiah is thought to be one of the greatest poets of the Bible, and his book a classic of the Hebrew language. His writing has a very concise style, effective imagery, and an equilibrium between form and content which classify the type of poetry as classical. From the theological aspect, Isaiah moves in the religious tradition influenced by David's dynasty and the election of Sion, and also contributed to the shape and expression of the messianic hopes (Obstat, p.278).
The book Isaiah contains mostly oracles from various authors, however the authentic oracles of Isaiah are found in the first part of the book. Chapters 6-12 are considered the oldest collection in the book. It includes the account of the vocation and mission of the prophet, the oracles concerning the Syro-Ephraimite War, oracles referring to the crisis of 701B.C.E., and other salvation passages (Obstat, p.278).
Isaiah chapter 6 versus 1-13 stand apart from the rest of the Bible as a unique record of how God called on and reached out to a man, and in doing so a prophet was born. Interpreting this chapter is of vital importance for the understanding of Isaiah's teaching as a whole. In it he describes a real experience which effects him both psychologically and spiritually. Through the passage it can be perceived that his ministry was initiated by a soul shaking experience of the reality of God, and it's authenticity validated by it's results and influence on the prophet's life and work (Berrtrick, p 205).
One of the main purposes of any prophet's call narrative is to justify his right to speak in the name of God. Oftentimes a prophet's message isn't accepted of very popular with the people he is preaching to, and in the face of t...

... middle of paper ...

...en to Judah and Jerusalem, which at the threat of judgment would suffer greatly. But Isaiah must have certainly seen the Northern Kingdom included as well. Verse twelve is thought to be an addition made by a later editor to show how the judgment would result in the deportation of many from the land. This situation could possible relate to after 721B.C.E. when many citizens of the Northern Kingdom were carried off to Assryia, or to Judah when many of its inhabitants were carried off to Babylon (Kaiser, p.78)
The Book of Isaiah is a book full of oracles such as the one narrating Isaiah's calling to be a prophet for the Lord God. In accordance with his classical poetic style the passage is full of imagery and sensual descriptions. Concerned with the fall of the nation, Isaiah has God himself warning the people of what is to come for a stronger impact on the Israelites. As a man who lived through the reins of four kings whom throughout the book are of great importance, Isaiah sees God as a functioning king and ruler. Much of what is said and seen in Isaiah 6:1-13 relate to other events in the rest of the book and surely influence Isaiah's life completely.
Get Access