Isaiah: ca 800-701BC
Isaiah lived in Jerusalem in the 8th century BC. He wrote the Book of Isaiah, possibly in two parts with a 15yr interval between them. He was married to a “Prophetess” (Isaiah 8:3) and had two sons, Shear-jashub and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.
One day, God spoke to Isaiah in a vision while he prayed in the temple. God was seated on an elevated throne with the hem of his cloak filling the temple. Seraphs stood over him singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory”. (Isaiah 6:3) Their voices shook the temple door-frames and the temple was filled with smoke. One of the Seraphs then took a hot coal from the altar, flew towards Isaiah and touched his mouth with it saying, “Your evil is removed; your sin is forgiven”. (Isaiah 6:7) Isaiah then heard the voice of God saying, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah answered, “Here I am, send me”. (Isaiah 6:8)
The kings who listened to God through Isaiah were rewarded although, there were few! King Hezekiah listened when the king of Assyria planned to attack him. Through Isaiah, God told him, “Don’t be afraid… I will cut him down with a sword in his own land”. (Isaiah 37:6-7) Later, “The Lord’s messenger went out and killed 185,000 troops in the Assyrian camp” and the king was killed “by sword,” by his own sons. (Isaiah 37:36,38)
The writings of Isaiah are filled with his prophecies, many of which related to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, but one has yet to be fulfilled!
Fifteen of Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecies Plus ONE:
Prophecy 1: Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner. (Isaiah 40:3-5) Answer: The forerunner was John the Baptist, the greatest ever Prophet. He said, “I baptize you with water, but one more powerful than I am is coming…, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. ( Matthew 3:1-3; Mark 1:1-3; Luke 1:76, 3:1-6, 7:27; John 1:22-23)
Prophecy 2: Messiah will be a descendant of the house of David. (Isaiah 9:7; 11:1, 10; 2 Samuel 7:12-16) Answer: Genealogy of Jesus can be traced to the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 15:15-16)
Prophecy 3: Messiah will be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14) Answer: Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-31)
Prophecy 4: The Holy Spirit will rest on Jesus (Isaiah 11:2) Answer: The Holy Spirit came to rest on Jesus at his baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; 4:1)
Prophecy 5: Jesus will minister beyond the River Jordan and Galilee (Isaiah 9:1,2) Answer: Jesus’ ministry began in “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matthew 4:13-16)
Prophecy 6: Jesus will heal the broken-hearted. (Isaiah 61:1-2) Answer: Jesus stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth, read from Isaiah and announced, “Today this scripture is fulfilled”. (Luke 4:18-19, 21) Thereafter, as He preached his Gospel message, He performed multiple miracles – healing the sick, removing demons and raising the dead.
Prophecy 7: Jesus will be rejected by many. (Isaiah 53: 1, 3) Answer: Jesus’ Gospel teachings were often ignored by the crowds and at one stage, many of his closest disciples even left him. (John 12: 37 – 38)
Prophecy 8: Jesus will be tried and condemned to death. (Isaiah 53:8) Answer: Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin and Pilate. Condemned to death and crucified on Calvary. (Matthew 26:59-27:26; Acts 8:32-35)
Prophecy 9: Jesus will be disfigured and no longer look like a man (Isaiah 52:14; 53:2) Answer: Jesus was scourged by Roman soldiers and crowned with thorns (Mark 15:15-19)
Prophecy 10: Jesus will be silent at his trial. (Isaiah 53:7) Answer: As the chief priests and Jewish leaders repeatedly accused him, Pilate asked Jesus, “Have you nothing to say?” Jesus remained silent. (Mark 15:3-5)
Prophecy 11: Jesus will be insulted, spat on and beaten by his enemies. (Isaiah 50:6) Answer: In the Sanhedrin, the high priest tore his clothes, they spat on him struck him with their fists and some slapped Him. (Matthew 26:67)
Prophecy 12: Jesus will, “Take our weaknesses and carry our diseases”. (Isaiah 53:4-5) Answer: Jesus healed the sick and removed unclean spirits. (Matthew 8:17; Romans 4:25; 5:6-8; 1 Peter 2:24)
Prophecy 13: Jesus will be crucified with criminals. (Isaiah 53:12) Answer: They crucified two outlaws with Jesus, one on his right and one on his left. (Mark 15:27-28)
Prophecy 14: Jesus will be buried in a rich man’s tomb because he had committed no crimes. (Isaiah 53:9) Answer: A rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, took his body and placed it in his own new tomb. (Matthew 27:57-60)
Prophecy 15: Jesus would be a light to the Gentiles. (Isaiah 49:6) Answer: The Apostles established at the Council of Jerusalem that non-Jews (Gentiles) were welcome to join the Christian faith without adhering to most Jewish customs and rituals including circumcision. (Acts 15:1-35)
PLUS 1 – Prophecy: Jesus will judge the living and the dead with righteousness. (Isaiah 11:4,5) Answer: Jesus was granted the authority to judge all humanity. Our judgement day, we now await! (John 5:27; Luke 19:22; 2 Timothy 4:1,8)
St Jerome commented that Isaiah wrote more like he was composing a history of the past than prophesying!
His prophesying was very accurate!
Lord Jesus, grant me the strength to obey your ways, dispel my selfishness and open my heart. Amen.
Prayer: Happy Death – to St Joseph
O Glorious St. Joseph,
behold I choose thee today for my special patron
in life and at the hour of my death.
Preserve and increase in me
the spirit of prayer and fervour in the service of God.
Remove far from me every kind of sin;
obtain for me that my death may not come upon me unawares,
but that I may have time to confess my sins sacramentally
and to repent with a most perfect understanding
and a most sincere and perfect contrition,
in order that I may breathe forth my soul
into the hands of Jesus and Mary. Amen.