The Prophet Isaiah
Especially famous among the Jewish prophets was the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah was a descendant of King David and a relative of the kings of the Jews. The Lord made him a prophet through an extraordinary vision. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a high throne. Around Him stood six-ringed Seraphim, and they called out, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! The whole earth is full of His glory!" One of the Seraphim took with tongs a burning coal from the heavenly altar, touched Isaiah’s lips and said, "Behold, thy sins are purged." After this the Lord ordered him to go and expose the unbelief and vices of the Jews.
The Prophet Isaiah foretold that the Judean kingdom would be destroyed by enemies, the Jews would be taken into captivity and then again would return to their homeland.
With particular clarity Isaiah foretold that the Saviour, Christ, would come from the house of David, that the Saviour would be born from a virgin and would not be a simple man, but also God. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Is. 7:14) which means, "God is with us."
He foretold that the Saviour would suffer and die for our sins. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed...He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth" (Is. 53:5-7).
Isaiah also prophesied that the Saviour would be crucified with evildoers, and would be buried not with them, but in the tomb of a rich man. Through faith in Christ the Saviour, people would save themselves from eternal damnation. For the clarity of his predictions about Christ the Saviour, the Prophet Isaiah is called "the Old Testament Evangelist."
At that time Isaiah was ardently exposing the wrongdoing of the Jewish King, Manasseh. The impious King placed altars to pagan idols in Solomon’s Temple. However, at the end of Manasseh’s life, after being taken captive and put in prison, he repented and asked God’s forgiveness. Under the influence of their impious King, the Jewish people began to completely forget the true God. The Jews even stopped celebrating the Passover and other feasts established by Moses.
The holy Prophet Isaiah endured a martyr’s death. For exposing the wrongdoing of King Manasseh, he was sawed in two.
Note: See II Kings, chaps. 16 and 18-23; II Chronicles, chaps. 28-35; Book of Isaiah and other prophets.
(from: The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)