The book of Isaiah is a collection of his visions as he saw them throughout his life. As a confirmation of that time frame, he lists the kings in power throughout this time period. Kings from Uzziah to Hezekiah, over which time Isaiah had his ministry.
Isaiah or ‘Jesahiahu’ means salvation of the Lord. He is the son of Amoz, and ‘strong’ is the meaning of his name. It is apparent that Isaiah came from a very solid spiritual background in his upbringing.
If there were a ‘Paul’ of the Old Testament, then Isaiah would probably fill that role. One of his strongest messages is salvation by faith. When many persons are attempting to gain access to heaven by their works programs, especially in the time of Christ, even Jesus quoted Isaiah, as did many of the New Testament Apostles, more than any other book from the Old Testament.
He is the son of Amoz, not Amos. Not much is known about his family, but his family must have been in an upper level socially because he had access to the royal court with apparent ease.
Isaiah prophesied, or taught, during the reigns of four kings of Judah. From Uzziah, when Isaiah had his first vision (chapter 6), through the illness and recovery of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 32, tells us that Isaiah wrote an account of Hezekiah’s life subsequent to it. And most commentators believe that Isaiah was killed by Manasseh, however there is not much information to support the time or method of Isaiah’s death.
Uzziah reigned 52 years. Jotham reigned for 16 years. Ahaz reigned for 16 years. And Hezekiah reigned for 29 years. Isaiah does not mention exactly when his ministry began, only that it spanned over the reign of these four kings.
Isaiah was married and had two sons – Shear-jashub, his name signifying ‘a remnant shall return,’ Isa. 7:3, and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, ‘hasting to the spoil’, or ‘hurrying to the prey,’ symbolic of Assyria’s mad lust of conquest, Isa. 8:3. Thus the thrust of the message he received in his visions, and his message he relayed to the people of Judah, and from them the world.
The Israelites were negative toward God. Their time was short and the nation was under judgment. It was but a matter of time before this judgment would be executed. There was always the possibility of postponing it by merely repenting and turning back to God. But no matter what the nation as a whole would do, God would always protect those who were positive toward Him, the remnant, God would guide them through the rough turbulence of the world, the lust of Assyria, and in the end, bring them back to the ‘promise’, the land of spiritual maturity – which is obtained through Bible doctrine.
The span of Isaiah’s ministry continued through the initial prosperity of Uzziah which turned to arrogance and then Uzziah died a leper. The ministry continued through the time of Jotham, whose troubles only continued. And then was followed by Ahaz, who was a wicked ruler, and then it finally ended with Hezekiah who was a nice guy, but weak and unable to turn the tide of spiritual dysfunction in the nation.