In 742 B.C. Isaiah was called to be a prophet. He had a vision of the heavenly throne room where an angel purified his lips with a burning coal. He lived in Judah in the vicinity of Jerusalem where he condemned social injustice. He was married and had sons to whom he gave symbolic names: Shear-jashub meant “a remnant shall return” and Maher-shalal-hash-baz meant “the spoil speeds, the prey hastens.” These names anticipated that the Assyrians would conquer Syria and Israel but that God would preserve at least a remnant of Judah. Isaiah lived during the time when the Assyrians expanded their empire. The Syrians and the northern kingdom tried to pressure the southern kingdom of Judah to help them resist the Assyrians. As a sign of God’s faithfulness, Isaiah promised that a child would be born who would be called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” Isaiah told people not to fight because God would protect them. Isaiah’s advice was heeded by Hezekiah, who was king late in Isaiah’s life. The Assyrians did conquer the northern kingdom and besieged Jerusalem but did not capture it. An outbreak of disease forced the Assyrians to depart. Isaiah’s life and message are recounted in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah, son of Amoz, who prophesied in Jerusalem, is included among the prophets of the eighth century B.C.E. (along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah)--preachers who boldly proclaimed God's word of judgment against the economic, social, and religious disorders of their time.