Isaiah 1:1 states, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” This verse is an indication that Isaiah’s ministry began with the reign of Uzziah, King of Judah and culminated with the reign of King Hezekiah. Hence, as Isaiah was prophesying to Judah, the southern kingdom during the reign of these four kings, Hosea and Amos were prophesying to Israel, the northern kingdom.
Geographically, the area where these three prophets were prophesying was the northern kingdom (Israel with its capital city being Samaria) and the southern kingdom (Judah). Aram was located above Judah. To the West of Aram was where the Assyria kingdom was located. The areas including Samaria and Judah and also Galilee were full of mountains and were located on the Western part of what is today called Israel. These three regions received sufficient rainfall which made this region a great place for the farming industry. These three sections are only a portion of the central hill country region which “was the most varied geographically and the most important historically in Old Testament.” This was because in the central hill country was where most of the Israelites cities were and majority of the land was in the hands of “the Hebrew united and divided monarchies.”
From the beginning to the midpoint of the 8th century, both Israel and Judah were physically in a state of prosperity and power. Half-way through the 8th century, though, Israel prosperity and power was under attack when the Assyrians swamped into their region in an attempt to attack them. King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria was responsible for the invasion of Israel. This attack is the background information specifically of Isaiah chapters 7-12. This attack between Israel and their allies from Damascus (the capital of Aram) against Judah is called the Syro-Ephraimite War and it takes place between 735-732 BCE. Though it is not known why this attack took place, Israel attack on Judah endangered the survival of the David monarchy. In the time of this war, Ahaz king of Judah determined to trust in the Assyrians for help instead of call upon God. Therefore, he called upon King Tiglath-Pileser III to help guard their land. This resulted in the capital of Damascus being taken over by the Assyrian. Furthermore, Israel rebelled once more and they were eventually conquered by the Assyrians in 722 when their capital city Samaria was destroyed.
Before the duration of the Assyrians attack on the northern kingdom as stated previously, Judah like Israel was also in a state of prosperity in the first half of the 8th century. Scripture indicates that Judah continued to prosper for awhile after the mid-point. This is because Judah was said to be prospering when Isaiah was giving his message to them during the latter part of Uzziah’s reign. Isaiah 2:7 indicates the wealth of the land of Judah and King Uzziah’s gained wealth in...