Isaiah was looked on by other Jewish prophets as a model of greatness, truth and courage to be replicated and followed. Isaiah’s writing technique meant that his message was able to be conveyed in a versatile manner that communicated to both the superior and inferior in society. His example can be seen to influence and impact both the Jews of his time and those of the contemporary faith, through his focus on politics, social justice and the future of Jerusalem.
Isaiah was cultivated in both religious and social law. He incorporated precedents that were simple and used descriptions that were easy to understand. Isaiah was trying to address the fear, hopelessness, corruption, distrust and social dysfunction that existed in the bygone society that he was speaking to. Following the disintegration of the Northern Kingdom under the Assyrians in 722BC, Isaiah, began to, during the last year of King Uziah’s reign, urge the people of the Southern Kingdom to turn away from the sin that was so prevalent amongst them in both the upper and lower classes and to bring their hearts and their worship back to God.
Of the prophets of Israel, Isaiah is considered the most political and was bold in the way he addressed Israel’s disobedience to Yahweh. Isaiah does this by drawing Israel’s attention back to the Mosaic covenant and judged their behaviour accordingly. Isaiah announced that Yahweh would purify the nation of their evil desires through suffering should they not turn back to him, “Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand and struck against them” (Isaiah 5:25). Isaiah’s prophecies were diffused through the nation and by this he was able to instil in the hearts of the Israelite people a new faith “But those who hope in the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wing like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). In a time where fear and corruption seized the people, Isaiah assured them that the Assyrians who had destroyed the northern kingdom, would not harm them, if they put their trust in Yahweh. The King of Assyria then hewed to the prophecy and did not step foot into Judah. It is likely that without Isaiah’s prophecies the people would have continued to lose sight of the value humanity had in God’s eyes. This brought to the people courage and fortitude and temporarily prevented the disintegration of the kingdom.
Isaiah’s message is filled with commands for social justice for a time where the people lacked social cohesion. A common theme of Isaiah is the Holiness of God, he repeats the idea of God’s holiness thirty three times throughout his message “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). This reoccurring motif of God’s holiness acts to exalt God to a highly dignified status reminding the people of His greatness. Coupling the idea of God’s holiness with social justice, Isaiah commanded the people to act justly themselves,...