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THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE.
THE HISTORICAL CONDITIONS OF ISAIAH'S MINISTRY.
Its DURATION (742-701 B.C.). The Kings concerned. The Vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw
concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
(Isa, ch. i. 1.)
The Reign of Uzziah (810-742 B.c.).
Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah did. He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
And he went forth, and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in GurBaal, and the Mehunims. The Ammonites also gave gifts to Uzziah. And his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he became exceeding strong. Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. Also he built towers in the wilderness, and hewed out many cisterns; for he had much cattle, both in the lowland and on the table land, husbandmen, and vine dressers in the hills, and in the fruitful fields : for he loved agriculture.
Moreover, Uzziah had an host of fighting men that went out to war in troops, according to the number of their reckoning, as made by Jeiel the scribe, and Maaseiah the officer under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains. The whole number of the heads of fathers' ' houses of the mighty men of valour, were two thousand and six hundred. And under them was an army three hundred and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power to help the king against the enemy. And Uzziah prepared for them, throughout all the host, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and slings for stones. And he made in Jerusalem engines of war designed by ingenious men, to be on the towers, and on the outworks, to shoot arrows and large stones with.
(2 Chron. xxvi. 1-14.)
Uzziah’s Sin and Fall (758 B.c.). Jotham Regent (758
742 B.C.). And his name spread far and wide : for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, and brought about his destruction. For he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord, to burn incense upon the altar of incense: but Azariah, the priest, went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: and they withstood Uzziah, the king, and said unto him: “It is not for thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated, to burn incense! Go out of the Holy Place : for thou hast trespassed. This shall not bring honour to thee from the Lord God!”
Then Uzziah was wroth, and held a censer in his hand to burn incense. But while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests of the Lord, beside the altar of incense. Then Azariah the High Priest, and all the priests looked upon him, and behold! he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out thence. Yea, he himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a lazarhouse, being a leper: for he was cut off from the House of the Lord. And Jotham his son was Regent, ruling the people of the land.
Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. So Uzziah slept with his fathers : and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial, which belonged to the kings: for they
said “He is a leper.” · And Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
(2 Chron. xxvi. 15-23.)
Jotham's Reign (742-736 B.C.).
Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became regent, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that, which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did : (howbeit he entered not into the Temple of the Lord). But the people still acted corruptly.* He built the high gate of the House of the Lord, and on the wall of Ophel he built much. Moreover, he built towns on the hills of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
He fought also with the kings of the Ammonites, and defeated them : and the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him both the second year
and the third. So Jotham became strong, because he ordered his ways before the Lord, his God. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars,
and his ways, lo! they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was five-and-twenty years old when he became regent, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Ahaz, his son, reigned in his stead.
(2 Chron. xxvii. 1-9.)
* The High places were not removed: the people sacrificed, and burned incense still on the High places.
(2 Kings xv. 35).
THE CALL, CONSECRATION AND COMMISSION OF
ISAIAH (742 B.C.).
The Prophetic Vision.
In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high, and lifted up, and His train filled the heavenly temple. Around it stood the Seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face : and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. And one cried unto the other, saying :
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts !”
“ The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door moved at the voice of them that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I: “Woe is me! for I am undone! I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips! Mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts !”
Then flew one of the Seraphim unto me, having a hot stone in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar-hearth, and he laid it upon my mouth, and said:
“Lo! this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged."
Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?"
Then said I : " Here am I! Send me.”
And He said: “Go, and say to this people, ‘Ye shall surely hear, but not understand! Ye shall certainly see,