A Study in the Word – Isaiah’s Background No. 8


Isaiah’s name means something like “Yahweh saves,” or “Salvation is Yahweh.” Isaiah is married, but his wife’s name is not given. She is referred to as “the prophetess” in 8:3, but there is no prophecy in the book attributed to her. The couple’s children are a different matter. 

The two themes that run throughout the book of judgment and redemption are based on the names of their two sons. Shear-jashub means “a remnant shall return,” a reference to the theme of redemption (Isa. 7:3). Maher-shalal-hash-baz means “swift is booty, speedy is prey,” a reference to the theme of judgment (8:1-3). Little can be discovered of biographical information for Isaiah’s family, but it is clear that the family was united in the prophetic work given to them by the Lord. This is confirmed in 8:18: “Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.” 

Isaiah’s family was doing the Lord’s work together as a family. The family image appears also in Hebrews 2:10-13 in how the author of Hebrews uses Isaiah 8:18, originally a reference to Isaiah’s family, but in Hebrews it becomes an expanded and currently significant family image of Jesus and His followers.

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com