Why call Isaiah a ‘Prophet of Kings?’
Isaiah was a prophet of the Lord who gave guidance and prophetic words to four kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. His role as prophet and adviser lasted for centuries, as he dealt with kings who loved God or ignored Him. Of the four kings Isaiah interacted with, Isaiah’s relationship with Hezekiah has the most documentation—and until the end of Hezekiah’s life, when Hezekiah began to focus more on himself than God, Hezekiah was the king who listened and acted most intently to the words Isaiah gave him.
Yes…Is there proof that Isaiah, or any of the kings he interacted with, even existed?
Within the past decade many new artifacts have come to light, proving the existence of various biblical figures. The archaeological record continues to show new depth in biblical documents, proving not only that certain individuals or events are true, but giving us fuller timelines; bringing the Word to life!
Not long ago, on May 10, 2018, the United States was given the distinct privilege of having two clay seals—bullae—on loan to display for over three months in Edmond, Oklahoma, before returning to Jerusalem, Israel.
These clay seals were found in Jerusalem near the southern wall of the Temple Mount. One seal belonging conclusively to King Hezekiah, and another believed to belong to the prophet Isaiah! Not only that, they were recovered within the same earthen layer and found only a mere ten feet apart!
These artifacts, unlike those from foreign powers like the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, give us insights from the exact location these individuals resided. The seals, in correlation with other archaeological evidence, prove that the kings of Judah ruled from Jerusalem, just as the Bible says—they offer a biblical claim to the land.
(Credit: Dr. Eilat Mazar; Photos: Ouria Tadmor. Seal or bulla believed to belong to the prophet Isaiah.)
(Credit: Seal or bulla with the inscription, “Belonging to Hezekiah, (son of) Ahaz, King of Judah.”)
(Credit: Israel Museum. A prism, from a series of prisms belonging to Sennacherib, king of Assyria and enemy of Judah; the prisms contain the annuls of Sennacherib which include his boast that he trapped Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a bird in a cage.”)
What was Isaiah’s role? How can he have been a prophet AND advisor?
Isaiah’s first role was as prophet, because that’s what God gifted him to be, yet God also had him use this prophetic gift to advise the kings of Judah—not only giving specific words from God, but wisdom and counsel. Using his prophetic gift as an advisor to kings was part of Isaiah’s call, and it allowed him to walk in an authority that many prophets before and after never did.
Isaiah, for example, was given seemingly unhindered access to King Hezekiah. Many times within scripture Isaiah is seen simply going to the king, having made no request to visit him. Additionally, it is believed by many that Isaiah was a member of the royal family—not in line for the throne, but automatically given a certain amount of status. This makes Isaiah, in essence, a king and a priest; a man of authority not only due to his lineage, but his relationship with God!
Still, particularly in his interactions with Hezekiah, Isaiah’s relationship with God is what allowed him his unhindered access to the royal family. Not only because of the prophecies given which came to pass, but for advice, and remedy of sin, which was shown not only in result, but in signs and wonders.
“And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘What is the sign that the Lord will heal me…?’
“Then Isaiah said, ‘This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?’
“And Hezekiah answered, ‘It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.’
“So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward…” —2 Kings 20:8-11
Was Isaiah always a prophet? When did he become a prophet of God to the kings of Judah?
King Uzziah near the end of his life was afflicted with leprosy, and it was at this time that the Lord called Isaiah to be His prophet, to counsel kings and His people. At this time Isaiah was shown the glory of the Lord… and Isaiah was undone, for he knew that in his own self he was not worthy to even be in the presence of the Lord, let alone speak His Word, so Isaiah spoke these words,
“…‘Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips…
for my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of hosts.’
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
“‘Behold, this has touched your lips;
your iniquity is taken away,
and your sin purged.’
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“‘Whom shall I send,
and who will go for Us?’
“Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”—Isaiah 6:5-8
In this day we need to be more like the prophet Isaiah!
We need to step out and take up the call God has placed on our lives, but we must first learn to listen to Him. We need to speak to the Lord, telling Him that we are undone, that having seen God’s holiness we have realized our uncleanliness, so that God will send his burning coal to our lips to purify us—making us ready, so that we can walk into our new destinies in Him!
“When you approach God in stillness and in trust, you are strengthened. You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus on things that are unseen.” —Curt Landry
In this day we are learning that we are to be kings AND priests in our daily walk with God, and in all that we do. Without His authority, our impact on the world is incomplete; we cannot go to the leaders of countries, industry, ministries, etc. with unclean lips and without God’s authority.
We are called to be One New Man in Messiah, we are called to be a light to the world! In this season we are receiving the preparation necessary to set us in positions of influence; to fulfill our destinies; to be God’s kings and priests. Yet, we need to remember that we must focus on Him—that we need His burning coal, and that we need His peace which is beyond all earthly understanding!
“We will need His Supernatural Shalom in our hearts, to stay hidden during this special developmental time of His Third-Day authority in us.” —Curt Landry
We must focus on the Lord, seeking His face in the secret place before we are placed into our positions of authority.
“Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver,
and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”—Proverbs 2:3-5
I wait on the Lord, my soul waits; in Him I put my trust.