The Holy Prophet Isaiah was born into the royal family of Judah 700 years before Christ. His name in Hebrew means, “God is salvation.” Some of his prophesies directly concerned events that would come about in the time of Christ, including foretelling of the Mother of God, St. John the Forerunner, and the Incarnation and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of his other prophesies were realized and seen as true during his lifetime. In spite of the fact that through his prayers the waters of Siloam came forth to save besieged Jerusalem when they had run out of water, the Jews under King Manasseh, outraged by the Prophet’s condemnation of their pagan practices, sawed Isaiah in half for a very painful death in reward for his faithfulness and devotion to Israel.
In this icon, the Prophet Isaiah is holding a scroll which is opened to the beginning of his prophesies, “Listen, O Heavens, and hear, O earth; for the Lord speaks” (Isaiah 1:2). The Holy Prophet looks upward toward Heaven and to the Lord of Heaven (Adonai in Hebrew), the Almighty, and gives his heart and life to the One Holy God Who called him to sacrifice his life in prophetic work.