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The prophet Isaiah is the first major prophet of the Old Testament. In essence this window is the first one in a series on the “writers” of the Old and New Testament terminating with John the Evangelist. Scholars for the most part assume that the books referred to the four writers of the Old Testament and the four of the New Testament were composed by their followers or schools.

Isaiah comes in three parts. Isaiah who lived from around 742 to 701 B.C. It is in 721 that Israel fell and its inhabitants were deported by the Assyrians never to return to their homeland. The constitute the ten lost tribes who disappeared from the historical map completely. Isaiah, however, was a prophet from Judah, the southern part of Israel which fell to the Babylonians several years later. In the New Testament Isaiah is mainly remembered for his prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. “Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel” (7:14).

Chapters 40-55 are named after Second Isaiah, or Deutero-Isaiah, occasionally called the “Babylonian Isaiah”, because he probably lived in Babylonia during the captivity of his people. Chapters 56-66 are attributed to “Trito-Isaiah”, that is third Isaiah. The date for this Isaiah has been estimated around 516 B.C., also during the exile.

The panel on the bottom of the window refers to first Isaiah. The prophet has a vision of the Lord in the temple. He feels that he is lost “for I am a man of unclean lips.” A seraph flies to Isaiah and cleans his lips with a live coal pinched between a pair of tongs. Now the prophet is ready to proclaim the word of the Lord.

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