The book of Isaiah begins with a superscript:
“The prophecies of Isaiah son of Amoz, who prophesied concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isaiah 1:1).
This emphasizes the historical setting of Isaiah’s prophecy. For Isaiah, prophecy and history were inseparable. The reader is told at the outset how to relate to Isaiah’s prophecies: as realistic speeches with a specific historical matrix.
The historical matrix of the first eight chapters of Isaiah, the subject of this article, is the Syro-Ephraimite War.