May 10, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Prophet Isaiah

Holy Prophet Isaiah (Feast Day - May 9)


As begotten without impregnation he saw the Son of the Mother,
He who was sawn asunder saw as without beginning the Son of the Father.
On the ninth Isaiah for his visions of the future was handed to the saw.

The Holy Prophet Isaiah, the loud-voiced, was from Jerusalem, during the reign of King Manasseh, the son of King Hezekiah, by whom he was sawn in half, thus having a martyric end to his life. He was buried beneath the place called Rogel, near the passage of water, where King Hezekiah overwhelmed and destroyed [his enemies].

As a sign, God caused once again for this pool of Siloam to gush forth water through this Prophet Isaiah. For when death was approaching, he entreated God to send him water to drink, and - O the miracle! - God sent forth living water to him through the pool of Siloam. For this reason this pool took the name of Siloam, which means "sent".

Also in the time of Hezekiah, before the king made the pools and the springs and the reservoirs in Jerusalem, Isaiah entreated God and a little water came forth from this pool, lest the city, at that time besieged by the Gentiles, should be destroyed through lack of water. For the enemy were seeking a drinking place, and as they invaded the city they encamped near Siloam, where only a little water issued forth for them to drink. However, seeing the Hebrews with Isaiah come to the pool, water flowed forth abundantly. Hence even to the present day the water issues suddenly and once, to keep the old miracle in mind.

Because this pool was wrought through the prayer of Isaiah, the people in remembrance buried his body near the spot, with care and high honor, in order that through his intercessions, even after his death, they might continue to have the benefit of the water. Indeed, a revelation had been given them concerning him. His tomb is near the tomb of the kings, behind the tomb of the priests on the side toward the south of Jerusalem.

Solomon constructed the tombs, which had been designed by David, on the east of Zion, where there is an entering gate and road from Gibeon, the town twenty stadia distant from the city. He made a winding construction, like the spiral shell of a snail, in order for its location to be unsuspected; even to the present day it is unknown to most of the priests, and wholly unknown to the people.

There the king kept the gold and the precious spices from Ethiopia. Hezekiah showed to the Babylonians this secret treasure of David and Solomon, who had seen the miracle during his sickness of the sun going back ten hours, and they were astonished by this, and went to see him. Because Hezekiah showed the Babylonians these, and defiled the bones of his ancestors, therefore God was angered and punished his descendants to be enslaved to the Babylonians.

By description the Prophet Isaiah had a long sharp beard, and was approaching an elderly age. His Synaxis is celebrated in the Holy Temple of Saint Lawrence, where his holy relic was placed, having previously been brought to Constantinople.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst proclaim the coming of Christ to the world, with a great voice like a trumpet, O most illustrious Prophet Isaiah. Thou wast shown forth as a swiftly-writing scribe of things to come. Wherefore we acclaim thee with hymns.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
O Prophet-Martyr Isaiah, herald of God, through thy gift of prophecy, thou didst make God's Incarnation clear to all by proclaiming: Behold, the Virgin shall conceive in her womb.