Indeed, it is doubtful whether Isaiah himself is the author of the alarming description of the siege of Jerusalem in Isaiah 7:1–6. This is narrative, third person prose—Isaiah himself is not speaking. Hence, it lacks a critical characteristic of prophetic utterance.


Isaiah 8:21 starts a new speech concerning the new reality, that is, the period that follows the Syro-Ephraimite war. The division of the speeches does not follow the division of chapters. The division into chapters to which we accustomed was first taken over in the 14th century. For the scholarly methods of determining Isaiah’s speeches, consult my article “Reflections on the Study of the Prophetic Discourse,” Vetus Testamentum 33 (1983), pp. 207–221.


James B. Pritchard, ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd edition (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969), pp. 284–285.