The Meaning of Isaiah 6:1 Explained

Isaiah 6:1

KJV: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

YLT: In the year of the death of king Uzziah -- I see the Lord, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train is filling the temple.

Darby: In the year of the death of king Uzziah, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.

ASV: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.

What does Isaiah 6:1 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Why did Isaiah date this passage, since he did not date most of his others? Probably he did so because King Uzziah had been the best king of Judah since Solomon. Nevertheless, during the last part of his reign he suffered from leprosy, a judgment from the Lord for his pride ( 2 Kings 15:5; 2 Chronicles 26:16-23). In this respect, his life foreshadowed the history of the nation he ruled. King Uzziah died about740 B.C, after reigning for52years ( 2 Kings 15:2; 2 Chronicles 26:3). When Uzziah died, most people in the nation would have felt a great loss. Who would lead them next, and would he provide for them all that Uzziah had? Assyria was growing in power and ambition to the east, so the threat of foreign invasion was real. Israel needed a strong king. As things turned out, Judah receded to a lower level from which she did not rise. At such a time Isaiah received a vision of Israel"s true king, Yahweh, who was more than adequate to provide for His people. This unusual vision prepared the prophet to act and speak for God (cf. Genesis 32:30; Exodus 19:21; Exodus 20:19; Exodus 33:20; Deuteronomy 18:16; Judges 13:22). Even though God is invisible because He is spirit ( Isaiah 31:3; John 1:18; John 4:24), He has manifested Himself at various times so people can appreciate certain aspects of His personality.
"How significant a fact, as Jerome observes in connection with this passage, that the year of Uzziah"s death should be the year in which Romulus [1] was born; and that it was only a short time after the death of Uzziah (viz754 B.C. according to Varro"s chronology) that Rome itself was founded! The national glory of Israel died out with king Uzziah, and has never revived to this day." [2]
Israel suffered God"s judgment under five great powers that followed one another in succession: Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Isaiah described Yahweh as sovereign ("Lord"), the overlord of all the earth. He was exalted by means of His throne on which He was sitting in royal attire. The glory of His person filled His awesome, celestial palace-temple (cf. 1 Kings 22:17-23; Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-6; Ezekiel 1:3-28; Ezekiel 8:1-4; Daniel 7:2; Daniel 7:9-10; Zechariah 3:1-5; Revelation 4-5). [3]
The apostle John wrote that it was Jesus" glory that Isaiah saw ( John 12:41).

Context Summary

Isaiah 6:1-13 - A Call To Heroic Service
Kings die; Jesus lives. See John 12:41. We are here reminded of Acts 22:17-18. How great the contrast between the worship of these seraphim in the Unseen-Holy and man's perfunctory rites! Six wings-two for meditation, two for humility, and two for service. Service should take only a third of our energy. One cried unto another-one inspired spirit will awaken others. The threefold repetition of the word holy, implies the Trinity. If door-posts tremble, much more should the hearts of sinful men! Isaiah, in the previous chapter, had uttered six woes against others, but his seventh and sorest woe is against himself. The sinner, like the leper, cries, Unclean! Isaiah 6:9-13. The seraph did not wait to be told; he knew that there was only one cure for such need as the prophet's, Leviticus 13:45. When men refuse God's offered grace, every refusal hardens. It is either "the savour of death unto death" or of "life unto life," 2 Corinthians 2:16. The life of the oak and the terebinth only seems to become extinct in winter; there is revival in the spring. Is it winter with you? Pray for the springtime! [source]

Chapter Summary: Isaiah 6

1  Isaiah, in a vision of the Lord in his glory
5  Being terrified, has apprehensions removed
8  He offers himself, and is sent to show the obstinacy of the people
13  A remnant shall be saved

What do the individual words in Isaiah 6:1 mean?

In the year that died King Uzziah and I saw - the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up and the train of His [robe] filled the temple
בִּשְׁנַת־ מוֹת֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ עֻזִּיָּ֔הוּ וָאֶרְאֶ֧ה אֶת־ אֲדֹנָ֛י יֹשֵׁ֥ב עַל־ כִּסֵּ֖א רָ֣ם וְנִשָּׂ֑א וְשׁוּלָ֖יו מְלֵאִ֥ים הַהֵיכָֽל

בִּשְׁנַת־  In  the  year 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: שָׁנָה  
Sense: year.
מוֹת֙  that  died 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מָוֶת  
Sense: death, dying, Death (personified), realm of the dead.
הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ  King 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
עֻזִּיָּ֔הוּ  Uzziah 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֻזִּיָּה 
Sense: son of king Amaziah of Judah and king of Judah himself for 52 years; also ‘Azariah’.
וָאֶרְאֶ֧ה  and  I  saw 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, first person common singular
Root: רָאָה 
Sense: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
אֲדֹנָ֛י  the  Lord 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֲדֹנָי  
Sense: my lord, lord.
יֹשֵׁ֥ב  sitting 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: יָשַׁב 
Sense: to dwell, remain, sit, abide.
כִּסֵּ֖א  a  throne 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: כִּסֵּא 
Sense: seat (of honour), throne, seat, stool.
רָ֣ם  high 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: יָרוּם 
Sense: to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted.
וְנִשָּׂ֑א  and  lifted  up 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Nifal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: נָשָׂא  
Sense: to lift, bear up, carry, take.
וְשׁוּלָ֖יו  and  the  train  of  His  [robe] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine plural construct, third person masculine singular
Root: שׁוּל  
Sense: skirt (of robe).
מְלֵאִ֥ים  filled 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural
Root: מָלֵא 
Sense: to fill, be full.
הַהֵיכָֽל  the  temple 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: הֵיכָל  
Sense: palace, temple, nave, sanctuary.