"Lord, How Long?"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 184

Context: Prophet of the Almighty, Isaiah declares the vision of "Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." Proclaiming the Lord's awareness of the wickedness of the Israelites and warning them of the coming destruction, he relates his vision of the Almighty in the year that King Uzziah dies. God is on His throne, surrounded by seraphim who praise His name. Although Isaiah feels himself unworthy to look upon such magnificence, one of the seraphim purifies him with a coal from the altar. When the Lord asks, "Whom shall I send?," Isaiah answers that he will willingly serve the Creator. The Lord then tells Isaiah to speak to the Israelites although they will refuse to hear or understand. Isaiah asks the duration of his role as spokesman of the Lord:

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Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

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