Hebrews 11:37, Sawed in two

They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—

//Today’s verse talks about the treatment of the Old Testament faithful. One person, it says, was sawed in two! Any idea who this talks about?

Most scholars believe this refers to an apocryphal book titled The Martyrdom of Isaiah. The Bible says nothing about how Isaiah died, but in this account, Isaiah prophesies his own death being sawed in two, and it comes to pass.

As the story goes, a man named Belchlra accuses Isaiah of false prophecy before King Manasseh, saying:

‘Isaiah and those who are with him prophesy against Jerusalem and against the cities of Judah that they shall be laid waste and (against the children of Judah and) Benjamin also that they shall go into captivity, and also against thee, O lord the king, that thou shalt go (bound) with hooks and iron chains.’

Of course, Isaiah’s prophecy wasn’t false; it turned out to be the truth. Belchlra also said about Isaiah:

And Isaiah himself hath said: ‘I see more than Moses the prophet.’ But Moses said: ‘No man can see God and live': and Isaiah hath said: ‘I have seen God and behold I live.’ Know, therefore, O king, that he is lying.

The words of Belchilra convinced Manasseh, and …

he sent and seized Isaiah. And he sawed him asunder with a wood-saw. And when Isaiah was being sawn in sunder Balchlra stood up, accusing him, and all the false prophets stood up, laughing and rejoicing because of Isaiah. 

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