As with the book of Revelation in the New Testament, the book of Isiah from the Old Testament has provided William Hallmark with great influence and inspiration for his artwork. Many beautiful images can be imaged and created from the Scriptures of Isaiah, a book of the Bible that was written approximately 700 years before the birth of Christ.
Isaiah contains some of the most astonishing Messianic oracles in the Old Testament. Many Scriptures in Isaiah that read and feel very similar to the New Testament Gospels and the book of Revelation concerning the prophecies of judgement and redemption.
Isaiah 53 Is a chapter that clearly predicts the coming of a Savior by describing future events in the life of Christ, including describing how Jesus would be treated here on earth as a “man of sorrows” and His death “as a lamb to the slaughter” that would be atonement for the sins of the world.
William enjoys describing one of his favorite musical choruses, Handel’s “Messiah” which duplicates certain verses from Isaiah 53 in the lyrics of Handel’s music. For example, “Surely He has borne our sins and carried our sorrows” and, “with His stripes we are healed.” Another Messianic verse found in Isaiah 9 found in “Messian” is “For unto us a child, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders and His name shall be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” William finds it intriguing that so many of the Handel’s awe inspiring lyrics are from this Old Testament book, Isaiah.
William has always loved the concept of a lion and a lamb lying together in calmness, peace and tranquility. However, there is no description of this image in Isaiah or any other book in the Bible. This has caused some controversy.
There is descriptive Scripture in Isaiah 11, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with kids, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”
Even though there is no mention of a lion lying with a lamb, in this symbolic verse, William feels that it is an abbreviation of the verse where the most powerful animal, the lion, is lying with the weakest, the lamb and other animals are omitted but the meaning of the verse remains the same.
The books of Revelation and Isaiah are two of William’s favorite in the Bible. “These is such a variety of ideas, images, and symbolisms that an artist can get inspiration to create new pieces”, he says.