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Book of Isaiah
Isaiah Chapter 7
This chapter holds the wonderful prophecy of the preservation of the kingdom of Judah from its enemies; a confirmation of it by a sign; and a prediction of various disasters that would come upon it, before that sign. The enemies of Judea are named, and the besieging of Jerusalem by them is dated (vs.1). Great fear and dread seized the house of David upon the news of this union of the enemies (vs.2). The orders given by the LORD to Isaiah, to take with him his son to meet Ahaz, at a certain place, was to comfort and encourage him not to be concerned, since the conspiracy formed against him would be fruitless, and the kingdom of Israel would be broken to pieces.
Theme: Prediction of the virgin birth of Immanuel and of Assyria's invasion of Judah.
This chapter is a rare sermon, in which the prophet sings both of mercy and judgment to those that did not perceive or understand the Truth. Isaiah piped unto them, but they did not dance; he cried and grieved over them, but they wept not. The dismay that Ahaz was in upon an attempt of the confederate forces of Syria and Israel against Jerusalem (vs.1-2). The assurance which God, by the prophet, sent him for his encouragement, that the attempt would be defeated and Jerusalem would be preserved (vs.3-9). The confirmation of this by a sign which God gave to Ahaz, when he refused to ask one, refers to Christ, and our redemption by Him (vs.10-16). There is a terrible threat of the great desolation that God would bring upon Ahaz and his kingdom by the Assyrians, because they continued on in their wickedness (vs.17-25). I believe this is written both for our comfort and as a warning to us.
The Dismay of Ahaz Was an Attempt of the Confederate Forces of Syria and Israel Against Jerusalem (7:1-2)
Isaiah 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. (KJV)
And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah king of Judah . . . Isaiah begins a new prophecy under the reign of another king. In the days of Ahaz, states the time of this prophecy. Ahaz was a most wicked king; yet no prophecies are more comfortable than those which were delivered in his time. Why was this? I think it was God so ordering it, in part to encourage the faithful that lived under his tyrannical and immoral reign; and in part to reveal the riches and freeness of the Lord’s amazing grace, in conferring such favors upon a most wicked and worthless generation.
That Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah king of Israel, went up towards Jerusalem to war against it . . . at the end of Jotham's reign, and the beginning of Ahaz's; these two separately came up against Judah, and greatly distressed and afflicted the kingdom, slew many, and carried others captive (2 Ki.15:37), but afterwards, in the third year of Ahaz, as it is said, they joined together to besiege Jerusalem (2 Ki.16:5).
But could not prevail against it . . . or he/they could not; according to some, it was Rezin king of Syria, who was the foremost in the war, and brought Pekah along with him; but it may very well be understood of them both, since in 2 Kings 16:5, they (plural) is used.
To war against it . . . they had tried before in Jotham's reign (2 Ki.15:37), but now they more seriously tried, although without success, as is noted here, and in (2 Ki.15:5).
*****Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord his God, like David his father (2 Ki.16:2). The prophecy of chapter 7 follows the call and commission of Isaiah in chapter 6, which took place at the death of Uzziah. Jotham, Uzziah’s son, succeeded him to the throne; and he reigned sixteen years (2 Chron. 27:1). Jotham was a good king, as was his father Uzziah. Ahaz, Jotham's son, succeeds him, and he does that which is evil.
*****Ahaz would reign for sixteen years, and he was a very bad king. There will be a time of civil war during his reign, a time of great distress in Israel. Consider the following: 2 Kings 16:3-4 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
(KJV) . . . Ahaz was indeed a wicked king, and he was terrified because Israel in the north teamed up with Syria, and they are coming against him. Although they do not succeed at first, Ahaz had every reason to believe that they will finally prevail.
Isaiah 7:2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. (KJV)
And it was told the house of David . . . Ahaz, and his royal relations and courtiers, had knowledge of the plans and preparations of the Syrians and Israelites against them. He calls them the house of David, to indicate that the following comfortable message was sent to Ahaz, not for his sake, but only for the sake of his worthy ancestor, David, to whom God had promised an everlasting kingdom (Ps.89:3, 28).
Saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim . . . Ephraim was the ten tribes of Israel; or the kingdom and king of Israel. Some render it, the king of Syria is joined with the king of Israel. The 12 tribes of Israel split because of Solomon’s disobedience and unfaithfulness (1 Ki.11:1-8). The LORD said that He would divide the kingdom (1 Ki.11:9-13), and He did (1 Ki.12:16-20). Ephraim, the kingdom of the ten tribes of Israel, is commonly called Ephraim (Isa.28:1; Hos.5:13; 11:12; 12:1).
And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind . . . the symbolism here means the strength and force of the confederate armies, compared to a strong, furious wind (Isa.32:2), and the weakness of the king and people of Judah, who were like to trees shaken by the wind. Was moved with great fear, coming in part from their own guilt, because they had moved themselves out of God's protection by their sin; and in part because of the abundant strength and power of His enemies (2 Chron.28:5,8). Now they were united: NO faith in God, NO confidence in Him, and NO expectation of His help, concluding that their case was desperate and disgraceful.
*****Ahaz cannot expect the blessing of God upon him or the nation. As a result, the alliance of Rezin, king of Syria, with Pekah, king of Israel, terrifies him and his people. Previously both Syria and Israel had attempted to take Judah. Alone they could not prevail, but together Ahaz is confident that they will be able to take Jerusalem. In spite of the fact that Ahaz is a godless king, God is not yet ready to let the people of Judah go into captivity. As we already know from history, Judah is not going to go into captivity in the north, but many years later they will be taken captive to Babylon. Captivity, prophecy of Judah in Babylon: (Isa.39:6; Jer. 13:19; 20:4; 25:2-11; 32:28). ProphecyFulfilled: (2Ki.24:11-16; 2Ki.Ch.25; 2 Chron. Ch.36; Jer.52:28-30).
Isaiah 7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; (KJV)
Then said the Lord unto Isaiah . . . the prophet is the inspired author of these prophecies, that go by his name. What follows, the Lord said to him, either in a vision, or by a clear voice, or by a desire, drive or instinct on his mind by the Spirit of God (2 Tim.3:16).
Go forth now to meet Ahaz . . . Isaiah was in the city of Jerusalem, and Ahaz was outside the city, as appears by the place where he was to meet him. Maybe Ahaz was at his country house, and when the news was brought to him of the plans of his enemies, he leaves, and goes to Jerusalem, his fortified city, where he might be (or feel) more safe.
Thou, and Shearjashub thy son . . . Isaiah’s son’s name means the remnant shall return, and who was taken with the prophet, possibly to suggest either that the remnant that were left of the former devastations by those two kings should return to the Lord by repentance; or that although the people of Judah would later be carried captive by the Assyrians, yet a remnant should return again.
At the end of the conduit of the upper pool . . . there was an upper pool and a lower pool (Isa.22:9), this was outside the city, and is the same place where Rabshakeh afterwards stood, and delivered his blasphemous and terrifying speech (2 Ki.18:17). Conduit . . . a channel from the pool or reservoir for the supply of the city. At the foot of Zion was Fount Siloah (Isa.8:6; Neh.3:15; Jn.9:7), also called Gihon, on the west side of Jerusalem (2 Chron.32:30). Two pools were supplied from it, the Upper, or Old one (Isa.22:11), or King's pool (Neh.2:14), and the Lower pool (Isa.22:9), which received the surplus waters of the upper pool.
In the highway of the fuller's field . . . where they washed and dried their garments, and whitened them; the pool, conduit, and field, being fit for their purpose; the highway of the fuller's field . . . (2 Ki.18:17; Isa.36:2).
*****Because the LORD is not ready to deliver the kingdom of Judah into captivity, He wants to encourage the king so he will not make an unwise and frantic alliance with Egypt, so God tells Isaiah to go meet with Ahaz.
Isaiah 7:4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. (KJV)
And say unto him, take heed, and be quiet . . . take heed or be quiet, do not seek Assyrian help in a fit of panic.
Fear not . . . this explains the former.
Neither be fainthearted . . . cowardly, timid, melting like wax, through dread and fear.
For the two tails of these smoking firebrands . . . meaning the two kings of Syria and Israel; tails mean the ends of firebrands (troublemakers), almost consumed themselves, soon about to fall before the Assyrians (vs.7), therefore harmless. Smoking . . . about to go out; not blazing.
For the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah . . . this shows
who are meant by the two firebrands, Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah king of Israel; and what by the smoke of them, their fierce anger; which, though it seemed to threaten with utter destruction, in the opinion of Ahaz and his court, was only like the smoke of a firebrand burnt to the end, weak and vanishing. The son of Remaliah; Pekah king of Israel (vs.1), whom here, and in the next verse, he calls only the son of Remaliah, to indicate that he was unworthy of the name of king, as having gotten that title and power by wrongful seizure and the murder of his master and king Pekahiah (2 Ki.15:25). Firebrand: (Judg.15:4-5; Pro.26:18; Isa.7:4; Amos 4:11; Zec.3:2). The English word firebrand is used to translate different Hebrew words that are translated as torch (from one flaming end of a piece of wood), lamp (also by means of one flaming end of a piece of wood) and flaming arrow or flaming dart (instead of an arrowhead, the end of a flaming arrow might use a rolled piece of cloth soaked in asphalt or tar). The words fire and brand are actually the same; flaming things are burning, while brand means to burn. Samson used firebrands to cause great economic damage to the Philistines (Judg.15:4-5).
Isaiah 7:5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, (KJV)
Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah . . . not that there were three parties in the counsel and confederacy against Judah, only two, the kingdoms of Syria and Ephraim, or Israel; the king of the former is not mentioned at all, and the latter only as if he was the son of a private person, which is purposely done by way of contempt.
Have taken evil counsel against thee . . . which is expressed in the next verse;
Isaiah 7:6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: (KJV)
Let us go up against Judah, and vex it . . . vex, orbewilder and confuse.
And let us make a breach therein for us . . . make a breach, or break it apart. Break their power and kingdom, and subdue it (2 Chron.32:1).
And set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal . . . son of Tabeal, is unknown; it is a Syrian-sounding name, possibly by a party favored in Jerusalem ((Isa.3:6,9,12). The son of Tabeal, whether he was an Israelite or Syrian is not certain, and not important.
Isaiah 7:7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand . . . it shall not stand, their plan will not succeed (Isa.8:9-10; 14:27; 40:29-31; 41:10; 46:10-11; Jer.9:23; Pro.19:21; 21:30). Neither shall it come to pass . . . God Himself gives them His Word that the attempt would not take effect. Psalm 33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. (KJV) . . . It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass; their plans shall not succeed. Whatever (or whoever) stands against God, or thinks to stand without Him, will NOT stand very long. Man may plan, but God can easily cast out those plans (Ps.33:9-11; Pro.16:9; 19:21; 21:30; Isa.46:10; Lam.3:37). The LORD wants to give them a prospect of the destruction of these enemies that were now such a terror to them.
Isaiah 7:8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. (KJV)
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin . . . head, that is, in both Syria and Israel, the capital shall remain as it is; they shall not conquer Judah, but each shall possess only his own dominions.
And within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people . . . threescore and five years can be computed from the prophecy of Amos, who prophesied in the days of Uzziah, two years before the earthquake (Amos 1:1), which the Jews affirm to have happened about the time of his seizure of the priest's office, and being smitten with leprosy (2 Chron.26:16), which although it cannot be proven, yet it may be admitted, because it cannot be disproved. And it is more than probable that that action and accident was many years before his death, during which time Jotham acted as his prince (2 Chron. 26:21). So what Isaiah is saying is, that there shall be but sixty-five years between the delivery and the execution of that prophecy.
***** Ahaz was one of Judah's worst kings, who refused God's help, but instead, he tried to buy help from the Assyrians with silver and gold from the Temple (2 Ki. 16:8). When the Assyrians came, they did not bring help, they only brought more trouble. In 722 B.C., Samaria, the capital of Israel, the northern kingdom, fell to the Assyrian armies, which ended the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Isaiah 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. (KJV)
And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son . . . is Samaria, or rather, shall be Samaria; and the sense is the same as in the previous verse, Samaria shall continue to be the chief city of the kingdom of Israel, and Pekah shall not conquer Jerusalem, as he hoped and planned to do.
If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established . . . if you do not believe this and the other Promises of God, but keep distrusting God, and shall go to the Assyrians for help. Instead of the deliverance and help that you expect, you shall be totally distressed and consumed; the accomplishment of which threatening is recorded (2 Chron.28:20). By this threat, Isaiah implies, that IF they did rely on God's Word and help, they would be established. It seems that Isaiah delivered it in the form of a threat, rather than of promise, in part because he expected them to choose the worse part, and bring the judgment threatened on themselves; and in part because this threat, or warning was greatly needed by them, to scare them out of their present security and unfaithfulness.
*****The problem with King Ahaz is, that he does not take God seriously, like millions in today’s sin-ravaged world!
Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, (KJV)
Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz . . . by the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. (KJV)
Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God . . . even though Ahaz was a wicked man, the LORD was still his God, as he was the God of the people of all Israel in general, as a nation; and knowing Ahaz’ unbelief and reluctance of His Word, offers to confirm it by a sign or miracle. God tells Ahaz, through Isaiah: Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God, whereby thou can be assured of the truth and certainty of this Promise.
Ask it either in the depth, or in the height above . . . demand some wonder to be done, either in earth or in heaven; either that the earth might part and open its mouth, as in the days of Moses (Num.16:31-35); or that the sun might stand still, as in the times of Joshua (Josh.10:12); or that a dead man might be raised out of the depth of the earth (2 Ki.13:21); or that there might be some strange appearances in the heavens (Josh.10:11-14).
*****The LORD knows that Ahaz does not have faith in Him, and He is willing to give the king faith by revealing His almighty power to him, but Ahaz is nothing but a pompous fraud, like millions of people in today’s world! Consider what follows.
Isaiah 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. (KJV)
But Ahaz said, I will not ask . . . this refusal did NOT come from the strength of his faith, but from his contempt of God, and total distrust and disregard of His Word, his inward determination to take another course; as is clear both from the following words, and from the history of Ahaz (2 Chron.18:1-34).
Neither will I tempt the Lord . . . this was just a two-faced excuse of keeping the law (Deut.6:16); tempt, that is, make God prove something (Mat.4:7), by seeking His miraculous intercession without a good reason. But, here there was the warrant of the prophet of God. Ahaz could have asked a sign, and he would not have been tempting God. The true reason for declining this offer, was Ahaz’ determination NOT to do God's will, but to negotiate with Assyria, and persevere in his idolatry (2 Ki.16:3-4, 7-8, 10). Wicked men often excuse their distrust in God, and trust in their own devices, by professing reverence for God. Ahaz may have thought that although the LORD was the God of Judea and could work a sign there . . . that was no proof that the local god of Syria might not be more powerful. Such was the common heathen belief.
Isaiah 7:13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? (KJV)
And he said . . . that is, the Prophet Isaiah; which shows that it was by him the Lord spoke the previous words.
Hear ye now, O house of David . . . (vs.2), for not only Ahaz, but his family, courtiers, and counsellors, were all of the same mind with him, not to ask a sign of God, nor to depend upon, His Promise of safety, but to seek for help, and provide against the worst themselves.
Is it a small thing for you to weary man . . . meaning such as himself, the prophets of the Lord; is it a small thing that they trouble the prophets; disturb, grieve and vex them, by stubbornness and unbelief.
But will ye weary my God also? . . . will you trouble the LORD as well? You are troublesome to the Words of my God, you do injury to them by not believing them; and to God Himself, by rejecting the offer of a sign that was made to you.
*****God tells this unbelieving king, I am not asking you to believe My message just because Isaiah brings it to you. I want to put a foundation under it. I want to give you a sign so you will know that the message is from Me. But Ahaz refuses to ask for a sign. So God is going to give a sign . . . not to Ahaz . . . but to the whole house of David.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (KJV)
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign . . . therefore, because Ahaz despised the LORD, Isaiah tells him that the LORD Himself would give him a sign
which is offered by His free grace.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son . . . this does NOT mean Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, by his wife, as some Jewish writers interpret it; because Hezekiah was nine years old when his father began to reign, and in the fourth year of his reign, he would be just thirteen years old. Behold is prefixed here as a note of awe and amazement; so this cannot be a normal birth in humans! The fact that the angel quotes this prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, to Joseph as an explanation for Mary's being with child before her marriage to him is sufficient evidence that the prophecy referred to an unmarried woman who had a son without physical contact with any man. The word used by Matthew (Mat.1:23, is the Greek word parthenos, which definitely means virgin. The same Greek word was used for the Parthenon, the Greek temple to the goddess Athena, which the Greeks characterized as being a virgin.
And shall call his name Immanuel . . . which is interpreted, God with us (Mat.1:23), where it appears that the MESSIAH is truly God, as well as truly man. The Name Messiah expresses the union of the two natures, divine and human in Christ Jesus! The Messiah in His office as Mediator (1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15; 12:24; 1 Jn.2:1),
being both God and Man, He alone is the One who stands between us and God the Father, and it is He alone gives us the comfort and peace of His Spiritual Presence (Jn.1:14; 14:6-7, 16-18, 27; Rom.8:9).
***** How could this birth of a virgin, which was not to come until many years later, be a sign of their deliverance from their present danger?
I think it was a clear demonstration of God's infinite power, His goodness, His faithfulness which was the certainty of the Truth of all God's Promises from the beginning of time, that God CANNOT lie (Tit.1:2).
The magnificent attributes of God stand firm, whereas men's faith is either strong or weak, as they believe them or doubt them (Ps.77:6; 78:19-20; Rom.4:20-21); so this was a correct remedy for Ahaz's disease of unbelief. Ahaz, like millions in today’s world, secretly doubted that God could or would deliver them.
Because the Promise of the Messiah, which had been made long ago, and was universally believed by all the people, was the Foundation of all God's mercies and Promises unto them (2 Cor.1:20), and a pledge of the accomplishment of them. Because this Promised Birth did suppose and require the preservation of that city, and nation, and tribe, in and of which the Messiah was to be born; and therefore there was no cause to fear that utter ruin which their enemies now threatened to bring upon them.
God puts a Firm Foundation under His prophecy; and if you want to know if the Virgin Birth is true, simply read Four Gospels of the New Testament.
Matthew 1:18-23 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (KJV)
Isaiah 7:14 has become one of the most controversial verses in all Scripture because of the prophecy concerning the Virgin Birth. Unbelievers simply discount it and have tried desperately, but in vain, to find a loophole to reject the Virgin Birth of Jesus. The FACT that the angel quotes this very prophecy to Joseph as an explanation for Mary's being with child before her marriage to him is sufficient proof that the prophecy referred to an unmarried woman who had a son without physical contact with any man. The word used by Matthew in verse 23, is the Greek word parthenos, which definitely means virgin.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah said that His Name would be Immanuel . . . but there is no place in the Gospels where Jesus is called by that Name. So, there the liberal teachers are right! BUT . . . . what does Immanuel mean? It means God with us and the New Testament is FULL of places that tell us this fact!
They Gospel writers called Him JESUS because He would save His people from their sins. But, dear one, He cannot save the people from their sins unless He is Immanuel, God with us. Every time you call Him Jesus, you are saying, God IS with us! Jesus absolutely IS God. He IS God with us and God for us. He is our Saviour, born of a virgin. Have you put your trust in Him?
When Isaiah brought this prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, I feel sure that more than one asked him: When will this happen? Isaiah may have looked down through the centuries and said, It will be a long time. SO then, HOW would the people of his generation know the prediction was true?
The Virgin Birth of Christ would come to pass, just exactly as Isaiah said it would, because God had spoken through Isaiah on many other things that were fulfilled during the days in which he spoke them. One of them was his prophecy about Hezekiah and the Assyrians, which we shall see in the historic section of Isaiah. The Assyrians once gathered outside the walls of Jerusalem, and they were 185,000 strong. Things looked bad for Jerusalem. It looked as if the city would fall. So Hezekiah went into the Temple, got down on his knees, and fell on his face before God. He cried out for deliverance, and God sent Isaiah to him with a message. Isaiah told Hezekiah that he did not have to worry. The Assyrians would not come into the city, nor would they take it. In fact, Isaiah told the king that not even one arrow would be shot into Jerusalem. There were 185,000 soldiers outside the walls of Jerusalem, and each soldier had a quiver full of arrows on his back and a bow in his hand. You would think that out of that many soldiers there would be one that was trigger-happy, one who would shoot an arrow over the wall just to see if anyone would yell. IF just one soldier had shot just ONE arrow over the wall into the city, Isaiah would have been rightly declared a false prophet. BUT . . . NOT one arrow were shot; the city was spared. What Isaiah had told Hezekiah came true (Isa.37:36; 2 Ki.19:35).
And the New Testament bears witness to the fact that the Virgin Birth of the Lord Jesus came to pass exactly as Isaiah had predicted.
Isaiah 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. (KJV)
Butter and honey shall he eat . . . this was common food of children in Israel, where they were in great abundance, and of the best kind. He is the virgin's Son who would be born, who, although He would be blessed by God the Father forever, yet He would become Man (Jn.1:14), and to prove the Truth of His Humanity, shall not only be conceived and brought forth as were all humans, but also would be fed, nourished and brought up the same way that other children were, which is rightly mentioned here as a surprising and miraculous work of God. Jesus was reared as a poor peasant in Palestine. This food was the simple diet of the poor. Do NOT believe those who teach that Jesus was rich. That is the devil’s lie! (Mat.8:20; Lk.9:58).
That he may know . . . that by this food He may grow up, and so may know, or until He know, as it is rendered by many learned men,
To refuse the evil . . . and choose the good; to discern (know the difference) between things morally good and evil; which children are capable of doing, in some measure (Deut.1:39).
Isaiah 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. (KJV)
For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good . . . some think this was Isaiah's child, Shearjashub (vs.3), that he had along with him, that before any child, or new born babe, such as the One promised (vs.14) arrives, to the time he knows to choose right from wrong, this remarkable deliverance would be done, and the Jews freed from all fears of being destroyed by these princes.
The land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings . . . so far shall Pekah and Rezin be from conquering thy land, that they shall lose their own lands, and their lives too; which they did within two years after this time, being both slain by the king of Assyria (2 Ki.15:29; 16:9).
Fatal Consequences of Ahaz' Assyrian Policy (7:17-25)
Isaiah 7:17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria. (KJV)
The Lord shall bring upon thee . . . these words are directed to Ahaz; and show that although he and his kingdom would be safe from the two kings that conspired against him, yet evils would come upon him from another place, even from the Assyrians he sent to for help, and in whom he trusted; in which the Lord Himself would have a hand, and allow them in His providence, in order to chastise him for his unbelief, stubbornness and ingratitude in refusing the sign offered to him, and for his other sins.
And upon thy people, and upon thy father's house . . . so in the reign of his son Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded the land of Judah, took all its fenced cities, except Jerusalem, and came up even to that (2 Ki.18:13), and in the times of Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against Jerusalem, and destroyed it, and carried the people of Judah captive (2 Ki.25:1), and these are the evil days, the days of affliction and adversity, here threatened.
Days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah . . . meaning the revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David, in the times of Rehoboam (1 Ki.12:16), which was a day of great adversity, a great affliction to the house of Judah; and there had been several evil days since then.
Isaiah 7:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass in that day . . . the time when those evil days before spoken of would take place.
That the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt . . . hiss (Isa.5:26), so called because their country abounded with flies; and because of the multitude of their armies, and the swiftness of their march; this seems to have had its accomplishment when Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt slew Josiah, put his son Jehoahaz, that reigned after him, in bands, placed Eliakim his brother in his stead, and made the land of Judah tributary to him (2 Ki.23:29), although some think either the Edomites or Philistines, that bordered on Egypt, are meant; who in Ahaz's time invaded Judah, and brought it low (2 Chron.28:17), or else the Ethiopians, that inhabited on the furthermost borders of Egypt, and the rivers of it; who either came up separately against Judah, or served under Nebuchadnezzar (Isa.18:1).
And for the bee that is in the land of Assyria . . . the Assyrian army, so called because the country abounded with bees; and because of the number of their armies, their military order and discipline, and their hurtful and mischievous nature.
Hissing or whistling for them means the ease with which this would be done, and with what swiftness and readiness those numerous and powerful armies would come; and the reference is to the calling of bees out of their hives into the fields, and from there, back into their hives again, by tinkling of brass, or by some musical sound, in one way or another (Isa.5:26).
Isaiah 7:19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. (KJV)
And they shall come . . . the Egyptian and Assyrian armies, when the Lord calls for them in His providence, and His time is come to make use of them as a scourge to His people.
And shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys . . . made so by war; this is said in reference to flies and bees resting on trees and flowers; and means that these armies, after long and tedious marches, should all of them, without being reduced along the way, enter the land of Judea, fill all places, and take up their residence there for a while.
And in the holes of the rocks . . . some think that the former phrase means cities in valleys, and these are fortified cities which are upon rocks or mountains.
And upon all thorns, and upon all bushes . . . in reference to flies and bees. Some interpret this of un-walled towns and villages. The sense is, that they would be in all cities, towns, and villages, whether fortified or not, and in all houses of high and low, rich and poor, in cottages and in palaces; there would be no place free from them, nor no escaping out of their hands.
Isaiah 7:20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard. (KJV)
In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired . . . meaning the Assyrian monarch, whom the Lord would use as an instrument in His Hand to spoil and cut off the people of the Jews; who is compared to a razor for sharpness; and for the thorough work, and utter ruin and destruction. He would be the means of, and called a hired one, either in reference to the present Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria, by which he prevailed upon him to come and help him against the kings of Syria and Israel (2 Ki.16:7-9), or to a reward given by the Lord to Nebuchadnezzar for the service in which he employed him (Eze.29:18).
Namely, by them beyond the river . . . not the Nile, but the Euphrates; meaning the Assyrians, Chaldeans and Babylonians, who lived on the other side that river; which, with what follows, explains the symbol of the razor.
By the king of Assyria . . . who ruled over those beyond the river.
The head, and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard . . . meaning that as a razor cuts off the hair entirely where it is applied, and leaves nothing behind, whether of the head, beard, feet or private parts, so the king of Assyria would carry all captive, completely out of the land of Judea; king, princes, nobles, and common people; those of the highest, and of the middle and of the lowest class.
It was usual to shave the head and hair of such as were taken captive, as a sign of reproof and servitude (2 Sam.10:4; Isa.20:4).
Isaiah 7:21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep; (KJV)
And it shall come to pass in that day . . . not in the days of Hezekiah, after the destruction of Sennacherib's army, when there followed great fruitfulness and plenty (Isa.37:30), as some interpret it; but in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, after the destruction of Jerusalem, when some poor men were left in the land to till it (Jer.39:10), for of these, and not of rich men, are the following words to be understood.
That a man shall nourish a young cow and two sheep . . . this seems to mean both the scarcity of men and cattle, through the ravages of the army of the Chaldeans; that there would not be large herds and flocks, only a single cow, and two or three sheep; and that men would be so few, and families so thin, that these would be sufficient to support them comfortably.
Isaiah 7:22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter . . . the cow and the two sheep, having large pastures, and few cattle to feed upon them, would give such an abundance of milk, that the owner of them would make butter from it, and live on it, for there being few or none to sell it to.
For butter and honey shall everyone eat that is left in the land . . . indicating that though they would be few, they would enjoy plenty of such sort of food as their small flocks and herds would furnish them with, and the bees produce. Honey (vs.15), shall be abundant as the bees will find the wild flowers abounding everywhere.
Isaiah 7:23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass in that day; that every place shall be . . . barren and unfruitful, for want of men to work the ground.
Where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings . . . good land, that once was very productive, shall now be overrun with briers and thorns; and where there were once a thousand vines planted, for which the tenants used to pay a thousand shekels, or pieces of silver, yearly rent (Song 8:11), there shall be nothing now but briers and thorns, no profit either for landlord or tenant, all being laid waste by the army of the invaders. Dear one, God can soon turn a very fruitful land into utter barrenness IF and when He so desires; and it is fair for Him to turn vines into briers if we, instead of bringing forth grapes to Him, bring forth wild grapes (Isa.5:4). BEWARE!!
Isaiah 7:24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns. (KJV)
With arrows and with bows shall men come thither . . . for fear of wild beasts, serpents and scorpions, or in order to hunt them because of thieves and robbers.
Because all the land shall become briers and thorns . . . among which such creatures, and such sort of wicked men, would hide themselves. It shall become a vast hunting ground, abounding in wild beasts (Jer.49:19).
Isaiah 7:25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle. (KJV)
And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock . . . hills which could not be plowed with a plow, had to be dug up with a mattock (pick or pickax) or spade (shovel), and then sowed with corn.
There shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns . . . the corn planted would not come up, and where thorns and briers never grew before, now there was fear or danger of being overrun with them.
But it shall be for the setting forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle . . . there being no fence of briers and thorns to keep them out, cattle both of the greater and lesser sort should get into the corn, and feed upon it, and make such places desolate, where before much pains were taken to cultivate them. Only cattle shall be able to penetrate the briery ground. Lesser cattle means sheep and goats.
The 12 tribes of Israel split because of Solomon’s disobedience and unfaithfulness (1 Ki.11:1-8). The LORD said that He would divide the kingdom (1 Ki.11:9-13), and He did (1 Ki.12:16-20).
??A Virgin Shall Conceive??
Why do so many unbelievers claim that virgin in Isaiah 7:14 should be young woman, damsel or maiden? Any one of these words would successfully invalidate the power of the word virgin as being a prophecy about Jesus' miraculous Birth!
Why is the Virgin Birth so important?"
The doctrine of the virgin birth is crucially important (Isa.7:14; Mat.1:23; Lk.1:27, 34). Consider how Scripture describes the event. In response to Mary’s question, “How will this be?”
Luke 1:34-35 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (KJV)
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)
The angel encourages Joseph to not fear marrying Mary with these words: Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)
From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus’ Birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary’s womb) were BOTH involved. Mary, clearly, could not impregnate herself, so in that sense she was simply a vessel. Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation.
To deny a physical connection between Mary, the mother, and Jesus, her Son, would imply that Jesus is not really human. Scripture teaches that Jesus WAS fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus WAS fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature (Jn.1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb.2:14-17).
Jesus was NOT born in sin. He had NO sin nature (Heb.7:26). It seems that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father (Rom.5:12, 17, 19). The Virgin Birth of Jesus by-passed the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God (Jn.1:1) to become a Perfect Man.
The Doctrine of Jesus Christ includes, but is not limited to:
• The Godhead, often called the “Trinity” is One God (Deut.6:4), in Three literal Persons, Who is composed of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Mat.28:19-20; Gen.11:7; Col.2:9; Mat.3:16-17).
• The Godhead became incarnate, became FLESH in Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3, 14; 1 Tim.3:16; Col.2:9)
• Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN Son of God (John 3:16)
• Christ's deity, Jesus IS Almighty God (Jn.1:1-3, 14; 10:33; 1 Tim.3:16; Rev.1:8)
• Christ's death, burial and bodily resurrection (1 Cor.15:1-4)
• Jesus' sinless life and perfection (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet.2:21-22; Heb.4:15)
• Jesus' literal, physical, Blood Sacrifice for our sins (1 Pet.1:18-19; Heb.9:12, 22-24)
• Christ's virgin birth (Isa.7:14; Mat.1:23)
• Jesus' bodily ascension into Heaven (Acts 1:11)
• Jesus' bodily return at the Rapture for the saints (1 Thes.4:17; Phil.3:21)
These are all fundamental doctrines of the Bible-believing, Christian faith. The FOUNDATION of our Christian faith is JESUS CHRIST. The Foundation has already been laid, so you cannot lay another foundation. The price for your sins have been paid in full. YOU ARE A SINNER, and unless you accept Christ's payment for your sins, you will spend eternity burning in the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:15). http://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57