Scriptures

Isaiah 7

Introduction

‘When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it. Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind. Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smouldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “‘It will not take place, it will not happen, for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people. The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’” Isaiah 7:1-9

Beginning in this chapter, through to chapter 12, we read that Immanuel offers relief to the oppressed.

Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel, formed a confederacy against the king of Judah in the time of Jotham, 2 Kings 15:37. In the beginning of the reign of Ahaz, they invaded Judah with a powerful army and threatened to destroy the house or throne of David.

Isaiah was sent to comfort the king and the royal family in their distress and to promise them that God would make good all of His promises to David and his descendants.

This chapter begins with an historical account of the occasion of this prophecy and to assure the people that God would make good His promises and that although they would suffer and apparently be destroyed, the house of David would not completely perish until the miraculous conception of the Messiah who was to spring from the tribe of Judah.

Ahaz refused to receive a sign from the Lord, whereupon God promised to give a sign like the world had never seen before the virgin birth of Immanuel. The Syrians formed an alliance with Ephraim, that is, Israel the Northern Kingdom.

The heart of the people and Ahaz were shaking just like the trees were shaking by the wind, Chronicles 28:5-6. Why? Because of the Northern alliance but Ahaz didn’t want this alliance. Notice that Isaiah didn’t tremble like the trees did.

Rezin took Elath, 2 Kings 16:2-6 / 2 Chronicles 28:1-5 / 2 Chronicles 28:8, and Aram and Ephraim wanted to take Jerusalem but God said this wouldn’t happen. Ephraim and Syria are described as the remains of a burnt out torches that is, they are like smouldering pieces of wood.

Isaiah’s son, Shear-Jashub, whose name means a remnant shall return, Isaiah 8:18, the remnant refers to Judah. The remnant will return possibly to God, Isaiah 10:21.

Ahaz began a tunnel project to bring water from a pool outside Jerusalem into the city, this project was later completed by Hezekiah, Isaiah 22:9 / Isaiah 22:11 / 2 Kings 18:17 / 2 Chronicles 32:3-4 / 2 Chronicles 32:30.

God basically tells Ahaz to take it easy, don’t panic. They want to go to Jerusalem and replace Ahaz with the son of Tabeel as king. Tabeel’s name means goodness of God, the father of one whom the kings of Syria and Samaria in vain attempted to place on the throne of Ahaz.

Aram and Rezin will fall within 65 years, a time following the fall of Samaria 722 B.C. and Ahaz appears to be faithless. Because of his lack of faith in God to protect Judah, the Assyrians would plunder the countryside of Judah, ravishing the land of its productivity.

The land would revert to open pasture lands where roaming livestock would feed. This takes us to 669 B.C. Samaria has been destroyed and the inhabitants have been taken away and Samaria is repopulated.

God gives Ahaz a firm warning through Isaiah, he needs to believe and stand firm or he will fall.

The Sign Of Immanuel

‘Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.” Isaiah 7:10-17

Since Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, Isaiah gave his own sign in an effort to persuade Ahaz to trust God. Isaiah tells Ahaz to ask God for a sign but Ahaz, like a true hypocrite says, no I won’t test God, Exodus 17:2 / Deuteronomy 5:16 / Matthew 16:1.

God gives Ahaz a choice but Ahaz refuses because he obviously isn’t a God fearing man but God will give Ahaz a sign anyway. It appears at this time, Ahaz had already decided to make an alliance with Assyria in order to resist the attack of Rezin and Pekah. He was determined to trust in Assyria and not God.

The son of a virgin was to be a sign that David’s house would not be destroyed.

Pledge, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The virgin conception was a supernatural event which was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus, Matthew1:18-23. This prophecy was not merely applied to Jesus’ conception but the Scriptures said it was fulfilled therein. There is a vast difference in a prophecy being applied and one being fulfilled. The Christ is on His throne of glory in chapter six and here in chapter 7 is seen as being conceived, in chapter nine as having been born and qualified to serve, in chapter eleven as over His kingdom.’

De Hoff, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The Syriac version, perhaps the oldest known version of the Old Testament, renders this word ‘almah’ as ‘virgin’. The Greek Old Testament, translated by 72 of the world’s finest  scholars renders this word ‘parthenos’, a Greek word which always means virgin and nothing else. The 47 scholars who translated the  King James Version rendered the word as ‘virgin’. The one hundred and one scholars who translated the American Revised Version of 1901 rendered this word as ‘virgin’. This is a total of two hundred and twenty scholars, not counting those who made the Syriac version. In addition, Matthew, an inspired apostle of Jesus Christ, translated this as ‘virgin’, Matthew 1:18-24. Here are two hundred twenty-one witnesses, one of whom was inspired, and they are unanimous in declaring that this word means ‘virgin’. Who declares otherwise? Neo-orthodox modernists who do not believe in the inspiration of the scriptures nor the virgin birth of our Blessed Lord. It is disconcerning to find those who claim to believe the Bible and be defenders of the faith who accept the modernistic viewpoint. Isaiah 7:14 means ‘virgin’. It does not mean anything else and there is no reason for claiming it does except to try to make infidels out of people and destroy their faith in the virgin birth of Christ.’

The purpose of this prophecy is to show that man couldn’t set aside God’s plans. The name ‘Immanuel’ means God is with us, Matthew 1:23.

It is very possible that this prophecy was twofold and was partly fulfilled during the reign of Ahaz. Isaiah and Ahaz would have known this woman. This could be a woman at the time that had a child named Immanuel.

This is to be a sign for Ahaz. The immediate context is that a young woman would conceive, and then bear a son. Before this baby passed through its younger years, the nations of Syria and the northern kingdom, Israel, would have gone into captivity by the hands of the Assyrians.

How would it be a sign for Ahaz if it were just referring to Christ coming into the world 750 years later? Ahaz would be well gone, Isaiah 8:15-17.

Who might this son be?

1. The son of a woman who both Ahaz and Isaiah knew. This child would not be very old before the land was in waist.

2. Hezekiah. This couldn’t be him because he was at least 6 years old at the time.

3. This is another son of Isaiah. His name is Immanuel.

The first fulfilment was in reference to Isaiah’s immediate historical context, and the second was in reference to the Messiah, Jesus, who was born of a virgin Matthew 1:22-23. The difference between the two births, was that the child that was born in Isaiah’s time was not of a virgin birth, but Jesus’ birth was of the virgin Mary.

Notice that ‘Immanuel’ shall know to refuse the evil and choose the godly. He must eat ‘curds and honey’ to know to do this. Curds and honey refers to the thicken milk the Nomad tribes ate in the desert, food of the wilderness. He ate curds and honey when he fled to Egypt as a child with his parents. They speak of a time of famine or hardships.

Isaiah says there is going to be a child and before the child is old enough to know right from wrong, the land of the two kings will be wasted away.

The land of the two kings, refers to Syria, that is, Rezin and Israel, that is, Pekah. Ahaz would see the land forsaken, but there is no promise that he would see the child.

Assyria, The LORD’s Instrument

‘In that day the LORD will whistle for flies from the Nile delta in Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices in the rocks, on all the thornbushes and at all the water holes. In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria—to shave your head and private parts, and to cut off your beard also. In that day, a person will keep alive a young cow and two goats. And because of the abundance of the milk they give, there will be curds to eat. All who remain in the land will eat curds and honey. In that day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels, there will be only briers and thorns. Hunters will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered with briers and thorns. As for all the hills once cultivated by the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of the briers and thorns; they will become places where cattle are turned loose and where sheep run.’ Isaiah 7:18-25

Here we read of certain judgment for Judah, 2 Kings 16 / 2 Chronicles 28.

They went to Egypt for help and ended up being slaves themselves. The flies, Exodus 8:21-24, and bees, Deuteronomy 1:44 / Deuteronomy 7:20 / Psalm 118:12, speak of the Egyptian gadfly and the Assyrian bumblebee and they would infest the hills and valleys of Judah. Those who we go to for help often will enslave us, Ahaz went to Assyria for help.

Notice that the LORD is also the LORD of Assyria and He will use a ‘hired razor’, Isaiah 10:5-7, to shave His people’s heads Ezekiel 5:1, and beards, Isaiah 50:6. To shave was to show utter contempt, 2 Samuel 10:4 / 1 Chronicles 19:4.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following, concerning the shaving.

‘This does not mean that God will shave himself, but that he will shave the land of his rebellious people. Shaving the hair of the feet, the head, and the beard simply means that nothing will be left. Judah is to be completely stripped.’

Ahaz is paying the Assyrian king to fight against Israel but God is using the Assyrian king to bring about His people’s destruction.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘It’s evident from 2 Kings 16:7, that the discourse of Isaiah made no impression on the mind of Ahaz. He sent messengers with valuable presents to Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria. Tiglath-Pileser professedly entered into the views of Ahaz, and promised his aid.’

The land is also being desolated, there’s not enough people left to take care of the land, all they have to live on was curds and honey. The land at one time, was filled with expensive vineyards, but now there are only briers and thorns.

Wild beasts would be in the thickets and one would have a bow and arrow to go pick berries. It used to be home for 1000’s of animals, but now, there are only one or two.

The Assyrians would take the Northern Kingdom into captivity, 2 Kings 15:29, but the devastation of Judah should have been a warning to the Southern Kingdom, they should repent and return to God. Judah are going to suffer the consequences of Ahaz’s decision to trust in the Assyrians and not in God.

Go To Isaiah 8

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:31

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