To understand this chapter we need to observe the kings and their
– present king of Judah (the southern kingdom
with Jerusalem its capital. We often speak of ‘Israel' to cover
all the people of God, the twelve tribes, who came out of the
Exodus, but when the nation was split after Solomon's reign, ‘Israel'
referred to the northern kingdom of ten tribes, with Samaria its
capital,, and ‘Judah' referred to the southern kingdom of two
tribes, sometimes referred to as ‘the house of David because Jerusalem
had become king David's capital city)
– king of Aram (otherwise known as Syria a country
to the north and east of Israel, often in conflict with Israel
– king of Israel (the northern kingdom. Note
‘Ephraim' was one of the northern ten tribes and so sometimes
the northern kingdom was referred to as Ephraim)
– a more powerful empire of the north east based on Mesopotamia
should also note in what follows Isaiah's sons with prophetic
“a remnant with return” – 7:3
“quick to the plunder, swift to
the spoil” – 8:1
who may also be the first fulfilment
of “God with us” – 7:14 (applied by Matthew to Jesus: Mt 1:23)
Note that quite often prophetic words have more than one fulfilment
The sign of Immanuel
The Political Situation
Israel have conspired against Judah, to no avail ) 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.
(Judah had been
told of this alliance and had been afraid ) 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.
The Lord encourages Ahaz
(Isaiah is to
go to Ahaz ) Then the Lord said
to Isaiah, ‘Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, [whose
name means ‘a remnant will return']
to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on
the road to the Launderer's Field.
is to reassure him) 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.
[i.e. Pekah, king of Israel – see v.1 above]
(they may have
plotted….) Aram, Ephraim and
Remaliah's son have plotted your ruin, saying,
( … saying let's
wipe out Judah…) ‘Let us invade
Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and
make the son of Tabeel king over it.'
( … but God
says it won't happen) 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.
mere men will not prevail against the Lord) 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.”'
Ahaz encouraged to ask for a sign
(so the Lord
challenges Ahaz) Again the Lord
spoke to Ahaz,
(come on, ask
me for a sign) ‘Ask the Lord
your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest
But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I
will not put the Lord to the test.'
him) 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?
The Lord's Sign - Immanuel
(so God will
give His own sign, a son of a virgin to be called Immanuel)
Therefore the Lord himself will give
you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and will call him Immanuel. [which
means ‘God with us']
(he will know
right and wrong when very young) He
will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject
the wrong and choose the right,
the time he's twelve [age for decision making] these threatening
nations will be gone) 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.
Assyria, the Lord's instrument to bring judgement
(your own guilt
[implied] will bring judgment from Assyria) 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.'
will come from both the north and the south) 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 invade
the whole of the land) They
will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices
in the rocks, on all the thorn-bushes and at all the water holes.
(God will use
Assyria to give Israel a close shave) In
that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the River
Euphrates – the king of Assyria – to shave your heads
and private parts, and to cut off your beards also.
(after it you
won't have much left) In that
day, a person will keep alive a young cow and two goats.
(it will be
their milk & produce of the land that will keep you going)
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.
be gone, briars left) In that
day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a
thousand silver shekels, there will be only briers and thorns.
go after wild animals there) Hunters
will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered
with briers and thorns.
(it will become
an inhospitable land) 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.
to Chapter 8