understand this chapter we need to observe the kings and their
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)
of Aram (otherwise known as Syria a country
to the north and east of Israel, often in conflict with Israel
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)
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”
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
(Aram & 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
(come on, ask me for
a sign) ‘Ask the Lord your God
for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.'
(Ahaz won't) But
Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.'
(Isaiah rebukes 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.'
(the judgment 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.
(vineyards will 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.
(hunters will 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