Lectionary Calendar
Friday, May 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 7

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-25

Chapter 7

Now Uzziah is dead and his grandson Ahaz is reigning.

It came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, the king of Judah, that Rezin was the king of Syria, and Pekah was the son of Remaliah, the king of Israel ( Isaiah 7:1 ),

So Pekah was ruling in Israel. He had assassinated the previous king. And Syria and Israel, the Northern Kingdom, had confederated together to attack Judah, the Southern Kingdom. And so they

came up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but they could not prevail against it. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria has confederated with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of the people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind ( Isaiah 7:1-2 ).

In other words, they began to tremble because they said, "Oh, there's a confederacy. Those two nations are coming against us, you know. What are we going to do?"

Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub ( Isaiah 7:3 )

Now Shearjashub means a remnant shall return. That was the name of his son, Shearjashub. Quite a name for a boy, but he's got one with a better name-Mahershalalhashbaz. That's quite a tag to put on a kid, isn't it? And meet them.

[at the conduit,] the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway that is the fuller's field; And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin, and because of the son of Remaliah [or Pekah]. Because ( Isaiah 7:3-4 )

Don't be afraid, don't be fainthearted. Just be quiet before God.

Because Syria and Ephraim have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up to 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: Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand ( Isaiah 7:5-7 ),

Their confederacy isn't going to stand.

neither shall it come to pass. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin [who was the king]; and within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, that it be not a people ( Isaiah 7:7-8 ).

So the Northern Kingdom of Israel, of which Ephraim was the chief tribe, in sixty-five years they're not going to exist any longer. And sure enough, within sixty-five years the Assyrians destroyed them.

The head of Ephraim is Samaria ( Isaiah 7:9 ),

That was the capital city of the Northern Kingdom.

and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son ( Isaiah 7:9 ).

Which was Pekah.

If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established ( Isaiah 7:9 ).

Now don't be afraid, don't be fainthearted, God's going to take care of it. The confederacy that they've made against you isn't going to stand. God's going to break it.

Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 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? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that you abhor shall be forsaken of both of her kings ( Isaiah 7:10-16 ).

So these kings, Rezin and Pekah, are going to be wiped out.

Now herein is where the prophets wrote as they were inspired of the Holy Spirit, but did not understand the things that they were writing about, and how that he was writing of a local instance, but yet it had a prophetic aspect towards the future. And much of prophecy has a two-fold interpretation. They call it the near and the far. And this is true of much prophecy. In fact, it says that these men wrote of things that they did not understand. Earnestly they desired to know these things of which they wrote. But they really didn't understand but they were writing, inspired of the Holy Spirit.

And in the near prophecy, a child was to be born. Or, before a child born at that period was old enough to know evil, to choose good, or the age of accountability, twelve, thirteen years old, or what he is saying, within twelve or thirteen years, both Pekah and Rezin are going to get wiped out. They'll no longer be reigning over Syria and over Samaria within twelve or thirteen years.

But the prophecy in its long-term was a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ in that, "The Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." We know that that is a prophecy of Jesus Christ, because it is interpreted by the Holy Spirit in Matthew's gospel, chapter 1, verse Isaiah 7:23 as a prophecy. When it speaks there of how Mary and Joseph were engaged; before they had had relations, Mary was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit, that it might be fulfilled according to the word of the prophet saying, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." So Matthew's gospel, as Matthew writing by the Holy Spirit interprets this passage of scripture. He interprets it to be a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

Now the Hebrew scholar Gesenius who has written a Hebrew lexicon and is recognized as one of the outstanding Hebrew scholars has suggested that the Hebrew word here translated virgin should be translated "a young maiden." You know why he suggests that? Because he said he doesn't believe in miracles and it will be a miracle for a virgin to have a child. And so that's why he said, and that's why he translates this young maiden. And of course, Revised Standard and a lot of the new translations pick up the unbelief of Gesenius and translate this, "a young maiden shall conceive."

Well, what so much of a sign about that? That happens every day. It takes away the whole thrust of the scripture. But a virgin shall conceive. The Greek word that was translated by these seventy scholars who translated the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament 200 years before Christ, they chose to translate this Hebrew word with a Greek word that can only mean virgin. And that God intended virgin is obvious because of Mary. "Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Which means, "God is with us." Beautiful name. God is with us.

So that is the far interpretation of this prophecy. The near was that within twelve years a child born now within twelve years, by the time he's age of accountability, knows good from evil, both these kings that have conspired against you will be wiped out, and that was true.

Now he does predict the impending invasion of Judah.

The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house ( Isaiah 7:17 ),

Remember he's talking to Ahaz the king.

days that have not come, upon the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria. 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. 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. In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, those that are beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard ( Isaiah 7:17-20 ).

Now what God is talking about is that God is going to raise up another kingdom, and that is the kingdom of Assyria. And Assyria is going to invade and wipe out Syria. Assyria was over a little further north and east from Syria, and so sometimes people get confused with Syria and Assyria. Syria is going to be destroyed. Here they're planning an invasion, but Syria will be destroyed by Assyria. And God is going to bring Egypt up in an invasion within the land.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow and two sheep ( Isaiah 7:21 );

And he speaks of

the abundance of milk that they shall give ( Isaiah 7:22 ),

Actually, because there's not very many people left around, the land, the tilled land is turned into briers and thorns.

And all of the hills will be digged with the mattock, and 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 ( Isaiah 7:25 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 7". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-7.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile