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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Isaiah 7

 

 

Verses 1-25

Isaiah's Prophecy to King Ahaz - Isaiah 7:1-25 gives the account of Isaiah's prophecy to King Ahaz during a time when the kings of Syria and northern Israel joined forces and came against Judah. At the time of this troubling news the Lord sends the prophet Isaiah to give the king a word of promise. The Lord knew the king's heart was wicked; yet, in His mercy for His people the Lord offered them deliverance, if they would only believe and accept this divine word.

A similar account of this event is found in 2 Kings 16:1-20, which records the wickedness of King Ahaz. Because of this threat Syria and Israel he turned to the king of Assyria rather than to the Lord. Ahaz hired him to fight against Syria by stripping gold and silver from the Temple building and robbing the treasures dedicated to the Lord. Assyria responded by attacking Syria and killing their king, relieving Ahaz of his immediate danger. Ahaz responded to his perceived victory by further defiling the sacred Temple in Jerusalem. He was so impressed by the Assyrian king and his gods that he commissioned a replica of his pagan altar, set it up in the Temple, and charged the priest to begin making his daily sacrifices upon it. King Ahaz also stripped more of the precious metals off of the Temple building and gave them to the Assyrian king as a token of gratitude.

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.

Isaiah 7:1Comments- Isaiah 7:1 dates the next prophecies following Isaiah's divine commission ( Isaiah 6:1-13) during the reign of King Ahaz. Isaiah ministered during the reigns of four kings of Judah ( Isaiah 1:1).

1. Uzziah- Eleventh king of Judah 809-8 to 757-6 B.C, reigned 52years.

2. Jotham- Twelfth king of Judah, 758 - 741 B.C, reigned 16 years.

3. Ahaz- Thirteenth king of Judah, 741-726 B.C, reigned about 16 years.

4. Hezekiah- Fourteenth king of Judah, 726 - 701 B.C, reigned 25 years.

King Uzziah's death is mentioned in Isaiah 6:1, at which time Isaiah received his divine commission as a prophet to his people. Jotham reigned in Judah for sixteen years, at which time "the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah." ( 2 Kings 15:37) King Jotham is mentioned only twice in the book of Isaiah ( Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 7:1). King Ahaz is mentioned seven times in the book of Isaiah ( Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 7:1; Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 7:10, Isaiah 12 : Isaiah 14:28; Isaiah 38:8).

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.

Isaiah 7:2Comments- Fear came upon the king of Judah and his people. A simile is used in Isaiah 7:2 to describe their hearts being moved about as the swaying of the trees in the wind. For a person who is not rooted and grounded in faith towards God, such fearful circumstances evoke rash decisions, the type of decisions that a person would not make under normal circumstances.

Isaiah 7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah , Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy Song of Solomon , at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller"s field;

Isaiah 7:3Comments- Perhaps the prophet was not welcome in the king's court. Therefore, the Lord orchestrated a divine appointment with the king. We read of a similar event 1 Kings 18:1-16 when God sent Elijah to meet Obadiah , the servant of King Ahab, to deliver a message to the king.

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.

Isaiah 7:4Comments- A word from the Lord can establish the heart of a man of faith. God is faithful to speak to his servants during times of trouble. Although King Ahaz was undeserving of the Lord's favor and deliverance, God was bound by His covenant and His name's sake to look over His people Israel.

Isaiah 7:5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,

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:

Isaiah 7:6 — "and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal" - Comments- The Aramaic name "Tabeal" ( טְבֵאל) (H 2870) means, "pleasing to God" (Strong), "God is good" (Smith), "God is good" or "God is wise" (Hastings). This name is used one time in the Scriptures ( Isaiah 7:6); thus, the identity of Tabeal and his son is unknown. Smith suggests that he was "an Ephraimite in the army of Pekah the son of Remaliah, or a Syrian in the army of Rezin." John Gill tells us that the Targum paraphrases this statement by translating the word "Tabeal" as a statement rather than a proper name, "let us appoint a king in the midst of it, who is right for us." 24]

24] John Gill, Isaiah , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Isaiah 7:6.

Isaiah 7:7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

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.

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.

Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,

Isaiah 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

Isaiah 7:11Comments- Children of faith need only a word from the Lord to believe and obey. Because of the hardness of men's hearts the Lord works with signs and wonders to get them to believe. Therefore, this sign was because of the hardness of the king's heart.

Isaiah 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

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?

Isaiah 7:13 — "And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David" - Comments- Rather than addressing King Ahaz, Spurgeon notes that God delivers this prophecy of the coming Messiah in remembrance of His covenant with His servant David and His people Israel. 25] Thus, the Lord addresses a broader audience than a individual king because this prophecy is not only for the king's deliverance from his immediate situation, but for the redemption of the generations of Jews following. In other words, this is a two-fold prophecy, applying to Ahaz's situation, and ultimately fulfilled at the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ. God promises to deliver Ahaz because of His covenant, and Judah must continue for this prophecy to be fulfilled.

25] Charles Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol 39, electronic edition (1839), in Christian Library Series, vol 6, Charles H. Spurgeon Collection, in The Ages Digital Library [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: AGES Library, 1996), 272.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14 — "Behold" - Comments- The word "Behold" is used to indicate that God was about to do a wonderful and extraordinary thing in order to bring about His divine plan of redemption for mankind.

Isaiah 7:14Word Study on "a virgin" - Strong says the Hebrew word "virgin" "almah" ( עַלְמָה) (H 5959) word means, "a lass, damsel, maid, virgin." The Enhanced Strong says it is used time in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "virgin 4, maid 2, damsels 1." Strong says this Hebrew word is a diminutive of its masculine form "elem" ( עֶלֶם) (H 5958), meaning "a lad, a young Prayer of Manasseh ," and comes from the primitive root "alam" ( עָלַם) (H 5956), which means, "to veil, conceal." Thus, a young virgin is a woman whose nakedness has never been uncovered by a man.

Comments- A lot of discussion has been made as to the use of the Hebrew word "almah" in this passage, because it also means "young woman". Many modern translations support the concept of "virgin". But there was very little difference in the Jewish minds, since a young woman who was unmarried and living with her parents was a virgin. They were one and the same. Therefore, this word was quite appropriate to the text. But to our western minds, living in societies of promiscuity, there is a big difference between the two persons.

NIV, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Song of Solomon , and will call him Immanuel."

Yet, some modern translations go so far as to place emphasis upon the meaning of a "young woman".

RSV, "the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Imman"u-el."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 7:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/isaiah-7.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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