vs. 1-9. — THE PROPHECY GIVEN TO AHAZ AT THE TIME OF
THE SYRO-ISRAELITISH WAR. The Syro-Israelitish war is touched on
both in Kings and Chronicles. In Kings the alliance between Rezin and
Pekah is distinctly declared, as also the fact that they conjointly besieged
siege, Ahaz was twice defeated with great loss, once by the Syrians
(2 Chronicles 28:5), and once by the Israelites (2 Chronicles 28:6). He
was probably, therefore, reduced to great straits at the time when Isaiah
received directions to seek an interview with him, and communicate to him
a comforting message from Jehovah.
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v. 1 - "in the days of Ahaz" – The reign of Ahaz covered the space between
B.C. 743-727 – this trouble seems to have been late in his reign,
around 733 B. C.
For his youth and evil leadership see II Chronicles 28:1-4
Remember the notes on ch. 3:4,12 and the extreme youth of the later
(See II Chronicles 28 Spurgeon Sermon - "That King Ahaz")
v. 2 - "
the divided kingdom) ....his heart was moved and the heart of his
people - house of David” (meaning
v. 4 - "Take heed, and be quiet: fear not, neither be
v. 7 - "Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come
to pass" -the design shall not hold good, it shall not be accomplished.”
Rezin and Pekah have planned to set aside the issue of David, to
which God had promised his throne (2 Samuel 7:11-16; Psalm 89:27-37),
and to set up a new line of kings unconnected with David. They think to
frustrate the everlasting counsel of God toward the house of David –
such a purpose is futile!
Syria and Ephraim have merely human heads — the one Rezin, the other (v. 9)
Pekah; but Judah, it is implied, has a Divine Head, even Jehovah. How, then,
should mere mortals think to oppose their will and their designs to God’s? Of
course, their designs must come to naught.
Ahaz might have rested securely on the promise and to have
been content to "stand still an see the salvation of God"
v. 8 - "within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be
broken, that it be not a people"
v. 9 - "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established"
Full faith in the promise of v. 7 would have enabled Ahaz to dispense with
all plans of earthly policy, and to “stand fast in the Lord,” without calling in
the aid of any “arm of flesh.” Distrust of the promise would lead him to take
steps which would not tend to “establish” him, but would make his position
For how Ahaz reacted see II Kings 16:7-18 & II Chron. 28:16-20
When once God had sent him the message, “It shall not stand, neither shall it
come to pass,” Ahaz might have rested securely on the promise, and have been
content simply to“stand still and see the salvation of God.”
How much wiser would he have been to have accepted God’s promise in full
faith, and not supplemented it by his own “inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29) God
would have found a way to help him and save him, which would have involved
no such evil consequences as those which flowed from his own self-willed
vs. 10-16 - The Sign of Immanuel - God's grace to Ahaz
and his rejection of it –
v. 12 – Defiantly, Ahaz says “I will not ask, neither will I tempt
the Lord” - But it could not be “tempting God” to comply with
a Divine invitation; rather it was tempting Him to refuse
v. 13 – “O house of David”(comp. v. 2). It is not Ahaz alone, but the
“house of David,” which is on its trial. Men are conspiring to remove it
(v. 6). If it will not be saved in God’s way, it will have to be removed by
content with wearying men; with disregarding all my warnings and so
wearying me? Must you go further, and weary God” (or, “wear out His
patience”) “by rejecting His gracious offers?” My God. In v. 11 Isaiah
had called Jehovah “thy God;” but as Ahaz, by rejecting God’s offer, had
rejected God, he speaks of Him now as “my God.”
THE SIGN OF IMMANUEL. God had sent Ahaz one message by His prophet
(vs. 4-9). It had apparently been received in silence, at any rate without
acknowledgment. The faith had seemed to be lacking which should have embraced
with gladness the promise given (see the last clause of v. 9). God, however, will
give the unhappy monarch another chance. And so He sends him a second message,
the offer of a sign which should make belief in the first message easier to him (v. 11).
Ahaz proudly rejects this offer (v. 12). Then the sign of “Immanuel” is given
— not to Ahaz individually, but to the whole “house of David,” and
through them to the entire Jewish people. “A virgin shall conceive, and
bear a son, whose name shall be called Immanuel; and before this child
shall have grown to the age of moral discernment, God’s people will have
been delivered, and their enemies made a desolation” (vs. 14-16).
"the Lord Himself will give you a sign" - God's designs'
will be accomplished whether you hear or forbear!
“The virgin” - a special virgin prominent above all
others – (Thank God Mary was not the only virgin
this world has seen but she was the chosen one) - The
birth of Christ was some 700 years distant - delivering
Israel and the world from its two spiritual enemies, sin
“Behold” - “A forewarning of a great event” – ‘A virgin shall conceive” -
It is questioned whether the word translated “virgin,” viz. ‘almah, has
necessarily that meaning; but it is admitted that the meaning is borne out by
every other place in which the word occurs in the Old Testament (Genesis
24:43; Exodus 2:8; Psalm 68:25; Proverbs 30:19; Cant. 1:3; 6:8). The LXX.,
writing two centuries before the birth of Christ, translate by parqe>nov. The
rendering “virgin” has the support of the best modern Hebraists, as Lowth,
Gesenins, Ewald, Delitzsch, Kay. It is observed with reason that unless
‘almah is translated “virgin,” there is no announcement made worthy of
the grand prelude: “The Lord Himself shall give you a sign — Behold!”
The Hebrew, however, has not “a virgin,” but “the virgin” (and so the
Septuagint, hJ parqe>nov), which points to some special virgin, “and
shall call His name Immanuel (God with us)”
v. 17 - "The Lord shall bring upon thee" - the
transition from promises to threatenings
is abrupt and calculated to impress anyone
who was to any extent impressionable, Ahaz
seems not to have ears "to hear"
in General Custer's ears to improve his hearing
because he had violated a promise among the
Ahaz meant to meet the danger impending by
resorting to his own wisdom and in his own strength?
vs. 17-25. — THE
perversity of Ahaz, already rebuked in v. 13, is further punished by a
threat, that upon him, and upon his people, and upon his father’s house,
shall come shortly a dire calamity. The very power whose aid he is himself
bent on invoking shall be the scourge to chastise both king and people
(vers. 17-20). The land shall be made bare as by a razor (ver. 20). “The head...
the hair of the feet... the beard” - These three represent all the hair on any
part of the body.
Cultivation shall cease; its scant inhabitants will support themselves by
keeping a few cows and sheep (ver. 21), and will nourish themselves on
dairy produce, and the honey that the wild bees produce (ver. 22). Briers
and thorns will come up everywhere; wild beasts will increase; cattle will
browse on the hills that were once carefully cultivated to their summits
Rebekah's plan for Esau deprives her of her son's
society for a great part of her life - Absalom's
rebellion against David raises him to the throne but
to an untimely death within a few months - Judas
carries out his plan with success and in consequence
hangs himself - IN OUR YOUTH WE FORGE
THE CHAINS OF HABIT WHICH MAKE US
MISERABLE ALL OUR LIFE!
REMEMBER, THE CHAINS OF HABIT ARE TOO LIGHT TO BE
FELT UNTIL THEY ARE TOO STRONG TO BE BROKEN!