Isaiah 7

 

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

Jerusalem (2 Kings 16:5). From Chronicles we learn that, before the

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

kings of Judah – also:

 

(See II Chronicles 28 Spurgeon Sermon - "That King Ahaz")

 

v. 2 - "Syria is confederate with Ephraim (house of Israel – this during

the divided kingdom) ....his heart was moved and the heart of his

the people - house of David” (meaning Judah)"

 

v. 4 - "Take heed, and be quiet: fear not, neither be

            fainthearted"

 

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

more insecure

 

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

action.

 

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

compliance.

 

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

and Satan!

 

“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"

 

The Cheyenne on the Custer Battlefield poked awls

in General Custer's ears to improve his hearing

because he had violated a promise among the Cheyenne

years before!

 

Ahaz meant to meet the danger impending by

resorting to his own wisdom and in his own strength?

 

vs. 17-25. THE DANGER TO JUDAH FROM ASSYRIA. 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. Judah is to be completely stripped.

 

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

(vers. 23-25).

 

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!