vs. 1-7 — THE TROUBLES OF ISRAEL SHALL END THROUGH
THE BIRTH OF A MARVELOUS CHILD. The section of the prophecy
commencing with Isaiah 7:1 terminates in this glorious burst of glad
and gracious promise. The gist of the
whole section is: “
suffer from Pekah and Rezin; her oppressors shall be Assyria and
more especially the former;
low; she shall remain awhile in gloom and darkness; but at length the
darkness shall be dispelled; a ‘great light’ shall shine forth, first in the
north, then over all the land; ‘the rod of the oppressor’ shall be broken; a
Child shall be born, who shall bear marvelous names, and shall rule over
spoken, and God will perform this.
"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.
Materials are reproduced by permission." (here and following)
v. 1 - At the first... and afterward; rather,
at the former time... in the latter time. The contrast is between two periods
did more grievously afflict her. This is altogether wrong. Translate, So in
the latter time He hath brought honor on the way of the sea. The perfect is
a “prophetic perfect,” and the reference is to the honor that would be done
the northern districts, “the
the Messiah dwelling there (Matthew 4:14-16). The way of the
sea; i.e. the district about the
(equivalent to “Gennesareth”) in Numbers 34:11, and “the sea of
have been given to the outlying circuit, or zone, on the north, which was
debatable ground between the Israelites and their neighbors (1 Kings 9:11;
Joshua 20:7; 21:32). The word means “circuit,” or “ring.” Though claimed
as theirs by the Israelites, it was largely peopled by “Gentiles.”
v. 2 - “A Great Light” - All the world was in darkness when Christ came –
the True Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world!
v. 3 - "according to the joy in harvest" -“The joy in harvest” was to the
Jews the joy of the Feast of Tabernacles, or in gathering (Exodus 23:16),
held when the last fruits were brought in.
v. 6 - The Significance of the Names of Christ. - Five names of the
Redeemer are here declared by Isaiah, in addition to the name given
Him in Isaiah 7-8., viz. Immanuel. Names of Christ are always
worthy of the deepest and most attentive consideration, for each
reveals some portion of His nature, each exhibits some aspect of Him,
so to speak, which is distinct from other aspects; and it is only by
meditating upon all, that we approximate to a full and complete
conception of His manifold excellences.
“His name shall be called” - Isaiah does not really mean that the “Child”
should bear as a name, or names, any of the expressions, but only that
they should be truly applicable to him. “Wonderful, Counselor” - It has
been proposed to unite these two expressions and translate, “Wondrous
Counselor” (compare “wonderful in counsel,” Isaiah 28:29. Some take
the words separately - Wonderful -The Messiah would be“wonderful” in
His nature as God-Man; in His teaching, which “astonished” those who
heard it (Matthew 7:28); in His doings (Isaiah 25:1); in the circumstances
of His birth and death; in His resurrection, and in His ascension. “Wonder”
would be the first sentiment which His manifestation would provoke, and
hence this descriptive epithet is placed first. As the Word, as Wisdom itself,
as He who says, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am Understanding”
(Proverbs 8:14), He is well named “Counselor.” None will ever seek His
counsel in vain, much less repent of following it. “The mighty God” - rather,
perhaps, Mighty God; but the difference is not great, since El, God, contains
within itself the notion of singularity, which is given to ordinary nouns by the
article. The term El, God, had been previously applied to the Messiah only in
Psalm 45:6. It denotes in Isaiah always “divinity in an absolute sense; it is never
used hyperbolically or metaphorically.” “The Everlasting Father” - rather,
Everlasting or Eternal Father. But here, again, there is a singularity in the idea,
which makes the omission of the article unimportant; for how could there be more
than one Everlasting Father, one Creator, Preserver, Protector of mankind who
was absolutely eternal? If the term “Father,” applied to our Lord, grates on our
ears, we must remember that the distinction of Persons in the Godhead had not
yet been revealed. “The Prince of Peace” - literally, Prince of Peace. A “Prince
of Peace” had been long shadowed forth, as in Melchizedek, “King of Salem,”
i.e. “of Peace;” and again in Solomon, “the peaceful one;” and Isaiah
himself had already prophesied the peacefulness of the Messiah’s kingdom
(Isaiah 2:4). Compare the song of the angels at our Lord’s birth (Luke 2:14).
THE NAMES BEGIN IN THE PAST, ADVANCE TO THE PRESENT,
AND END IN THE FUTURE!
v. 7 - "of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end" –
it shall fill the world!
“from henceforth even for ever” – The kingdom is to be both universal in
respect of extent, and in respect of duration, eternal.
"the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" - The zeal; or, jealousy.
God’s jealousy of His own honor, which is bound up with the prosperity
and final triumph of His people over all their enemies, will assure the
performance of all that is here prophesied.
vs. 8-21 — THE PROPHET RETURNS TO THREATS AND
WARNINGS, ADDRESSED CHIEFLY TO THE KINGDOM OF
of the next, seems to have formed originally a distinct and separate
prophecy. The passage is a poem in four stanzas, with the same refrain at
end of each: “For all this his
anger is not turned away,.” since
continued impenitent. It would have ceased had they repented and turned to
God (see v. 13). His hand is stretched out still; not to save, but to smite.
A somewhat early date has been assigned to the prophecy, as; for instance,
“some period in the reign of Jotham” but the internal evidence only proves
that it was written before the destruction
v. 13 - "neither do they seek the Lord of
to seek after Baal from the time of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31). The reform
of Jehu (2 Kings 10:28) had gone but skin-deep. Baal was still “sought
to,” rather than Jehovah, when the final judgment came (2 Kings 17:16;
v. 15 - "the honorable"??- who claimed to be among
the honorable, but who were really the
lowest of the low!
v. 16 – “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and
they that are led of them are destroyed”
v. 17 - "every mouth speaketh folly" (lewdness or
v. 18 - the contagion of the wicked overspreads
a whole nation in the same way that fire
spreads over a field of stubble.
The flames of wickedness give no light to a land, but
plunge it in heavy, hopeless gloom.
v. 19 - "the people shall be as the fuel of the fire"
Though the general ravage, devastation, and desolation of the land,
with its buildings, its trees, and its other vegetable products, is
included in the image of the fire devouring the thorny brakes and
tangled thickets of a dense forest, yet the threat is intended still more
against the Israelite people, who were the true “fuel of the fire,” since
the ravage would go on until the land should be depopulated.
Externally, there was the conquest of
Shalmaneser and Sargon.
The same instrument,
and the last. Shalmaneser, the successor of Tiglath-Pileser, towards the
middle of his short reign, having “found conspiracy in Hoshea” — who
had murdered Pekah and succeeded him — “came up throughout all the
(2 Kings 17:5). At the end of the three years the city fell, about the same
time (B.C. 722) that Sargon, having murdered Shahnaneser at
caused himself to be proclaimed supreme ruler of the Assyrian empire.
Sargon, following a recognized Assyrian practice, deported the principal
part of the population, and settled it partly in
in the cities of Media (2 Kings 17:6). The life of the nation thus came to
an end. God had borne with it for two centuries and a half — tried it,
tested it, sent it prophets and seers (2 Kings 17:7-23), chastened it,
corrected it; but all in vain. Notwithstanding all that He could do and did,
“they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their
fathers, and rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with
their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them; and
followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were
round about them, and left all the commandments of the Lord their God,
and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to
anger” (2 Kings 17:14-17). Nothing, therefore, remained but to “remove
them out of His sight” — to sweep them away with the besom of
destruction. The fate of
also, secondarily, to individuals. God lays his chastisements on them
too, for the purpose of bringing them to repentance. If they resist and are
impenitent, He follows up blow with blow. If they remain obdurate,
He breaks their pride and crushes them.