ISAIAH 7
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[Yeshayah 7 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

1 And it came to pass in the days [yamim] of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah [ben Yotam ben Uziyahu, Melech Yehudah], that Rezin the king of Syria [Retzin Melech Aram], and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel [Pekach ben Remalyahu Melech Yisroel], went up toward Jerusalem [Yerushalayim] to war against it [her], but could not prevail against it [over her].

It was about 730 BC: three hundred years after David's day. Under Uzziah and Jotham (who preceded him), Judah had been very strong. But under Ahaz, God brought it very low. Syria defeated him and carried away a great multitude of captives, and took much territory. Israel fought him, and slew 120,000 in one day. Edom smote him and carried away captives. The Philistines took away much of his land (2 Kgs. 16:6; 2 Chr. 28:5-6, 17-20).

It was in the time of king Ahaz of Judah, son of the good Jotham, father of the good Hezekiah. Ahaz himself is pictured as the worst king Judah ever had, even worse over-all than Manasseh

"He made molten images for Baalim . . . He burnt in-cense in the valley of the son of Hinnom . . . he burnt his children in the fire after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out" (2 Chron 28:2-3)

Yet it was to Ahaz that these marvelous prophecies were given.

Syria and Israel have combined to finally crush Judah and set up their own king there, and it appears many in Judah itself were sympathetic to this design. *


2 And it was told the house of David [Bais Dovid], saying, Syria [Aram] is confederate with Ephraim [Ephrayim]. And his heart [lev] was moved, and the heart [lev] of his people, as the trees of the wood [forest] are moved [shaken] with the wind.

3 Then said the Yahweh unto Isaiah [Yeshayah], Go forth now to meet Ahaz [Achaz], thou, and Shearjashub thy son [Shearyashuv (A Remnant Will Return) thy ben], at the end of the conduit [aqueduct] of the upper pool in the highway of the Fuller's Field;

4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet [stay calm]; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails [stubs] of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria [Retzin and Aram], and of the son of Remaliah [ben Remalyahu].

5 Because Syria [Aram], Ephraim [Ephrayim], and the son of Remaliah [ben Remalyahu], have taken evil counsel [ plotted your ruin] against thee, saying,

6 Let us go up against Judah [Yehudah], and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us [divide it for ourselves], and set a king [melech] in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal [ben Tav'el]:

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

God had used Israel and Syria to punish wicked Judah, but when they plan to destroy the House of David and set up their own king (v. 6), they went too far. Even heathen rulers, when in their conquests they appointed kings of Judah, kept to the royal line of the House of David. This would be God's over-ruling Providence, because of His promise. *



8 For the head of Syria [rosh of Aram] is Damascus, and the head [rosh] of Damascus is Rezin [Retzin]; and within 65 years [shanah] shall Ephraim [Ephrayim] be broken, that it be not a people.

Ahaz is assured that within sixty-five years, Ephraim (Israel) would be completely blotted out. Actually the nation was destroyed as such, and much of the people carried captive to Assyria within fifteen years, in the early years of Ahaz's son Hezekiah, but many were left, who later mocked the appeals of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30:10). The sixty-five years include later attritions by Assyria, and the bringing in by the Assyrian king Esarhaddon of an alien people to fill the land (who became known as the Samaritans).*


9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria [rosh of Ephrayim is Shomron], and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son [rosh of Shomron is ben Remalyahu]. If ye will not believe [stand in emunah], surely ye shall not be established [stand at all].

10 Moreover Yahweh spake again unto Ahaz [Achaz], saying,

11 Ask thee a sign [ot] of Yahweh thy Elohim; ask it either in the depth [deepest depths], or in the height [highest heights] above.

Judah was in terrible straits: powerless, greatly diminished, and threatened with extinction. Faith at such a time was difficult, especially for a wicked and faithless man like Ahaz: so God made him a tremendous offer never made to anyone else, before or since.


12 But Ahaz [Achaz] said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt Yahweh.

This was absolute hypocrisy. He did not want the sign. He did not want to believe. He did not want to submit to God, which accepting the offer would involve. He wanted to go his own way.



13 And he [(Yeshayah)] said, Hear ye now, O house of David [Bais Dovid]; Is it a small thing for you to weary men [anashim], but will ye weary my Elohim also?

14 Therefore Yahweh himself shall give you a sign [ot]; Behold [Hinei], a virgin [ HaAlmah (the unmarried young virgin)] shall conceive, and bear a son [Ben], and shall call his name [Shmo] Immanu El.

God was very angry (v. 13). Then, surprisingly, comes one of the major prophecies of the entire Scriptures-

It is notable (v. 13) that God had addressed Ahaz as the "House of David." As an individual he was a miserable nothing, but officially he comprised in his day the House of David, which is great in God's Purpose. This sign was the sign of all signs to that House.

Hezekiah would be about ten years old at this time, and would very likely be present. It was a Sign for all generations: especially those since its fulfillment in Christ.

This unique event of all history - the central Key to the Divine Plan - was hinted at from the very beginning, in the Promise to Eve that the Saviour of mankind should be the Seed of the Woman, rather than of the Man. But it had never before been plainly expressed.

And not only was he to be the child of a virgin (a special creation, outside the course of nature): he was to be more - his Name was to be Immanuel: "God With Us": the Divine Mystery of God-Manifestation, first in Christ, then in a multitude of his brethren.

It is notable that the Child of the virgin had to go through a process of learning to enable him to refuse evil and choose good. It is also notable that he was potentially able to choose the evil. Neither of this could possibly be true of an eternal, omnipotent "trinitarian" god pretending to be a man. God knows all things eternally; God cannot be tempted. *



Yahweh himself shall give you a sign/

'... the egregious folly of saying that‭ "‬a virgin‭" ‬should be translated‭ "‬a young woman‭?" ‬Lest it may be so,‭ ‬we ask what there would be in the nature of sign or wonder in a young woman conceiving‭? ‬Is it such a rare and extraordinary event for a young woman to conceive,‭ ‬that its occurrence would be‭ "‬a sign‭?"

As well might it have been written‭ "‬Behold,‭ ‬a young man shall marry a young woman.‭" ‬Conception by a virgin is a marvel and a sign‭; ‬conception by a young woman an everyday occurrence...

'... how is Jesus,‭ ‬if the natural son of Joseph and Mary,‭ ‬Emmanuel‭-‬God with us‭? ‬If Jesus was a mere man,‭ ‬he was not‭ "‬God with us.‭" ‬If he were God with us by simply having the spirit,‭ ‬then all the prophets and apostles were‭ "‬God with us,‭" ‬and there was no meaning at all in Christ being called‭ ‬Emmanuel.

But while discussing the suggestion that‭ "‬virgin‭" ‬may be changed to young woman,‭ ‬we are bound to affirm its utter inadmissibility from a philological point of view.‭ ‬The word‭ (‬almah‭) ‬translated‭ "‬virgin‭" ‬in the passage quoted from Isaiah,‭ ‬is never translated‭ "‬young woman,‭ " ‬and never used in any sense other than that of an unmarried female.‭ ‬This may be seen by reference to the only places of its occurrence,‭ ‬which are‭ Gen. xxiv, 43; Ex‬. ii, 8; Ps. lxviii, 25; Prov. xxx, 19; Cant. i, 3; vi, 8; Isaiah. vii, 14.‭

The word most frequently used for virgin,‭ (‬bethoolah,‭ ) Gen. xxiv. 16 ‬is not the one used in‭ Isa. vii, 14‬.‭ ‬The word translated‭ "‬young woman‭" (‬nagara‭) - Ruth. iv, 12‬,‭ ‬is most frequently rendered‭ "‬maiden‭" ‬and‭ "‬damsel,‭" ‬and it is probably this fact that has suggested the attempt to get rid of‭ Is. vii, 14‬,‭ ‬as a proof of Christ's miraculous conception,‭ ‬by the assertion that young woman‭ (‬married or unmarried‭) ‬is interchangable with the‭ "‬virgin‭" ‬of the passage in question.‭

The suggestion is entirely false.‭ ‬The word means a young virgin female in the absolute sense‭; ‬and we can only eliminate this idea from the passage by deleting‭ ‬almah the word,‭ ‬and substituting‭ ‬nagara‭; ‬and even then,‭ ‬the unscrupulous critic who would dare upon such a liberty,‭ ‬would not be much assisted in his designs,‭ ‬for even the substituted word would more naturally bear the construction of‭ '‬virgin‭' ‬than‭ '‬young woman.‭'

The Ambassador of the Coming Age, Dec 1867.


Is it a very extraordinary thing that a young woman should have a baby, a married young woman? The idea of God selecting an incident of every-day occurrence as a sign, is sufficiently absurd to bring its own condemnation. The sign which the prophet here says God would give to Ahaz was to be a real sign and a sign direct from God.

The name of Immanuel pointed forward to a flesh-manifestation of God himself in connection with a virgin of the house of David... Jesus is the mere Greek dressing of Yah-hoshua -- otherwise Joshua; which means God (Yah), shall save (shuah). Therefore, the name "Jesus" expresses the same doctrine as Immanuel: viz., that the child so named was God-manifest in the flesh, sojourning with Israel for their salvation.

Bro Roberts - Was Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah


15 Butter [Curds] and honey shall he eat, that he may know [at the time that he knows] to refuse the evil [rah], and choose the good [tov].

The meaning of "butter and honey" is clear from the fact that they are what gave Christ the knowledge to choose the way of right. That can only be the Word of God. There are many references in Scripture to eating, digesting, assimilating and ruminating upon the Word, so the figure is both clear and familiar. Honey is the sweetness, butter is the richness, of the Word. The Spirit of Christ in the Psalms says-

"Thy words are sweeter than honey to my mouth" (119:103).

We are familiar with the expression: "The sincere (pure) milk of the Word." Butter, of course, is the best and richness of the milk. In the Song of Songs, the Bridegroom says to the Bride-

"Honey and milk are under thy tongue" (4:11).

-referring to speaking in pure harmony with the Word and mind of God. Christ alone perfectly fulfilled this choosing of good and refusing of evil. That perfection was the heart and essence of his power and his victory: his outstanding characteristic and qualification. No one has ever approached near to him in this respect. *



16 For before the child [na'ar (boy)] shall know [understand] to refuse the evil [rah], and choose the good [tov], the land [adamah] that {thou abhorrest (omitted in OJB)} shall be forsaken [will be desolate] of both her kings [whose two melachim thou art afraid].

What land and what kings? It might appear to refer to Syria and Israel, the then combined enemy. And doubtless it did refer to them in an immediate sense. But their two separate kingdoms did not constitute a "land" or "nation." And clearly, in speaking of Christ, and of events seven hundred years distant, God is speaking on a larger scale. The land "abhorred" or despised by the faithless Ahaz was the Land: and before the infancy of Christ, both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah should be terminated, and so they were. In the Divine Purpose, Syria was a non-entity. The two wicked kings were those of Israel and Judah: including Ahaz himself. *



17 Yahweh shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house [Bais], days [yamim] that have not come, from the day [yom] that Ephraim [Ephrayim] departed from Judah [Yehudah (2Kgs 15:29; 16:9)]; even the king of Assyria [Melech Ashur].

And what was the Lord to bring? "The king of Assyria." At this time, about 730 BC, under the mighty Tiglath-pileser, or Pul, Assyria's last great period of power began, until it declined about 650 BC, and Babylon destroyed Nineveh in 612 BC. This immediate period contains the first scriptural reference to Assyria since Genesis (except Balaam's prophecy in Numbers 24:22-24).

In rejection of the Immanuel Sign was the beginning of the end of the nation's entity, just as the rejection of Immanuel himself was the culmination of that end. Ahaz, faced with the greatest offer of evidence ever made by God, chose to reject God and rely on man. He called on Assyria to help him (2 Kgs. 16:7). This was a fatal step. Judah never again was truly free from the dark shadow of foreign domination (though under Josiah, when Assyria weakened, there was practical independence, for a twilight period, in the closing mercies of God on the nation).

But for Ahaz, the helper immediately became the master. The call for help was an offer of submission and vassalage. It is possible Ahaz had already made contact with Assyria, when Isaiah brought the Divine message. It appears certain that the course was at least in his mind and determination. So it was decreed that his sin should be his downfall, and his unholy alliance should become his bondage-

"The Lord shall bring upon thee . . . the king of Assyria" (v. 17).

Little did Ahaz realize the dreadful scourge he had called forth. *



18 And it shall come to pass in that day [yom], that Yahweh shall hiss [whistle] for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt [Nile of Mitzrayim], and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria [Eretz Ashur].

God refers to the Assyrian and Egyptian armies He would bring, as bees and flies. Not the mild flies as we know them, but a voracious devouring insect that constituted one of the deadly plagues, and is to this day a terrible scourge in Africa. And not our relatively mild bees, but the lethal wild killer bees of Africa and the Mideast, which attack without provocation anything that moves, and that are today an imported and growing plague in South America. There is clearly an interesting relation of thought between the famed honey of the Holy Land - both temporal and spiritual - and the fierce, God-sent Assyrian bees which would take it all away. *



20 In the same day [yom ] shall Yahweh shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria [Melech Ashur], the head, and the hair of the feet [legs]: and it shall also consume the beard.

To shave is to make absolutely bare, to utterly remove the glory, for hair and beard are symbols of beauty and dignity. To shave is to purify, as the Nazarite and leper (Num. 6:18; Lev. 14:8).

Ahaz himself had hired the razor, robbing the Temple to raise the tribute (2 Kgs. 16:8), so this was the instrument God used for his and Judah's punishment. There is a powerful lesson for all here. In perfect justice God allows our own wilfulness and folly to chasten us, and (hopefully) to teach us the wisdom that exactly as we sow, we reap. *



21 And it shall come to pass in that day [yom], that a man shall nourish [keep alive] a young cow, and two sheep;

"Young cow" is "heifer" elsewhere, and our minds go to the "red heifer" whose sacrificial ashes cleansed from defilement: clearly a type of Jesus. "And two sheep": the two folds of the faithful that make up the one true flock. *


22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk [cholov] that they shall give he shall eat butter [cream]: for butter [thickened milk] and honey [devash] shall every one eat that is left in the land.

The "butter and honey" that all the remnant eat who remain "in the land" must be the same butter and honey that guided and nourished Immanuel in verse 15. *


23 And it shall come to pass in that day [yom], that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines [gefen] at a thousand silverlings [kesef], it shall even be for briers and thorns.


The "briars and thorns" are the wicked nation, reverted to its fierce and useless and destructive natural animal state. "Briars and thorns" is a common scriptural symbol of wild and unfruitful people, specially those upon whom cultivation has been expended without result. *


24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land [ kol ha'aretz] shall become briers and thorns.

The "arrows and bows" (v. 24) are the invaders God sends upon the land because of the briar-and-thorn condition. *


25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock [hoed with a hoe], 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 [pasturing of cattle, and for the treading place of seh].

But still above the lower level of briars and thorns that cover the land in general, "hills" arise that are diligently cultivated and productive, and where the briars and thorns cannot come and are not feared. These little hills of faithful fruitfulness in the general barrenness of the nation, are for the "sending forth of oxen," the zealously labouring apostles and preachers of the Gospel. And the "lesser cattle" (Revised Version: sheep) are the flock of the redeemed.

"Feed my sheep" (Jn. 21:16). *

* Bro Growcott - Prince of Peace