WRITE ON IT: Other allusions to writing: Isa 8:16;
29:11,18; 30:8; 34:16; Jer 32:14; 36:4; Hab 2:2,3.
MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ: "Speed-spoil-haste-prey": a name
of both comfort (v 4: retribution on Syria and Israel) and warning (vv 7,8: the
same thing could happen to Judah).
URIAH: In 2Ki 16:10-16 he appears in an unfavorable
light, as he complies without complaint with certain undesirable changes in the
temple worship at the request of Ahaz.
ZECHARIAH SON OF JEBEREKIAH: Almost certainly Ahaz's
father-in-law and grandfather of Hezekiah (2Ch 29:1), and prob a wholesome
influence on his grandson
Figure of mother and children in Isaiah: Isa 8:3,4; 11:8;
26:17,18; 28:9; 45:10,11; 46:3,4; 49:15,20-23; 54:1; 60:16; 66:11-13.
PROPHETESS: Others were Deborah (Jdg 4:4) and Huldah
(2Ch 34:22). Where are her prophecies? Poss Isa 5 ("beloved" is masc); Isa 40
(Isa 40:9 is fem: "she who brings good news"); and numerous refs in Isa 40-66 to
women and marriage and children.
THE WEALTH OF DAMASCUS: The first Assyrian devastation
of Syria ended Rezin's reign (2Ki 16:9).
THE PLUNDER OF SAMARIA: Not recorded in Scripture;
however, must have occurred at about the same time. The complete overthrow of
both kingdoms was finally accomplished by Shalmaneser V (2Ki 17:6;
THIS PEOPLE HAS REJECTED...: Rejected what? Both the
offer of a sign to Ahaz (Isa 7:11), and the solemn Maher-shalal... warning (Isa
8:4). Cp Isa 30:12. Literally rejected were the sweet waters of the conduit for
the Gihon Spring and Virgin's Fountain -- begun in Ahaz's reign but not
completed? (Cp Joh 9:7: the blind man did not refuse these waters!)
Through the sacred page flow two very different streams. The
raging torrent, the seasonal river overflowing its banks, is used by Isaiah as a
figure for the advancing Assyrians (Isa 8:7,8). The waters thereof roar and are
troubled; proud billows and lashing waves, lofty as hills, sweep aside mountains
in their path (Psa 46:3). But in their tumultuous course the wild waters come at
last against the immovable height of Zion (Psa 125:1): "Hitherto shalt thou
come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed" (Job 38:11). For
here, beneath Zion's hill, flows another stream which is the secret of her
survival. It is not harsh and overpowering; its waters go softly (Isa 8:6)
through the rock-hewn channels of Hezekiah's conduit (2Ki 20:20) into the pool
of Siloam (John 9:7). It brings life to thirsty watchmen on Zion's walls. In its
silent, unerring course it symbolizes the sure and certain purposes of God. Its
whispering waters speak in a still, small voice of the blessings of faith in
God. This is the river of life, the streams whereof make glad the city of God,
the holy places of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst of her;
God shall help her; the Lord of Hosts is with us -- here is the promise of
Immanuel again (Psa 46:4,5,11). Let us drink of this stream; its quiet waters
will restore our souls and bring us inward peace in the midst of stormy
THE MIGHTY FLOODWATERS OF THE RIVER: The chaotic waters
are perhaps intended to conjure up the picture -- familiar in Canaanite and
Babylonian mythology -- of the god's (ie, in this case, Yahweh's) primordial
victory over Leviathan the "god" of the sea: see Lesson, Leviathan -- esp "OT
REACHING UP TO THE NECK: But not over the "head"
ITS OUTSTRETCHED WINGS: An allusion to the "cherubim"
which were an essential part of Assyrian religion: winged ox-lions, with human
faces (borrowed from Israel? or handed down from the days of Noah?).
WILL COVER THE BREADTH OF YOUR LAND, O IMMANUEL: A
stark and vulgar contrast to the overshadowing protection of the cherubim-wings
O IMMANUEL: Yet the mention of Immanuel makes clear
that the Assyrian would have no right to be there. "The Land is mine" (Lev
25:23)! (So the prophecy about Immanuel must have had an immediate fulfillment,
RAISE THE WAR CRY: Or "associate yourselves" (AV), like
the enemies of God in Psa 2.
NATIONS: Usual word for Israel: so may ref the Northern
DISTANT LANDS: Thus ref Syria.
BE SHATTERED: Like a potter's vessel: Psa 2:9; Rev
CONSPIRACY: "Confederacy" (AV) or "treaty" (NIV mg).
Some in Judah wanted to confederate with Syria and Israel against Assyria.
Others wanted to confederate with Assyria. Still others were thinking of joining
with Egypt (Isa 19:1; 30:2; cp 2Co 6:14-18). All such alliances with the Gentile
nations were sin. Yet men like Isaiah were considered traitors for saying so (cp
SANCTUARY: Christ = tabernacle among men (Joh 1:14).
God was in Christ (2Co 5:19-21; Rom 8:3).
A STONE THAT CAUSES MEN TO STUMBLE: The original
"foundation stone" was the altar-rock of Zion -- which was probably the site
where Abraham prepared to offer Isaac (Gen 22: cp v 9 there with Psa 118:27),
and which was probably also the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite on mount
Moriah (2Sa 24:18-25). The wicked Ahaz, infected with a zest for the worship of
foreign gods, removed the altar of burnt-offering from its prominent place atop
this foundation stone, and "hid" it away in a corner of the Temple enclosure
(2Ki 16:14). Yet whilst the true altar might be set aside, there was no way to
shift the massive outcropping of rock on which it had stood (it is still there
today, in the center of the Dome of the Rock). Thus, in Ahaz's day it remained
-- quite literally -- a "stone of stumbling" (Isa 8:14,15) for priests walking
across the temple court, and a "rock of offence" in a spiritual sense.
It was only when Hezekiah came into full control of the
kingdom that he could remedy this sacrilege, and restore the Temple worship to
its rightful setting. And so the "stone" rejected by the new "builders" of Judah
became, once again, a precious stone and a sure foundation for the true worship
of the Lord (Isa. 28:16).
It is easy, then, to see how this foundation stone symbolized
Hezekiah himself (and his faith in the Lord), upon which all true worship in
Judah depended. While sick unto death, he had been "set aside" by other would-be
"builders" and rulers, but when miraculously healed he would stand forth again
as the chief prince of his people. (See further on WBS 111-116.)
(NT) Christ is the "stone" which cannot be hidden or removed,
and over which men "stumble" (cp Rom 9:32 with Isa 8:14 and Isa 26:8; also see
1Pe 2:6-8; Psa 118:22.
A ROCK THAT MAKES THEM FALL: The God of Israel = a
Rock: Isa 10:26; 26:4; 30:29).
I AND THE CHILDREN... WE ARE SIGNS: This refers to
Shear-jashub (7:3) and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (8:1,3). Or, "signs and portents."
The names of all three individuals has symbolic value. Isaiah's name (which
meant "the LORD delivers") was a reminder that the LORD was the nation's only
source of protection; Shear-jashub's name (Isa 7:3) was meant, at least
originally, to encourage Ahaz, and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz's name (Isa 8:1,3,4)
was a guarantee that God would defeat Israel and Syria.
// Exo 22:18; Lev 20:6,26; Deu 18:9-12.
"If they speak not according to this word, there will be for
them no morning." This translation, following the AV mg, emphasizes that, for
such as the prophet here describes, there will indeed be no "dawn" (Isa 26:19;
Psa 110:3), or no resurrection.
Vv 21,22: "The judgment brought by God's instrument, the
conquering Assyrian, would leave the people roughly handled and desperately
hungry through the famine of war. And in their anger with themselves for
deserving such a fate they would curse their weak useless king Ahaz and the
pagan god he had sought to exalt. More than this, they would curse the brutal
Assyrian king and the foreign god he sought to vindicate against Jehovah. the
wretched people would look up to heaven in mute despair and look also to their
ravaged Land (Isa 5:30) and find no answer to their clamant needs. Instead, only
harrowing perplexity (sw Luk 21:25) and gloom (as in Joel 2:2) as multitudes of
captives were driven away into captivity (cp Deu 30:1,4)" (WIsa