Isaiah 7

Isaiah 7  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 11
With chapter 7 we pass into some historical details of the reign of Ahaz, which are recorded in 2 Kings 15 and 16. He wrought much evil and was now threatened by an alliance against him of Pekah, the usurper on the throne of the ten tribes, and Rezin of Syria. If they had slain or removed Ahaz, they would have broken the line of descent, by which, according to the flesh, Christ came, as indicated in Mattew 1:9. This God was not going to allow, so Isaiah was instructed to take his young son, Shear-Jashub, which means “The remnant shall return”, and intercept Ahaz, telling him their scheme should not succeed, and that within 65 years the northern kingdom should be destroyed.
Invited to ask for a sign that should confirm this prophecy, Ahaz declined, not because he had implicit faith in the word of the Lord but because, swayed by his idols, he was indifferent. Nevertheless the great sign was given— Immanuel, born of a virgin— which was indeed valid, both “in the depth” and “in the height above.” Notice the order of these two expressions, and then read Ephesians 4:99(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (Ephesians 4:9), where it is emphasized that the descent comes before the ascent on high.
After this prophecy had been fulfilled in the coming of Christ the Jews made great efforts to avoid giving the Hebrew word the force of virgin, treating it as meaning merely a young woman; and to this day unbelievers have followed in their train. The Septuagint version, made by Jews long before the prejudice arose, translated the word by the Greek word which without any question means virgin. This one fact effectively destroys the effort to destroy the prophecy.
Verse 15 is admittedly obscure, but we believe it signifies that the coming One, though “GOD with us”, is yet, as born of the virgin, to grow up both physically and mentally according to the laws governing human life. This we see to be the case in Luke 2:40-5240And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:40‑52).
Verse 16 appears to allude to Shear-jashub, who was with Isaiah, for the word translated “child” is not the one so translated in chapter 9:6, but one meaning “lad” or “youth”. The prediction of that verse came to pass through the power and rapacity of the Assyrian kings, as the closing verses of this chapter state. The desolations that would follow are then described.
In all this there is only one hope for Israel, or indeed for any of us, and that is, God himself stepping into the scene by way of the virgin birth. Thus was fulfilled the earliest prophecy of all, that “the Seed of the woman” should be He who would bruise the head of the serpent, the originator of all the sin and sorrow. The virgin birth of Christ is not just a mere detail, an insignificant side issue in the Divine plan. It is fundamental and essential. By it the entail of sin and death, inherent in the race of Adam, was broken. Christ was not “of the earth, earthy”, but “the Second Man... the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:4747The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:47)). In Him, risen from the dead, a new race of man is begun.
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