Isaiah commands King Ahaz to ask God for a sign. But he refuses. So God will provide the sign of Immanuel.
VERSE 1. In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
Ahaz the son of Jotham. He reigned from 736 to 717 BC.
Pekah the son of Remaliah. He reigned from 752 to 732 BC.
went up to Jerusalem to war against it. They were going to attack Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. Based on the timeframe of the two kings (see above), the war would have taken place sometime between 736 and 732 BC.
VERSE 2. David’s house was told, “Syria is allied with Ephraim.” His heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind.
VERSE 3. Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you, and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller’s field.
Shear-jashub, your son. The prophet Isaiah had a son. Two, in fact.
Isaiah 36:2. The king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a large army. He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller’s field highway.
VERSE 4. Tell him, ‘Be careful, and keep calm. Don’t be afraid, neither let your heart be faint because of these two tails of smoking torches, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
Be careful, and keep calm. Don’t be afraid. The Bible often tells us to not be afraid. Here Isaiah tells king Ahaz to not be afraid. Naturally, the king was afraid when Jerusalem was under attack.
these two tails of smoking torches. Isaiah views these two enemies of God as weak and pathetic.
VERSE 5. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have plotted evil against you, saying,
VERSE 6. “Let’s go up against Judah, and tear it apart, and let’s divide it among ourselves, and set up a king within it, even the son of Tabeel.”
It shall not stand, neither shall it happen. That is, the invasion will never happen. Perhaps Isaiah knew this by some mysterious revelation from God. Or perhaps Isaiah knew it by understanding the times, as seems apparent in verse eight below.
VERSE 8. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be broken in pieces, so that it shall not be a people.
VERSE 9. The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.’ ”
NIV translation. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.
If you will not believe. The goal is to stand firm in our faith. This is the foundation of all else.
surely you shall not be established. If we falter in our faith, we will not stand. If the robustness of our faith falters, so will everything else. Our lives are built upon the foundation of our faith. If the foundation is weak, the whole house totters. But if our faith is growing in strength, the whole superstructure of our lives will grow stronger.
1 Samuel 13:6. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were distressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in tombs, and in pits.
VERSE 10. The LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying,
Ask a sign of the LORD your God. King Ahaz was instructed to ask the LORD God for a sign.
Many people have a notion, based on some mistaken sense of piety, that they shouldn’t “tempt” the Lord by asking for anything.
But the biblical evidence is clear: it delights God when we ask him for things, even signs and miracles! Ask and it shall be given you!
We are to commanded to ask! Read more »
either in the depth, or in the height above. Ahaz was to make his challenge as difficult as he could imagine. It could be as high as heaven or as low as the place of the dead.
I will not ask. Tragically, Ahaz was held back by the popular yet misguided notion that we should not “tempt” God by asking for a sign. He let his own personal piety prevent him from doing what God called him to do.
VERSE 13. He said, “Listen now, house of David. Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God also?
you will try the patience of my God also? It exhausts the patience of God when we do NOT ask him for signs and miracles. We become wearisome when we refuse to act by faith. Conversely, it delights God when we ask him such things. Ask and it will be given you!
We are to commanded to ask! Read more »
VERSE 14. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
the virgin will conceive, and bear a son. Mary becomes pregnant with Jesus.
shall call his name Immanuel. This is one of the many prophetic statements of Isaiah about the Messiah.
Matthew 1:23. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall give birth to a son. They shall call his name Immanuel;” which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”
VERSE 15. He shall eat butter and honey when he knows to refuse the evil and choose the good.
VERSE 16. For before the child knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you abhor shall be forsaken.
VERSE 17. The LORD will bring on you, on your people, and on your father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah, even the king of Assyria.
VERSE 18. It will happen in that day that the LORD will whistle for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
VERSE 19. They shall come, and shall all rest in the desolate valleys, in the clefts of the rocks, on all thorn hedges, and on all pastures.
VERSE 20. In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired in the parts beyond the River, even with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard.
VERSE 21. It shall happen in that day that a man shall keep alive a young cow, and two sheep.
VERSE 22. It shall happen, that because of the abundance of milk which they shall give he shall eat butter; for everyone will eat butter and honey that is left within the land.
VERSE 23. It will happen in that day that every place where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silver shekels,† shall be for briers and thorns.
VERSE 24. People will go there with arrows and with bow, because all the land will be briers and thorns.
VERSE 25. All the hills that were cultivated with the hoe, you shall not come there for fear of briers and thorns; but it shall be for the sending out of oxen, and for sheep to tread on.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.