Judah's True Hope: The Messianic King (7-12) OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION 1) To note the prophecies of Isaiah during reign of Ahaz, king of Judah, those related to the Assyrian invasion and those that looked to the coming of the Messiah 2) To glean principles related to God's use of the nations in exercising His judgment 3) To consider "prophetic suggestion" as a concept to understanding Biblical prophecy SUMMARY Chapters seven through twelve complete the first major section of the book of Isaiah (Prophecies Concerning Judah And Jerusalem, chs. 1-12). They contain historical narrative and prophecies delivered during the time of Ahaz, king of Judah (ca. 735-732 B.C.). Jerusalem was being threatened by Syria and Israel for refusing to join them in their resistance against Assyria. Ahaz and Judah were tempted to seek help from Assyria in the north and Egypt in the south. Isaiah and his sons were used by God to encourage Ahaz and his nation to trust in the Lord, not political alliances. Isaiah's prophetic utterances not only looked to the more immediate deliverance from God, but also to the time in which God would provide ultimate deliverance for Judah. This section can therefore be entitled, "Judah's True Hope: The Messianic King (7-12)" (as outlined by Edward J. Young). Chapter seven describes The Syrian-Israel Crisis in which God sent Isaiah and his son to encourage Ahaz and offer a sign from the Lord. Though rebuffed by Ahaz, the Lord provides a sign related to a son to be born of a virgin whose name would be Immanuel ("God with us"). Some commentators opine that this prophecy had an initial fulfillment during the time of Ahaz, but was intended by God to offer hope for a time yet in the future: "...nothing is more common in Isaiah than for him to commence a prophecy with reference to some remarkable deliverance which was soon to occur, and to terminate it by a statement of events connected with a higher deliverance under the Messiah. By the laws of 'prophetic suggestion,' the mind of the prophet seized upon resemblances and analogies; was carried on to future times, which were suggested by something that he was saying or contemplating as about to occur, until the mind was absorbed, and the primary object forgotten in the contemplation of the more remote and glorious event." (Barnes). That this sign finds its ultimate fulfillment in the birth of the Messiah is evident from Matthew's inspired application of it in his gospel (Mt 1:18-23). While the sign was intended to show that Judah would be safe from the threatened invasion by Syria and Israel, Isaiah does foresee that Judah will later suffer desolation from Assyria and Egypt, the very nations from which Ahaz was seeking help (7:1-25)! Beginning with another sign (though some relate it to the same sign in 7:14) involving a son of Isaiah, we find prophecies pertaining to The Assyrian Invader. Syria and Israel will fall at the hands of the kings of Assyria, who will then pass through Judah seeking to destroy it as well. Judah is encouraged to place their trust in God and His Word with the assurance that better days are ahead. This sparks another glimpse into the time of the Messiah, when His coming and government will usher in peace and justice. In the meantime, Assyria's schemes are restricted by God, who will allow the invader to do only what fits the Divine Purpose in disciplining Judah and preserving a remnant of Israel. Once that purpose is accomplished, God will judge Assyria for its own arrogance (8:1-10:34). The prophecies concerning the invasion by Assyria and its aborted end are followed by prophecies related to Judah's Hope In The Messiah. From the branch of Jesse (the father of David) will come One who will reign in righteousness and peace, in Whom even the Gentiles will seek. The Lord will recover a remnant of Israel "a second time" to participate in His reign. They will be moved to offer hymns of praise for God's wonderful salvation, inviting others to join with them (11:1-12:6). As suggested before, the Messianic prophecies may be looking to the time of the Messiah as a whole (prophetic foreshortening), in which the inauguration of the Lord's kingdom and its culmination are described as one picture seen from a great distance. The actual fulfillment, its timing (what relates to the first coming of Christ, what relates to His second coming) and nature (is it literal or figurative), can be fully understood only as it comes to pass and with the help of inspired interpretations provided by the Lord and His apostles (e.g., Lk 24:44-47; 2Pe 3:13-14). OUTLINE I. THE SYRIAN-ISRAEL CRISIS (7:1-25) A. AHAZ THE FEARFUL... 1. Jerusalem besieged by Syria and Israel - 7:1-2; cf. 2Ki 16:5 a. In the days of Ahaz (ca. 735-732 B.C.) b. A coalition of Rezin king of Syria and Pekah king of Israel c. Ahaz and his people shaken 2. Isaiah and his son sent to encourage Ahaz - 7:3-9 a. He and Shear-Jashub ("A Remnant Shall Return") sent to Ahaz b. Ahaz told not to fear the plotting of Rezin and Pekah c. For within sixty-five years Ephraim (i.e., Israel, where Syria's forces were deployed) will be broken d. Ahaz must have faith for him to be established B. THE LORD'S SIGN... 1. Ahaz refuses a sign from the Lord - 7:10-13 a. Ahaz offered the opportunity to ask for a sign b. He refuses, hypocritically refusing to test the Lord 2. The sign of the child Immanuel - 7:14-16 a. A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, whose name shall be Immanuel b. Before the child to know right from wrong, the land will be forsaken by both kings C. THE COMING DESOLATION... 1. The Lord will call for Assyria and Egypt - 7:17-20 a. Nations that Ahaz thought might deliver him - cf. 2Ki 16:7 b. Whom the Lord will use to bring desolation upon Judah! 2. The desolation in those days - 7:21-25 a. Curds and honey for those left in the land b. It will become a place of briers and thorns II. THE ASSYRIAN INVADER (8:1-10:34) A. THE DOWNFALL OF DAMASCUS AND SAMARIA FORETOLD... 1. The sign of Mahar-Shalal-Hash-Baz ("Speed the Spoil, Hasten the Booty") - 8:1-3 a. Isaiah told to record the name in the presence of witnesses b. He and the prophetess have a son, his name Mahar-Shalal-Hash-Baz 2. Before the child would know his parents, the riches and spoil of Damascus and Samaria would be taken by the king of Assyria - 8:4 B. ASSYRIA WILL PASS THROUGH JUDAH... 1. Because the people rejected the waters of Shiloah, trusting more in Rezin and Pekah - 8:5-6; cf. Jer 2:13,18 2. The 'waters' of Assyria will fill Judah (Immanuel's land) to the neck - 8:7-8 3. Yet the plans of Assyria will not stand, for "God is with us" (Immanuel) - 8:9-10 C. CONFIDENCE TO BE PLACED IN GOD... 1. Fear Him - 8:11-15 a. Not conspiracy theories or threats b. The Lord will be a sanctuary, but a stumbling block and rock of offense to those who don't believe - cf. 1Pe 2:7-8 2. The prophet's own trust and confidence in the Lord - 8:16-18 a. The testimony (i.e., prophecy) to be bound and sealed - cf. the scroll, 8:1-2 b. He will wait on the Lord and hope in Him c. He and his children are signs from the Lord of hosts - cf. 7:3; 8:1-4 3. Mediums and wizards not to be consulted - 8:19-22 a. People should seek their God! b. They should look to the law and testimony (His Word) - cf. 8:1-4,16-17 c. If not, they will wander in trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish 4. Better days are coming (i.e., the days of the Messiah) - 9:1-7 a. Those in Zebulun and Naphtali (Galilee) will see a great light - cf. Mt 4:12-17 b. The yoke and rod of oppression will be broken, as in day of Midian - cf. Judg 7:22-25 c. A Child will be born, His government of peace and justice will have no end - Lk 1:30-33 D. THE COMING DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL... 1. Israel (Ephraim and Samaria) to fall despite their arrogance - 9:8-12 a. Despite their arrogance and attempts to rebuild b. The Syrians and Philistines shall devour Israel c. Even so, God's anger is not turned away 2. Israel to fall for refusing to repent - 9:13-17 a. They do not turn to God nor seek Him b. Their leaders will be removed, for they have misled Israel; the young men, the fatherless, the widows, they are all hypocrites and evildoers c. Even so, God's anger is not turned away 3. Israel's punishment described - 9:18-21 a. The land is burned up, the people as fuel for the fire b. Brother will turn against brother, Manasseh against Ephraim c. Even so, God's anger is not turned away 4. Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees - 10:1-4 a. Who rob the needy of justice, prey on widows and the fatherless b. Desolation from afar will come, they shall be taken captive or fall among the slain c. Even so, God's anger is not turned away E. THE FUTILE BOASTING OF ASSYRIA... 1. It arrogantly believes it conquers by its own strength - 10:5-11 a. It is the rod of God's anger, used to punish His people (Israel, then Judah) b. It presumes that it can do to Jerusalem what it did to other nations and their gods 2. God will punish Assyria when He through using it - 10:12-19 a. When the Lord has finished His work on Mount Zion and Jerusalem b. The Lord will then punish the king of Assyria for his arrogance c. Assyria is but an instrument in the hand of God d. The Lord will send leanness, a burning fire to consume the glory of his forest and field F. THE DELIVERANCE BY THE LORD... 1. A remnant of Israel will be saved - 10:20-23 a. Those who will never again depend on him (Assyria) who defeated him b. They will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel c. A remnant will return after the Lord makes a determined end in the land 2. Therefore those in Zion (Judah) should not fear the Assyrian - 10:24-27 a. Though he strike you with the rod and lift his staff against you, as did Egypt b. Yet a little while, and God's indignation and anger will cease c. The Lord of hosts will then stir up a scourge for him like He did Midian and Egypt - cf. Judg 7:25; Exo 14:21-31 d. The Assyrian's burden and yoke will be removed and destroyed 3. The march and defeat of Sennacherib (king of Assyria) foretold - 10:28-34 a. He will advance through Aith, Migron, Michmash, Geba, Ramah, Gibeah, etc. b. He will threaten Zion and Jerusalem c. The Lord of hosts will cut his forest (army) down - cf. 2Ki 19:32-37 III. JUDAH'S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH (11:1-12:6) A. THE REIGN OF THE "BRANCH"... 1. A reign of righteousness - 11:1-5 a. A "Rod" or "Branch" will come from the stem of Jesse (David's father) b. The Spirit of the Lord will be upon Him, His delight in the fear of the Lord c. He will judge with righteousness, equity, and the rod of His mouth d. He will be adorned with righteousness and faithfulness 2. A reign of peace - 11:6-10 a. The wolf and the lamb, etc., will dwell together and a little child shall lead them b. No harm shall be in His holy mountain, the earth full of the knowledge of the Lord c. The Root of Jesse will stand as a banner, Gentiles will seek Him d. His resting place will be glorious B. THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL... 1. The Lord shall recover them - 11:11 a. Setting His hand "the second time" (the restoration being the first?) b. From areas where they have been taken into captivity 2. They shall be restored and reign over the nations - 11:12-16 a. Those outcast and dispersed of Judah shall be assembled from the four corners b. The rivalry between Judah and Ephraim (Israel) shall cease c. They shall dominate their former enemies (Edom, Moab, Ammon, Egypt) d. There will be a highway for the remnant of His people left from Assyria C. THE HYMN OF PRAISE... 1. Because of the salvation God brings them - 12:1-3 a. Though once angry, the Lord will be the source of comfort - cf. 2Co 1:3-4 b. God will become their salvation, their strength and song - cf. Ep 6:10; Php 4:13 c. With joy they will draw from the wells of salvation - cf. Jn 4:13-14 2. Inviting others to join in songs of praise - 12:4-6 a. To praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His deeds, exalt His name b. To sing to the Lord for the excellent things He has done c. To cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst - cf. 1Pe 2:9; Re 21:2-3 REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION 1) What is suggested as the theme of Isaiah chapters 7-12? - Judah's True Hope: The Messianic King 2) Who was the king of Judah at this time? Was he good or evil? (7:1; 2Ki 16:1-4) - Ahaz; a very wicked king who burned his children in the fire (cf. 2 Chr 28:3) 3) What two kings of what two nations were besieging Jerusalem? (7:1) - Rezin king of Syria and Pekah king of Israel 4) What was Isaiah told to tell Ahaz and the house of David about these kings? (7:4-7) - Do not fear, their plans will fail 5) What sign did the Lord give to the house of Israel? To whom did it ultimately refer? (7:14) - The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son whose name shall be called Immanuel - Mary and the birth of Jesus (cf. Mt 1:18-23) 6) What would happen within the time frame of the sign? (7:16) - The two kings feared by Ahaz would be gone 7) Instead of the two nations Ahaz feared, what two nations would desolate Judah? (7:17-19) - Assyria and Egypt 8) What was the name of Isaiah's second son? What does it mean? (8:3) - Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz; "Speed the Spoil, Hasten The Booty" 9) What would happen before the child was old enough to know his parents? (8:4) - The riches of Damascus (capital of Syria) and the spoil of Samaria (capital of Israel) would be taken away by the king of Assyria 10) Why would this desolation come upon Judah? (8:6) - The people rejected the "waters of Shiloah" (i.e., God) and rejoiced in the kings of Syria and Israel 11) What did God tell Isaiah he should do? To those who heeded the Lord, what would He be? To those who did not? (8:13-14) - To hallow the Lord, to fear the Lord - As a sanctuary; a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense 12) To whom was Isaiah not to turn? Where was he to look instead? (8:19-20) - Mediums and wizards; to the law and the testimony 13) What hope was offered to those who lived in Galilee (northern Israel)? When was this prophecy fulfilled? (9:1-2) - Upon those who walked in darkness, a light will shine; during Jesus' ministry (cf. Mt 4:13-18) 14) What would the Child or Son who would govern be called? (9:6) - Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace 15) What would be the nature of His government? (9:7) - Peace and justice on the throne of David and His kingdom, ever increasing without end 16) Why would judgment come upon Israel, the northern kingdom? (9:8-9, 13) - Because of their arrogance, and for refusing to return to the Lord 17) What means would God use to chasten Israel? (9:11-12,19-21) - The adversaries of Rezin (king of Syria) in Syria, along with the Philistines - Civil war among the Israelites themselves as brother turns against brother 18) What other misdeeds of Israel angered God? (10:1-4) - Leaders who decreed unrighteous decrees, robbing the needy of justice and oppressing the poor, widows and fatherless 19) What phrase is repeated four times to show that worse was yet to come? (9:12,17,21; 10:4) - "For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still." 20) How did God view Assyria in His plans? (10:5-6) - The rod of His anger, the staff of His indignation, sent to spoil His people 21) How did the king of Assyria view his conquests? (10:7-11) - They were the results of his own design and power 22) What would God do to the king of Assyria once His work on Jerusalem was done? (10:12) - Punish him for his arrogance 23) What would be the end result of God's use of Assyria on Israel? (10: 20-23) - A remnant would return to God and never depend on such nations again 24) So what does the Lord tell His people who live in Zion or Jerusalem? (10:24-27) - Do not fear the Assyrian, for yet a little while the indignation will cease 25) When the king of Assyria made his way near Jerusalem, what would he do? (10:28-32) - Shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion 26) What would the Lord do in return? (10:33-34) - Humble the haughty and cut down his forest, i.e., army (cf. 2 Kin 19:32-37) 27) What was to come from the roots of Jesse? (11:1) - A Rod and a Branch 28) What was to rest upon Him? What would be His delight? (11:2-3) - The Spirit of the Lord; the fear of the Lord 29) How shall He judge the poor and meek? How shall He slay the wicked? (11:4-5) - With righteousness and equity; with the breath of His lips 30) How is the peaceful nature of His kingdom depicted? (11:6-9) - The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, etc.; a little child shall lead them - The infant shall not be harmed playing among a poisonous snake; they shall not hurt nor destroy in His holy mountain 31) Who shall seek the Root of Jesse? What is said of His resting place? (11:10) - Gentiles shall seek Him; it shall be glorious 32) Whom shall the Lord set His hand to recover a second time? (11:11) - The remnant of His people 33) In that day what would the remnant do? What would they encourage others to do? (12:1,4) - Praise the Lord as the God of their salvation; praise the Lord and call upon His name
Isaiah sent to king Ahaz
[Isa 7:1-25 NKJV] 1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, [that] Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to [make] war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told to the house of David, saying, "Syria's forces are deployed in Ephraim." So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind. 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller's Field, 4 "and say to him: 'Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. 5 'Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, 6 "Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel"-- 7 'thus says the Lord GOD:
"It shall not stand,
Nor shall it come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria [is] Damascus, And the head of Damascus [is] Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, [So that it will] not [be] a people.
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." ' "
The Immanuel prophecy
10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 "Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above." 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!" 13 Then he said, "Hear now, O house of David! [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 "Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 "For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. 17 "The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house--days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah."
18 And it shall come to pass in that day [That] the LORD will whistle for the fly That [is] in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, And for the bee that [is] in the land of Assyria.
19 They will come, and all of them will rest In the desolate valleys and in the clefts of the rocks, And on all thorns and in all pastures.
20 In the same day the Lord will shave with a hired razor, With those from beyond the River, with the king of Assyria, The head and the hair of the legs, And will also remove the beard.
21 It shall be in that day [That] a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep;
22 So it shall be, from the abundance of milk they give, That he will eat curds; For curds and honey everyone will eat who is left in the land.
23 It shall happen in that day, [That] wherever there could be a thousand vines [Worth] a thousand [shekels] of silver, It will be for briers and thorns.
24 With arrows and bows [men] will come there, Because all the land will become briers and thorns.
25 And to any hill which could be dug with the hoe, You will not go there for fear of briers and thorns; But it will become a range for oxen And a place for sheep to roam.