Isaiah 7

Listen to Isaiah 7

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz

1 In the days of 1Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, 2Rezin the king of Syria and 3Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it.
2 When the house of David was told, 4"Syria is in league with[a]5Ephraim," the heart of Ahaz[b] and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.
3 And the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out to meet Ahaz, you and 6Shear-jashub[c] your son, at the end of 7the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field.
4 And say to him, 8'Be careful, 9be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two 10smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and 11the son of Remaliah.
5 Because Syria, with Ephraim and 12the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying,
6 "Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it[d] for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,"
7 thus says the Lord GOD: 13"'It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is 14Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. And within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is 15the son of Remaliah. 16If you[e] are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.'"

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,
11 "Ask 17a sign of the LORD your[f] God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven."
12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test."
13 And he[g] said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you 18weary my God also?
14 Therefore the 19Lord himself will give you a sign. 20Behold, the 21virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name 22Immanuel.[h]
15 He shall eat 23curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
16 24For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be 25deserted.
17 26The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that 27Ephraim departed from Judah--the king of Assyria."
18 In that day the LORD will 28whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and 29in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.[i]
20 In that day 30the Lord will 31shave with a razor that is 32hired beyond 33the River--with the king of Assyria--the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.
21 34In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep,
22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat 35curds and honey.
23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels[j] of silver, will become 36briers and thorns.
24 37With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns.
25 38And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear 39of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

Images for Isaiah 7

Isaiah 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Ahaz threatened by Israel and Syria; and is assured their attack would be in vain. (1-9) God gives a sure sign by the promise of the long-expected Messiah. (10-16) The folly and sin of seeking relief from Assyria are reproved. (17-25)

Verses 1-9 Ungodly men are often punished by others as bad as themselves. Being in great distress and confusion, the Jews gave up all for lost. They had made God their enemy, and knew not how to make him their friend. The prophet must teach them to despise their enemies, in faith and dependence on God. Ahaz, in fear, called them two powerful princes. No, says the prophet, they are but tails of smoking firebrands, burnt out already. The two kingdoms of Syria and Israel were nearly expiring. While God has work for the firebrands of the earth, they consume all before them; but when their work is fulfilled, they will be extinguished in smoke. That which Ahaz thought most formidable, is made the ground of their defeat; because they have taken evil counsel against thee; which is an offence to God. God scorns the scorners, and gives his word that the attempt should not succeed. Man purposes, but God disposes. It was folly for those to be trying to ruin their neighbours, who were themselves near to ruin. Isaiah must urge the Jews to rely on the assurances given them. Faith is absolutely necessary to quiet and compose the mind in trials.

Verses 10-16 Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the colour of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great soever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels' food. Then follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a terror to Judah. "Before this child," so it may be read; "this child which I have now in my arms," (Shear-jashub, the prophet's own son, ver. ( Isaiah 7:3 ) ,) shall be three or four years older, these enemies' forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if the prospect of the coming of the Divine Saviour was a never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May we trust in and love Him, and copy his example.

Verses 17-25 Let those who will not believe the promises of God, expect to hear the alarms of his threatenings; for who can resist or escape his judgments? The Lord shall sweep all away; and whomsoever he employs in any service for him, he will pay. All speaks a sad change of the face of that pleasant land. But what melancholy change is there, which sin will not make with a people? Agriculture would cease. Sorrows of every kind will come upon all who neglect the great salvation. If we remain unfruitful under the means of grace, the Lord will say, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever.

Cross References 39

  • 1. Isaiah 1:1
  • 2. 2 Kings 15:37; 2 Kings 16:5
  • 3. 2 Kings 15:37; 2 Kings 16:5
  • 4. [Isaiah 8:12]
  • 5. Isaiah 9:9
  • 6. [Isaiah 8:3, 18]
  • 7. Isaiah 36:2; 2 Kings 18:17
  • 8. [Isaiah 8:12]
  • 9. [Exodus 14:13]
  • 10. [Amos 4:11; Zechariah 3:2]
  • 11. ver. 1
  • 12. [See ver. 4 above]
  • 13. Isaiah 8:10
  • 14. Genesis 14:15
  • 15. ver. 1
  • 16. [2 Chronicles 20:20]
  • 17. See 2 Kings 19:29
  • 18. Isaiah 43:24
  • 19. Isaiah 37:30; Isaiah 38:7, 8
  • 20. Isaiah 9:6; Cited Matthew 1:23; [Luke 1:31, 34]
  • 21. Genesis 24:43(Heb.); Exodus 2:8(Heb.); Psalms 68:25(Heb.); Proverbs 30:19(Heb.)
  • 22. Isaiah 8:8, 10
  • 23. ver. 22
  • 24. [Isaiah 8:4]
  • 25. Isaiah 6:12
  • 26. Isaiah 8:7; [2 Chronicles 28:20]
  • 27. 1 Kings 12:16
  • 28. Isaiah 5:26
  • 29. Isaiah 2:19; Jeremiah 13:4; Jeremiah 16:16
  • 30. Isaiah 24:1; See 2 Kings 18:13-16
  • 31. Ezekiel 5:1
  • 32. [Isaiah 10:5, 15]
  • 33. Isaiah 8:7; Isaiah 11:15
  • 34. [Isaiah 5:17]
  • 35. ver. 15
  • 36. Isaiah 5:6
  • 37. [Judges 5:11]
  • 38. Isaiah 32:13, 14
  • 39. [See ver. 23 above]

Footnotes 10

  • [a]. Hebrew Syria has rested upon
  • [b]. Hebrew his heart
  • [c]. Shear-jashub means A remnant shall return
  • [d]. Hebrew let us split it open
  • [e]. The Hebrew for you is plural in verses 9, 13, 14
  • [f]. The Hebrew for you and your is singular in verses 11, 16, 17
  • [g]. That is, Isaiah
  • [h]. Immanuel means God is with us
  • [i]. Or watering holes, or brambles
  • [j]. A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a prophecy of the preservation of the kingdom of Judah, from its enemies; a confirmation of it by a sign; and a prediction of various calamities that should come upon it, antecedent to the accomplishment of that sign. The enemies of Judea are named, and the besieging of Jerusalem by them, and the date of it, which was without effect, are mentioned, Isa 7:1 the fear and dread which seized the house of David upon the news of this confederacy, Isa 7:2 the orders given by the Lord to the Prophet Isaiah, to take with him his son, and meet Ahaz, at a certain place pointed at, Isa 7:3 whose errand was to comfort him, and exhort him to be quiet and easy; since the conspiracy formed against him should be fruitless, and the kingdom of Israel should be broken to pieces, Isa 7:4-9 after which the king is put upon asking a sign of the Lord, for the confirmation of it; which he refusing to do, under a pretence of tempting the Lord, is reproved; and a sign nevertheless is given; which is that of the birth of the Messiah of a virgin, who would be truly God, as his name Immanuel shows, and truly man, as his birth, his food, and gradual knowledge of good and evil, prove, Isa 7:10-15 yea, it is suggested that the deliverance of Judea from the two kings of Syria and Israel should be very speedy; even before the young child Isaiah had with him was capable of knowing to refuse evil, and chose good, Isa 7:16 but as a chastisement of the house of David for their incredulity in this matter, and slight of the divine goodness, various things are threatened to befall them, before the birth of the Messiah; even such as had not been since the revolt of the ten tribes; as that their enemies, the Assyrians and others, should come upon them in great numbers, and fill all places, so that they would be in the utmost distress, and not be able to escape, Isa 7:17-19 there would be a great consumption of men of all sorts, high and low, signified by shaving off the hair of the head, beard, and feet; so that the few that remained would enjoy plenty, Isa 7:20-22 and for want of men to till the land, it would be covered with thorns and briers; and because of wild beasts, the few men in it would be obliged to defend themselves with bows and arrows, Isa 7:23,24 and yet, after this, the land should become fruitful again, before the Messiah's coming, Isa 7:25, as some interpret it.

Isaiah 7 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.