Isaiah 7:10-17

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask a sign of the Lord your 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 Then Isaiah said: "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria."

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Isaiah 7:10-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 7

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 7:10-17 In-Context

8 For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. (Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.)
9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all.
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask a sign of the Lord your 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 Then Isaiah said: "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria."
18 On that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the sources 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 in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.

Footnotes 3

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.