The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 7 Part 1

We continue on with Isaiah 7:1-9

There is a big difference between tempting someone to do something wrong and having your faith tested. G-d never tempts, encourages, or puts anyone in a situation with the intent that they are tempted to sin. G-d is never part of anything that is sinful. At times, however, He allows us to be put into situations where our faith will be tested. He does this to mature us, and so that we can bear witness of our faith. When we are tested it helps us to understand where we are spiritually. When we are tested it provides us with an opportunity to act faithfully and to accomplish the will of G-d by being a G-dly witness to others. 

v1: King of Judah: The emphasis is on the southern kingdom of Israel (called Judah). The capital city of this southern kingdom was Jerusalem.

  • Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel (the northern kingdom – ie the other nine tribes of Israel and some of the tribe of Levi)These two kings banded together and wanted to war, as one army, against Jerusalem. This northern kingdom of Israel was more populated and had greater resources than the southern kingdom. They also had an alliance with this king of Syria. 
  • Could not prevail against it (literally: her): G-d did not allow these two kingdoms to defeat the southern kingdom. 

v2: The house of David: This is a very important, prophetic term. The sages of Judaism says that it is a Messianic term. It speaks of those who believe in the Messianic promise – viz Redemption. If there is redemption it means that there is a Redeemer. This term refers to those who have faith in the promises of G-d. 

  • Ephraim: The northern kingdom was known as Israel, but it was also known as Ephraim. This confederacy between Ephraim and Syria had already been established, but now this news was being broadcast to the southern kingdom, as they had previously been unaware of that alliance. 
  • Moved: Shook. When King Ahaz and the people of the southern kingdom heard that this alliance had been made, they were terrified. They knew that they were outnumbered, and they knew that this powerful Confederacy was gearing up for war and, ultimately, for the destruction of their southern kingdom and of Jerusalem. 

v3: Isaiah: His name means ‘G-d who is salvation’. G-d had a plan to save His people. 

  • Shear-Jashub: This name means ‘A remnant will return’. In this passage G-d, through Isaiah, is reminding His people of His promise of redemption. Part of this redemptive promise is that there’s going to be a remnant that returns back to the land in order for the establishment of the kingdom. The name of Isaiah’s son speaks about G-d’s promise of restoration. It speaks about a future reality of redemption. 
  • The upper pool: Traditionally, the sages of Judaism say that this was where the people would go out and have their clothes washed. In the Bible, clean clothes speak about good deeds (Rev 19:8). Good deeds are done as an outcome of faith. When faith is functional, its fruit is good deeds. When faith is dead, no works are seen (Faith without works is dead). Our works do not save us, but, once we are saved, our faith causes us to do good works and testifies to our salvation. It was significant that Isaiah was to meet Ahaz in this location. It is a location that speaks about a change, a clean garment, a new identity. G-d was wanting to bring change to Ahaz and to this southern kingdom. 

v4: Say to him: G-d wanted Isaiah, His prophet, to go to Ahaz with revelation and with instructions. 

  • Take heed: Guard yourself. This is also a word that can relate to paying attention in a spiritual sense. 
  • Do not…be fainthearted: Take courage. Prophecy has the ability to strengthen our hearts. It can cause us to have courage. When we are courageous, we can faithfully carry our G-d’s instruction. 
  • Smoking firebrands (embers)As a large coal burns in the fire it gets smaller and smaller until it is just a little ember. This is how G-d sees these two invading kings and this is how He wants Ahaz to see them. 
  • Smoking: The imagery that G-d is using here is that these two kings are like smoke – they are no longer burning with fire, but they are on the brink of being snuffed out or extinguished. G-d did not want Ahaz to fear these kings or this confederacy. 

v5: Taken evil counsel against you: These kings had discussed and reached an agreement to destroy the southern kingdom and Jerusalem. This, however, did not mean that this was G-d’s purpose for the southern kingdom at that time. It is always G-d’s purpose that will prevail. 

v6: Note: This is the evil that the kings of Syria and Ephraim counselled. 

  • Make a gap: Break through. This would imply breaking through the walls of Jerusalem – breaching them. 
  • The son of Tabeel: This is the man they wanted to set as king over the southern kingdom. He would have been a puppet king who would have done the bidding of these other two kings. 

v7: Note: In this verse G-d starts to give them revelation. 

  • Says: Although it is written in the present tense in our English translations it is written in the past tense (‘said’) in the Hebrew BibleIt had not happened yet and was something that was going to happen in the future. The use of the past tense (as if it has already happened) speaks of the assurance of prophecy. When G-d speaks about future events, from His perspective, they are as good as done. We need to accept G-d’s Word no matter how futuristic or how unlikely it may seem in our eyes. 
  • It shall not stand: This confederacy is doomed. Despite their manpower and despite their resources they were not going to be able to do what they had planned (see 2 Kings 16:5). 

v8: Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken: This breaking up of the northern kingdom happened in its totality at around 721/722 BC. 

v9: Remaliah’s son: Throughout this prophecy Pekah (he is only mentioned once by name) is called ‘Remaliah’s son’. He was not an individual who was going to be successful. He was an inadequate leader and was unable to carry out his own desires. 

  • If you will not believe: Isaiah is now addressing Ahaz. Ahaz needed to have faith in the promises of G-d. He needed to take hold of the promises of G-d, as it is faith that pleases G-d. This was Ahaz’s test. Did he have faith in the promises of G-d? 
  • You shall not be established: If Ahaz did not take hold of the promises of G-d, then his kingdom was not going to be established, it would not be built on a firm foundation. 

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