Tuesday, January 14, 2020

History of the Old Testament Essay

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken. I. Historical context of Isaiah 7:14-16 The historical setting is critical to the account since the prophet supplies it and the oracle draws on its timing. With a close study of the events referred to we may date the oracle in this chapter to 734 B. C. (Ross,Allen) It was when the ruthless Assyrian conqueror, on the throne is Tiglathpileser III, a ruthless and powerful king was terrorizing the all other nations, and Judah, unwilling to join in a coalition against him, was attacked by Israel and Syria, the ancient Aramaea , with its main city in Damascus, and Ephraim, the northern Israelite state, with its main city Samaria and therefore, King Ahaz when he heard of this coalition was thinking seriously of inviting Assyrian help(Tiglathpileser III). It must be pointed out that the whole purpose was to dissuade King Ahaz from embarking a wrong course of action, namely, that of relying upon Assyria rather than upon the Lord. In the name of Jehovah, it was this moment the prophet commences with a historical announcement. Isaiah 7:1 says It came to pass, in the days of Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aramaea, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, and could not make war against it. The Syrian king Rezin had come up against Jerusalem and with him was Pekah of Israel. Their purpose was to wage war, but unable to besiege it the prophecy of the chapter is amazingly accurate. The sign that a boy was about to be born is the pivotal point. Before he would be old enough to tell right from wrong, that is, about 12 years old, the enemies would not only be defeated but cease to exist. According to history, Shalmaneser V (the successor to Tiglathpileser) campaigned against the land and besieged Samaria. He died in the duration and was succeeded by Sargon II who completed the destruction of the northern state in 722 or 721 B. C. So the oracle in Isaiah 7 could be dated about twelve years before that destruction in 722 B. (Ross, Allen ) II. Literary Context of Isaiah 7:14-16 Therefore the Lord Himself give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. The word therefore signifies that something had taken place before the incident forwarded here in verse 14, and inasmuch as the wicked king in hypocritical fashion rejects the opportunity of asking for a sign, then he lost the privilege of asking a sign in his own favor. Instead the Lord Himself will give a sign, and this one of His own choosing, announcing the birth of a wondrous Child as the sign of deliverance, and making the infancy of that Child the measure of the time that Judah is yet to suffer affliction, before the time of deliverance will come. Yet as we have seen because of Ahaz’ unbelief after the comfortable promises made to him as a branch of the house of David, what took place was a terrible threatening against him, as a degenerate branch of that house; for though the God was patience and His loving kindness shall not be utterly taken away, for the sake of David and the covenant made with, yet his inequity shall be dealt with the rod, and his sin with stripes. In fulfillment of the prophecy, the Egyptians and the Assyrians filled the land in their war with each other. Devastation from this war severely tested the people, so that nothing grew in the fields, and the survivors had to rely on curds and honey. This led up to and included the invasion of 701 B. C. under Sennacherib, the next Assyrian king, when Hezekiah was on the throne in Jerusalem, and 200,000 people from Judah were carried off into captivity. As we shall see, the details of the Assyrian crisis are very accurately prophesied in these oracles (Ross, Allen_______& Young, E. J. 1993). III. Commentary on Isaiah 7:14-16 Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Since the King did not ask for a sign that the land shall be delivered from the enemies, Yahweh will furnish one unasked. Yahweh will not withhold it because a proud and contemptuous King refuses to seek it. The LORD himself, He will do it and not hindered though it is rejected and despised; he will do it because of its necessity – for the welfare of the nation, and for the confirmation of his religion, to furnish a demonstration to the people that he is the only true God. It is clearly implied here, that the emphasis is that the sign should be such as Yahweh alone could give. If this refers to the birth of a child, then it means that this was an event which could be known only to God, and which could be accomplished only by his agency. If it refers to the miraculous conception and birth of the Messiah, then it means that that was an event which none but God could accomplish. Shall give you, primarily refers to the house of David; the king and royal family of Judah. It was especially designed to assure the government that the kingdom would be safe. Doubtless, however, the word ‘you’ is designed to include the nation, or the people of the kingdom of Judah. It would be so public a sign, and so clear a demonstration, as to convince them that their city and land must be ultimately safe. A sign, a pledge; a token; an evidence of the fulfillment of what is predicted. The word does not, of necessity, denote a miracle, though it is often so applied; see the notes at Isaiah 7:11. But rather it means a proof, a demonstration, a certain indication that what he had said should come to its fulfillment. Behold this interjection serves to designate persons and things; places and actions. It is used in lively descriptions, and animated discourse; or when anything unusual was said, or occurred; it means, that an event was to occur which demanded the attention of the unbelieving King, and the regard of the people-an event which would be a full demonstration of what the prophet had said. A virgin, it is used in its obvious natural sense, to denote a young, unmarried female. The derivatives are applied to youth; to young men; to young women-to those who â€Å"are growing up,† and becoming youths. This virgin as used in his word properly means a girl, maiden, virgin, a young woman who is unmarried, and who is of marriageable age. And shall call his name, it was usual for â€Å"mothers† to give names to their children. The idea is, it is the â€Å"appropriate† name that would be given to the child. Although another name was also given to this child, expressing substantially the same thing, with a circumstantial difference. Immanuel a Hebrew name which means ‘God with us’ – the name is designed to denote that God would be with the nation as its protector, and the birth of this child would be a sign or pledge of it. The name, Immanuel, denotes nothing more than divine aid and protection. Others have supposed, however, that the name must denote the assumption of our nature by God in the person of the Messiah, that is, that God became man. The true interpretation is, that no argument to prove that can be derived from the use of the name; but when the fact of the incarnation has been demonstrated from other sources, the â€Å"name is appropriately expressive of that event. ( Barnes, 1997). Isaiah 7:15 He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. (NASV) Young( ), showed that the infancy of the promised Messiah is made the measure of the time that Judah will be in danger from her two enemies. This thought namely, namely the duration of a period of difficulty, is expressed symbolically in that Immanuel iws pictured as subsisting during His infancy on curds and honey, which was symbolical royal diet. From the time of His birth, supposedly, the Child will eat this peculiar food, and at the time when He can discern between good and evil, rejecting the one and choosing the other, He will be eating these things. At an early age a child learns to reject evil and to choose good, or at least to distinguish between the two. Thus, by means of this measure, we learn that the affliction or desolation of the two enemy kings is short-lived, possibly only two or three years. The reference may be to what is injurious or useful in life but in the light of the usage of this phrase in Genesis 2, it clearly refers also to what is morally good and evil. Isaiah 7:16 For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken. (NASV) The land that you dread, the land concerning which thou art so much â€Å"alarmed or distressed;† that is, the united land of Syria and Ephraim. Refers to one land, because they were united then in a firm alliance, so as to constitute, in fact, or for the purposes of invasion and conquest, one people or nation. The phrase, ‘which you dread,’ means properly, which thou loathes, the primary idea of the word – being to feel a nausea, or to throw up. It then means to fear, or to feel alarm; and this, probably, is the meaning here. Ahaz, however, evidently looked upon the nations of Syria and Samaria with disgust, as well as with alarm. The meaning of the â€Å"land† is that the kings themselves were the objects of dislike or dread; and not merely that the two kings should be removed, but that the land itself was threatened with desolation. This construction is an exegetical kind which agrees with the idiom of the Hebrew. (Barnes, 1993) IV Summary of Isaiah 7:14-16 As a summary of these three verses it was shown that in verse 14 Isaiah made a proclamation that the Lord will give a sign. This seeing of the virgin is not with with the physical eyes, Isaiah have not seen the Messiah in His physical birth, but in vision. In vision, then, the prophet beholds the virgin with child. An in the birth of this son, the presence of God is manifest in a most unique way. The fourteenth verse constitutes a sure and a definite fulfillment of the prophecy of the birth of Immanuel. With verse 15 the prophet proceeds to show that the infancy of the Messiah a symbolical representation of the fact that the threat which overhung Judah would be short-lived. This he does by picturing the child in vision eating royal food (according to commentator Young – which I prefer to use in this summary). The child will eat this food, symbol of threat and desolation; yet before He reaches the age where He knows the difference between good and evil, the two kings which Ahaz dreads will forsake the land of Israel, and there will be nothing more for him to fear from them. The prophetical naming of this child having thus had its accomplishment, no doubt this, which was further added concerning him, should have its accomplishment likewise, that Syria and Israel should be deprived of both their kings. One mercy from God encourages us to hope for another, if it engages us to prepare for another. BIBLIOGRAPHY Barnes’ Notes, Barnes and Nobles Commentary. Electronic Database. (Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft) Ross, Allen. â€Å"A Call for Faith and the Sign for Emmanuel†. Bible. Org < http://www. bible. org/page. php? page_id=2088> Young, E. J. â€Å"The Book of Isaiah: A Commentary†. (Michigan:William B. Eerdsman Publishing Company, 1993)

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