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Ahaz afraid of Rezin and Pekah, is comforted by Isaiah,
ver. 1 - 9.
Refusing to chuse a sign, Christ is promised for one, ver. 10 - 16.
His judgment should come by Assyria, ver. 17 - 25.
1: Ahaz - A most wicked king: yet no prophecies are more comfortable
than those which were delivered in his time; God so ordering it for the
encouragement of the faithful that lived under his impious reign.
2: David - Ahaz, and his relations. He calls them the house of
David, to intimate that the following comfortable message was sent to
Ahaz, not for his own sake, but for the sake of his worthy progenitor
David. Ephraim - The kingdom of the ten tribes, commonly called
Ephraim, because that was the most numerous of all. Moved - With fear,
arising from a consciousness of their own guilt, and their enemies strength.
3: Thy son - Whose very name carried in it a sign and pledge of the
promised deliverance, signifying, The remnant shall return.
Fuller's field - Whither he probably went to take care about the waters
which thence were brought into the city, to secure them to himself, or
keep them from the enemy, as Hezekiah afterward did, (2Ch 32:3,4).
4: Be quiet - Settle thy mind by the belief of that joyful message
which I am now to deliver thee from the Lord. Fire - brands - They are not
whole fire - brands, but small pieces or ends of them, taken out of the
fire, in which there is more smoak than fire. They have more of shew
and terror, than of strength. Pekah, king of Israel, he calls only
the son of Remaliah, to intimate, that he was unworthy the name of king,
as having got that title by usurpation, and the murder of his master,(2Ki 15:25).
6: Let us - Break their power and kingdom and subdue it to ourselves.
7: It - Their evil counsel.
8: Damascus - Damascus shall still continue the capital of the
kingdom of Syria; and therefore Jerusalem shall not become a part of
Rezin's dominion: but he shall keep within his own bounds, and be king
of Damascus only.
9: Samaria - Samaria shall continue to be the chief city if the
kingdom of Israel, and Pekah shall not conquer Jerusalem.
If - If you do not believe this, but seek to the Assyrians for succour,
ye shall be consumed thereby.
12: I will not - By asking a sign, as if I questioned the truth of
his word: but this was deep hypocrisy.
13: David - He reproves them all, because they were the king's
counsellors. Is it a small thing - Is it not wickedness enough.
My God - To vex God's prophets and people, with your oppressions
and horrid impieties. And by your ingratitude and unbelief, and
disobedience of his commands.
14: Therefore - Because you despise me, and the sign which I now
offer to you, God of his own free grace will send you a more honourable
messenger, and give you a nobler sign. A sign - Of your deliverance.
But how was this birth, which was not to happen 'till many ages after,
a sign of their deliverance from present danger? This promised birth
supposed the preservation of that city, and nation and tribe, in and of
which the Messiah was to be born; and therefore there was no cause to
fear that ruin which their enemies now threatened. Immanuel - God with
us; God dwelling among us, in our nature, (Joh 1:14). God and man
meeting in one person, and being a mediator between God and men. For the
design of these words is not so much to relate the name by which Christ
should commonly he called, as to describe his nature and office.
15: Butter - The common food of children in that country. He - The
virgin's son. Know - To discern between things good and evil.
16: Yea - Not only this land shall be preserved until the virgin's son
shall be born, but thine enemies land shall be sorely scourged, and these
two kings destroyed within a very little time. This child - Shear - Jashub,
whom in all probability the prophet pointed at, and who was brought hither
by God's special command, ver.(3). for this very use.
The land - The lands of Syria and Israel. Forsaken - So far
shall Pekah and Rezin be from conquering thy land, that they shall
lose their own lands, and their lives too; which they did within two
years after this time, being both slain by the king of Assyria.
17: Shall bring - But altho' God will deliver you at this time, yet
he will requite all your wickedness. Thee - For part of this Assyrian
storm fell in Ahaz's reign. And - Upon thy sons and successors, the
kings of Judah. Days - Calamities. Departed - When ten tribes
revolted from thy father's house. The king - Who may well be called
their plague or calamity, as he is called the rod of God's anger,(Isa 10:5).
18: The fly - The flies. So he calls these enemies, to imply their
great numbers. In - In their extremity, where they go out into the sea.
Rivers - Of the river Nile, which may be called rivers, either for
its greatness, or because towards the end of it, it is divided into
seven streams. When the Chaldeans had in good measure subdued the
Egyptians, it is probable great numbers of the Egyptian soldiers
listed themselves in the Chaldean army, and with them invaded the
land of Judah. The bee - The Assyrian army, compared to bees, as
for their numerous forces and orderly march, so for their fierce
attempts and mischievous effects. Assyria - In the empire of Assyria,
or Babylon; for these two were united into one empire, and therefore
in scripture are promiscuously called sometimes by one title, and
sometimes by the other.
19: Valleys - Such as they found fruitful, but made desolate.
Rocks - To which possibly the Israelites fled for refuge.
Bushes - Which he mentions because flies and bees use frequently to
rest there; and to intimate, that no place should escape their fury.
20: Shave - Utterly spoil, as shaving takes away the hair.
Hired - By Ahaz, who did hire them, (2Ki 16:7,8). And so the
prophet notes the just judgment of God, in scourging them with a rod of
their own making. By - By the successive kings of the Assyrian empire,
Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and especially by Nebuchadnezzar.
The head - By these metaphorical expressions he signifies the total
destruction of their state, from head to foot, from the highest to
21: Sheep - They who formerly used to keep great herds of cattle,
and many flocks of sheep, shall esteem it a happiness if they can keep
but one cow and two sheep.
22: Abundance - Because they shall have large pastures, by reason
of the great scarcity of cattle. Butter - Which the poorer sort had
formerly used to sell, to procure them cheaper food for themselves:
but now the land should be so destitute of people, that there were
none to whom they could sell them.
23: Of silver - Each of the thousand vineyards might have been sold
or let for a thousand shekels, which was the yearly rent of some excellent
24: With arrows - Either to hunt, or to defend themselves from wild
beasts, which commonly abide in desolate grounds.
25: Digged - That used to be digged and dressed for the planting of
vines, or other choice fruit - trees. The fear - That they might be freed
from briars and thorns. Cattle - All sorts of cattle may enter, and feed
there, the fences being broken down, and the owners slain, or carried