Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
This promise is messianic because of the Davidic covenant given by the LORD to David in 2 Samuel 7. You can go read the context, but the promise culminates in verse 16:
Today, the Jewish rabbis will argue that the word used in verse 14 for virgin, almah, means a young maiden. But virginity is assumed. Almah is used 7 times in the Hebrew scriptures, and it is always an unmarried virgin. It wouldn't be much of a sign - an unmarried woman pregnant. But a virgin pregnancy... now that would be a sign! THE virgin, which refers back to the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
Immanuel will crush the devil’s head. And He began this work when He came the first time, taking on the sin of the world by His death and resurrection. And He will finish the job when He returns as the mighty Lion of Judah.
Isaiah 7:16 switched gears and spoke to Ahaz about a current child. Isaiah pointed to his boy who was with him, little She'ar Yashub, who was just under bar mitzvah age. Isaiah told Ahaz, before THIS child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good (a reference to his upcoming bar mitzvah, when he would be reckoned as an adult with adult understanding), the land that Azah was dreading would be foresaken.
And indeed, within three years of that time, the alliance between Syria and the northern kingdom was gone.
The remainder of chapter 7 prophesies that Assyria would try to come against Judah but would not succeed. The northern kingdom of Israel would fall to Assyria, but the kingdom of Judah would stand (at least for the time being).
In chapter 8, the prophecy regarding Assyria continues.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.
We know Who grew up in that area and Who did most of His ministry there. But in case there is any doubt, verse 6 gives us a picture of Him:
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- Wonderful – pele – wonder, marvel, extraordinary, a hard to understand thing. Only used of God.
- Counselor – ya-atz – to counsel, determine, devise, guide, purpose
- Mighty God – El gibbor – strong and mighty God
- Everlasting Father – ad av – connects Yeshua as God eternal (only God is eternal)
- Prince of Peace – Sar shalom – chieftain, head of completeness, soundness. Wraps it up.
These seven terms make a beautiful picture of completeness.
|Speaking of light in the darkness...|
Verse 7 wraps up this section beautifully with a picture of His reign on earth.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
The abundance of His government and peace, throne of David - the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant - established with judgment and justice. It WILL happen someday soon!
Isaiah continues in his typical fashion, using a major contrast for the rest of chapter 9.
The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel.
All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
This prophecy in verses 8-10 against the northern kingdom may sound familiar to some of us who remember 9/11. We will rebuild! We will rebuild, and come back even stronger!
Sadly, the chapter continues with warnings of the coming destruction. Verse 16 says,
For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
And those who are led by them are destroyed.