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Isaiah’s Son a Sign of the Assyrian Invasion


Then the L ord said to me, Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters, “Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz,” 2and have it attested for me by reliable witnesses, the priest Uriah and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. 3And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the L ord said to me, Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz; 4for before the child knows how to call “My father” or “My mother,” the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away by the king of Assyria.

5 The L ord spoke to me again: 6Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and melt in fear before Rezin and the son of Remaliah; 7therefore, the Lord is bringing up against it the mighty flood waters of the River, the king of Assyria and all his glory; it will rise above all its channels and overflow all its banks; 8it will sweep on into Judah as a flood, and, pouring over, it will reach up to the neck; and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.



Band together, you peoples, and be dismayed;

listen, all you far countries;

gird yourselves and be dismayed;

gird yourselves and be dismayed!


Take counsel together, but it shall be brought to naught;

speak a word, but it will not stand,

for God is with us.

11 For the L ord spoke thus to me while his hand was strong upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. 13But the L ord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over—a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.

Disciples of Isaiah

16 Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. 17I will wait for the L ord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18See, I and the children whom the L ord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the L ord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19Now if people say to you, “Consult the ghosts and the familiar spirits that chirp and mutter; should not a people consult their gods, the dead on behalf of the living, 20for teaching and for instruction?” surely, those who speak like this will have no dawn! 21They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry; when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will curse their king and their gods. They will turn their faces upward, 22or they will look to the earth, but will see only distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be thrust into thick darkness.

6. Because this people hath despised (or, disdained 124124     The former word occurs in the version, and the latter at the exposition. — Ed. ) the waters of Shiloah That Ahaz may not slumber in unfounded expectation, the Prophet all at once breaks off his discourse about the general safety of the godly, and next threatens punishment on unbelievers. Some think that he speaks against those who wished for revolutions; as it frequently happens that the multitude are not satisfied with their present condition, and desire to have a new king. Those who are diseased often expect that, by a change of place, they will be in better health. So perverse is the will of men, that when matters do not go to their wish, they look for a change of their condition, snatch at it eagerly, and hope to obtain from it some relief.

But I think that the Prophet’s meaning is more extensive, and does not apply to those only who desired a change; but that the discourse is general, and includes all ranks; for impiety and contempt of God almost universally prevailed, and he does not speak of a few persons, or of a particular party, but of the great body of the nation. I confess, indeed, that he excepts a few persons, servants of God, who will afterwards be mentioned; but that does not prevent the remonstrances of Isaiah from being directed against the whole nation; for since almost all were corrupted, he justly reproves them all. The offense is, that the people, distrusting their own weakness, sought increased wealth and increased forces. He says, therefore, that they despised the waters of Shiloah, because the Jews despised and disdained their condition.

And their joy was to Rezin and Remaliah’s son. 125125     And rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son. — Ed. Some render it with Rezin, but the preposition to expresses more fully the perverse desire. He means that the Jews, perceiving that they had not strong fortresses, looked in another direction, and longed for the wealth of the kingdom of Israel. Beholding their small number and their poverty, they trembled, and placed no confidence in God, but only in outward assistance, and thought that they would be perfectly safe, if they had as powerful a king as the Israelites had. Thus they rejoiced in the riches of others, and in longing for them.

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