The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 50 of 181
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The Companion Bible calls attention to the figure of paronomasia that is used here.
The rhyming of the Hebrew words may perhaps be illustrated by some such translation
as: "No confiding . . . . . no abiding."
It is in connection with this threat of invasion by Syria and Israel that the first of the
"sign" children is introduced.
"Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-Jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit
of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field" (Isa. 7: 3).
Shear-Jashub, as we have seen, means "The remnant shall return" and is so translated
in Isa. 10: 21. The name therefore contained the assurance that, even though the people
were to be reduced by siege or invasion, God would remember His covenant with the
house of David.
It would appear from Isa. 7: 10 that the Lord was testing the nature and sincerity of
the faith of Ahaz, when He said:
"Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height
above" (Isa. 7: 11).
Ahaz had no excuse for refusing, except that he had already made up his mind to
appeal to Assyria:
"So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser, King of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant
and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the King of Syria, and out of the
hand of the King of Israel, which rise up against me" (II Kings 16: 7).
The refusal of Ahaz has the appearance of humility ("Neither will I tempt the Lord")
but it was, in fact, a cloak for his apostacy.
We come now to the first great prophetic type of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive,
and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. 7: 14).
This sign had a twofold fulfillment--the first, in the lifetime of Ahaz himself, and the
second, at the birth of Christ. The word for "virgin" here needs a word of explanation.
The word used by Isaiah is ha-almah, which means a "damsel", but not necessarily a
"virgin" in the fullest sense of the word. The word used in Matt. 1: 23, on the other
hand, is parthenos, and means a "virgin" in the strictest sense.
The political bearing of the name Immanuel ("God with us") is found in Isa. 8: 10:
"Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought: speak the word, and it shall not
The "sign" of Isa. 7: 14 was indeed "in the depth" and "in the height", as verse 11
puts it, for what could be deeper than the Saviour's condescension when He laid aside