The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 51 of 181
Index | Zoom
His glory to take upon Himself the form and fashion of a man, and become the virgin's
The bearing of this verse upon the great subject of the deity of Christ is too vast a
theme to be touched upon in a paragraph, but the reader will find the subject dealt with in
our published writings, to which reference should be made for fuller exposition. The
curious reference to "butter and honey" constitute part of an infant's diet.  Some
translators render the connective "that" in verse 15 as "before" or "up to the time of". It
would seem, however, that the A.V. is probably correct here.
"The received version is the most simple and agrees best with the real scope . . . . . this
child, unlike other infants, from the first dawn of reason, will know to refuse evil and to
choose the good. The phrase, like the fact, is unique, and never used in Scripture of any
other child.  Three wonders would meet in Him Whose name is "Wonderful"--a
miraculous birth, a Divine nature, and sinless choice of the good alone" (Birks
Commentary on Isaiah).
The remaining verses of Isa. 7: (18-25) are at first sight rather difficult. They must
be understood as indicating the change over a country when, owing to the depopulation
consequent upon invasion, agriculture ceases, and the normal crops give place to jungle,
and patches of scant pasturage. The necessity for arming with bows and arrows in a land
which once produced crops and supported flocks and herds is indicative of the
degeneration that had occurred. The desolation thus produced fulfilled the prophecy of
Isa. 6: and extended to the very days of the Messiah. Before, however, we reach these
times, we have a further reference to the days of Ahaz.
Isaiah is told by the Lord to take a great roll, or better, a great tablet, and write on it
with the carving tool of man, "For Maher-shalal-hash-baz". The warning indicated by
the meaning this strange name is clear: "Hasting to spoil, he speeds to the prey." This
prophecy was attested by Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, and
within twenty-one months (i.e. nine months before his birth, and twelve months after)
Damascus had fallen, in the third year of Ahaz. This period (II Kings 16: 9) has been
called "The Gordian Knot of Chronology". We cannot, however, go into this question in
the present article.
The further threat of invasion (see structure) is followed once more by a reference to
the children who were given as signs:
"Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs" (Isa. 8: 18).
A deeper and even more serious "confederacy" is now indicated.  It was a sad
departure for the children of Israel to seek an alliance with Syria, and for Judah to seek
the help of Assyria, but the prophet now visualizes an apostacy that is in league with hell
itself. The conflict of the ages is brought before us in the choice of refuge to which Israel
descended in time of danger.
"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto
wizards that peep and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of