Verse 1 – Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, King of Judah, that Rezin King of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, King of Israel, went up to Jerusalem, to make war against it, but could not prevail against it.
The year was 734 B.C. and Ahaz, very wicked King of Judah, was about to be attacked. But as Isaiah had predicted, the kingdom of Judah didn’t come to an end at this time.
Verse 2 – And it was told to the house of David, saying, “Syria’s forces are deployed in Ephraim.” So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind. (The house of David refers to Judah, the southern kingdom, “Ephraim,” the dominant tribe in the north, Israel.)
Verse 3 – Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, (Isaiah’s son’s name, Shear-Jashub, means “a remnant will return.”
Vere 4 – “And say to him: “Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah.
Verse 5 – ‘Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Ramaliah have taken evil counsel against you, saying,
Verse 6 – “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabeel” –
Rezin and Pekah wanted to remove Ahaz from the throne because of his unwillingness to join their coalition and they intended to put a king in place who could be manipulated.
Verse 7 – ‘thus says the Lord God: “It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass.
Verse 8 – For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, so that it will not be a people.
Ahaz, one of Judah’s worst kings, had refused God’s help and instead, tried to buy aid from the Assyrians with silver and gold from the temple (2 Kings 16:8).
Let this be a warning: Never take what is God’s and change the purpose of it!
Verse 9 – The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If you will not believe, surely you will not be established.”‘”
In other words: “Ahaz, if you do not trust God, you shall be consumed.”
Verse 10 – Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying,
Verse 11 – “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
Verse 12 – But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”
Ahaz wanted to seem righteous by saying he would not test God, however, God had told him to ask. Ahaz didn’t really want to know, because it might have conveyed to the people the truth. Have you ever not asked God something because you didn’t really want to know the answer because it might scare you to know the truth? We shouldn’t ever be afraid to communicate with God just because the truth might scare us. God’s a good God and He will always do what’s best for His children!
Verse 13 – Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but you will weary my God also?
Isaiah is about to lay out the sign and the truth to the people in spite of Ahaz refusing to ask for a sign.
Verse 14 – “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin (not just any virgin, but one predestined to be used by God.) shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Verse 15 – Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.
Verse 16 – For before the child shall know to refuse evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
Verse 17 – “The Lord will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house – days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”
Verse 18 – And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will whistle for the fly that is the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
Flies and bees are symbols of God’s judgment. Egypt and Assyria did not devastate Judah at this time. After Ahaz, came King Hezekiah, and he followed God, so God held His hand of judgment off, for a time. Then two more evil kings reigned after Hezekiah. Then came Josiah, which scripture says no other king turned so completely toward God (2 Kings 23:25).
However, Judah’s doom had been sealed by the extreme evil of Josiah’s father, Amon.
During Josiah’s reign, Egypt marched against the Assyrians, so Josiah declared war on Egypt, even though God told him not to. After Josiah was killed only weak kings reigned in Judah and the Egyptians carried off Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz. The next king, Jehiakim, was taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon.
Verse 19 – They will come, and all of them will rest in desolate valleys and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all thorns and in all pastures.
Verse 20 – In the same day the Lord will shave with a hired razor, with those from beyond the River, with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the legs, and will also remove the beard. (The act of shaving denotes punishment and disgrace.)
Verse 21 – It shall be in that day that a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep;
Verse 22 – So it shall be, from the abundance of milk they give, that he will eat curds; for curds and honey everyone will eat who is left in the land.
Verse 23 – It shall happen in that day, that wherever there could be a thousand vines worth a thousand shekels of silver it will be for briers and thorns,
Verse 24 – With arrows and bows men will come there, because all the land will become briers and thorns.
Verse 25 – And to any hill which could be dug with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briers and thorns; but it will become a range for oxen and a place for sheep to roam.
Those who had accumulated herds of cattle and sheep, would now struggle to keep one. Those who used to have enough cattle in order to sell butter, would now not have anyone to sell it to. Judah’s rich farmland would be trampled until it became only pasture fit only for grazing, filed with curds, briers, and thorns.
God gave them as He gives us, instructions on how to stop disaster from coming upon their lives. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land,. Humiliation will come only from within before healing can take place!