Isaiah 7:14-25

Isa 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


Then since this message was given to the whole house of David from which the Messiah comes, the LORD then gives the greatest sign that the house of David was to look for which was about 700+ years away yet.  The telling sign is that a virgin will conceive and have a son and his name will be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” This sign was fulfilled in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.


18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:18-23)


In this verse some of the modern versions state:


(RSV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman′u-el.


What kind of sign would that be since young women were having babies all the time in Judah.  “The” sign was that a virgin would have a baby and that baby would be born without an earthly father which means the sin nature would not passed on because the Messiah had to be totally sin-free which the Lord Jesus was.


Isa 7:15

Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.


Butter and honey will be eaten by the Lord Jesus Christ as an infant.  Honey was a staple food and was normally put upon bread, a pita bread.  This also shows that the Lord will be raised as other children who are being raised and that he is fully human while being fully God.  Honey was one of the first foods given to children and then they went to milk.  This verse is not endorsing the false belief of an Age of Accountability.  It is stating that the child will be fed and then weaned until he comes to a knowledge about what is evil in this world and what is good.  Understanding the difference between evil and good does not mean they are saved.  We must remember that man is sinful from the womb and not from a certain age.  The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3)  This verse is one of those verses which carry a double meaning.  It is connected to both verse 14 and 16.  It is connected to verse 14 showing that the Lord Jesus will be raised from infancy like all other children in that region and he will know the difference between good and evil.  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (Genesis 3:22)  The Lord Jesus would face evil all his life until the evil religious leaders have their way and crucify him.  Secondly, it is connected to verse 16 because it may be referencing one of the children of Isaiah maybe his son Shear-jashub because there is an immediacy about verse 16.


Isa 7:16

For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.


Now the child in view is a contemporary with Isaiah which was possibly his son and while he is still in infancy which would be before 3 or 4 years of age there will be the end of the alliance between Syria and Ephraim.  Within about 2 years, Hoshea which was the last king of the north slew Pekah and took his throne.  And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. (2 Kings 15:30)  Rezin the king of Syria was also slain.  And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin. (2 Kings 16:9)  So both of them who thought they could capture Judah had died for their sins.


Isa 7:17

The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.


Then since King Ahaz had not hearkened unto the LORD and was delivered from the alliance between Ephraim and Syria a new threat was looming on the horizon.  Ahaz was an evil king and the result of his disdain for the LORD was a larger threat to his kingdom which was coming by means of the Assyrian empire.  Ahaz had thought that the king of Assyria was his friend and had pleaded with him for help will now be turned around and become his enemy and do damage to Judah.


Isa 7:18

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.


There were many flies in Egypt that settled upon all the filth there and there was a bee culture in Assyria.  The physical insects are not in view but the reality is the LORD will summon both Assyria and Egypt and can make them come against Judah at his beckoning call.  By this time Assyria was a dominant world power and the little area of Judah would have been no challenge for Assyria to take them as they did the northern ten tribes in 721 B.C.  The LORD controls even those countries which are pagan and can command them to come in a moment of time.


Isa 7:19

And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.


Then both the Egyptian and Assyrian armies will come and invade the land completely to the point that not only will the towns and cities be made desolate, but they will also come and rest in the valleys which they would occupy.  Nothing in the land of Judah would ever survive the invasion of the two large armies.  One from the east and another invading from the south would put them in a pincer movement and would totally destroy them. 


Isa 7:20

In the same day shall the Lord shave with a rasor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.


Then the LORD states that he will shave with a razor the land of Judah as a razor is used to shave a face clean, so will Assyria clean the land of Judah.  The hired person is referring to the king of Assyria since the Assyrians were not God’s people so he used them as if he hired them.  The land of Judah did suffer a great invasion by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. when he carried off 200,000 captives from Judah.  To consume the beard meant it would be a time of humiliation just as David’s men were shaved by the Ammonite king.  Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. (2 Samuel 10:4) 


Isa 7:21

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;


That invasion will also result in the stealing of their livestock.  There would be so few animals left in Judah that a man might have only one cow.  The fact there is only one man to a cow and two sheep means that there was also a scarcity of men after Sennacherib invaded and took the 200,000 captives which would have left many homes and fields empty.


Isa 7:22

And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.


There will also be a great abundance of milk because the large flocks will be gone and that will leave much open ground for the cattle and sheep to graze.  Even though the people left behind would be few, there would be sufficient milk to churn into butter and the bees would continue to produce a good quantity of honey since there will be many plants left which would yield flowers that the flocks would normally have eaten.


Isa 7:23

And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.


Where there was once a great number of fruit producing vines which would yield so much fruit that when made into wine or sold as is, would yield many thousands of silver pieces when sold would now be places of briers and thorns which were only good enough to be burnt up because they are dried up branches.  The agricultural industry of Judah would be finished.


Isa 7:24

With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.


Then the men who go to hunt in those areas will carry their bows and arrows to defend against any wild animals or thieves who may be homesteading.  Thorns and briers could become hiding places for highwaymen who would be looking to rob others since Judah would be a literal wasteland and all would be out for personal survival.


Isa 7:25

And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.


The mattock was an instrument used to turn up soil in mountainous places where a plow was inaccessible.  The mattock was like a spade used for digging out stones and roots.  Where they were afraid that the briers and thorns would overgrow the valleys and hills, now they will not fear them but since the fences are all broken down because of the invasion and the carrying away of the people, the oxen and cattle would now be able to roam freely without any hindrances to find any type of food they can.