Isaiah 7:1-13

Isa 7:1

And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.


Uzziah died in 750 B.C. and his son Jotham reigned for 18 years which means the reign of Ahaz began in 732 B.C. Ahaz was a wicked idolatrous king of Judah.  Israel and Syria had been enemies but they formed an alliance in response to the empire that Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria was building.  It may have been that Ahaz had refused to join the alliance and that was the reason that the northern ten tribes along with Syria  wanted to attack and take Jerusalem.  They were unable to conquer Judah.


Isa 7:2

And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.


When Ahaz heard that Ephraim, which is another name for the ten northern tribes, were in league with the enemies of Israel, his heart was moved which means they were in fear because they knew they had departed from the Lord and that the saving hand of God might not be there to help them.  The people were also in fear because they knew that if Syria and Ephraim attacked, they were too weak of a people to repel such an army.  Just as the wind drives the trees, the people were also driven by the report of a possible attack and maybe annihilation.


Isa 7:3

Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, 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;


The name “Shear-jashub” means “a remnant will return” which was a promise of deliverance for Judah. At this time it was only a few more years when Assyria would come against the ten northern tribes and take them away. The LORD commanded Isaiah to meet with King Ahaz with his son.  The upper pool was where they were as they looked over it and were probably discussing how they could keep the water supply from being poisoned or falling into the hands of the enemy.  Once the water supply is cut off, then all they had to do was wait and thirst would take over and become their ally.  The fuller’s field was where laundry was done, where they would wash and beat out rugs and large pieces of household laundry. 


Isa 7:4

And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.


The LORD then tells Isaiah what to say to allay the fears of the people.  Isaiah was to tell them that they were not to fear this alliance.  They were to be quiet which carries the meaning of “settle down, rest, or be still.” Remember what the LORD said to Moses who conveyed it to the people?  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. (Exodus 14:13)  In other words they were not to worry because in God’s eyes they were two tails of smoking firebrands.  In other words, they were the tails which meant their strength was already burned up and very soon the fire would go out because it was already at the tail.  Notice God does not address Pekah as a king but the son of Remaliah which seems like the LORD is basically saying he is acting like a child and making very immature decisions.  Ahaz saw them as being fierce but the LORD saw them as burned out firebrands.


Isa 7:5

Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,


The alliance of these two nations along with the consensus of the people of Ephraim had taken counsel against Judah.  They made one big mistake in thinking that they could somehow overthrow and defeat the Davidic line where the Messiah would come from.


Isa 7:6

Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:


They wanted to make a move against Judah and vex it or trouble it.  The breach they wanted to make was dividing Judah in two districts and one would be for Pekah and the other would be for Rezin.  Then they wanted to set up a puppet king to do their bidding for them.  The name “Tabeal” means “Good God” but since they were both pagan in religion what god were they speaking about?  It is not known whether this son of Tabeal was a Syrian or Israelite.


Isa 7:7

Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.


Then the LORD decrees plainly that their alliance will not stand, in other words whatever they had planned the plans would come to nothing.  They will not even come against Judah so the inhabitants of Judah have nothing to fear from them.  It was basically a paper war which never came to pass.  Neither Syria or Ephraim would enlarge their land in any manner.


Isa 7:8

For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.


Damascus was the capitol city of Syria and the head of Damascus is Rezin who was the king of Syria.  Then within 65 years the people of Ephraim will be broken which carries the meaning of “break down by violence or abolished.”  Once the ten northern tribes were removed into Assyria, they are never to be heard from again and it will be like they never existed.  When Ahaz began to reign, it was only 11 years to the removal of the northern kingdom and it was like they never existed after the period of time of 65 years.  Everything they had built in the northern kingdom would have been destroyed or given to others to inhabit and that is why every vestige of their existence would be wiped out.


Isa 7:9

And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.


The capitol city of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son which means he will not be the king of anything else but where he was right now and that means no attack or any type of land grab.  Then Judah is told that if they do not believe what they are being told, then they will also not be established.  They believed here but eventually they went the way of the northern tribes in descending into idolatry and false religion and setting aside the true word of God.  In other words, they too would suffer the same fate as the northern tribes.


Isa 7:10

Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,


Then the LORD brings a message to the wicked king Ahaz who apparently did not respond properly to the message that Isaiah brought them.


Isa 7:11

Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.


Then the LORD speaks to Ahaz, not as someone who is speaking to an enemy but he speaks to him and offers to show him a sign that what Isaiah was speaking was on his behalf was true.  Since God was all powerful, there was no limit of what kind of sign that Ahaz could ask for.  It could be as deep as the ocean or as high as the stars of Heaven.  He does this to confirm the message that Isaiah brought to them.


Isa 7:12

But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.


Ahaz refuses the offer because he does not want to be in spiritual debt to God of Israel  so he couches his refusal in words of piety that he does not want to tempt the LORD.  He would not have been tempting the LORD because it was the LORD who made the offer and left it up to Ahaz what he would ask for.  Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. (Deuteronomy 6:16)  Ahaz was not concerned about obeying the law because he had closed the temple and discontinued public observance of the law.  His concealed reason was that he was going to ask the Assyrian king for help instead of God.  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. (2 Kings 16:7)  Ahaz looked to man as his strength rather than the God of Israel.


Isa 7:13

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?


Then the LORD gives a message to Ahaz because of his refusal to seek help from the LORD but not only to Ahaz it was to be to the whole house of David which meant the counselors and all those who were in agreement with Ahaz concerning the refusal of asking for a sign.  The weary men would point to the prophets of God who would not be listened to and the people who would follow the leaders in rejecting God and his prophets.  The word “weary” carries with it the meaning of “grieve.”  So when they chose not to listen to God, they were grieving the heart of God by their own disbelief.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)  Unbelief is the greatest thing that man can do to grieve the heart of God.