Isaiah 8:1-11

Isa 8:1

Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz.


In this chapter we have the King of Assyria coming against Syria, Samaria, and Judah.  Isaiah is commanded to get a great scroll and write the following words on it so when the Assyrians attack, each of them will know that it was the LORD who orchestrated the invasions.  To write it in a man’s pen means the words were to be written straightly as the LORD gives it with no embellishments or pacifying words.  He is to write concerning his son Maher-shalal-hash-baz whose name means “swift to the spoils, hasten to the prey.”


Isa 8:2

And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.


At this point Uriah the priest was a faithful witness but later there is speculation that he became corrupted.  And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. (2 Kings 16:10)  Then there was Zechariah who was the son of Jeberechiah of which this is the only place he is mentioned.  These two were commissioned to witness the writing of the prophecy that Isaiah was about to pen being given from the LORD.


Isa 8:3

And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.


Then Isaiah went in unto his wife who was called a prophetess because her husband was a prophet but there is nothing in history to corroborate the belief that she was a prophetess.  Then she conceived and bore a son and named him Maher-shalal-hash-baz.  This name had the nature of a prophecy.  Anytime his name was mentioned or any part of it, it was a reminder of the fact of the approaching judgments.


Isa 8:4

For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.


Even before the child has the ability to say mommy and daddy, the king of Assyria will have invaded both Syria and Samaria and will have taken all the spoils of war plus the people themselves would be taken to Assyria and probably dispersed throughout all the empire as slaves.  This would happen probably with a year from the time the child is born.  Just as the Virgin born son in Isaiah 7 was a sign to the whole house of David, the child of Isaiah’s would be a sign to the nations of Samaria, Syria, and Judah.  From the point of conception, they each had less than two years before judgment struck through Assyria.


Isa 8:5

The LORD spake also unto me again, saying,


Then the LORD continues his prophecy to Isaiah as he continues to write down what he is told.


Isa 8:6

Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son;


The waters of Shiloah was probably the water which ran from the Gihon Spring to the pool of Siloam.  This would put this prophecy in the time of Hezekiah who built a tunnel for the water to flow under the walls and into the city.  This tunnel has been found by archaeologists.  The Gihon spring was located in the Kidron valley on the east side of the city.  Instead of the people rejoicing in their own country where they would have the peace of the LORD protecting them, they rejoiced in Syria and Samaria who were their enemies.  To refuse the waters of Shiloah was another way of saying they rejected the temple service and the service to God as his people. 


Isa 8:7

Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:


Just like the raging waters of the Euphrates river which sweeps everything before the people, the king of Assyria with all the strength of his army is going to come like that mighty river and destroy everything in its path.  The glory shall be the strength and size of his army.  The channels are like tributaries of the river which means he will go through the entire nation and will leave nothing untouched as a river overflows the channels and drowns them with the larger gush or raging waters.  The banks shall also be overflowed.  The banks are what protected people along the river from flooding but all the defenses that these nations can mount will come to nothing.


Isa 8:8

And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.


Since the people of Judah were so enamored of Assyria, they too will experience the invasion that would take 200,000 captive.  It will reach to the neck, that is, the invasion will reach unto the leaders of Judah but it will never reach the head because Christ is the head of the church.  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. (Colossians 2:19)  The wings which will be the flanking operation of the army will fill the land attacking every place and leaving nothing unturned.  “O Immanuel” is the name given to it because the Messiah is to be born there in connection with Isaiah 7:14. 


Isa 8:9

Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.


Then the stern warning and prophecy to Syria and Ephraim.  They associate or form a confederacy against Judah.  The promise is their ultimate destruction by the hand of Assyria.


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)


In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (2 Kings 17:6)


This promise is also given to the far countries which are the ones who are farther in distance than Syria or Ephraim.  The promise is that they will broken in pieces or destroyed.  To gird meant to put on their armor but it will be futile attempt to defend against the Assyrian army.


Isa 8:10

Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.


Then they are told to take counsel together and make all the plans they want but none of those plans will ever come it fruition.  Then speak the word to others of the plans you have made but they will not stand or come to fruition.  God is with Judah and although they will suffer from some portion of the invasion, they will not be utterly destroyed.  Immanuel was their sufficiency and protector.


Isa 8:11

For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,


Just as Balaam who was a prophet for hire, here God warns Isaiah that he is not to order his life in the way of the people, that is, seeking an alliance with the enemy for a false sense of security or to forsake the LORD in any matter whether it be political or spiritual.  He was not to endorse in any manner the desire to have an alliance with Assyria to go against Syria and Ephraim because they were all the enemies of God.