Isaiah 7:16 MEANING

Isaiah 7:16
(16) For before the child shall know . . .--The words imply the age of approaching manhood, and predict the downfall of Pekah and Rezin, as the longer period of Isaiah 7:8 predicted the entire downfall and annihilation of one of the two kingdoms which they represented. The words "good and evil" are better taken of moral choice (Genesis 3:5; Deuteronomy 1:39) rather than (with some critics, who appeal to 2 Samuel 19:35) of the child's discernment of food as pleasant or the reverse. (See Genesis 2:9; 1 Kings 3:9.)

The land that thou abhorrest.--The words imply the "horror" of fear as well as of dislike. The prediction was fulfilled in the siege of Samaria by Salmaneser, and its capture by Sargon (1 Kings 16:9; 1 Kings 17:6), a fulfilment all the more remarkable in that it was preceded by what seemed an almost decisive victory over Judah (2 Chronicles 28:5-15), of which the prophet makes no mention.

Verse 16. - The land, etc. Translate, The land shall be desolate, before whose two kings thou art afraid. The "land" must certainly be that of the two confederate kings, Rezin and Pekah, the Syro-Ephraim-itic land, or Syria and Samaria. "Desolate" may be used physically or politically. A land is "desolate" politically when it loses the last vestige of independence.

7:10-16 Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the colour of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great soever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels' food. Then follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a terror to Judah. Before this child, so it may be read; this child which I have now in my arms, (Shear-jashub, the prophet's own son, ver. 3,) shall be three or four years older, these enemies' forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if the prospect of the coming of the Divine Saviour was a never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May we trust in and love Him, and copy his example.For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good,.... This may be understood of Isaiah's child, Shearjashub, he had along with him, he was bid to take with him; and who therefore must be supposed to bear some part, or answer some end or other, in this prophecy; which it is very probable may be this, viz. to assure Ahaz and the house of David that the land which was abhorred by them should be forsaken of both its kings, before the child that was with him was grown to years of discretion; though it may be understood of any child, and so of the Messiah; and the sense be, that before any child, or new born babe, such an one as is promised, Isaiah 7:14, arrives to years of discretion, even in the space of a few years, this remarkable deliverance should be wrought, and the Jews freed from all fears of being destroyed by these princes:

the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings; meaning not the land of Judea, now distressed by them, which they should leave; for that could not be said to be abhorred by Ahaz, or the house of David; but the land of Israel and Syria, called one land, because of the confederacy between the kings of them, Rezin and Remaliah's son, which Ahaz and his nobles abhorred, because of their joining together against them; and so it was, that in a very little time both these kings were cut off; Pekah the son of Remaliah was slain by Hoshea the son of Elah, who reigned in his stead, 2 Kings 15:30 and Rezin was slain by the king of Assyria, 2 Kings 16:9.

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