Notes on Isaiah 8 – 9:7
Linden, University Presbyterian Church,
name Maher Shalal Hash Baz means
“Speed the Spoil, Hasten the Booty” (NKJV), or “The Spoil Speeds; the prey
hastens” (ESV), or “Quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil” NIV, or “Speed,
spoil, haste, booty” (Motyer). The point is that the son about to be conceived
with that time sensitive name conveys a message. It was a sign (8:18). Before
he would be able to talk, the Assyrians would successfully attack
8:5-10 This little segment
speaks of the northern kingdom of
Ahaz had a strategy to deal with all this, a strategy to trust
will every strategy and well-conceived opposition against the church fail? The
answer is because God is with us (in Hebrew: Immanuel!). So the land was Immanuel’s and the protection was from
Immanuel (v.10). This is not new. The LORD Who cared for
Counsel for Holiness 8:11-22
8:12,13 Against Worldly Thinking: First, the call is to reject thinking in the way of the world around them. The world’s appraisal of a situation is not to be the one adopted by believers. Godly people should not fear what they fear, but fear the Lord instead. V.13 is quoted in 1 Peter 3:15 with Christ inserted into the quotation so that we must regard “Christ as Lord”. LORD here in Isaiah 8:13 is the divine name Yahweh! We are always squeezed into accepting the world’s viewpoint. It is easy and natural to think like the world. We must not conform to it, but with minds renewed, enlightened, and transformed by the Lord, we will be able to think clearly. (See Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 5:15-17).
Sanctuary or Stone of Stumbling: For all men the Lord is either a sanctuary
or a stone of stumbling. The sanctuary is the holy place where God dwells and
is approached by sacrifice for acceptance and thus protection. For those who
will not take Him seriously, the Lord is a stone in the way. Unbelievers run
into Him and are broken. Jesus was destined
to cause the falling and rising of many in
8:16-18 Holding to the Word of God: In terrible trouble, people look for answers. What God said through Isaiah was God’s word. After it was spoken to a people who would not hear (6:9,10), Isaiah’s prophecy was to be carefully preserved. That word was believed by Isaiah, his family, and his disciples. In time to come it would prove to be a true word. Each one in the remnant would say, “I will put my trust in Him,” a trust that is synonymous with accepting His Word.
addition to written prophecies, the names of Isaiah’s family members served to communicate truth.
One name promised that there would be a remnant, Shear-Jashub (7:3. Maher-Shalal
Hash Baz was a prediction that swift destruction would come on
8:19-22 Rejecting God’s Word Those who reject God’s revelation must run to something else for consolation and wisdom. When the Light of Israel (10:17; 49:6 and Exodus 10:23) was rejected, the people had only darkness. They turned to mediums who supposedly speak to the dead. By doing this they broke God’s law (Deuteronomy 18:9-13), listened to false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:14-22), and preferred some word from the dead over the Word of the Living God. He was their God (vv.19 & 21), but they were rejecting Him. In doing so they lost their heritage, blessing, and life. The result was that they cursed their king and their God. Unbelief would bring distress, darkness, and fearful gloom.
The issue is the same today. We may decline to believe and follow God’s law and His word by prophets, culminating in His Son and our Lord’s apostles. God directs us with truth. If we decline God’s revelation and direction in favor of some other “light”, we will not have light at all but darkness and the despairing gloom that comes with it.
The Coming of Christ 9:1-7
The setting is that the line of David was threatened. God said it would be preserved. That means the Lord Jesus, the ultimate son of David, is related to Ahaz’s plight. God cannot break His covenant with David. No power on earth can prevent the Messiah from coming among His people. The people may refuse to believe but a remnant will. There is horrible gloom and darkness, but God promised the people would see a great light.
When Jesus heard that John
had been put in prison, he returned to
9:3 Isaiah 9 must be read in connection with Isaiah 8. The light vs. darkness contrast in v. 2 is obvious. The joy in v. 3 is the opposite of the gloom in 8:21,22. The Lord revealed that the nation would be enlarged, which is so different from it being cut down to a tenth and then cut down even more so that only a stump would be left! (6:13).
enlarged nation is a result of Messiah’s ministry. Matthew notes that Isaiah 9 was
fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry. (The enlarging of the nation reappears again in
the nation was enlarged. Many would believe from well beyond the borders of
9:3-5 The coming
deliverance is pictured in images of military victory. The weapons of their enemies would be broken,
and the blood soaked clothing of the dead gathered and burned, because the
Messiah is a mighty Deliverer. Gideon’s victories in the time of Midian (Judges
6) included Naphtali and Zebulun in the region of
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets long ago) salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us – to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. (Luke 1:69-75)
A child is born 9:6,7 Isaiah speaks of the son of David, Jesus,
born of a virgin (7:14) and called Immanuel, whose
We must not miss the “For” of v. 6. (In Hebrew, verses 4, 5, & 6 all begin with a “for”.) Why the deliverance of vv. 1-5? It is for this reason: a child has been born who will deliver. A future certainty may be stated in a past tense. If the government is on His shoulders, that means He is King reigning eternally on David’s throne. In Christ the covenant with David finds perfect fulfillment.
Isaiah’s son MSHB had a four-part name, all single words; Jesus will be described in four titles, all two-word combinations. (The King James Bible is mistaken to list them as five titles; His names are not first Wonderful and then second, Counselor. The first name is Wonderful Counselor.)
As Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ is the prophet who speaks the counsel of God to us. Wonderful in Judges 13:17,18 is a name the Lord used for Himself. That Hebrew word is as close as any in Hebrew to supernatural. A ruler with wisdom far beyond natural understanding is qualified to give direction.
As Mighty God He is the powerful Deliverer of His people from His enemies and theirs. This title is later used of the Lord in 10:21. Mighty God means that He is God. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods (Psalm 95:3). That the Lord is king and that the King is the Lord is common to the Psalms.
As Everlasting Father, He is not the Father in the Trinity, but the human replacement of Father Adam who disobeyed bringing guilt and condemnation to all his children. Jesus the last Adam has obeyed for us and so He fulfilled the covenant Adam broke. Christ brings justification to us (Romans 5:12-19). So far I have argued for Father in a human sense. Scripture shows the Lord is like a Father in His compassion for His children (Psalm 103:13). All care of His own is a “fatherly” aspect of God’s providence (63:16). Jesus refers to His family as His children in Hebrews 2:13,14.
As Prince of Peace, Christ is again seen as a king Who rescues from enemies (Luke 1:74) to bring peace, and who guides into a path of peace (Luke 1:79). As our priest He has brought peace since He sacrificed for the people. After a sacrifice the priest pronounced a benediction of peace upon sinners who had come to the Lord (Numbers 6:22-27). In Christ we have peace with God (26:12 and Romans 5:1) and peace with brothers (Ephesians 6:23).
The four titles show Christ as supremely qualified to direct, powerful to rescue, caring for His family, and providing total safety and security.
nation will be enlarged (9:3). Jesus’ reign and blessings will only increase. No
end of peace is a wonderful promise when we remember the trouble of the time
when Isaiah wrote. Peace and stability would never be established by Pekah’s
method of murdering his predecessor (2 Kings 15:23-25). Never shall the serpent
enter God’s Garden again to destroy peace. Christ has brought permanent peace. God
will establish and maintain the kingdom of this Son of David. No worldly means
is needed. The throne of David has divine protection and a divine Person to sit
on it. The justice missing in the vineyard (5:7) and within