Archive for Isaiah 7

Isaiah 7:23-25 Shekels and Thorns and Thistles

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:23 And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns.

How much is a shekel worth in modern day terms? We know these particular shekels were made of silver.  There is no definitive statement of accuracy in regards to how much a shekel weighs. The best estimate is a shekel weighs roughly .5 ounces. In March of 2013, silver is worth approximately $30.00 per ounce. Based on the text, one grape vine equals one shekel of silver.

1000 shekels X ½ ounce per shekel = 500 ounces of silver.

500 ounces X $30.00 per ounce of silver = $15,000 in today’s economy.

$15,000 divided by 1,000 plants = $15 per plant.

Genesis 3:18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field…Thorns and thistles are a reminder of disobedience that took place in the Garden of Eden. Thorns and thistles exist because Adam listened to his wife instead of to God. Adam ate the fruit from the tree that God said, “You shall not eat from it”. The ground was cursed and as a result, we now have thorns and thistles. According to God, thorns exist because of disobedience to Him. Consider this the next time you look at a beautiful red rose. It did not have thorns in the beginning. Every thorn we see should be a reminder.

From a humanist perspective, it was just a piece of fruit. What is the big deal?

The humanist cannot say, “Nobody was harmed or died because of this action”. We all die because of disobedience to a simple request. Do not eat from one tree.

And let’s not get all pious and bust on Adam for eating the fruit. Who are we kidding? Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?

Isaiah 7:24 People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns.

This ground is a barren waste land. People are hunting for food in the wild. Bows and arrows are the tools used for hunting game. The people are hungry.

Isaiah 7:25 As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample.

Previously, this land was used for growing food. Choice vines were tendered as noted in verse 23. It was productive farm land. It will become a space for animals to wander around looking for food.

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Isaiah 7:20-22 Razor Close Shave

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor, hired from regions beyond the Euphrates (that is, with the king of Assyria), the head and the hair of the legs; and it will also remove the beard.

God is using the King of Assyria as an instrument. Here is some background as to how Jewish culture viewed a razor, shaving, hair, and a beard. Presentation of hair was important to the Jewish people. During this time, hair was worn long by men and women. People would curl their hair for effect. Baldness was considered humiliating or embarrassing. Bald people were made fun of or insulted. (Holman Bible Dictionary).

The beard was considered an ornament.  The beard was not shaved but trimmed. Size and fullness of beard were symbols of respectability and trustworthiness. The beard was an object of an oath with blessings or shame stated (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary).

The bodies of people were completely shaved from head to toe including the beard. The phrase “hair of the legs” is interesting. Some have interpreted this to be idiomatic language for pubic hair. The idea was total humiliation.

Figurative language is used in verse 20. The “razor” is likely the future king Sennacherib. Judah was flattened in 701 BC. According to the records of Sennacherib, forty-six cities were destroyed in Judah.  Approximately 200,000 people were captured and taken from the land (Wycliffe Bible Commentary).

Isaiah 7:21 Now in that day a man may keep alive a heifer and a pair of sheep;

Each person has limited livestock at this time, three animals. A heifer is a young cow that has not produced off spring. There is no mention of a bull. This could make reproduction and growth of populations difficult.

Isaiah 7:22 and because of the abundance of the milk produced he will eat curds, for everyone that is left within the land will eat curds and honey.

If a person was alive and survived, people will live off of these animals. There is no other food source. The lack of vegetation and crops will be discussed in the next verses.

Isaiah 7:17-19 Flies and Bees

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:17 “The LORD will bring on you, on your people, and on your father’s house such days as have never come since the day that Ephraim separated from Judah, the king of Assyria.”

A warning and judgment from God is coming to your people, Judah, the southern kingdom.  They have not experienced judgment from God since Israel had split. The kingdom split in 1 Kings 12. The event itself is noted in 1 Kings 12:16. When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; to your tents, O Israel! Now look after your own house, David!” So Israel departed to their tents. The year of the split was approximately 920-930 BC. God tells them who the instrument of punishment is going to be, the king Assyria.

Isaiah 7:18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is in the remotest part of the rivers of Egypt and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.

God causes this to happen.  The Hebrew word for “remotest” is qatesh. It means end, mouth, extremity, border, or outskirts per Strong’s Concordance.  He calls for the Egyptians with a hiss or a whistle from the “mouth” of the rivers. I take it to be from the Nile Delta. Assyria is symbolized as a bee. These two insects or countries will meet in the middle in the land of Judah. The flies will swarm and the bees will sting. Egypt and Assyria clashed in 701 BC (Ryrie Study Notes).

Isaiah 7:19 They will all come and settle on the steep ravines, on the ledges of the cliffs, on all the thorn bushes and on all the watering places.

These forces from Egypt and Assyria come in and take over. The word “all” is used three times in this verse. It refers to the foreign forces, thorn bushes, and water resources. It is the Hebrew word “kol”. It is defined as all, the whole of, any, each, every, anything, totality, everything. Foreign troups are everywhere. They stress out an area that already has depleted resources and limited food.

Isaiah 7:15 Refuses Evil and Chooses Good

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:15 “He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good,

Curds and honey were foods of the common person. These foods were staples in the diet of the time. Typically, they are symbols of abundance. God referred to the land of Israel as a land flowing with milk and honey in Exodus 3:8a “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey… At this point in history with Ahaz as king, curds and honey are the only foods remaining. The food supply had been decimated.

The “He” in verse 15 is Jesus. These are the credentials of the One who was born of a virgin and named Immanuel in verse 14. He will eat the food, curds and honey, of the common man. He does not have the diet of royalty.

Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus was tempted with food when He was hungry. Satan tempted Him with His life. Jesus was tempted with absolute power if He would submit to Satan. The tempter tried to entice the Son to reject the words of the Father and follow him. He chose good and refused evil.

It is stated two times. He will refuse evil and choose good. Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Isaiah 7:16 “For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.

In other words, Ahaz relax. Syria and the northern kingdom are toast. You all will be okay. Historically, Syria and the northern kingdom alliance get theirs way before the birth of the One who refused evil and chose good.

Isaiah7:3-9 Be Calm, God Knows

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:3-4 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the fuller’s field, and say to him, ‘Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.

God gives a direct command for Isaiah to take his son with him to meet King Ahaz. Imagine if you were Ahaz and you saw Isaiah and son headed your direction, especially when you take the meaning of their names into account. Isaiah means “Jehovah has saved”, and Shear-jashub means (a remnant will return) according to Strong’s Concordance. This should provide some comfort knowing “Jehovah has saved” and “a remnant will return” is coming your direction as messengers from God.

Isaiah repeats a simple message four times, do not be afraid. Yes, these two adversaries are really ticked but they are losing their fire and just smoking and smoldering. The log is about to burn out.

Isaiah 7:5-6 ‘Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,”

God knows their plans and tells Ahaz. Essentially, God is saying “I know what these guys are up to”. They have plans of being king makers. This northern alliance is looking to replace an enemy with an ally. They look to put a friend in power for political gain. This would be a natural alliance to strengthen their foothold in the region. The idea seems reasonable. They want to put the son of “God is good” (Tabeel) in charge in the south.

They have battle plans in place. They are going to break down the wall in Jerusalem and invade. You can make all the plans you want, God may have other ideas for you.

Isaiah 7:7 thus says the Lord GOD: “It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.”

Isaiah 7:9 and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.”’”

God has a plan for eternal life. The issue for us is the same issue as it was for Ahaz, faith. Do you trust God? Do you believe Him? It is there for the taking, free of charge…

Isaiah 7:1-2 Family Feud

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:1 Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it.

Effectively, the northern kingdom of Israel has formed an alliance with Aram, modern day Syria. The northern kingdom has turned against family, the southern kingdom of Judah. This takes place in roughly 735 BC. The northern alliance decides to go south and attack Jerusalem. The campaign was not a success.

The primary characters are the following. Ahaz is the king of the Judah in the south. His name means “he has grasped”. He was the eleventh king of Judah. Ahaz was a direct ancestor to Jesus Christ. He was not a good king. He was wicked and turned to idolatry. He believed in mulitculturalism and introduced other religions and foreigners. Ahaz also turned against his family in the north. He formed an alliance with the Assyrians and Tiglath-pileser in response to the alliance in the north that was formed against him. Ahaz was king for sixteen years and died when he was 35 (Baker Encyclopedia of Bible People).

Pekah is the king of northern Israel. His name means “opened”. He was the nineteenth king of Israel and he reigned for nine years. He gained power by plotting and executing an assassination of King Pekahiah. He was not a good king. Pekah was power hungry. As God would have it, Pekah lost his life and crown with a conspiracy. Hoshea conspired and killed Pekah (Baker Encyclopedia of Bible People).

Rezin is the king of Aram, modern day Syria. His name means “firm”. He was the last king of Syria. The line ends with him (Baker Encyclopedia of Bible People).

Isaiah 7:2 When it was reported to the house of David, saying, “The Arameans have camped in Ephraim,” his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind.

Ahaz is in the house of David. We know this because of the genealogies documented throughout the Old Testament. Specifically, a complete genealogy of Christ is stated in Matthew 1. Ahaz, David, and Jesus are all documented to be in the same family tree.

The meaning of Aram or Arameans is “exalted”. The exalted ones had moved into the hill country of northern Israel. Ephraim is a name used for the northern kingdom in Isaiah. Ephraim is a tribe of Jews that is from the second son of Joseph back in Genesis.

This action by the northern alliance is clearly unsettling to the king and his people in the south. Their inner soul or being shook. The Hebrew word for shook is nuwa’. According to Strong’s Concordance it means: to wave, quiver, vibrate, swing, stagger, tremble, be unstable, to totter, or go tottering. Bravery was not a strong suit of Ahaz and he was perceived to be weak.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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