Isaiah 8:6-8 ‘Therefore as this People refuse the waters of Shiloah that flow gently and rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold! YHWH brings on them the waters of the river, powerful and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory.
And he will come up over all its channels and go over all its banks.
And he will pass through Judah, he will overflow and go over, he will go over to the neck and he will be reaching, stretching out his wings and fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel!’
אֵל עִמָּנוּ = imanu el = El (God) is with us
Jerusalem was being threatened by the united armies of King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel. Rezin and Pekah joined forces to resist the threat of Assyria and they viewed Ahaz as a potential ally of Assyria. Pekah hoped to replace King Ahaz of Judah with a puppet ruler who would do his bidding. Pekah and Rezin had been unsuccessful in their initial attempt to take Jerusalem but Ahaz was scared. God sent Isaiah to Ahaz to allay his fears and assure him that the northern kingdom of Israel would soon be too shattered to be a people. Isaiah reminded Ahaz of the need to stand firm in his faith. Isaiah 7:9 ‘If you will not believe, surely you will not be established’. Isaiah warned him that if he did not believe, he would not survive.
Ahaz had been told to choose a sign but refused to do so, instead placing his hope in the military might of Assyria. Despite this, God promised a sign for him and future generations.
Isaiah 7:14 ‘Therefore YHWH Himself will give you a sign: Behold! A virgin is pregnant and bearing a son and she will call His name Immanuel.’
What an interesting prophecy! Isaiah turns from the king whom he has dismissed in judgment and addresses all who are present. YHWH is confirmed as the giver of this sign. ‘You’ is plural so the sign is for many. This prophecy was addressed to the whole house of David. Predictions in the Old Testament often have a double meaning, once in immediate future and once in far future.
1.Fulfillment in time of Ahaz.
Here the mother is to give the son his name (Note that Joseph named Yeshua and He was never given the name Immanuel). It must refer to someone born in the time of Ahaz. Ahaz had concubines who were the only women who gave names to their own sons. Perhaps one of these women would call her son ‘Immanuel’. Before the son reached a discerning age, Damascus and Samaria would be ruined. This happened by 722 BC.
2.Fulfillment in time of Yeshua.
This would be a supernatural birth to a virgin. Yeshua was born into this world, not of it. ‘God with us’ - the emphasis should be on the word ‘us’ stressing that God is on our side and not with ‘them’. The child was to be God with us i.e. it wasn’t a prediction of the child’s name but of his nature. This was fulfilled in Bethlehem.
Isaiah 8:10 ‘Counsel a counsel, it is broken! Speak a word and it will not rise, for Immanu El.’
In the end Isaiah tells them that men may unite against God, but it will come to nothing for God is with them. Judah will be protected from the very military power which it depended on for deliverance. The nations that came against Judah would be shattered because it was God’s land and He was with them. It is in His nature to be with His people. Remember that we too are His prized possessions and that He is with us.
Reference: Names of Israel, John Koessler, Moody Press, Chicago
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