Isaiah 7–8 tells about a specific historical event in the kingdom of Judah, but the prophecy not only applied then but also foretold the birth of Jesus Christ over seven hundred years later.Isaiah 7 explains that the king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom, also called Ephraim) and the king of Syria had combined together for greater military strength. Together they hoped to conquer the kingdom of Judah (see vv. 1–2, 5–6). Their actions scared Ahaz, king of Judah (see v. 2). The Lord told Isaiah to tell Ahaz not to be frightened because the Assyrians would come from the north and conquer both Syria and Ephraim. Isaiah said that the fulfillment of this prophecy would be a testimony to Judah that the Lord would continue to preserve them as a people. Then Isaiah gave Ahaz a sign as a testimony that his words were true. He said that a virgin would conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel, which means “God with us.” The name Immanuel symbolized the fact that God would be with His people Judah. Isaiah also prophesied that before the child would be old enough to know the difference between good and evil, the Assyrians would capture the kings of both Syria and Ephraim (see vv. 14–16).This prophecy in Isaiah 7:10–16 has a much deeper meaning. One reason God would preserve Judah as a people was because He promised to send His Son to earth through the tribe of Judah and the posterity of King David. This Son of God would be an Immanuel. Isaiah was telling Ahaz that God would preserve Judah in their current challenge with Syria and Ephraim as well as for the many years leading up to the Messiah’s birth.Isaiah 8 continues the story begun in Isaiah 7. Isaiah told the people of Judah not to worry about Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel because Assyria would destroy them. The new worry, however, was that Assyria would attack Judah as well. The people of Judah considered joining with other nations in a “confederacy” to fight against Assyria (see vv. 9–10). Isaiah told the people that if they trusted the Lord, He would be their security, or “sanctuary” (vv. 13–14). He also warned them about listening to people who claim revelation but do not receive it from God (see vv. 19–22).34189_000_284
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A as you study Isaiah 7–8.