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. 'the heart of his people, that is, the royal family, as the trees of

3 the wood are moved with the wind. Then said the Lord unto . Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy · son, whose name signifies,' the remnant shall return,' at the end

of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's 4 field ; 'And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet ; fear not,

neither be faint hearted, for the two tails of these smoking firebrunds, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son

of Remaliah ; do not give way to anxious fears, for these two 5 kings are but as two firebrands which are almost consumed. Be

cause Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Renialiah, have taken evil 6 counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and

vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, (even] the son of Tabeal ; thus firetending 10

the crown of Judah, and designing to overthrow the house of David: 7 Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it 8 come to pass. For the head of Syria [is] Damascus, and the head of Damascus [is] Rezin; as Damascus is the head city of Syria, and Rezin is the lead or king of Damascus, so they shall continue to be, and not advance themselves, and enlarge their ferri.

tories, as they design ; and within three score and five years 9 shall Ephraim be broken, that it be riot à people. And the

head of Ephraim, [is] Samaria, and the head. of Samaria [is] Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established ; if ye will not trust what God sayh, and rely upon him for deliverance, but seek out for forrign support, you shall never prosper in any design for the securing your peace and comfort, ar

it came to pass, 2 Chron. xxvii. 20. 10 11 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Abaz, saying, Ask

thee a sign of the Lord thy God, some miracle to confirm the

truth of this prediction; ask it either in the depth, or in the height 12 above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the

LORD ; bring secretly determined not to trust Providence, but 10 seek help from the king of Assyria, therefore for political reasons

he would not ask a sign ; though he pretended religion and a re13 gard to 'God as the reason. And he said, Hear ye now, ( house

of David ? [Is it) a small thing for you to weary men, but will

ve weary my God also ? This is not only a slight to me, but to 14 the patience and kindness of God. Therefore the Lord him

self shall give you a sigo, a double sign, one, that the house of David should not be totally destroyed, the other, that they should speedily be delivered ; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and

bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ; an illustrious 15 prophecy of Christ. Nevertheless, Butter and honey shall he eat,

that he may know, or till he knows how, to refuse the evil, and choose the good, that is, he shall be bred ul as other children are.

• Accordingly, from the first year of Abaz, when this confederacy was formed, and this prophecy delivered, it was just sixty five years to the twenty second Year of Manasseh, when ihe king of Assyria carried away the last of the ten tribes, and planted colonies of other nations in their stead, and probably took Manasseh captive at the same time. It was broken from being a kingdom by the fornier Assyrian kings, but not broken from being a people cilinovi

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The land shall continue its fruitfulness, and be capable of nourish.

ing its inhabitants, till he is born ; and as he is to be born of the 16 house of David, this is a sign that that house shall not fal. For be,

fore the child, that is, this child that is now in my hand, Shearjashub my son, v. 3, shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest, the land that thou carest for. with great concern, the land of Judah, of which they have now got possession, shall be forsaken of both her kings ; the king of Syria and the king of Israel, shall both be destroyed by the king of Assyria, and the two hundred thousand captives they have taken shall be restored by the influence of God upon their minds ; according to the meaning of the name of the prophei's son. See 2 Kings xv. 29, 30. xvj. 9.

Nevertheless God will send a more terrible enemy upon them, 17 because Ahaz will not trust God, but seek help from Assyria : The

LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that

Ephraim departed from Judah ; [even) the king of Assyria, to 18 whom you have sought for help. And it shall come to pass in

that day, [that] the LORD shall hiss for the fly that [i:] in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the Lee that [is] in the land of Assyria ; the muliitude of their enemies shalt be

like swarms of fies or bees, from which no rank, and no place shall 19 be secure.* And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in

the desolate vallies, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all

thorns, and upon all bushes ; overspread and make havock of the 20 whole country. In the same day shall the LORD shave with a

razor, that is hired, the Assyrians, whom thou hast hired to defend thec, (namely,] by them beyond the river Euphratca, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet : and it shall

also consume the beard ; he shall make a great and general de21 struction. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] a man

shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep, so few catile shall be 22 left ; And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk [that]

they shall give, by reason of their having so inuch room to feed, on account of the country being depopulated, that he shall eat butter : for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land ; they shall have no flesh 10 eat, neither corn, wine, nor

oil, the produce of cultivation, but only milk and honey, the gifts of 23 nature. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] every

place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, or shekels, that is, so much a year, it shall [even] be

for briars and thorris ; it si.all be wasted, and overrun with briars 24 and thorns. With arrows and with bows shall [men] come

thither, to destroy wild beasts or hunt for food ; because all the 25 land shall become briars and thorns. And (on) all hills that

shall be digged with the mattock, that is, the choicest grounds that were used to be tilled, and where the vineyards used to be

• The Assyrians had conquered Egypt before this, and had many Egyptians in their army.

planted, there shall not come thither the fear of briars and thorps: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle; there shall be no hedge 10 defend them, but The calile shall graze upon them, that is, there shall be a general desolation of all the country.

REFLECTIONS.

1. W e are here shown the necessity and advantage of faith

VV in God in troublesome and dangerous times. It is our duty to take heed, to be quiet, to rule our spirits, to command our passions, and have faith in God ; that is, to maintain a firm belief of his overruling Providence, and guard against that fearwhich hath torment. His words are true, his declarations are faithful ; he knows how to deliver from the most formidable enemies ; let us therefore commit our way to the Lord, trusl also in him ; and thus shall we dwell safely, and be quiet from the fear of evil.

2. Let us bless God that this sign is come to pass, and that this glorious prophecy of Christ is fulfilled! He was born of the Virgin Mary ; his name was called Immanuel. God is with us, dwelling in human nature, and at peace with us. We should thankfully receive him as the Messiah, who is to reign over the house of David, and whose kingdom is everlasting. We should diligently seek an interest in him, and all lesser deliverances should lead our thoughts to this great deliverer, who is God's salvation to the ends of the earth.

3. Though God may not entirely cast off his people, yet he may see it needsul to correct them. Though Judah should be delivered from the designs of Syria and Israel, yet they should be punished by the king of Assyria ; though the house of David should not totally be ruined, yet great calamities should come upon the land. God often deals thus with his people. Though he does not quite forsake them, or give them up to ruin, yet he visits their iniquity with a rod, and their iransgression with stripes. We should therefore maintain a holy caution and fear of sin, and glorify God by a faithful obedience to all his commands.

CHAP. VIII.

This and several following chapters are prophecies of the troubles of Judah by the Assyriuns ; intermingled with prophecies of the Messiah, for the encouragement of the believing Jews.

IM OREOVER the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great

I roll, and write in it with a man's pen, in the common way of woriting, and in a plain, legible manner, for the use of all, concerning Mahershalalhashbaz, the name of his child. And I took unto ine faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and

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Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to be witnesses that I noor 3 delivered and recorded these prophecice. And I went unto the

prophetess my wife ; and she conceived and bare a son.: Then · said the Lord to me; Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz, which 4 significs, ó make speed to the spoil; hasten to the proy. For bes

fore the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, that is, before the child shall be able to speak plain enough 10 sa'y father and mother, the first thing that children commonly learn, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before, or by, tlie king of Assyria, and the tealth:

thereof sens into his own country ; ( which accordingly came to pass, 2 5 Kings xvi. 9. xv. 29.) The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, 6 Forasniuch as this people refrseth the waters of Shiloah, a linte brook that run through Jerusalem, that go sostly, and rejoice in

Rezin and Remalial's son ; are many of theni uneasy at Hesekia 7 ah's 1rformaion, and wish well to the confedera'ts ; Now there

fore, behold, the LORD bringeth up upon them the waters of the river Euphrates, strong and many; a great piover, as 7977!ch sula perior to theirs as Eupurales was superior 10 Shillah ; [even) the king of Assyria, and all his glory : and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks ; not keep within

his own bounds, but intude and overrin the whole land of Israel, 8 as ar ot'crfiowing river does the neighbouring meadong : And he

shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, lie shall reach [even) to the neck, 10 Jerusalem ; so that the king. dom shall be like a man un to his neck in water and in danger of drowning ; and the stretching out of his wings, his stirradings armu, shall fill the breadth of thy land, 0 Immanuel ; aplain intimalion that Judah should not be quite forsaken, since it was

Christ's lund i he qua8 10 be born, to live, and to die there. . 9 Associate yourselves, () ye people of Syria and Israel, and ye

shall be broken in pieces ; and give ear all ye of far countries,

Ye Assyrians ; gird yourscives, and ye shall be broken in pieces; 10 gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel

together, and it shall come to nought į speak the word, and it
shall not stand; however confident of success, all is in vain ; for

God fis) with us, or, it is Immanuel's land,
Il For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, bri an.

ertraordinary impulse he infused courage into me, and instructed

me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all (them to whom this people

shall say, A confederacy; though this is the popular cry, and

avery one is afraid of it, yrt neither fear ye their fear, nor be 13 afraid. Sanctisy the Lord of hosts himself; and (let] him [be]

your fear, and [let) him [be] your dread ; gire him glory for his 14 power and providence. And he shall be for a sanctuary, that is,

arluce of defence; or Fle, according to some, refirs to Immanuel, spoken of before ; he shall be a sanciuary to all believers, especially among the gentiles ; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of ofience to both the houses of Israel, that is, both Benjamin and Judah, who would not believe, for a gin and for a share to the

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15 inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stuma

ble, and fall, and be broken, and be shared, and be taken ; their sin shall be aggravated, and their punishment increased, by what

Christ shall do ; and he will give them up to a spirit of blindness 16 and error. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disa

ciples. These are the words of Christ ; as if he had said, Let the meaning of these prophecies be in righteous judgment concraird from the wicked Jewe, but let my disciples receive them, that is, understand and believe them : the accomplishment will explain

them, be an evidence of God's truth, and a justification of those 17 who depend upon him. And I will wait upon the LORD, that

hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. This, some think, is the language of the prophet ; as if he had said, I will firmly expect this happy event, though I sce no present marks of the divine favour to Israel: but it is rather, the

language of Christ; I will wait for him to manifest his favour 10 18 the gentiles. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD háth

given me [are] for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleih in mount Zion; which may mean, that the children of the prophet were types and figures of great things; or rather, that the gentiles, Christ's spiritual seed, the

children of Abraham by faith, should be wondered at for believing 19 these promises, and trusting in the Messial. And when they

shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter ; the pious Israel iles shall answer, should not a people seek unto their God? for

the living to the dead? Should they seek for living men 10 dead 20 idols ? how absurd and stupid were this! To the law and to the

testimony, keep close to them : if they speak not according to

this word, (it is] because (there is) ro light, no understanding, 21 no piety in them. And they shall pass through it, hardly bes

stead and hungry; distressed and famished: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their god, and look upward ; that is,

when unbelievers pass through the land, they stall curse their king 22 or rulers for hiring the Assyrians. And they shall look on the

earth ; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguishi, they shall look upward and downward, and see nothing but per: file.city and sorrow; and (they shall be] driven to darkness, 10 gioom and accumulaied distress.

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REFLECTIONS.

1. I ET us reflect with pleasure on the care which the prophets

I took to prove their prophecies authentic. They did not merely speak them, and commit them to memory or tradition, but wrote them in a plain, legible manner ; and did it before witnesses, who probably subscribed the same, and were ready to declare upon oath that they saw the prophet write or attest it, that it might be read and appealed to in order to support the faith of the people in

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