Damascus and Samaria Fall
1Then the Lord said to me, “Take for yourself a large tablet [for public display] and write on it in ordinary characters: Belonging to [a]Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 2 And I will get faithful witnesses to attest [to this prophecy] for me, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.” 3 So I approached [my wife] the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said to me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz [to remind the people of the prophecy]; 4 for before the boy knows how to say, ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the riches of Damascus (Aram’s capital) and the spoil of Samaria (Israel’s capital) [b]will be carried away by the king of Assyria.”
5 Again the Lord spoke to me, saying,
“Because these people (Judah) have refused the gently flowing waters of [c]Shiloah
And rejoice in Rezin [the king of Aram] and Remaliah’s son [Pekah the king of Israel],
Now therefore, listen carefully, the Lord is about to bring on them the waters of the [Euphrates] River, strong and abundant—
The king of Assyria and all his glory;
And it will rise over all its channels and canals and go far beyond its banks.
“Then it will [d]sweep on into Judah; it will overflow and pass through [the hills],
Reaching even to the neck [of which Jerusalem is the head],
And its outstretched wings (the armies of Assyria) will fill the width of Your land, O Immanuel.
A Believing Remnant
“Be broken [in pieces], O peoples, and be shattered!
Listen, all you [our enemies from the] far countries.
Prepare yourselves [for war], and be shattered;
Prepare yourselves [for war], and be shattered.
“Take counsel together [against Judah], but it will come to nothing;
Speak the word, but it will not stand,
For God is with us (Immanuel).”
11 For in this way the Lord spoke to me with His strong hand [upon me] and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people [behaving as they do], saying,
“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’
In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy,
And you are not to fear what they fear nor be in dread of it.
“It is the Lord of hosts whom you are to regard as holy and awesome.
He shall be your [source of] fear,
He shall be your [source of] dread [not man].
“Then He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred, indestructible shelter for those who fear and trust Him];
But to both the houses of Israel [both the northern and southern kingdoms—Israel and Judah, He will be] a stone on which to stumble and a rock on which to trip,
A trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
“Many [among them] will stumble over them;
Then they will fall and be broken,
They will even be snared and trapped.”
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law and the teaching among my (Isaiah’s) disciples. 17 And I will wait for the Lord who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; and I will look eagerly for Him. 18 Listen carefully, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are [e]for signs and wonders [that will occur] in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
19 When the people [instead of trusting God] say to you, “Consult the mediums [who try to talk to the dead] and the soothsayers who chirp and whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 [Direct those people] to the law and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They [who consult mediums and soothsayers] will pass through the land deeply distressed and hungry, and when they are hungry, they will become enraged and will curse their king and their God as they look upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, they will see only distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness and overwhelming night.
- Isaiah 8:1 I.e. swift is the plunder, speedy is the prey.
- Isaiah 8:4 Samaria was overthrown by Assyria in 722 b.c., ten years after the downfall of Damascus, fulfilling this prophecy.
- Isaiah 8:6 The perennial spring outside Jerusalem that flowed to the Pool of Siloam, Jerusalem’s water supply. The spring was a symbol of God’s protection and sustaining power.
- Isaiah 8:8 This prophecy was literally fulfilled, and although Aram and Israel were conquered and led into captivity, the kingdom of Judah was spared and continued for over 130 years.
- Isaiah 8:18 Isaiah’s own name means “Salvation of the Lord.” His two children’s names were “signs” as well, the one (see note v 1) pointing to the coming military crisis and the other (see note 7:3) to the future restoration.