|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:10-16 Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the colour of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great soever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels' food. Then follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a terror to Judah. Before this child, so it may be read; this child which I have now in my arms, (Shear-jashub, the prophet's own son, ver. 3,) shall be three or four years older, these enemies' forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if the prospect of the coming of the Divine Saviour was a never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May we trust in and love Him, and copy his example.
Verse 11. - Ask thee a sign. Asking for a sign is right or wrong, praiseworthy or blamable, according to the spirit in which the request is made. The Pharisees in our Lord's time "asked for a sign," but would not have believed any the more had they received the sign for which they asked. Gideon asked for a sign to strengthen his faith (Judges 6:37, 39), and received it, and in the strength of it went forth boldly against the Midianites. When God himself proposed to give a sign, and allowed his creature to choose what the sign should be, there could be no possible wrong-doing in a ready acceptance of the offer, which should have called forth gratitude and thanks. Ask it either in the depth, or in the height above; i.e. "Ask any sign thou wilt, either in hell or in heaven" - nothing shall be refused thee.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God,.... For though Ahaz was a wicked man, yet the Lord was his God, as he was the God of the people of Israel in general, as a nation; and knowing his unbelief and diffidence of his word unto him, offers to confirm it by a sign or miracle:
ask it either in the depth, or in the height above, in earth, or in heaven: so the Targum,
"ask that a miracle may be done for thee upon earth, or that a sign may be shown thee in heaven;''
either that the earth might gape and open its mouth, as in the days of Moses; or that the sun might stand still, as in the times of Joshua; or that a dead man might be raised out of the depth of the earth; or that there might be some strange appearances in the heavens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Ask thee—since thou dost not credit the prophet's words.
sign—a miraculous token to assure thee that God will fulfil His promise of saving Jerusalem (Isa 37:30; 38:7, 8). "Signs," facts then present or near at hand as pledges for the more distant future, are frequent in Isaiah.
ask … in … depth—literally, "Make deep … ask it," that is, Go to the depth of the earth or of Hades [Vulgate and Lowth], or, Mount high for it (literally, "Make high"). So in Mt 16:1. Signs in heaven are contrasted with the signs on earth and below it (raising the dead) which Jesus Christ had wrought (compare Ro 10:6, 7). He offers Ahaz the widest limits within which to make his choice.
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