|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Butter and honey shall he eat..... As the Messiah Jesus no doubt did; since he was born in a land flowing with milk and honey, and in a time of plenty, being a time of general peace; so that this phrase points at the place where, and the time when, the Messiah should be born, as well as expresses the truth of his human nature, and the manner of his bringing up, which was in common with that of other children. signifies the "cream of milk", as well as "butter", as Jarchi, in Genesis 18:8, observes; and milk and honey were common food for infants:
that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good; meaning not knowledge of good and bad food, so as to choose the one, and refuse the other; but knowledge of moral good and evil; and this does not design the end of his eating butter and honey, as if that was in order to gain such knowledge, which have no such use and tendency; but the time until which he should live on such food; namely, until he was grown up, or come to years of discretion, when he could distinguish between good and evil; so that as the former phrase shows that he assumed a true body like ours, which was nourished with proper food; this that he assumed a reasonable soul, which, by degrees, grew and increased in wisdom and knowledge; see Luke 2:52. should be rendered, "until he knows"; as in Leviticus 24:12 which the Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos renders, "until it was declared to them"; and so the Targum here,
"butter and honey shall he eat, while or before the child knows not, or until he knows to refuse the evil, and choose the good.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Butter—rather, curdled milk, the acid of which is grateful in the heat of the East (Job 20:17).
honey—abundant in Palestine (Jud 14:8; 1Sa 14:25; Mt 3:4). Physicians directed that the first food given to a child should be honey, the next milk [Barnabas, Epistle]. Horsley takes this as implying the real humanity of the Immanuel Jesus Christ, about to be fed as other infants (Lu 2:52). Isa 7:22 shows that besides the fitness of milk and honey for children, a state of distress of the inhabitants is also implied, when, by reason of the invaders, milk and honey, things produced spontaneously, shall be the only abundant articles of food [Maurer].
that he may know—rather, until He shall know.
evil … choose … good—At about three years of age moral consciousness begins (compare Isa 8:4; De 1:39; Jon 4:11).
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