Isaiah 7:2
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New International Version
Now the house of David was told, "Aram has allied itself with Ephraim"; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

New Living Translation
The news had come to the royal court of Judah: "Syria is allied with Israel against us!" So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.

English Standard Version
When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

New American Standard Bible
When it was reported to the house of David, saying, "The Arameans have camped in Ephraim," his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind.

King James Bible
And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When it became known to the house of David that Aram had occupied Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the hearts of his people trembled like trees of a forest shaking in the wind.

International Standard Version
When it was reported to the house of David, "Aram has joined forces with Ephraim!" the heart of the people of Ahaz trembled like forest trees in a windstorm.

NET Bible
It was reported to the family of David, "Syria has allied with Ephraim." They and their people were emotionally shaken, just as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

New Heart English Bible
It was told the house of David, saying, "Syria is allied with Ephraim." His heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When word reached David's family that the Arameans had made an alliance with Ephraim, the hearts of the king and his people were shaken as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And it was told the house of David, saying: 'Aram is confederate with Ephraim.' And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind.

New American Standard 1977
When it was reported to the house of David, saying, “The Arameans have camped in Ephraim,” his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it was told the house of David, saying Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved and the heart of his people as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

King James 2000 Bible
And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is allied with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind.

American King James Version
And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

American Standard Version
And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they told the house of David, saying: Syria hath rested upon Ephraim, and his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.

Darby Bible Translation
And it was told the house of David saying, Syria is allied with Ephraim. Then his heart and the heart of his people shook, as the trees of the forest are shaken with the wind.

English Revised Version
And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

World English Bible
It was told the house of David, saying, "Syria is allied with Ephraim." His heart trembled, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest tremble with the wind.

Young's Literal Translation
And it is declared to the house of David, saying, 'Aram hath been led towards Ephraim,' And his heart and the heart of his people is moved, like the moving of trees of a forest by the presence of wind.
Study Bible
A Message to Ahaz
1Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it. 2When it was reported to the house of David, saying, "The Arameans have camped in Ephraim," his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind. 3Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the fuller's field,…
Cross References
Isaiah 7:5
Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying,

Isaiah 7:13
Then he said, "Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well?

Isaiah 8:12
"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 or be in dread of it.

Isaiah 9:9
And all the people know it, That is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, Asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart:

Isaiah 22:22
"Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open.

Jeremiah 21:12
O house of David, thus says the LORD: "Administer justice every morning; And deliver the person who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor, That My wrath may not go forth like fire And burn with none to extinguish it, Because of the evil of their deeds.
Treasury of Scripture

And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

the house

Isaiah 7:13 And he said, Hear you now, O house of David; Is it a small thing …

Isaiah 6:13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be …

Isaiah 37:35 For I will defend this city to save it for my own sake, and for my …

2 Samuel 7:16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before …

1 Kings 11:32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for …

1 Kings 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king listened not to them, the people …

1 Kings 13:2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, …

Jeremiah 21:12 O house of David, thus said the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, …

is confederate with. Heb. resteth on

Isaiah 7:17 The LORD shall bring on you, and on your people, and on your father's …

Isaiah 11:13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah …

2 Chronicles 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him …

2 Chronicles 28:12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the …

Ezekiel 37:16-19 Moreover, you son of man, take you one stick, and write on it, For …

Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily …

and his heart

Isaiah 8:12 Say you not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall …

Isaiah 37:27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed …

Leviticus 26:36,37 And on them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into …

Numbers 14:1-3 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the …

Deuteronomy 28:65,66 And among these nations shall you find no ease, neither shall the …

2 Kings 7:6,7 For the LORD had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of …

Psalm 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say you to my soul, Flee as a bird …

Psalm 27:1,2 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD …

Psalm 112:7,8 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting …

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursues: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Matthew 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and …

(2) Syria is confederate with Ephraim.--Literally, rests upon . . . Ephraim stands, of course, as often elsewhere, for the northern kingdom of Israel as a whole.

His heart was moved.--There was a general panic. King and people alike asked, How could they resist? Would it not be better to join the confederacy, and take their chance with it in attacking the king of Assyria? The image of the trees is generic, but suggests something like the quivering of the aspen leaves.

(2) The other interpretation sets out from an entirely different starting-point. The words of Matthew 1:23 are taken as, once for all, deciding the entire meaning of the Immanuel prophecy. The prophet is supposed to have passed into a state of ecstasy in which he sees clearly, and with a full consciousness of its meaning, the history of the incarnation and the marvel of the travail-pangs of the Virgin mother. The vision of the future Christ thus presented to his mind, colours all his after-thoughts, and forms the basis of his whole work. The article emphasises the definiteness of his visions. He sees "the virgin mother" of the far-off future. And the prophet learns to connect the vision with the history of his own time. The growth of that Christ-child in the far-off future serves as a measure of time for the events that were passing, or about to pass, within the horizon of his earthly vision. Before the end of an interval not longer than that which separates youth from manhood, the Syro-Ephraiminitic confederacy should be broken up. So far, here also, we have a coherent and consistent view. It is attended, however, by some serious difficulties. A "sign," in the language of Hebrew prophets, is that which proves to the person to whom it is offered that there is a supernatural power working with him who gives it. If a prediction, it is one which will speedily be tested by a personal experience, the very offer of which implies in the prophet the certainty of its fulfilment. He stakes, as it were, his reputation as a prophet on the issue. (Comp. Isaiah 37:30; Isaiah 38:7; Exodus 4:8-14; 1Samuel 12:16.) But how could the prediction of a birth in the far-off distance, divided by several centuries from Isaiah's time, be a sign to Ahaz or his people? And what would be the meaning, we may ask again, of the words "butter and honey shall he eat," as applied to the Christ-child? Do not the words "Before the child shall know to refuse the evil . . ." point, not to a child seen as afar in vision, but to one who was to be born and grow up among the men of that generation? Should we not have expected, if the words had implied a clear revelation of the mystery of the virgin-birth, that Isaiah himself would have dwelt upon it elsewhere, that later prophets would have named it as one of the notes of the Messiah, that it would have become a tradition of the Jewish schools of interpretation? As a matter of fact, no such allusion is found in Isaiah, nor in the prophets that follow him (see Note on Jeremiah 31:22, for the only supposed, one cannot say even "apparent," exception); the Jewish interpreters never include this among their notes of the Christ. It is indeed, as has been said in the New Testament portion of this Commentary, one of the strongest arguments for the historical, non-mythical character of the series of events in Matthew 1, Luke 1, 2, that they were contrary to prevailing expectation. (See Note on Matthew 1:23.)

A truer way of interpretation than either of those that have been thus set forth, is, it is believed, open to us. We may remember (1) as regards St. Matthew's interpretation of Isaiah's prophecy, that two other predictions cited, as by the Evangelist himself, in the history of the Nativity, in Matthew 1, 2 are, as it were, detached from their position, in which they had a distinct historical meaning, and a new meaning given to them (see Notes on Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:18). and that this holds good of other prophecies cited by him elsewhere (see Notes on Matthew 21:5; Matthew 27:9). It was not, as some have thought, that facts were invented or imagined that prophecies might appear to be fulfilled, but that the facts being given, prophecies were shown to have a meaning which was fulfilled in them, though that meaning may not have been present to the prophet's own mind. In this case the use of the word for "virgin" in the LXX. version may have determined St. Matthew's interpretation of the words. Here, in the history which had come to him attested by evidence which satisfied him, he found One who, in the truest and highest sense, was the "Immanuel" of Isaiah's prophecy. We must not forget (2) the limits within which the prophets lived and moved, as they are stated in 1Peter 1:10. They "enquired and searched diligently" as to the time and manner of the fulfilment of their hopes; but their normal state (the exceptions being only enough to prove the rule) is one of enquiry and not of definite assurance. They had before them the ideal of a righteous king, a righteous sufferer, of victory over enemies and sin and death, but the "times and the seasons" were hidden from them, as they were afterwards from the apostles, and they thought of that ideal king as near, about to burst in upon the stage that was filled with the forms of Assyria, Syria, Ephraim, Judah, as the apostles appear to have thought afterwards that the advent of the Lord would come upon the stage of the world's history that was filled with the forms of Emperors and rebellious Jews and perverse heretics and false prophets (1Thessalonians 4:15; 1Corinthians 15:51; 2Thessalonians 2:3-4; 1Peter 4:7; 1Timothy 4:1-3; 1John 2:18). And neither prophets nor apostles, though left to the limitations of an imperfect knowledge, were altogether wrong. Prophecy has, in Bacon's words, its "springing and germinant accomplishments." The natural birth of the child Immanuel was, to the prophet and his generation, a pledge and earnest of the abiding presence of God with His people. The overthrow of Assyria, and Babylon, and Jerusalem were alike forerunners of the great day of the Lord in which the ultimate and true Immanuel, the name at last fulfilled to the uttermost, shall be at once the Deliverer and the Judge.

Verse 2. - It was told the house of David. Before the actual siege began, news of the alliance reached Ahaz. It is said to have been" told the house of David," because the design was to supersede the family of David by another - apparently a Syrian - house (see note on ver. 6). Syria is confederate with Ephraim; literally, rests upon Ephraim. Under ordinary circumstances the kingdoms of Syria and Israel were hostile the one to the other (see 1 Kings 15:20; 1 Kings 20:1-3; 1 Kings 22:3-36; 2 Kings 5:2; 2 Kings 6:8-24; 2 Kings 8:29; 2 Kings 10:32; 2 Kings 13:3, 22, 25). But occasionally, under the pressure of a great danger, the relations were changed, and a temporary league was formed. The inscriptions of Shalmaneser II. show such a league to have existed in the time of Benhadad II. and Ahab ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. it. pp. 103, 104). The invasion of Pul, and the threatening attitude of Tiglath-Pileser. It had now once more drown the two countries together. On the use of the word "Ephraim" to designate the kingdom of Israel, see Hosea, passim. His heart was moved; or, shook. If the two kings had each been able separately to inflict on him such loss (see the introductory paragraph), what must he not expect, now that both were about to attack him together? It is not clear whether Ahuz had as yet applied to Assyria for help or not. And it was told the house of David,.... Ahaz, and his family, the princes of the blood, his court and counsellors; who had intelligence of the designs and preparations of the Syrians and Israelites against them:

saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim; the ten tribes; or the kingdom and king of Israel. Some render it, "Syria led"; that is, its army "unto Ephraim" (y); marched it into the land of Israel, and there joined the king of Israel's army; others, as the Vulgate Latin version, "Syria rests upon Ephraim" (z); depends upon, trusts in, takes heart and encouragement from Ephraim, or the ten tribes, being his ally. The Septuagint version is, "Syria hath agreed with Ephraim"; entered into a confederacy and alliance with each other; which is the sense of our version; and is confirmed by the Targum, which is,

"the king of Syria is joined with the king of Israel:''

and his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind; the metaphor denotes the strength and force of the confederate armies, comparable to a strong, blustering, boisterous wind; see Isaiah 32:2 and the weakness of the king and people of Judah, who were like to trees shaken by the wind; and also the fear they were possessed with, partly through consciousness of guilt, and partly through distrust of divine power and Providence; and also on account of what they had suffered already from these powerful enemies, when they attacked them singly; and therefore might much more dread them, as they were combined together against them; see 2 Chronicles 28:5.

(y) "duxit exercitum", Tigurine version. (z) "Syria quievit super Ephraim", Forerius, Cocceius; "Syria acquiescit in Ephraimo", Piscator. 2. is confederate with—rather, is encamped upon the territory of Ephraim [Maurer], or better, as Rezin was encamped against Jerusalem, "is supported by" [Lowth] Ephraim, whose land lay between Syria and Judah. The mention of "David" alludes, in sad contrast with the present, to the time when David made Syria subject to him (2Sa 8:6).

Ephraim—the ten tribes.

as … trees of … wood—a simultaneous agitation.7:1-9 Ungodly men are often punished by others as bad as themselves. Being in great distress and confusion, the Jews gave up all for lost. They had made God their enemy, and knew not how to make him their friend. The prophet must teach them to despise their enemies, in faith and dependence on God. Ahaz, in fear, called them two powerful princes. No, says the prophet, they are but tails of smoking firebrands, burnt out already. The two kingdoms of Syria and Israel were nearly expiring. While God has work for the firebrands of the earth, they consume all before them; but when their work is fulfilled, they will be extinguished in smoke. That which Ahaz thought most formidable, is made the ground of their defeat; because they have taken evil counsel against thee; which is an offence to God. God scorns the scorners, and gives his word that the attempt should not succeed. Man purposes, but God disposes. It was folly for those to be trying to ruin their neighbours, who were themselves near to ruin. Isaiah must urge the Jews to rely on the assurances given them. Faith is absolutely necessary to quiet and compose the mind in trials.
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