|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-8 The prophet is to write on a large roll, or on a metal tablet, words which meant, Make speed to spoil, hasten to the prey: pointing out that the Assyrian army should come with speed, and make great spoil. Very soon the riches of Damascus and of Samaria, cities then secure and formidable, shall be taken away by the king of Assyria. The prophet pleads with the promised Messiah, who should appear in that land in the fulness of time, and, therefore, as God, would preserve it in the mean time. As a gentle brook is an apt emblem of a mild government, so an overflowing torrent represents a conqueror and tyrant. The invader's success was also described by a bird of prey, stretching its wings over the whole land. Those who reject Christ, will find that what they call liberty is the basest slavery. But no enemy shall pluck the believer out of Emmanuel's hand, or deprive him of his heavenly inheritance.
Verse 8. - And he shall pass through Judah; rather, he shall pass on into Judah ("He shall sweep onward into Judah," Revised Version). The Assyrians will not be content with invading Syria and Samaria; they will "pass on into Judaea." It is not clear whether this is to be done immediately by Tiglath-Pileser, or by one of his successors at a later date. There is reason to believe from Tiglath-Pileser's inscriptions that he used the territory of Ahaz for the passage of his armies as those of a vassal king, but did not ravage them. He shall reach even to the neck. The Assyrian attacks on Judaea shall stop short of destroying it. The flood shall not submerge the head, but only rise as high as the neck. This prophecy was fulfilled, since it was not Assyria, but Babylon, which destroyed the Jewish kingdom. The stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land. The Assyrian armies shall visit every part of the land. The sudden change of metaphor is in the manner of Isaiah (see Isaiah 1:30, 31; Isaiah 5:24, 30, etc.). O Immanuel. On the importance of this address, as indicating the kingly, and so (probably) the Divine character of Immanuel, see the notes on Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah could not speak of the land as belonging to his own infant son.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he shall pass through Judah,.... That is, the king of Assyria, compared to a river of mighty waters; who should not only run over and possess the land of Israel, or the ten tribes, but should enter into Judea, and pass through it, as a chastisement for not trusting in the Lord, but sending to Assyria for help; who instead of helping, distressed them in the times of Ahaz, even Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, 2 Chronicles 28:20,
he shall overflow, and go over; the whole land of Judea, as Sennacherib king of Assyria did in Hezekiah's time:
he shall reach even to the neck; that is, to Jerusalem: the whole land is compared to a body, of which Jerusalem was the head; the Assyrian army, comparable to the waters of a great river, overflowed the whole land, took all the fenced cities of Judah, and came up even to Jerusalem, so that the whole was in great danger of being drowned and destroyed; as a man is, when the waters are come up to his neck; see 2 Kings 18:13,
and the stretching out of his wings, the wings of the Assyrian army,
shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel; Judea, called Immanuel's land, because he was to be born there, and converse and die there; and this is particularly mentioned, to show that, though this land should be overrun by the Assyrians, yet not destroyed, until Immanuel, the son of the virgin, was born here. The Targum is,
"and he shall pass through the land of the house of Judah as an overflowing torrent, unto Jerusalem shall he come; and the people of his army shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. pass through—The flood shall not stop at Syria and Samaria, but shall penetrate into Judea.
the neck—When the waters reach to the neck, a man is near drowning; still the head is not said to be overflowed. Jerusalem, elevated on hills, is the head. The danger shall be so imminent as to reach near it at Sennacherib's invasion in Hezekiah's reign; but it shall be spared (Isa 30:28).
wings—the extreme bands of the Assyrian armies, fulfilled (Isa 36:1; 37:25).
thy land, O Immanuel—Though temporarily applied to Isaiah's son, in the full sense this is applicable only to Messiah, that Judea is His, was, and still is, a pledge that, however sorely overwhelmed, it shall be saved at last; the "head" is safe even now, waiting for the times of restoration (Ac 1:6); at the same time these words imply that, notwithstanding the temporary deliverance from Syria and Israel, implied in "Immanuel," the greatest calamities are to follow to Judah.
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