Isaiah 7:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.

King James Bible
Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

American Standard Version
Butter and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.

English Revised Version
Butter and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

Webster's Bible Translation
Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

Isaiah 7:15 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"For head of Aram is Damascus, and head of Damascus Rezin, and in five-and-sixty years will Ephraim as a people be broken in pieces. And head of Ephraim is Samaria, and head of Samaria the son of Remalyahu; if ye believe not, surely ye will not remain." The attempt to remove Isaiah 7:8, as a gloss at variance with the context, which is supported by Eichhorn, Gesenius, Hitzig, Knobel, and others, is a very natural one; and in that case the train of thought would simply be, that the two hostile kingdoms would continue in their former relation without the annexation of Judah. But when we look more closely, it is evident that the removal of Isaiah 7:8 destroys both the internal connection and the external harmony of the clauses. For just as Isaiah 7:8 and Isaiah 7:8 correspond, so do Isaiah 7:9 and Isaiah 7:9. Ephraim, i.e., the kingdom of the ten tribes, which has entered into so unnatural and ungodly a covenant with idolatrous Syria, will cease to exist as a nation in the course of sixty-five years; "and ye, if ye do not believe, but make flesh your arm, will also cease to exist." Thus the two clauses answer to one another: Isaiah 7:8 is a prophecy announcing Ephraim's destruction, and Isaiah 7:9 a warning, threatening Judah with destruction, if it rejects the promise with unbelief. Moreover, the style of Isaiah 7:8 is quite in accordance with that of Isaiah (on בּעוד, see Isaiah 21:16 and Isaiah 16:14; and on מעם, "away from being a people," in the sense of "so that it shall be no longer a nation," Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 25:2, and Jeremiah 48:2, Jeremiah 48:42). And the doctrinal objection, that the prophecy is too minute, and therefore taken ex eventu, has no force whatever, since the Old Testament prophecy furnishes an abundance of examples of the same kind (vid., Isaiah 20:3-4; Isaiah 38:5; Isaiah 16:14; Isaiah 21:16; Ezekiel 4:5., Isaiah 24:1., etc.). The only objection that can well be raised is, that the time given in Isaiah 7:8 is wrong, and is not in harmony with Isaiah 7:16. Now, undoubtedly the sixty-five years do not come out if we suppose the prophecy to refer to what was done by Tiglath-pileser after the Syro-Ephraimitish war, and to what was also done to Ephraim by Shalmanassar in the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, to which Isaiah 7:16 unquestionably refers, and more especially to the former. But there is another event still, through which the existence of Ephraim, not only as a kingdom, but also as a people, was broken up - namely, the carrying away of the last remnant of the Ephraimitish population, and the planting of colonies from Eastern Asia by Esarhaddon.

(Note: The meaning of this king's name is Assur fratrem dedit (Asuṙacḣyiddin): vid., Oppert, Expedition, t. ii. p. 354.)

on Ephraimitish soil (2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2). Whereas the land of Judah was left desolate after the Chaldean deportation, and a new generation grew up there, and those who were in captivity were once more enabled to return; the land of Ephraim was occupied by heathen settlers, and the few who were left behind were melted up with these into the mixed people of the Samaritans, and those in captivity were lost among the heathen. We have only to assume that what was done to Ephraim by Esarhaddon, as related in the historical books, took place in the twenty-second and twenty-third years of Manasseh (the sixth year of Esarhaddon), which is very probable, since it must have been under Esarhaddon that Manasseh was carried away to Babylon about the middle of his reign (2 Chronicles 33:11); and we get exactly sixty-five years from the second year of the reign of Ahaz to the termination of Ephraim's existence as a nation (viz., Ahaz, 14; Hezekiah, 29; Manasseh, 22; in all, 65). It was then that the unconditional prediction, "Ephraim as a people will be broken in pieces," was fulfilled (yēchath mē‛âm; it is certainly not the 3rd pers. fut. kal, but the niphal, Malachi 2:5), just as the conditional threat "ye shall not remain" was fulfilled upon Judah in the Babylonian captivity. נאמן signifies to have a fast hold, and האמין to prove fast-holding. If Judah did not hold fast to its God, it would lose its fast hold by losing its country, the ground beneath its feet. We have the same play upon words in 2 Chronicles 20:20. The suggestion of Geiger is a very improbable one, viz., that the original reading was בי תאמינו לא אם, but that בי appeared objectionable, and was altered into כּי. Why should it be objectionable, when the words form the conclusion to a direct address of Jehovah Himself, which is introduced with all solemnity? For this כּי, passing over from a confirmative into an affirmative sense, and employed, as it is here, to introduce the apodosis of the hypothetical clause, see 1 Samuel 14:39, and (in the formula עתּה כּי) Genesis 31:42; Genesis 43:10; Numbers 22:29, Numbers 22:33; 1 Samuel 14:30 : their continued existence would depend upon their faith, as this chi emphatically declares.

Isaiah 7:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

butter. Connecting this verse with the preceding and following, we may render with Dr. Jubb and Lowth, Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel; butter and honey shall he eat when he shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good. for, etc.

Isaiah 7:22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter...

Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.


Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate...

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you...

Luke 2:40,52 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was on him...

Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; hold to that which is good.

Philippians 1:9,10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment...

Cross References
Genesis 18:8
Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

Deuteronomy 1:39
And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.

Isaiah 7:22
and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

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