Isaiah 7:8
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New International Version
for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.

New Living Translation
for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed.

English Standard Version
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. And within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.

Berean Study Bible
For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.

New American Standard Bible
"For the head of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin (now within another 65 years Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people),

King James Bible
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

Christian Standard Bible
The chief of Aram is Damascus, the chief city of Damascus is Rezin (within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people),

Good News Translation
Why? Because Syria is no stronger than Damascus, its capital city, and Damascus is no stronger than King Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be too shattered to survive as a nation.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The head of Aram is Damascus, the head of Damascus is Rezin (within 65 years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people),

International Standard Version
Because Aram's head is Damascus, and Rezin is its king, within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered as a people.

NET Bible
For Syria's leader is Damascus, and the leader of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will no longer exist as a nation.

New Heart English Bible
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be broken in pieces, so that it shall not be a people;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The capital of Aram is Damascus, and the leader of Damascus is Rezin. Ephraim will be shattered within 65 years so that it will no longer be a nation.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For the head of Aram is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Rezin; And within threescore and five years Shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people;

New American Standard 1977
“For the head of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin (now within another 65 years Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people),

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the head of Syria shall be Damascus, and the head of Damascus Rezin; and within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be broken, and it shall never again be a people.

King James 2000 Bible
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, so that it will not be a people.

American King James Version
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within three score and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

American Standard Version
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken in pieces, so that is shall not be a people:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Basin: and within threescore and five years, Ephraim shall cease to be a people:

Darby Bible Translation
for the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within sixty-five years shall Ephraim be broken, so as to be no [more a] people;

English Revised Version
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin: and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken in pieces, that it be not a people:

Webster's Bible Translation
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within sixty five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

World English Bible
For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be broken in pieces, so that it shall not be a people;

Young's Literal Translation
For the head of Aram is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Rezin, And within sixty and five years Is Ephraim broken from being a people.
Study Bible
A Message to Ahaz
7But this is what the Lord GOD says: “It will not arise; it will not happen. 8For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people. 9The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.”…
Cross References
Genesis 14:15
During the night, Abram divided his forces and routed Chedorlaomer's army, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.

Isaiah 8:4
For before the boy knows how to cry 'Father' or 'Mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off to the king of Assyria."

Isaiah 9:9
All the people will know it--Ephraim and the dwellers of Samaria. With pride and arrogance of heart they will say:

Isaiah 9:11
The LORD has raised up the foes of Rezin against him and joined his enemies together.

Isaiah 17:1
This is an oracle concerning Damascus: "Behold, Damascus is no longer a city; it has become a heap of ruins.

Isaiah 17:3
The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the sovereignty from Damascus. The remnant of Aram will be like the splendor of the Israelites," declares the LORD of Hosts.

Jeremiah 49:23
Concerning Damascus: "Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, for they have heard a bad report; they are agitated like the sea; their anxiety cannot be calmed.

Ezekiel 27:18
Because of your many products and your great wealth of goods, Damascus traded with you wine from Helbon, wool from Zahar,

Treasury of Scripture

For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within three score and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

for the head. Dr. Jubb transposes the former part of ver.

Isaiah 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's …

2 Samuel 8:6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became …

within

Isaiah 8:4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother…

Isaiah 17:1-3 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being …

2 Kings 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went …

Ezra 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and …

that it be not a people. Heb. from a people

Hosea 1:6-10 And she conceived again, and bore a daughter. And God said to him, …







(8) The head of Syria is Damascus . . .--The prediction of the failure of the alliance is emphasised. Each city, Damascus and Samaria, should continue to be what it was, the head of a comparatively weak kingdom, and should not be aggrandised by the conquest of Judah and Jerusalem. There is an implied comparison of the two hostile cities and their kings with Jerusalem and its supreme King, Jehovah. Bolder critics, like Ewald, assume that a clause expressing that contrast has been displaced by that which now follows, and which they reject as a later interpolation.

Within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken.--Assuming the genuineness of the clause, we have in it the first direct chronological prediction in the prophet's utterances. Others follow in Isaiah 16:14; Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 21:6; Isaiah 23:1. Reckoning from B.C. 736 as the probable date of the prophecy, the sixty-five years bring us to B.C. 671. At that date Assyrian inscriptions show that Assurbanipal, the "Asnapper" of Ezra 4:2-10, co-regent with his father Esarhaddon, had carried off the last remnant of the people of Samaria, and peopled it with an alien race (Smith's Assurbanipal, p. 363). This completed the work which had been begun by Salmaneser and Sargon (2Kings 17:6). Ephraim then was no more a people.

Verse 8. - For the head of Syria is Damascus, etc. Syria and Ephraim have merely human heads - the one Rezin, the other (ver. 9) Pekah; but Judah, it is implied, has a Divine Head, even Jehovah. How, then, should mere mortals think to oppose their will and their designs to God's? Of course, their designs must come to naught. Within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, etc. If this prophecy was delivered, as we have supposed, in B.C. 733 (see note on ver. 1), sixty-five years later would bring us to B.C. 669. This was the year in which Esar-haddon, having made his son, Asshur-bani-pal, King of Assyria, transferred his own residence to Babylon, and probably the year in which he sent from Babylonia and the adjacent countries a number of colonists who occupied Samaria, and entirely destroyed the nationality, which, fifty-three years earlier, had received a rude blow from Sargon (comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10, with 2 Kings 17:6-24 and 2 Chronicles 33:11). It is questioned whether, under the circumstances, the prophet can have comforted Ahaz with this distant prospect, and suggested that in the present chapter prophecies pronounced at widely distant periods have been mixed up (Cheyne); but there is no such appearance of dislocation in Isaiah 7, in its present form, as necessitates any such theory; and, while it may be granted that the comfort of the promise given in ver. 8 would be slight, it cannot be said that it would be nil; it may, therefore, have been (as it seems to us) without impropriety added to the main promise, which is that of ver. 7. The entire clause, from "and within" to "not a people," must be regarded as parenthetic. For the head of Syria is Damascus,.... Damascus was the metropolis of Syria, the chief city in it, where the king had his palace, and kept his court; of which See Gill on Genesis 15:2, Acts 9:2,

and the head of Damascus is Rezin; he was king of it, as of all Syria; the meaning is, that Syria, of which Damascus was the principal city, was the only country that Rezin should govern, his dominion should not be enlarged; and Ahaz, king of Judah, might assure himself that Rezin should never possess his kingdom, or be able to depose him, and set up another; and as for Ephraim or Israel, the ten tribes, they should be so far from succeeding in such a design against him, that it should befall them as follows:

and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people; which is by some reckoned, not from the time of this prophecy, that being in the third or fourth year of Ahaz, who reigned in all but sixteen years; and in the ninth of Hosea king of Israel, and in the sixth of Hezekiah king of Judah, Samaria was taken, and Israel carried captive into Assyria, 2 Kings 17:6 which was but about eighteen or nineteen years from this time: some think indeed the time was shortened, because of their sins; but this does not appear, nor is it probable: and others think that it designs any time within that term; but the true meaning undoubtedly is, as the Targum renders it,

"at the end of sixty and five years, the kingdom of the house of Israel shall cease.''

This is commonly reckoned by the Jewish writers (d) from the prophecy of Amos, who prophesied two years before the earthquake in Uzziah's time, concerning the captivity both of Syria and Israel, Amos 1:1, Amos 7:11 which account may be carried either through the kings of Judah or of Israel; Jarchi goes the former way, reckoning thus,

"the prophecy of Amos was two years before Uzziah was smitten with the leprosy, according to Amos 1:1. Uzziah was a leper twenty five years, lo, twenty seven. Jotham reigned sixteen years, Ahaz sixteen, and Hezekiah six; as it is said, "in the sixth year of Hezekiah (that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel) Samaria was taken", 2 Kings 18:10 lo, sixty five years.''

So Abarbinel; but Kimchi goes another way, which comes to the same, reckoning thus,

"the prophecy of Amos, according to computation, was in the seventeenth year of Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel, how is it? Jeroboam reigned forty one years, Menahem ten, so there are fifty one; Pekahiah the son of Menahem two, so fifty three; and Pekah twenty, so seventy three; and Hoshea the son of Elah nine, and then Israel were carried captive, so there are eighty two: take out of them seventeen (the years of Jeroboam before the prophecy), and there remain sixty five, the number intended; for we do not reckon the six months of Zechariah, and the month of Shallum.''

Cocceius reckons from the death of Jeroboam, who died in the forty first year of his reign, and in the fifteenth of Uzziah, so that there remained thirty seven years of Uzziah; in the twentieth of Jotham, that is, in the fourth after his death, Hoshea son of Elah was made king, this was the twelfth of Ahaz, 2 Kings 15:30 and in the ninth of Hoshea, Samaria was taken, and Israel carried captive. But Junius and Tremellius are of a different mind from either of these, and think the prophecy wholly respects time to come; they observe, that

"Isaiah in these words first shows, that the kingdom of Syria should be immediately cut off, and the king should die, which at furthest must needs happen four years after; so (say they) we may suppose that these things were said by the prophet in the first year of Ahaz; thence, from the destruction of the Syrians, to the full carrying captive of the Israelites, or from the time of this prophecy, sixty five years must have run out; for although the kingdom of Israel was abolished in the sixth year of Hezekiah, yet Israel did not immediately cease to be a people when only some part of it was carried away; but they entirely ceased to be a people when new colonies were introduced by Esarhaddon, the son of Sennacherib, and all the Israelites were forced into bondage, which the Samaritans explain, Ezra 4:2 wherefore so we fix the series of the times, from the fourth year of Ahaz, in which the kingdom of Syria fell, unto the end, are eleven years, Hezekiah reigned twenty nine years, so the last translation of the Israelites was in the twenty fifth year of Manasseh's reign; but if you begin from the time of the prophecy; the thing will fall upon the twenty first or twenty second of Manasseh's reign; at which time perhaps, as some say, Manasseh was carried captive into Babylon.''

And of this mind was the learned Dr. Prideaux (e), who observes, that in the twenty second year of Manasseh, Esarhaddon prepared a great army, and marched into the parts of Syria and Palestine, and again added them to the Assyrian empire; and adds,

"and then was accomplished the prophecy which was spoken by Isaiah in the first year of Ahaz against Samaria, that within threescore and five years Ephraim should be absolutely broken, so as from thenceforth to be no more a people; for this year being exactly sixty five years from the first of Ahaz, Esarhaddon, after he had settled all affairs in Syria, marched into the land of Israel, and there taking captive all those who were the remains of the former captivity (excepting only some few, who escaped his hands, and continued still in the land), carried them away into Babylon and Assyria; and then, to prevent the land becoming desolate, he brought others from Babylon, and from Cutha, and from Havah, and Hamath, and Sephervaim, to dwell in the cities of Samaria in their stead; and so the ten tribes of Israel, which had separated from the house of David, were brought to a full and utter destruction, and never after recovered themselves again.''

And this seems to be the true accomplishment of this prophecy; though the sense of the Jewish writers is followed by many, and preferred by Noldius; so that there is no need with Grotius and Vitringa to suppose a corruption of the text. Gussetius (f) fancies that signifies twice six, that is, twelve; as twice ten, or twenty; and so five, added to twelve, makes seventeen; and from the fourth of Ahaz, to the taking of Samaria, was about seventeen years.

(d) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 28. p. 85. Aben Ezra in loc. (e) Connection, &c. par, 1. B. 1. p. 30. Bishop Usher, Annal. Vet. Test. A. M. 3327. (f) Comment Ebr. p. 892. 8. head—that is, in both Syria and Israel the capital shall remain as it is; they shall not conquer Judah, but each shall possess only his own dominions.

threescore and five … not a people—As these words break the symmetry of the parallelism in this verse, either they ought to be placed after "Remaliah's son," in Isa 7:9, or else they refer to some older prophecy of Isaiah, or of Amos (as the Jewish writers represent), parenthetically; to which, in Isa 7:8, the words, "If ye will not believe … not be established," correspond in parallelism. One deportation of Israel happened within one or two years from this time, under Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 15:29). Another in the reign of Hoshea, under Shalmaneser (2Ki 17:1-6), was about twenty years after. But the final one which utterly "broke" up Israel so as to be "not a people," accompanied by a colonization of Samaria with foreigners, was under Esar-haddon, who carried away Manasseh, king of Judah, also, in the twenty-second year of his reign, sixty-five years from the utterance of this prophecy (compare Ezr 4:2, 3, 10, with 2Ki 17:24; 2Ch 33:11) [Usher]. The event, though so far off, was enough to assure the people of Judah that as God, the Head of the theocracy, would ultimately interpose to destroy the enemies of His people, so they might rely on Him now.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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