New American Standard Bible
"For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
King James Bible
For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
Darby Bible Translation
For before the child knoweth to refuse the evil and to choose the good, the land whose two kings thou fearest shall be forsaken.
World English Bible
For before the child knows to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings you abhor shall be forsaken.
Young's Literal Translation
For before the youth doth know To refuse evil, and to fix on good, Forsaken is the land thou art vexed with, because of her two kings.
Isaiah 7:16 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The land that thou abhorrest - The land concerning which thou art so much "alarmed or distressed;" that is, the united land of Syria and Ephraim. It is mentioned here as 'the land,' or as one land, because they were united then in a firm alliance, so as to constitute, in fact, or for the purposes of invasion and conquest, one people or nation. The phrase, 'which thou abhorrest,' means properly, which thou loathest, the primary idea of the word - קוץ qûts - being to feel a nausea, or to vomit. It then means to fear, or to feel alarm; and this, probably, is the meaning here. Abaz, however, evidently looked upon the nations of Syria and Samaria with disgust, as well as with alarm. This is the construction which is given of this passage by the Vulgate, Calvin, Grotius, Junins, Gataker, and Piscator, as well as by our common version. Another construction, however, has been given of the passage by Vitringa, JohnD. Michaelis, Lowth, Gesenius, Rosenmuller, Hengstenberg, and Hendewerk. According to this, the meaning is not that the "land" should be the object of abhorrence, but that the kings themselves were the objects of dislike or dread; and not merely that the two kings should be removed, but that the land itself was threatened with desolation. This construction is free from the objections of an exegetical kind to which the other is open, and agrees better with the idiom of the Hebrew. According to this, the correct translation would be:
For before the child shall learn to refuse the
Evil and to choose the good,
Desolate shall be the land, before whose two
Kings thou art in terror.'
Of both her kings - Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the temple, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria. Induced by this, the king of Assyria marched against Damascus and killed Rezin, 2 Kings 16:9. This occurred but a short time after the threatened invasion of the land by Rezin and Remaliah, in the "third" year of the reign of Ahaz, and, consequently, about one year after this prophecy was delivered. Pekah, the son of Remaliah, was slain by Hoshea, the son of Elah, who conspired against him, killed him, and reigned in his stead. This occurred in the fourth year of the reign of Ahaz, for Pekah reigned twenty years. Ahaz began to reign in the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah, and as Pekah was slain after he had reigned twenty years, it follows that he was slain in the fourth year of the reign of Ahaz - perhaps not more than two yearn after this prophecy was delivered; see 2 Kings 15:27, 2 Kings 15:30; 2 Kings 16:1. We have thus arrived at a knowledge of the time intended by Isaiah in Isaiah 7:16. The whole space of time was not, probably, more than two years.
Opinions on the Intrepretation of Isaiah 7:14-16
A great variety of opinions have been entertained by interpreters in regard to this passage Isaiah 7:14-16. It may be useful, therefore, to state briefly what those opinions have been, and then what seems to be the true meaning.
(i) The first opinion is that which supposes that by the 'virgin' the wife of Ahaz is referred to, and that by the child which should be born, the prophet refers to Hezekiah. This is the opinion of the modern Jewish commentators generally. This interpretation prevailed among the Jews in the time of Justin. But this was easily shown by Jerome to be false. Ahaz reigned in Jerusalem but sixteen years 2 Kings 17:2, and Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign 2 Kings 18:2, and of course was not less than nine years old when this prophecy was delivered. Kimchi and Abarbanel then resorted to the supposition that Ahaz had a second wife, and that this refers to a child that was to be born of her. This supposition cannot be proved to be false, though it is evidently a mere supposition. It has been adopted by the Jews, because they were pressed by the passage by the early Christians, as constituting an argument for the divinity of Christ. The ancient Jews, it is believed, referred it mainly to the Messiah.
(ii) Others have supposed, that the prophet designated some virgin who was then present when the king and Isaiah held their conference, and that the meaning is, 'as surely as this virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, so surely shall the land be forsaken of its kings.' Thus Isenbiehl, Bauer, Cube, and Steudel held, as quoted by Hengstenberg, "Christol." i. p. 341.
(iii) Others suppose that the 'virgin' was not an actual, but only an ideal virgin. Thus Michaelis expresses it: 'By the time when one who is yet a virgin can bring forth (that is, in nine months), all will be happily changed, and the present impending danger so completely passed away, that if you were yourself to name the child, you would call him Immanuel.' Thus Eichhorn, Paulus, Hensler, and Ammon understand it; see "Hengstenberg."
(iv) Others suppose that the 'virgin' was the prophet's wife. Thus Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Faber, and Gesenius. Against this supposition there is only one objection which has been urged that is of real force, and that is, that the prophet already had a son, and of course his wife could not be spoken of as a virgin. But this objection is entirely removed by the supposition, which is by no means improbable, that the former wife of the prophet was dead, and that he was about to be united in marriage to another who was a virgin.
In regard to the prophecy itself, there have been three opinions:
(i) That it refers "exclusively" to some event in the time of the prophet; to the birth of a child then, either of the wife of Ahaz, or of the prophet, or of some other unmarried female. This would, of course, exclude all reference to the Messiah. This was formerly my opinion; and this opinion I expressed and endeavored to maintain, in the first composition of these notes. But a more careful examination of the passage has convinced me of its error, and satisfied me that the passage has reference to the Messtah. The reasons for this opinion I shall soon state.
LibraryEstimate of St. Augustin.
Augustin, the man with upturned eye, with pen in the left hand, and a burning heart in the right (as he is usually represented), is a philosophical and theological genius of the first order, towering like a pyramid above his age, and looking down commandingly upon succeeding centuries. He had a mind uncommonly fertile and deep, bold and soaring; and with it, what is better, a heart full of Christian love and humility. He stands of right by the side of the greatest philosophers of antiquity and of …
St. Augustine—The Confessions and Letters of St
Letter vi (Circa A. D. 1127) to the Same
Of Faith. The Definition of It. Its Peculiar Properties.
Jesus Makes his First Disciples.
'Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
for before the boy knows how to cry out 'My father ' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria."
"Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
The oracle concerning Damascus. "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin.
"The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, And sovereignty from Damascus And the remnant of Aram; They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel," Declares the LORD of hosts.
"I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.
I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself.
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