ISAIAH 7, YESHUA AND THE APOSTLES
The prophecy of Christ (Yeshua) and the New Testament was part of the prophecy against Israel, the
northern ten tribes, and Syria found in Isaiah 7. These two kingdoms had united to overthrow King Ahaz of
Judah.

"And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the
king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it,
but could not prevail against it." (Is. 7:1).

Here is the history of this first attack on Judah. "Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king
of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. At that time
Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath,
and dwelt there unto this day." (2 Kings 16:5,6).

"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." (Is. 7:2).

The house of David, the descendants of King David that lived in Jerusalem were terrified by the
confederacy of their two enemies. Subsequent events were to prove their fear justified.

"Wherefore (because Ahaz was an idolater) the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of
Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to
Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great
slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day,
which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. And Zichri, a mighty
man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that
was next to the king. And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred
thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil
to Samaria." (2 Chron. 28:5-8).

God sent the prophet Isaiah to King Ahaz with a message. "Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to
meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of
the fuller’s field..." (Is. 7:3). Shearjashub means "a remnant shall escape or return." (Easton's Bible
Dictionary). It was prophetic of the intercession of God through the mouth of the prophet Oded, who met
the army that was returning to Samaria with the captives of Judah. Because of God's intercession, Judah
remained a nation.

"But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came
to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the Lord God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he
hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven. And
now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto
you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God? Now hear me therefore,
and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the
Lord is upon you. Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan,
Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood
up against them that came from the war, and said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for
whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our
trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. So the armed men left the
captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation. And the men which were expressed by
name (which had spoken out) rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were
naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed
them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees,
to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria." (2 Chron. 28:9-15).

Here is the message that Isaiah brought to Ahaz from God. "And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet;
fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of
Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken
evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein
for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand,
neither shall it come to pass. For the head (capital city) of Syria is Damascus, and the head (king) of
Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people
(a prophecy of the capture of the northern kingdom Israel by Assyria). And the head (capital city) of
Ephraim (royal house of Israel, the northern kingdom) is Samaria, and the head (king) of Samaria is
Remaliah’s son (Pekah). If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established." (Is. 7:4-9).

So the word of God was sent to reassure King Ahaz in the desperate time. Ahaz was told to calm down and
be brave because God would deal with his enemies. Particularly, Ahaz was told that the northern kingdom
(ruled by the house of Ephraim), which was confederating with the heathen to overthrow their brothers of
Judah, would no longer have their own land, "within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken,
that it be not a people."

"Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the
depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord." (Is. 7:10-12).

Confronted with the word of God from the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, Ahaz was afraid. He knew that he
had repeatedly broken the covenant with God. Here is his history.

"Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he
did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father: for he walked in the ways of the
kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the
son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord
had cast out before the children of Israel." (2 Chron. 28:1-3).

"And he (God) said (through the mouth of Isaiah), Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you
to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?" (Is. 7:13). God expresses his disgust with the idolatry of the
kings of Judah.

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and
shall call his name Immanuel." (Is. 7:14).

This prophecy is believed by Christians, because they believe the other prophecies of Christ. There is no
proving at this late date that Mary was a virgin when she conceived. This, therefore, is not a prophecy to
cause men to accept Christ, but rather a prophecy to be accepted after the truth of Christ is accepted.
Even Christ's Hebrew name, Yeshua, does not lend itself to this prophecy, although it can be translated
"God the Savior." Immanuel is translated in Matthew 1:23 as "God with us."

Other prophecies reveal names for Christ similar to Immanuel. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son
is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Is. 9:6). Christians call Christ
be these names.

Overall, however, the sign of the virgin birth is a sign not meant to convince. This is in keeping with God's
words to Isaiah in the preceding chapter. "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but
understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their
ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand
with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Is. 6:9,10). So the people of Judah were given a sign that
they would not believe.

"Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good." (Is. 7:15).

Since literal butter and honey do not inherently make one who eats them wise, they are obviously
symbols. Honey is revealed by the scriptures to be the Word of God, particularly His Law.

"My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: so shall the
knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy
expectation shall not be cut off." (Prov. 24:13,14).

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the
simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
sweeter also
than honey and the honeycomb
." (Ps. 19:7-10). Honey is a symbol of God's Law.

Butter is a symbol of the words of the prophets from the Holy Ghost. It is made from the cream of the milk
which flows from the woman Jerusalem, a symbol of the Holy Ghost.

"
Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that
mourn for her:
that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk
out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory
." (Is. 66:10,11).

"And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of
the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go
forth the law, and the
word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Is. 2:3). Milk is a symbol of the word of the Lord.

Butter is produced when there is an abundance of milk, milk is used first for drinking and cheese making.
Butter is made from cream, the fat of the milk that satiates, that satisfies hunger. So learning from butter
implies that not only is the message large, it is understood, it answers all questions of meaning. The
knowledge of God's Law (honey) and the testimony of the prophets (butter) was given to the Child Christ.

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years
old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they
returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. And it
came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both
hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding
and answers." (Luke 2:40-43,46,47).

"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." (Is. 7:16).

Before the Messiah was born and learned the scriptures, both the land of Syria and the northern kingdom,
Israel would have their kings overthrown. First, here is the story of the overthrow of Syria.

"So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up,
and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up
against me. And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the
treasures of the king’s house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria
hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people
of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin." (2 Kings 16:7-9).

The overthrow of the northern kingdom Israel was at the hands of two kings of Assyria and Hoshea, one of
Pekah's subjects.

"In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and
Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali,
and carried them captive to Assyria. And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son
of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead..." (2 Kings 15:29,30).

"In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel
nine years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel that were
before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave
him presents. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king
of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of
Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land,
and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took
Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan,
and in the cities of the Medes." (2 Kings 17:1-6).

"The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not
come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah (when Israel split into two kingdoms); even the king
of Assyria." (Is. 7:17).

This prophecy was fulfilled against Ahaz and the people of Judah immediately. "At that time did king Ahaz
send unto the kings of Assyria to help him. For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and
carried away captives. The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of
Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and
Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there. For the Lord
brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore
against the Lord. And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened
him not." (2 Chron. 28:16-20).

The prophecy of trouble with the king of Assyria was also fulfilled against Ahaz's son Hezekiah, Isaiah told
Ahaz that it would fall "upon thy father’s house."   

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the
rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they shall come, and shall rest all of them
in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. In the
same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of
Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard." (Is. 7:18-20).

Hezekiah the son of Ahaz reestablished the temple and its services and was a God-fearing King.

"Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in
Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right
in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in
the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them. And Hezekiah sent to all
Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of
the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel." (2 Chron. 29:1-3; 30:1).

Note that flies and bees are unpleasant but seldom deadly. Hezekiah was forced to pay tribute to the King
of Assyria, like bees, the Assyrians stung him. "And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the
house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house. At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from
the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and
gave it to the king of Assyria." (2 Kings 18:15,16). So the king of Assyria took a tribute not only from
Hezekiah, but also from God.

Eventually Hezekiah faced an overwhelming invasion by the Assyrians. "And they (the bees) shall come,
and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and
upon all bushes."

Because Hezekiah feared God, God heard his prayers and sent an angel to slay his enemies. "And it came
to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred
fourscore and five thousand: and when they (the survivors) arose early in the morning, behold, they were
all (surrounded by) dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and
dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that
Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia.
And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 19:35-37).

So God sent the Assyrian invasion to show Judah how well He could protect His people during the reign
of a God fearing King. Judah was invaded, but only shaved, they suffered little from the invasion but the
loss of their pride, represented by the shaving of the hair of their manhood. "In the same day shall the
Lord shave with a razor that is hired (by God, who paid part of the tribute to the king of Assyria), namely,
by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also
consume the beard."       

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep; and it shall
come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall
every one eat that is left in the land." (Is. 7:21,22).

It is clear that this is a prophecy using symbols, because cows and sheep give milk, they do not give
honey. Once again honey represents the Law of God and milk represents the prophetic word of God.
Butter is made when there is an abundance of milk and it is made from the fat of the milk, the part of the
milk that satisfies hunger. The symbol butter, therefore, represents a large, satisfying (readily
understandable) spiritual message.

Who is the man? He is certainly a shepherd, for the prophecy says "a man shall nourish... two sheep." The
man is Christ, who called Himself a shepherd. "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life
for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine." (John 10:11,14).

The two sheep, that the man nourished, must represent the disciples. Christ led them and taught them
(fed them the prophetic message) and made sure that they had enough food.

The cow must represent Paul. He was not of the original disciples, but was their enemy, called by Christ
into His service on the road to Damascus. (See Acts 9:1-20.) Also, a quick review of the apostolic writings
shows that Paul's message was much greater that the messages of Christ's original disciples. Just so, the
milk of two sheep does not exceed the milk of a cow. And now it is obvious that the milk which flowed so
abundantly from the cow and two sheep that it was made into butter (a readily understandable spiritual
message) was written down and became the New Testament.

Finally, we can ascertain that the prophecy is to be fulfilled some time after the northern kingdom was
taken away by the king of Assyria, because the people who eat the butter and honey are those of Judah
that remain, "for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land."

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a
thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns. With arrows and with bows shall men come
thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns. And on all hills that shall be digged with the
mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of
oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle." (Is. 7:23-25).

Briers and thorns represent wicked men. "The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than
a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity." (Micah 7:
4).  

Vines represent the men of Judah. "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the
men of Judah his pleasant plant..." (Is. 5:7). Each vine represents a man of Judah. God is going to replace
them by the thousands with wicked men, "where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it
shall even be for briers and thorns."

Silverlings are pieces of silver. "Literally the words are "at a thousand of silver", i.e., "pieces of silver," or
shekels." (Easton's Bible Dictionary). The thousands of vines that are replaced in the land with briers and
thorns have value in God's eyes. Each vine with the value of a silverling is a servant of God, a member of
the newly founded Christian church, which will be taken out of the land. "Where there were a thousand
vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns."

This scripture deals also with the overthrow of the land of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem after
the servants of God escape. The land will cease to be cultivated, the fields will fill with briers and thorns
and men will hunt there. "With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall
become briers and thorns."

The servants of God will go fearlessly and safely to those seven new churches (mountains are
denominations, hills are churches - in Isaiah 2:2, the Lord's house is called a mountain) which Paul has
dug with his hard labor, "on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the
fear of briers and thorns." These seven churches will be a launching place for powerful evangelists, "for
the sending forth of oxen" and a refuge for the people of God, "and for the treading of lesser cattle."

Next week, God willing, Isaiah 8 and an explanation of why the prophecy of Yeshua found in Isaiah 7 came
forth in the time of Ahaz.

Amo Paul Bishop Roden