Some dull but seasonal reflections on the historical context for the fulfilment of the Immanuel prophecy
These notes are an attempt to clarify, for myself at least, the historical setting for the Immanuel prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, following the helpful feedback given to yesterday’s post: Are Immanuel and Wonderful-Counselor-Mighty-God-Everlasting-Father-Prince-of-Peace the same person? Thanks to all those who have so far contributed to the discussion. This may have to serve as a rather dull (but warm) Christmas greetings to all and sundry.
The birth of Immanuel was to be a sign, either to Ahaz or to the house of David, that within a few years the two kings, Rezin and Pekah, who threatened Judah at that time would be defeated by the king of Assyria (Is. 7:10-25). Some time later another boy was born to Isaiah, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, an event which further confirmed that Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel would be defeated. Following that, however, the king of Assyria would invade Judah, reaching to the gates of Jerusalem, as punishment for the failure of Ahaz and the people to trust YHWH when Syria and Israel first threatened (8:1-10; cf. 7:2). It seems likely that both boys, along with Shear-jashub (7:3), are “signs and portents in Israel”, along with Isaiah himself, regarding impending events.