Isaiah 7:3-16

Isaiah 7:3-16
Holy Name of Jesus – A Women’s Lectionary


Then the LordI said to Isaiah,II Go outIII, IV to meetV Ahaz,VI

Notes on verse 3a

I “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
II “Isaiah” = Yshayah. Related to “Lord” in v3. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe; to free someone) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note I above)}. This is Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord.” This is Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord.”
III “go out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
IV {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
V “meet” = qirah. From the same as qara (to happen, meet, bring about). This is any kind of encounter, whether peaceful, hostile, or incidental. It can also mean help or seek.
VI “Ahaz” = Achaz. From achaz (to grasp, catch, seize, take and hold in possession; to be afraid or hold back). This is Ahaz, meaning “he has grasped” or “possessor.”

you and your sonVII Shear-jashub,VIII at the endIX of the conduitX

Notes on verse 3b

VII “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
VIII “Shear-jashub” = Shear Yashub. 1x in OT. From shear (from shaar (properly, swelling up i.e. being left over; a remnant, remaining, being redundant)) + shub (to turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively; not necessarily implying going back to where you started from). This is Shear-jashub, meaning “a remnant shall return.”
IX “end” = qatseh. From qatsah (to cut off, cut short; figuratively, to destroy). This is end, brink, border, edge, frontier. It can refer to that which is within set boundaries.
X “conduit” = t’alah. 11x in OT. From alah (to go up, climb, to be high; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is a conduit, stream, channel for irrigation, or trench. It can also be a bandage for an injury.

of the upperXI poolXII on the highwayXIII to the Fuller’sXIV Field,XV 

Notes on verse 3c

XI “upper” = elyon. Related to “conduit” in v3. From alah (see note X above). This is most high, upper. It refers to elevation – so, lofty.
XII “pool” = berekah. 17x in OT. From barak (to kneel, bless; blessing God as part of worship and adoration; blessing humans to help them; can be used as a euphemism to say curse God). This is a pool or a pond. Perhaps it refers to camels kneeling to drink or rest.
XIII “highway” = mesillah. From salal (to lift up, build, pile, extol, exalt; can also be used for opposing as a dam holds back water). This is highway, path, step. It could be a course in a figurative sense or specifically a viaduct or staircase.
XIV “Fuller’s” = kabas. This is to trample – washing by stomping feet. It can be fulling in a literal or figurative sense.
XV “Field” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.

and say to him, Take heed,XVI be quiet,XVII do not fear,XVIII and do not let your heartXIX be faintXX

Notes on verse 4a

XVI “take heed” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
XVII “be quiet” = shaqat. This is to be quiet, rest, calm, settle, be still, peace.
XVIII “fear” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
XIX “heart” = lebab. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
XX “be faint” = rakak. 8x in OT. This is to be tender, soft, faint, weak. It is to soften or mollify.

because of these twoXXI smolderingXXII stumpsXXIII of firebrands,XXIV because of the fierceXXV angerXXVI

Notes on verse 4b

XXI “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
XXII “smoldering” = ashen. 2x in OT. From the same as ashan (smoke, vapor, dust, or anger); perhaps from ashan (to smoke or burn in a literal or figurative sense; to be angry). This is smoldering or smoky
XXIII “stumps” = zanab. 11x in OT. Perhaps from zanb (to curtail, cut a tail off, attack from behind; perhaps from a word meaning to wag). This is a tail or stub – in a literal or figurative sense.
XXIV “firebrands” = ud. 3x in OT – all in the prophets. May come from a word that means rake as a poker does with coals. This is a firebrand.
XXV “fierce” = chori. 6x in OT. From charah (to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn; figuratively a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy). This is burning, fierce, strong anger.
XXVI “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.

of RezinXXVII and AramXXVIII and the son of Remaliah.XXIX 

Notes on verse 4c

XXVII “Rezin” = Retsin. 11x in OT. Perhaps from ratson (delight shown in favor, good will, something that is accepted or acceptable); from ratsah (to be pleased with, delight, take pleasure in, or accept with favor; to approve or consent regarding something; can be used specifically of satisfying debts or being pardoned). This is Rezin, a king of Aram.
XXVIII “Aram” = Aram. Perhaps from ‘armon (any fortified building – castle, citadel, palace) OR from rum (to be high, rise, exalt self, extol, be haughty; to rise literally or figuratively). This is Aram, Syria, Mesopotamia – meaning elevated or citadel. See
XXIX “Remaliah” = Remalyahu. Related to “Lord” and “Isaiah” in v3. 13x in OT. From an unused word + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note I above)}. This is Remaliah, which may mean, “the Lord has bedecked” or “the Lord has adorned.” See  

Because Aram—with EphraimXXX and the son of Remaliah—has plottedXXXI evilXXXII against you, saying, 

Notes on verse 5

XXX “Ephraim” = Ephrayim. From the same as epher (ashes or dust – properly something strewn) OR from parah (to grow, increase, be fruitful in a literal or figurative sense). This is Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, his descendants, and their land.
XXXI “plotted” = yaats. This is to advise, counsel, consult, decide, plan, purpose, or determine. It can also have a negative sense of conspire or devise.
XXXII “evil” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.

Let us go upXXXIII against JudahXXXIV and cut offXXXV Jerusalem and conquerXXXVI it for ourselves

Notes on verse 6a

XXXIII “go up” = alah. Related to “conduit” and “upper” in v3. See note X above.
XXXIV “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
XXXV “cut off” = quts. 9x in OT. This is to feel dread, be distressed, tired, terrorized, be disgusted, be anxious, abhor.
XXXVI “conquer” = baqa. This is to break open, breach, divide, rip, shake, tear. It can also mean dash into pieces or being ready to burst.

and makeXXXVII the son of TabeelXXXVIII kingXXXIX inXL it; 

Notes on verse 6b

XXXVII “make” = malak. To be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned. By implication, to take counsel. This word may be from the Hebrew word for king “melek” or vice versa.
XXXVIII “Tabeel” = Tab’el. 2x in OT. Perhaps from tob (to be pleasing, to be good) + el (God, a god) OR perhaps from tob (see above) + al (not). This is Tabeal or Tabeel. It may mean “good for nothing” or “pleasing to God” or “God is good.” See
XXXIX “king” = melek. Related to “make” in v6. From malak (see note XXXVII above). This is king or royal.
XL “in” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.

7 therefore thus says the LordXLI God:XLII

It shall not stand,XLIII
    and it shall not come to pass.XLIV
For the headXLV of Aram is Damascus,XLVI
    and the head of Damascus is Rezin.

Notes on verses 7-8a

XLI “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
XLII “God” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” and “Isaiah” in v3 & “Remaliah” in v4. From the same as YHVH (see note I above). This has the same meaning as “Lord” in v3, see note I above, but with a different vowel pointing.
XLIII “stand” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
XLIV “come to pass” = hayah. Related to “Lord” and “Isaiah” in v3 & “Remaliah” in v4 & “God” in v7. See note I above.
XLV “head” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
XLVI “Damascus” = Dammeseq. From Old Aramaic dammasq (Damascus); perhaps related to d-r (dwelling) OR in Syriac darsuq (“a well-watered land”). This is Damascus. See

(Within sixtyXLVII-fiveXLVIII yearsXLIX Ephraim will be shattered,L no longer a people.)LI

Notes on verse 8b

XLVII “sixty” = shishshim. From shesh (six; figuratively, a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand). This is sixty.
XLVIII “five” = chamesh. This is five or fifth.
XLIX “years” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
L “shattered” = chath. 5x in OT. From chathath (to be shattered, crack, terrify, discourage, break down; it could be beaten down violently or from confusion or terror). This is broken, crushed, afraid, dread.
LI “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

The head of Ephraim is Samaria,LII
    and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in faith,LIII
    you shall not standLIV at all.

10 AgainLV the LordLVI spokeLVII to Ahaz, saying, 

Notes on verses 9-10

LII “Samaria” = Shomron. Related to “take heed” in v4. From shamar (see note XVI above). This is Samaria, meaning watch station.
LIII “stand firm in faith” = aman. This is to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful. It is to put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid. This is where the word “amen” comes from.
LIV “stand” = aman. Same as “stand firm in faith” in v9. See note LIII above.
LV “again” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
LVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “God” in v7. See note XLII above.
LVII “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.

11 AskLVIII a signLIX of the LordLX your God;LXI let it be deepLXII as SheolLXIII or highLXIV as heaven.LXV 

Notes on verse 11

LVIII “ask” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
LIX “sign” = ot. From avah (to mark, sign, point out); OR from uth (to agree). This is a sign in a literal or figurative sense. It could be a flag or monument. It could be evidence or a mark. It could also be an omen or a miracle. 
LX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v3. See note I above.
LXI “God” = Elohim. Related to “Tabeel” in v6. See note XXXVIII above.
LXII “deep” = amoq. 9x in OT. This is to be deep in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean profound.
LXIII “Sheol” = Sheol. Related to “ask” in v11. Perhaps from shaal (see note LVIII above). This is the place where the dead go, the grace, the underworld.
LXIV “high” = gabahh. This is to soar or be lofty. So, this is to be high or lift up literally. Figuratively it means to be exalted or proud.
LXV “heaven” = maal. Related to “conduit” and “upper” in v3 & “go up” in v6. From alah (see note X above). This is the upper part, forward, high above, upwards, greater, heaven, or exceedingly.

12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the LordLXVI to the test.LXVII 

13 Then Isaiah said: “HearLXVIII then,LXIX O houseLXX of David!LXXI

Notes on verses 12-13a

LXVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v3. See note I above.
LXVII “put…to the test” = nasah. This is to test, prove, try, tempt, or attempt.
LXVIII “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
LXIX “then” = na. Same as {untranslated} in v3. See note IV above.
LXX “house” = bayit. Related to “son” in v3. Probably from banah (see note VII above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
LXXI “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”

Is it too littleLXXII for you to wearyLXXIII mortals,LXXIV that you weary my GodLXXV also? 

Notes on verse 13b

LXXII “little” = me’at. From ma’at (being or becoming small, decrease, diminish, pare off). This is a little or few, lightly little while, very small matter.
LXXIII “weary” = laah. 19x in OT. This is to be weary or exhausted, parched, faint, or tired. It could also mean to be impatient, or have a hard time. Figuratively, this could refer to being grieved or disgusted. This is the root verb that Leah comes from.
LXXIV “mortals” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
LXXV “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v11. See note LXI above.

14 ThereforeLXXVI the LordLXXVII himself will giveLXXVIII you a sign. Look,LXXIX the young womanLXXX is with childLXXXI

Notes on verse 14a

LXXVI “therefore” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
LXXVII “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v7. See note XLI above.
LXXVIII “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
LXXIX “look” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXXX “young woman” = almah. 7x in OT. From elem (youth, lad, stripling; something that remains out of view); perhaps from alam (to hide, conceal, a dissembler; to conceal in a literal or figurative sense). This is a young woman or girl. It can be a maid as one who is veiled. By extension, this can mean virgin since a girl/young woman was presumed to be a virgin.
LXXXI “with child” = harah. 16x in OT. From harah (to conceive or be pregnant –literal or figurative). This is conceive or pregnant.

and shall bearLXXXII a son, and shall nameLXXXIII him Immanuel.LXXXIV 15 He shall eatLXXXV curdsLXXXVI and honeyLXXXVII

Notes on verses 14b-15a

LXXXII “bear” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
LXXXIII “name” = qara + shem. Literally, “shall call his name.” Qara is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth. Shem may be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
LXXXIV “Immanuel” = Immanu-el. Related to “people” in v8 & “Tabeel” in v6 & “God” in v11. 2x in OT. From im (with, among, near, together); {from amam (see note LI above)} + nu (a prefix for first person plural i.e. us) + el (see note XXXVIII above). This is Immanuel, literally “with us God.”
LXXXV “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXVI “curds” = chemah. 10x in OT. Perhaps from the same as chomah (a wall for protection); from the same as cham (father-in-law – one’s husband’s father; perhaps from a root meaning to join). This is milk products like curds, butter, or cheese.
LXXXVII “honey” = debash. Root may mean being gummy. This is honey or honeycomb because it is so sticky. It can also refer to syrup.

by the time he knowsLXXXVIII how to refuseLXXXIX the evil and chooseXC the good.XCI 

Notes on verse 15b

LXXXVIII “knows” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
LXXXIX “refuse” = ma’as. This is to reject, refuse, despise, disdain, reject, or spurn. It can also be to disappear or melt away.
XC “choose” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
XCI “good” = tob. Related to “Tabeel” in v6. From tob (see note XXXVIII above). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.

16 For before the childXCII knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the landXCIII beforeXCIV whose two kings you are in dreadXCV will be deserted.XCVI

Notes on verse 16

XCII “child” = naar. May be from na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a child or a servant. It is a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence.
XCIII “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
XCIV “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XCV “dread” = quts. Same as “cut off” in v6. See note XXXV above.
XCVI “deserted” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.

Image credit: An excerpt of “Hope II” by Gustav Klimt, 1907-1908.

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