Isaiah 7:10-16

Isaiah 7:10-16
Advent A4


10 Again the LordA spoke to Ahaz,B saying, 11 “AskC a signD of the Lord your God;E let it be deepF as SheolG or highH as heaven.”I 

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.”J 

13 Then Isaiah said: “HearK then,L O house of David!M Is it too little for you to wearyN mortals, that you weary my God also? 

Notes on verses 10-13

A “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.
B “Ahaz” = achaz. From achaz (to grasp, catch, fasten, hold fast, seize, trap, take possession, acquire property). This is Ahaz – either “he has grasped” or “possessor.”
C “ask” = sha’al. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, consult, demand, or desire. Originally to inquire, which implies making a request and can be understood by extension as a demand. This is where Saul’s name comes from.
D “sign” = ot. From avah (to sign, mark, extend, mark out, point out) OR it could be from uth (to consent or agree). This is a sign, mark, ensign, or miracle. It is a signal literally or figuratively. It could be an omen that is predicted, but still composed of mundane things or something totally miraculous that could only occur with God’s hand involved. The point is more that the sign points towards something that humanity needs to learn, see, understand, etc.
E “God” = Elohim.
F “deep” = amoq. 9x in OT. This is deep, depths, or profound. So it is deep in a literal or figurative sense.
G “Sheol” = sheol. The derivation is unclear -it could be from sha’al (see note C above). This is a grave or pit, but could also refer to the underworld. This is not synonymous with hell. This is a gray place where spirits reside neither in joy or in punishment. It is more akin to the Greek concept of Hades.
H “high” = gabahh. This is to be high, lift up, or soar. It can also be to be proud or haughty in a figurative sense.
I “heaven” = maal. From alah (to go up, ascend, climb, approach, arise, excel, exalt; to ascend or rise literally or figuratively). This word is more properly above, upwards, high above, the top. It refers to the upper part of something – can be used for heaven.
J “put…to the test” = nasah. This is to test. To try or prove like one does to purify metal. The Bible has mixed messages about whether or not it’s okay to test God. Gideon gets away with it, but Moses preaches against it pretty clearly and Jesus quotes him on the matter, “do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
K “hear” = shama. To hear, which implies attention from the audience, which, in turn, implies response, action, obedience. This word can also be used for consent.
L “then” = na. This word is used for entreaty or exhorting. It can be “I pray” or “I beseech” or “not” or “oh.” It’s sometimes used like we use the word “please” or to give a sense of urgency as in hosanna (“save us now” or “save us please”).
M “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.”
N “weary” = laah. 19x in OT. This is to be weary or impatient, exhausted, have difficulty, be tired or faint, grieve, loathe. This is to tire – can figuratively mean to be or make disgusted. This is where Leah’s name comes from.

14 Therefore the LordO himself will give you a sign. Look,P the young womanQ is with child and shall bear a son, and shall nameR him Immanuel.S 15 He shall eat curdsT and honeyU by the time he knowsV how to refuseW the evilX and choose the good.Y 16 For before the childZ knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the landAA beforeBB whose two kings you are in dreadCC will be deserted.”DD

Notes on verses 14-16

O “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.
P “look” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; used for surprise). This can also be lo! Behold! Here, how, indeed, surely, look. This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement.
Q “young woman” = almah. 7x in OT. Feminine form of elem (young man, youth; properly, a thing that is kept out of sight, so a lad); may be from alam (to concel, bind, secret thing; to conceal literally or figuratively). This is a young woman, girl, or maiden. A young woman would be presumed to be a virgin and so this word is sometimes used to mean virgin.
R “name” = qara + shem. Literally “shall call his name.” 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.
S “Immanuel” = immanu-el. 2x in OT. From im (with, among, near, together) + nu (a prefix for first person plural i.e. us) + el (God, also used for gods generally). This is literally “with us God.”
T “curds” = chemah. 10x in OT. May be from the same as chomah (wall, wall of protection); root may mean to join. This is curds, curdled milk, butter, or cheese.
U “honey” = debash. This is honey or honeycomb. The root may refer to being gummy so this would be honey because it is sticky or any kind of syrup.
V “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.
W “refuse” = ma’as. To reject, refuse, abhor, cast away, disdain, spurn, disappear, melt away.
X “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.
Y “good” = tob. 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.
Z “child” = na’ar. 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.
AA “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man or humankind); may be from adom (to be red). This is ground, land, country, earth. It refers, perhaps, to the redness of the soil. This is where Adam’s name comes from.
BB “before” = paneh. Literally “from the face of the two kings of her.”
CC “dread” = quts. 9x in OT. This is to be disgusted or anxious, abhorrence, sickening dread, to be distressed, grieved, be weary, or vex.
DD “deserted” = azab. This is to leave, forsake, abandon, leave destitute, fail, be deserted.

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