Notes & Commenatry:
Ver. 1. Achaz. This must be seventeen years later than the former prediction, 4 Kings xv. 37. The kings of Syria and Israel jointly attacked Juda, but were forced to raise the siege of Jerusalem. The next year they came separately, and committed the following ravages. The news of their junction threw all into confusion, ver. 2. Isaias was then sent to inform the king, that the designs of his enemies should not take effect. Yet the two kings obtained each a victory. But they could not dethrone Achaz, as they intended. (Calmet) — Paine traduces this prophecy as a lie, asserting that they succeeded. What! did they make Tabeel king? ver. 6. The Israelites would not even keep the captives who had been taken, 2 Chronicles xxviii. 15. (Watson, let. 5.) — Achaz had been made captive before. But now the Lord defeated the projects of his enemies, as he will the conspiracy of heretics against his Church. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Jasub. This name was mysterious: Shear-Jashub means “the rest shall return” from Babylon, or be converted under Ezechias, chap. x. 22. (Calmet) — Protestants, Go “thou, and Shear-Jashub, thy son, at the end of the conduit,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Tails. So he styles the two kings in derision. The distrust of Achaz was punished by the loss of many of his subjects, but he was not dethroned, having engaged the Egyptians and Assyrians to attack his enemies, ver. 17.
Ver. 6. Tabeel. Chaldean, “whom we shall think proper.” He will not so much as name him.
Ver. 8. Rasin. Both the king and his capital shall be ruined. — And five. Capellus (p. 497.) would read six and five; or, in eleven years time. But (Calmet) Ephraim was led captive twenty-one years after, and the Cutheans took their place when sixty-five years had elapsed. (The year of the world 3327., Usher) — Most people date from the prophecy of Amos to the ruin of Samaria, just sixty-five years. The former solution seems preferable. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Continue. Septuagint, “and will not understand, even the Lord,” &c. (Haydock) — Hebrew, “and since you do not believe,” (Calmet) or “because you are not confirmed” by a miracle. (Grotius)
Ver. 11. Above. Require it to thunder, (1 Kings xii. 17.) or the earth to open, Numbers xvi. 28. (Calmet)
Ver. 12. Lord. He was afraid of being forced to relinquish his evil ways. (St. Jerome) — Though an idolater, he knew he ought not to tempt God.
Ver. 14. Virgin, halma, (Haydock) one secluded from the company of men. Alma in Latin signifies “a holy person,” and in Punic “a virgin.” The term is never applied to any but “a young virgin.” If it meant a young woman, what sort of a sign would this be? (St. Jerome) — It was indeed above the sagacity of man to declare that the child to be born would be a boy, and live till the kings should be destroyed. But the prophet undoubtedly speaks of Jesus Christ, the wonderful, &c., (chap. ix. 5.) as well as of a boy, who should prefigure him, and be an earnest of the speedy destruction of the two kings. He was to be born of Isaias, (chap. viii. 4.) and of all the qualities belonging to the true Emmanuel, only that regards him, which intimates that the country should be delivered before he should come to years of discretion, ver. 16. (Calmet, Diss.) (Bossuet) — The Fathers generally apply all to Christ. — Called. Or shall be in effect, chap. i. 26. (Calmet) — The king hardly trusted in God’s mercies, whereupon the incarnation of Christ, &c., is foretold. (Worthington)
Ver. 15. Honey. Like other infants. (Calmet) — The new baptized received some to remind them of innocence. (Tertullian, cor. 3.) — Christ shall be true man. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. Good. Being arrived at the age of discretion, Achaz engaged the Assyrians to invade Damascus. Its citizens and four tribes were carried into captivity the year following. Phacee only survived another year, the year of the world 3265. This was a pledge, that what regarded the son of the virgin would also be accomplished. (Calmet) — Land of the enemy. (Calmet) (4 Kings xvi.) (Menochius)
Ver. 17. Assyrians. His aid shall prove the greatest scourge, (2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 20.) while the Idumeans and Philistines shall also ravage the country. (2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 17.) Achaz has vainly trusted in man.
Ver. 18. Of Egypt. The Idumeans, &c., dwell on the borders, chap. v. 26. Yet many explain this of the victories of Nabuchodonosor and Nechas.
Ver. 20. Razor. Or cut off with scissors all the hair, as was done with lepers, (Leviticus xiv. 9.) and Levites, Numbers viii. 7. The country shall be pillaged, and all shall be in mourning. (Calmet) — The men shall be despised as no better than women and cowards. (St. Jerome) (Theodoret) — Hired. With large sums. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Land. Pastures shall be so large, (Menochius) though uncultivated, the greatest part of the inhabitants being removed.
Ver. 23. Pieces. Sicles. This was the price of the best vineyards, Canticle of Canticles viii. 2. (Calmet) — Now people may hunt in them. (Haydock) — The subjects of Achaz were much reduced. (Calmet)
Ver. 24. Thither. The hedges shall be rooted up (Haydock) or neglected, so that cattle may graze. (Menochius) — Two sorts of mountains are specified; some for vineyards, and others for pasture. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The prophet assures Achaz that the two kings, his enemies, shall not take Jersualem. A virgin shall conceive and bear a son.
1 And *it came to pass in the days of Achaz, the son of Joathan, the son of Ozias, king of Juda, that Rasin, king of Syria, and Phacee, the son of Romelia, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem, to fight against it: but they could not prevail over it.
2 And they told the house of David, saying: Syria hath rested upon Ephraim, and his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
3 And the Lord said to Isaias: Go forth to meet Achaz, thou and Jasub, thy son, that is left, to the conduit of the upper pool, *in the way of the fullers’ field.
4 And thou shalt say to him: See thou be quiet: fear not, and let not thy heart be afraid of the two tails of these fire-brands, smoking with the wrath of the fury of Rasin, king of Syria, and of the son of Romelia.
5 Because Syria hath taken counsel against thee, unto the evil of Ephraim and the son of Romelia, saying:
6 Let us go up to Juda, and rouse it up, and draw it away to us, and make the son of Tabeel king in the midst thereof.
7 Thus saith the Lord God: It shall not stand, and this shall not be.
8 But the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rasin: and within threescore and five years, Ephraim shall cease to be a people:
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria, the son of Romelia. If you will not believe, you shall not continue.
10 And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying:
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above.
12 And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.
13 And he said: Hear ye, therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. *Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
15 He shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.
16 For before the child know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good, the land which thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of the face of her two kings.
17 The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon the house of thy father, days that have not come since the time of the separation of Ephraim from Juda, with the king of the Assyrians.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall hiss for the fly, that is in the uttermost parts of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19 And they shall come, and shall all of them rest in the torrents of the valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all places set with shrubs, and in all hollow places.
20 In that day the Lord shall shave with a razor that is hired by them that are beyond the river, by the king of the Assyrians, the head and the hairs of the feet, and the whole beard.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep.
22 And for the abundance of milk he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that shall be left in the midst of the land.
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place where there were a thousand vines, at a thousand pieces of silver, shall become thorns and briers.
24 With arrows and with bows they shall go in thither: for briers and thorns shall be in all the land.
25 And as for all the hills that shall be raked with a rake, the fear of thorns and briers shall not come thither, but they shall be for the ox to feed on, and the lesser cattle to tread upon.
1: Year of the World 3262, Year before Christ 742.; 4 Kings xvi. 15.
3: 4 Kings xviii. 17.
14: Matthew i. 23.; Luke i. 31.