Summary: Ephraim and Syria wage war against Judah--Christ shall be born of a virgin--compare Isaiah 7.
This chapter basically describes what will happen to Syria and Ephraim (Northern Israel) after they fail against Judah.
Isaiah named his two sons:
Maher-shalal-hash-baz: Hebrew for "to speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey", describing the events of the ten tribes of Israel, who were overrun by the Assyrians.
Shear-jashub: Hebrew for "the remnant shall return", a reference to the day when Israel will be gathered from her scattered condition.
OK. I always get turned around and confused by all the names and references in these chapters, so I did a chart for my reference, and I think I understand things better now. If I'm wrong about anything, let me know!
AHAZ ---> King of Judah/Jerusalem
REZIN ---> King of Syria
PEKAH ---> King of Ephraim (also referred to as "son of Remaliah"), which is what Northern Israel is called.
Rezin and Pekah are in alliance, and are plotting to defeat Judah by invading and placing another king there.v
Isaiah meets with Ahaz and his son, and tells them that the kings have little fire left (vs. 4), and that their plan will not come to fruition.
Ahaz learns that the only sign he needs to know is that Christ will be born (vs. 14).
After Christ comes, Ephraim/Northern Israel and Syria will be forsaken (vs. 16), and the Lord will call upon attacking forces (vs. 18). The land will be depopulated (vs. 20)--by a foreign invader--and only a few people will remain (vs. 21). What was once plenty will be forlorn and barren (vs. 22-24).
FYI, this is prophesied almost 600 years before Christ is even born.
Vs. 15 talks about how the Savior will eat butter and honey and thus will know to choose good from evil.
I learned a few things from this:
1) Butter and honey (curd and honey) is a poor man's food. Everyone has access to it.
2) In order to not only know what good is, but to also desire that good (choose it), you must build up an appetite for it. How do you truly build an appetite for something without ever having tasted it?
3) You do not need to immerse yourself in worldliness/evil to know good from evil. Focus on partaking of what is good, and you will be able to build the desire for more.
4) Mary must have fed this to Christ when he was young. Am I nourishing my children with what is good? Am I helping them build an appetite for good, for spirituality, for the gospel? If they are not exposed to these things, how will they know to desire them?
It really makes me think. Am I really doing enough to help my children know what good "tastes" like, and to help them desire more? What do you do (or plan to do) to help your children know and choose good? Please share! Give us all some ideas!