Wednesday, January 23, 2019
The House of David Shall Prevail
By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at:
The scripture reading is: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:6-7
The prophet Isaiah prophesies in Judah during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The section of Isiah’s prophesies that we will examine here in Isaiah 6:1 through 9:7 involve the time from the death of Uzziah to the middle of Ahaz’s reign. Over the course of this interval of time, Judah would go from one of its most prosperous states under Uzziah to the lowest it had ever been. It would, of course, fall even further in the days leading to its exile, but at this time exile was still far away and Judah experienced near destruction under the reign of Ahaz.
Isaiah’s name, Yesha-Yahu in the Hebrew, means Yehovah has saved. The overall theme of Isaiah’s prophesies are that Yehovah is the source of salvation and that He will save His people. This is dramatically demonstrated in this passage when Judah faces utter destruction for the first time with the house of David being the focus of that destruction. In what way does Isaiah reassure the people that the line of David will continue? In what way does he condemn the people for their continued pride and idolatry and condemn Ahaz? How will the house of David prevail?
During the reign of King Uzziah, who is also called Azariah, Judah prospered greatly. The account of his reign in 2 Chronicles chapter 26 describes Uzziah as winning back the land lost in battles with Edom and Israel under his father. Uzziah built watch towers and fortified cities throughout Judah. He dug wells and promoted the growth of agriculture. Finally, he built, trained and maintained a strong military force. In his successes, Uzziah grew proud and attempted to enter into the temple of God and offer the incense on the altar. As a result, Uzziah spent the final years of his life as a leper, and his son Jotham reigned as co-regent. This excessive pride was not just an attribute of the king; the people of Judah shared this tendency.
Isaiah 3:16-17 NKJV 16 Moreover the LORD says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, Walking and mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet, 17 Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the LORD will uncover their secret parts."
Although from the outward appearance, the kingdom of Judah was in great shape, the seeds of her destruction had already begun to show. The first sign was the pride of Uzziah resulting in God striking him with leprosy. The NKJV Study Bible states that of Jotham’s sixteen year reign, eleven of them were as co-regent with his father. When Uzziah died, he was buried apart from the other kings of Israel because of his leprosy. We pick up Isaiah’s prophesies in the year that King Uzziah died and in the final five years of Jotham’s reign. Isaiah is taken up into heaven to see the heavenly throne room.
Isaiah 6:1-4 NKJV 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
What a contrast from that of the throne of Uzziah! Isaiah immediately saw the contrast and realized how far short of God’s standard the people of Judah had already fallen.
Isaiah 6:5 NKJV 5 So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."
God didn’t reassure Isaiah that he was mistaken about this fallen state; Instead Isaiah’s fallen state was addressed and taken care of.
Isaiah 6:6-7 NKJV 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged."
The contrast between the kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of God could not be more pronounced! Those in Judah thought they were doing alright. They were certainly better than their recent enemies of Edom and even their brothers in the northern kingdom of Israel. Both Uzziah and Jotham were described as doing what was right in the sight of the LORD. However, they tolerated the high places set up in the time of Solomon as the kings of Judah had before them. But Isaiah had seen the difference between what Judah was and what was necessary to go into God’s presence. Now that Isaiah had understood the difference, God could send him out with the message.
Isaiah 6:8-10 NKJV 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." 9 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' 10 "Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed."
The message is clear; judgment was coming on the people of the LORD. The voice of the LORD goes on to describe the utter destruction facing Judah until only a tenth would remain.
King Jotham continued the practices and policies of his father, and Judah continued to prosper under his reign. However, things began to fall apart as Syria and Israel, who had conquered much of Judah during the reign of Uzziah’s father Amaziah, sought to gain control over Judah.
2 Kings 15:37 NKJV 37 In those days the LORD began to send Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah.
Motivation for Syria and Israel’s attack on Judah can be found in the writings of the Assyrians. Alfred Edersheim in his book Bible History Old Testament explains that Assyrian writings reveal a connection between Assyria and Judah from the time of Uzziah. During Uzziah’s long reign, Assyria had begun to make inroads against Israel and Syria exacting tribute or ransom from Israel as recorded in 2 kings 15. With threats from both the north and the south, Israel and Syria had motivation to deepen their alliance. At the time of Uzziah, Judah was too strong for Israel and Syria to conquer, however when Jotham became king, Syria and Israel tested that strength. When Jotham died and a weaker Ahaz took the throne, Syria and Israel decided to eliminate the threat to the south and strengthen their position against Assyria. They brought Judah’s enemies Edom and Philistia into their alliance. Because Ahaz did evil in the sight of God and the people of Judah had hardened their hearts against God, God allowed Syria and Israel to have an overwhelming victory over Judah.
2 Chronicles 28:5-6 NKJV 5 Therefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
The armies of Judah were totally destroyed by Syria and Israel. Israel had deployed their forces around Judah but had been unable to take it. However, news reached Ahaz that Syria was on the way to join Israel. Ahaz and the rulers of Judah were terrified!
Isaiah 7:1-2 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told to the house of David, saying, "Syria's forces are deployed in Ephraim." So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
It was probably during this siege of Jerusalem when Ahaz was inspecting the water sources for the besieged city, that Isaiah approached him with the news that Syria and Ephraim would not be successful in their attempt to take the city.
Isaiah 7:3-4 NKJV 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller's Field, 4 "and say to him: 'Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah.
Isaiah, whose name, as we know, means Yehovah has saved, brings his son Shear-Yashub with him. Shear-Yashub, number 7610 in Strong’s Concordance, means “a remnant will return.” Although God had allowed Israel and Syria to have great victories over Judah, God would not allow them to take Jerusalem. In fact, Shear-Yashub’s presence was a sign that those of Judah who were taken captive by Israel would be returned to their homes! Yehovah would save!
After the battles in Judah, Israel carried away two hundred thousand women and children as captives to be sold as slaves. A prophet of the LORD met them in Samaria and demanded their release.
2 Chronicles 28:9-11 NKJV 9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out before the army that came to Samaria, and said to them: "Look, because the LORD God of your fathers was angry with Judah, He has delivered them into your hand; but you have killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10 "And now you propose to force the children of Judah and Jerusalem to be your male and female slaves; but are you not also guilty before the LORD your God? 11 "Now hear me, therefore, and return the captives, whom you have taken captive from your brethren, for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you."
Four leaders of the tribe of Ephraim who heard the prophet supported him and the prisoners were released, tended, and eventually taken to Jericho where they were released.
Israel and Syria went beyond what God would allow! Not only did they take the women and children captive, they plotted to overthrow the ruling house of David!
Isaiah 7:6 NKJV 6 "Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel" -
They plotted to put a Syrian named Tabel as king over Judah! The rebellion of the tribes of Israel against the house of David that began at the time of Solomon’s son Rehoboam was now complete and God would bring the Assyrians against them in judgment!
Isaiah 7:17 NKJV 17 "The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house-days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah."
Even though Ahaz did evil in the sight of the LORD, God would preserve the house of David! Isaiah explains the certainty that the plot against Jerusalem and the house of David would fail.
Isaiah 7:7-9 NKJV 7 'thus says the Lord GOD: "It shall not stand, Nor shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, So that it will not be a people. 9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria, And the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If you will not believe, Surely you shall not be established."'"
Isaiah concludes with the statement that if Ahaz would not believe, then he would not be established. To emphasize the importance of this pronouncement, Isaiah uses a Hebrew word play. The Hebrew words for “believe” and “establish” are the same Hebrew word “aman,” from which we get the word “amen.” God then required a response from Ahaz. Would Ahaz “believe” and be “established” or not? Isaiah records that question as coming directly from God!
Isaiah 7:10-12 NKJV 10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 "Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above." 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!"
Ahaz failed the test! He did not believe and would not be established! In fact, Ahaz turns to the Assyrians for help instead of believing Isaiah’s word from God.
However, God still gave a sign to the house of David. The word “you” in this passage is in the plural. God has turned from talking to Ahaz to talking to the house of David!
Isaiah 7:13-14 NKJV 13 Then he said, "Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
In context, we can see that Isaiah is talking about the rise of a king in place of Ahaz. Isaiah had been shown the King on his throne in heaven as contrast to the leprous King Uzziah. The kings of Syria and Israel wanted to put their own king on the throne of David! Then, Ahaz rejected the sign given to him; Ahaz did not believe and would not be established! Therefore, the kingship would be given to a child not yet born; His throne would be established! The Jewish commentators associate this child with King Hezekiah who was a complete opposite of his father Ahaz! In many respects, Hezekiah is a shadow of what the Messianic king will be like. However, Hezekiah would have already been born at the time of this prophecy. Ahaz only reigned sixteen years and Hezekiah became king after him when he was twenty five years old. Hezekiah would have been nine years old when Ahaz become king.
Who is this child? The child would be born from a virgin. The NKJV Study Bible explains:
“… the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible made in the second century B.C., translates the Hebrew word with a Greek word that specifically means “virgin.”[i]
The child’s name would be Immanuel, number 6005 in Strong’s Concordance, meaning “God is with us.” This child, Immanuel, was not yet born and wouldn’t be old enough to change the upcoming events. God said that before the child would be old enough to know right and wrong, the threat from Syria and Israel would be gone!
Isaiah 7:15-16 NKJV 15 "Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 "For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
The child would eat curds and honey which doesn’t sound bad until we contrast it with the promise of grain, wine, and oil that God provides when the children of Israel are following Him. Isaiah describes those left in the land of the northern tribes of Israel after the mighty Assyrian army sweeps them away. He says that the remnant left in the land would have only a cow and a few sheep from which to feed their families.
Isaiah 7:21-22 NKJV 21 It shall be in that day That a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep; 22 So it shall be, from the abundance of milk they give, That he will eat curds; For curds and honey everyone will eat who is left in the land.
It seems this child would live in a time when the children of Israel are not following God; he would know hardship and want. This child would live among the humble and lowly and would learn to refuse the evil and choose the good! He would associate with the remnant! No king of Israel has experienced this until the birth of Yeshua! The angel that appeared to Joseph explains the fulfillment of this sign.
Matthew 1:20-23 NKJV 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
Remember, Isaiah’s name means Yehovah has saved. This Child is named Yeshua, a form of the name Yehoshua or Joshua, number 3091 in Strong’s Concordance, meaning Yehovah saved. This Child is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s mission; He is Immanuel, God with Us!
In chapter 8 of Isaiah, Isaiah laments the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians. God gave Isaiah another son whom he named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, number 4122, which means “quick to the spoil, speedy to the prey” indicating the swiftness and brutality of the Assyrian victory. Isaiah says that it is Immanuel’s land that is desolated. But not all is lost; the land is not without hope. Naphtali and Zebulun, the first lands of Israel to be taken by Assyria, would be the first to see the light of Messiah when Yeshua was born in Nazareth of Zebulun and set up His ministry in Capernaum of Naphtali.
Isaiah 9:1-2 NKJV 1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles. 2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.
A king will rule over all of the land of David, over all of Israel not just Judah.
Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV 6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The house of David prevailed at the time of the Syrian-Israel invasion of Judah. The house of David prevailed at the time of the Assyrian invasion of Judah under Hezekiah. Although Judah went into captivity, the house of David continued and still continues. Yeshua, Immanuel was born to Mary and Joseph of the house of David. Yeshua ate curds and honey with the common people in a time of oppression and occupation of the Promised Land. When He returns, He will do so with power and establish His throne, like the throne that Isaiah saw in his vision. Yeshua will reign with justice and righteousness.
1. Discuss the connection of this teaching to the Torah Portion Yitro Exodus 18:1-20:26?
2. In Isaiah’s vision of the heavenly throne room, a seraphim touches Isaiah’s lips with a hot coal from the altar and “atones” for both his uncleanness and his sin (Isaiah 6:5-7). How is this similar to the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16? How does Isaiah’s experience demonstrate the utter futility of trying to be “good enough to go to heaven”?
3. What made Isaiah a good candidate to send with the message of God (Isaiah 6:8-10)?
4. 2 Chronicles 28:9-15 describes return of the captives taken by Israel in their war against Judah. What does the prophet Oded’s name mean? Why does the Bible record the names of the four princes of Ephraim? Who else has acted in a similar way and been rewarded with their names written in the Bible or been rewarded in another way?
5. Alfred Edersheim, in Bible History Old Testament records in Book 7, chapter 8 that the Assyrian writings record King Ahaz’s name as Joachaz (Ja-u-hazi). Why would the Bible leave off the prefix “Ja”? What other king also had his name shortened? What is the significance of this act?
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[i] NKJV Study Bible. General Editor: Earl D. Radmacher, Th.D. Thomas Nelson, Inc. ©1997, 2007. Page1051.