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And also as the word ron heni, behold, is prefixed to noSpn hangalina, I translate the word noSpn hangalma, this young woman, as if the prophet pointed her out to Ahaz as the young woman that was then with child; and consequently when he says, and thou shalt call, he spake to the young woman, commanding her to call. So that it appears from the mood, as well as the manner of the prophet's language, that the young woman spoken of was then present, that he pointed her out to Ahaz, and also addressed her himself.
And if we correctly consider the context, it will appear likely that the woman who was to become the mother of Emanuel was present. And in order to have the context before us, I here transcribe the first sixteen verses of chap, vii., the better to explain the scope, intention, and meaning of our text.
"1 And it came to pass in the day of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remalia, king of Israel, went up towards Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shar-Yashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; 4 And say unto him, take heed and be quiet, fear not, neither be faint hearted; for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remalia; 5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remalia, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal. 7 Thus saith the Lord God, it shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass, 8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within three score and five years, shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remalia's son; if ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. 10 Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 And Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. 13 And he said, hear ye now, O house of David, is it a small thing for you to weary man, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold this young woman is with child, and will beget a son, and thou shalt call his name Emanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he 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 thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings."
Not to trouble my readers with more controversy than is immediately necessary, (except in the text under consideration,) I have transcribed the Bible translation; and that, not because I consider it critically correct, far from it, it is in several places very incorrect; but because I presume they are best acquainted with it. From the above it appears that the prophet had a son who was called Shar Yashub, whom he was commanded to take with him; "3 Thou and Shar Yashub thy son." The mother of this child I presume to have been the young woman pointed out in our text, who was then with the prophet, perhaps to take care of the child Shar Yashub, and that shefwas then perceptibly (at least) if not forward with child of her's and the prophet's second son Maharshalalchushbuz,* and which child she was commanded, chap. vii. 14. to call Emanuel; so that Emanuel and Maharshalalchushbuz were the same, although called by two names, one by the mother the other by the father. As Emanuel he was a sign to Ahaz that the confederate kings should not conquer him, that both Rezin and Pekah should be cut off from the earth, (be slain;) that when a certain term should be fully expired, Ephraim should cease to be a nation; and that the allied kings, Pekah and Rezin, should be slain before this Emanuel, this child, could distinguish what was pleasant or unpleasant to the palate; before his taste or palate should be formed. So also as Maharshalalchushbuz, he was a sign that the riches of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria should be taken away before the king of Assyria, and that before this Maharshalalchushbuz should be able to articulate my father or my mother.* Now the palate or taste of a child is very soon formed, certainly in less than a year and my father or my mother is the first thing a child is taught to articulate ; and in Hebrew they are both particularly easy of pronunciation, ^n ave, is my father, and 'on eme, is my mother; such easy sounds are very soon caught and repeated by a child; certainly within a year. Now the killing of Rezin and plundering Damascus took place very shortly after the siege of Jerusalem by the allied kings, 2 Kings xvi. 9. " And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him, for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.'''' So that both signs were fulfilled, The first as regarded the killing of Rezin, that as Emanuel he was a sign of, and second the taking away the riches of Damascus, which he was also a sign of as Maharshalal, at one and the same time. And so also the killing of Pekah and taking away the spoils of Samaria took place about one and the same time, viz., in the 4th year of the reign of Ahaz; 2 Kings xv. 29, 30., " In the days of Pekah king of Israel, came Tiglath Pul Assur king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaacha, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria. And Hosea the son of Elah, made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remalia, and smote him and slew him in the 20th year of Jothatn the son of Uzziah, (that is the 4th of Ahaz, for Jotham only reigned 16 years.) Thus was Pekah slain, which, as Emanuel, he was a sign to Ahaz, and thus were the spoils of Samaria taken away, of which he also was a sign as Maharshalalchushbuz at about one and the same time with the taking of Damascus; that is, in the fourth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, as before shewn; for it was during the siege of Jerusalem, by these allied kings, and on account of the fears of Ahaz, (for he put no trust in God, neither did he believe his prophet Isaiah) that he sent to Tiglath Pul Assur, and hired him to make a diversion in his favour. It was at this time that the king of Assyria conquered Syria, and subdued Ephraim, 2 Kings xvi. 5. "Then Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him. 7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pul Assur king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son; come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me. 9. And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it. And because to the house of David the child was intended as a propitious sign; he was called by a good name, Emanuel, (God is with us,) meaning that God would be with them to deliver them from their enemies, and give them plenty. But to Syria and Ephraim he was intended as an unfavourable sign; he was therefore called by an inauspicious name, Maharshalalchushbuz, which means, hasten the spoil, hurry the plunder.
* Isaiah viii. 3. And I went unto the prophetess, and she conceived and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, call his name Maharshalalchushbuz.
* Isaiah, chap. viii. 4. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry my father and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
And should my reader object to the identity, because the child Maharshalalchushbuz is not spoken of as being conceived by his mother, (which is in the 8th chapter,) till after, as I have myself shown, the mother of Emanuel was already bearing, and, as I said, forward with child of Emanuel, (in chap. 7th,) and conclude therefore they were different children, I must ask such reader to consider that the eighth chapter was not written till after the birth of the child: for if he will take the trouble to look into his Hebrew copy, he will find the words translated (chap. viii. 8.) "and she conceived and bare," are -bm -mm vatahar vatylyd; and, as I have before shown, (page 28,) is, and she bare, and she brought forth, (was delivered of;) so that, in this chap. viii. the prophet informs us of a vision he had some time before about nine months before the birth of the child. He also gives us the history of the conception and birth of the child, and the command given him after the birth to name the child. So that the vision in chap. vii. ver. 1, wherein he was commanded to put on a roll of record (a great roll) what visions he formerly had concerning the hastening of the spoils and the hurrying of the plunder, (the destruction of the Syrian monarchy and conquest of the kingdom of Israel,) and to which roll so recorded he took witnesses, was in point of time before his being sent to comfort Ahaz, as recorded in chap. vii.; and the information he gives us in chap. viii. of the facts of his wife's having been with child, was also previous to the facts recorded chap. vii.; while the birth of the child, and the command to name him Maharshalalchushbuz, and the reason assigned to the prophet in vision, chap. viii. were subsequent to the facts and vision recorded in chap. vii. All this, on a careful reading, will be self-apparent; and consequently the objection to the identity above raised must fall to the ground.
At all events, supposing they were two children, they must have been cotemporaries; for in that case, they were