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ISAIAH 7 ... ITS GEOGRAPHY!

Study with us some amazing landmarks in this portion of God's Word ...and how they further illustrate the Text's vital Message!

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

ISAIAH 7:3-4, 14

"Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ... Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

 

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

The Verses we are beginning today, a collection from Isaiah chapter 7, almost constitute a geography lesson! That of course would be "spiritual" geography! More about that later, for today we must focus on the "heart" of Isaiah 7, the great 14th verse. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

This is one of the premier prophecies in all the Old Testament about the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Its "history" we shall study tomorrow, Lord willing. Today, we must center on the key word, "virgin."

In Hebrew "almah," means just what it says here, a woman who has never "known" a man. The noun is located only 7 times in the Old Testament.

It's used in the chapter where Abraham's servant is seeking a bride for Isaac. Now, you tell me, is he looking for a virgin for his Master's son? Of course he is! He is not simply looking for a young woman! Surely I do not need to explain the possible difference between the two. "Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink." Genesis 24:44

Then, in Exodus 2:8, Pharaoh's daughter is accompanied  to the riverside by a group of attendants. This is when they find little baby Moses in his home-made basket, there at the river's edge! Moses' sister Miriam is watching the whole thing! Upon finding the baby, the Princess responded and ... "She had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then said his sister Miriam to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?" Now read further with me. "And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother." Simply stated, we are being told that young Miriam was a "virgin." Not Pharaoh's daughter, mind you! Not Moses' Mother either! But Moses' older sister, still pure as she could be!

Then later, in Psalm 68:25, a group of worshippers are singing and praising God. "The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels." The noun "damsels" is "almah." Pure ladies, virgins, praising the righteous God!

The wise man in Proverbs 30:18-19 marvels! "There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: the way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid." That last word picture, the man with the maid, utilizes "almah" for the young lady. She is a virgin and the man is apparently trying to seduce her. He is wicked! Even the noun "man" hints at this interpretation. It is "geber," a strong man or warrior or conqueror!

Then in Song of Solomon 1:3 "almah" speaks for itself! Solomon is the subject, the young man. "Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee." Girls who have never known a man sexually.

Again in Song of Solomon, this time 6:8-9, we find "almah." Naturally we would, Song of Solomon is a love story! The Groom is comparing his Bride to others and concludes she is "one of a kind!" Here he says, "There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her." There are many virgins in Israel, but His Bride, the Shulamite, is the best of them all! Not to apply "almah" exclusively to "virgins" here is to question the very integrity of the Bride!

Then, seventhly and lastly, is our Text. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 is no doubt talking about a Virgin, the only appropriate term to use for the Mother of Jesus, Jesus Who had no earthly Father!

Seven Bible locations, all speaking of virgins!

The liberals and detractors argue that "virgins" are not meant in every case. But they can't disprove the facts. Even the context suggests virgins all seven times.

Jesus was born of a Virgin!

Oh, by the way, just in case someone does not accept the Old Testament fact of "almah" being a "virgin," let's visit one more verse!

Matthew, in the New Testament, interprets Isaiah 7:14 for us! He does so under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit too! Listen, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Matthew 1:23 here uses "parthenos," the Greek noun for "virgin!" And this precise word, even more strongly than "almah," means a young lady who has never been touched sexually by a young man! A "virgin," that's how "parthenos" is translated all 14 times it occurs in the New Testament too!

Case rested!

Jesus is Virgin born!

What a Saviour we have!

Glory and honor be to His Holy Name!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

Today we must look at the historical context of our Passage, Isaiah 7:1-14. This is important because many skeptics now say the Bible is historically inaccurate. The other day a so-called Preacher said that it really did not matter whether these events really happened or not! What was important to him involved the ethical lessons that could be learned from the paragraph! These, he lied, were not dependent upon any literal events!

I am telling you today that the Bible is accurate in every way! Spiritually, historically, geographically, linguistically, grammatically ad infinitum!

Here's how the great "Virgin Birth" Text of the Old Testament occurred. Ahaz was the reigning King in Judah. He is the 12th King after Solomon. He is the son of Jotham, a good King, and the grandson of Uzziah, also good. He is the father of Hezekiah who might even be called a great King. Yet, even with that kind of heritage, King Ahaz "did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord his God." 2nd Kings 16:2

Our whole Text about Bible geography begins with these words, "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz ...." Isaiah 7:3

It seems that God is going to reveal something to the King, not because of any goodness on his part, but solely by Grace! Again, Isaiah 7, "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it." Two nations have "ganged up" against one, the one being Judah over which Ahaz reigns.

And Judah, here called "the House of David," is fearful, of course. "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." Here "his heart" refers to King Ahaz, along with the other Judeans.

God has determined to encourage King Ahaz. After all, he is the leader of God's chosen people. "And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah." God called these two enemies of Judah "smoking firebrands!" To be "quiet" is to be "at peace," "shaqat" in Hebrew. "Firebrands" here are like a couple of nearly consumed but still smoldering logs, useless and deteriorated.

God is promising Ahaz victory!

Listen further to the Lord, the One Who pre-writes history: "Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 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: Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass." In Isaiah 7:5-7 God says, "It's not going to happen! Judah will not be over-run by these bullies!"

Again, God is not protecting Judah for Ahaz's sake! But for the sake of the coming Messiah, a Virgin born child, a son!

Next God gives Ahaz a little lesson in faith, well, a big one really! "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established." Trust the Lord, King Ahaz! He will care for you! That verb "be established" is spelled "aman" in Hebrew! It's our very word "aman" or "amen!" Firm, faithful, or even truthful!

The inverse it true also. If Ahaz does NOT believe, he will not be established! Hebrews 11:6 would have fit beautifully here. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

The foregoing is the, again, "historical context" for our geography lesson!

Now ... God is also going to give King Ahaz a "sign" of these coming things, of this assured victory!

Here's how things transpire, "Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD." Isaiah 7:10-12 uses the noun "oth" for "sign," meaning "signal, distinguishing mark or token." It's even translated "miracle" twice in the King James Text!

Anything, King Ahaz!

But the King, almost as if disinterested, says: "I will not ask! Neither will I tempt the Lord"

This kind of lethargic response upsets the Lord! He retorts, "Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?" Isaiah 7:13 twice uses the verb "weary" or "laah" in Hebrew. It means "to grieve or offend or exhaust."

God wanted a little interest in His great deliverance!

So, God decides He Himself will give a "sign" anyway! We ought to be glad He did, thrilled!

Here's the "sign!"

Verse 14 thunders across history and eternity, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

The Virgin Birth!

And that, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, is the background for our Text for a few days! "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ... Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Come back tomorrow and study with us!

Meanwhile, today's lesson must include the fact that God's Grace operates even when man is undeserving! In fact, that's one very good definition of Grace, God's unmerited favor!

We are indeed saved by Grace!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, THE FULLER'S FIELD:

These are the instructions God gave Isaiah the Prophet. Specific step-by-step directions leading up to one of the greatest announcements in all the Old Testament!

"Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ...." Isaiah 7:3

It's significant that the Promise of the coming Virgin Birth of our Saviour, verse 14 of our chapter, had to be preached in a certain place! For example, at the "fuller's field!"

Such places existed in most middle eastern cities of any size. A "fuller" in antiquity was someone who cleaned clothes! The root word used here, "kabas," means "to wash" and is used as such 47 times in the King James Old Testament. These are men who spent their lives making dirty things clean! Look at the typology here! Without Jesus coming to earth, by means of the Virgin Birth, no hope existed for dirty old lost sinners like you and me to be saved, to be cleansed, to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb!

Note this too. The verb also has this connotation, "to wash by treading" on something! A lot of foot stomping, rough activity occurred down at the fuller's place of business! It reminds me of the protoevangelium, the first mention of the good news of the Gospel which God promised the serpent in the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 3:15. Watch! "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The noun "enmity" is "hatred," in Hebrew "eybah." The "seed" of the devil is anti-christ and the "seed" of the woman is our Lord Jesus, Virgin Born of course! While it is admitted that the devil and forces of evil will harm Christ, bruising His Heel (which literally occurred on the Cross of Calvary) ... it is also true that Jesus "crushed" (the literal verb, "shuph") satan's head! To crush a head involves some "treading!" And it happened at the place where we were cleansed from our sins, at the Cross!

By the way, even in English "fuller" is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon term "fullian," meaning "to whiten!" Reminds us all of something else Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18

Even at Jesus' Transfiguration He is associated with the fuller! "And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus ...." Mark 9:2-4

In Bible days, the fuller's fields were always located outside of the cities proper! This is due to the stench of the chemicals used there probably. It was not a pleasant place! And, as you all know, Jesus was crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem! He cleansed sin out where the fuller did his work too! "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." Hebrews 13:11-13

By the way, when the Assyrian enemy began their attack against Jerusalem, an attack repelled by the Lord, they chose this very place to ridicule God's people! The fuller's field area! "And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field." Hear them mock God! "And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?" In other words, can your God deliver you now? The enemy attacked at the place where the Virgin Birth was first announced! They are still doing that! This blessed old miraculous Doctrine is still being marginalized or denied!

This tampering with the fuller's field and attack upon Judah led to the deaths of 185,000 enemy soldiers! "Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." Isaiah 37:36

The fuller's field, holy ground in a typical sense!

One more thing about this special place, it is located near the valley of Hinnom! This is the part of Jerusalem that housed their equivalent of the local "garbage dump." Jesus once used it as an illustration of the literal Hell! A place where the fires never go out and where the worms (maggots) never stop crawling!

That's why Jesus, the Virgin Born Saviour died! To save souls from Hell! The Cross of Calvary is theologically nearer Hell that we might think! It is on the very pathway there, yelling to all, "Don't die and go to that place of eternal torment!" Be saved today!

It is not coincidence that the Virgin Birth is announced where it is, at that precise geographical spot! At the fuller's field!

Have you been washed in the Blood?

This Resurrection Sunday remember, "And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1st John 1:7

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THE HIGHWAY:

Certainly one of the greatest Old Testament Verses of Prophecy, Isaiah 7:14, was uttered under some very precise conditions. The Lord had pre-selected the venue for its proclamation! "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ...." Isaiah 7:3

Having studied the "fuller's field" yesterday, we must now focus on the "highway." Why would God want this Message told right there by the highway?

The Hebrew noun here employed, "mesillah," means "a road, a public road, a causeway," and occasionally even a "path or terrace." It is derived from a verbal background of course, "salal," meaning "to lift up, to exalt, to raise up" something. Thus, when applied literally, a "highway" is just that, a roadway that is constructed a bit "higher" than the ground level! Partly this is done to keep the artery from being washed away in rainy seasons. Partly to make it more easily accessible, more visible! And, obviously, partly to handle crowds, throngs of travelers!

"Mesillah" can be used metaphorically, "The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul." Proverbs 16:17

Although Biblically it certainly can, and most often is, used literally. Watch Isaiah 62:10 instruct the builders to "raise" the structure above the ground! "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people."

It seems that in future days, such a highway will actually be built in the Holy Land. Built to facilitate the vast number of Jews returning "home!" Here they come! "And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." Isaiah 11:16

Also in some coming Day, the Millennium likely, two former enemies, Egypt and Assyria, will be at peace! At peace with each other ... and Israel! "In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians." Isaiah 19:23 says so! Want some "proof?" Keep reading, especially the next two verses! "In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."

Israel, get ready! Some pretty vast building projects await you, too! "And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein." The "highway of holiness" says Isaiah 35:8!

Why such a road? "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 35:10

When Jesus comes again to earth, millennially speaking I again remind you, the response and revival will be so great that such highways will be necessary. Then John the Baptist's preaching, echoing Isaiah's prophecy, will be made real, "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Matthew 3:3 should be compared to Isaiah 40:3, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

Preach the Virgin Birth, by the highway!

So the good news will travel fast!

The Messiah is coming!

Jesus is to be miraculously born!

Symbolically the Wise Men walked such a highway, following a star, right to the place Jesus was born!

Thus, the highway has come to mean, since it leads to Jesus, the way of salvation! That's why Scripture has Bartimaeus, the poor blind man of the Gospels, sitting by the highway, longing for Jesus! "And they (Jesus and His Disciples) came to Jericho: and as He went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging." Mark 10:46

The Virgin Birth of our Saviour was not first proclaimed down some forsaken alley! Nor on a dead-end street!

But right there on the highway!

How very appropriate!

God even uses geography in proclaiming the good news, the Gospel!

Yes, the Story of Jesus is going to make a come-back!

A great one!

Just as the world's nations prepare for years in advance to host the Olympics, so will God make the proper arrangements for Jesus' Return, a much greater Event than any sporting activity!

Building projects and all, infrastructure they call it.

And let's don't even think today about the topographical, hence geographical, changes that will be made to Jerusalem and its environs the day our Lord returns, when His feet touch the Mount of Olives!

What a Lord we serve!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE UPPER POOL:

What is an "upper pool?"

Isaiah the Prophet used this term when preaching his great Sermon about the Virgin Birth of Jesus. And he preached that Message seven hundred years before the Event occurred!

"Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ... Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:3,14

The Holy Spirit here has given Isaiah an unusual construction, linguistically so, for this expression. "Upper pool," in Hebrew, reads "elyon berekah." We must examine each word carefully.

First, the noun "pool" or "berekah," which is a lovely name indeed. It is built upon a main verb, "barak," which is found 330 times in the Old Testament. Well over 300 of those times it means "to bless!" This refreshing water source, so essential for the nearby fuller's task, was a blessing to all who visited! Now here is the standard Hebrew noun for "blessing," letter for letter, "berakah." There is only a one letter difference, it being a vowel, between "blessing" and "pool!"

Spiritually speaking, we are being told here that the coming Messiah, the Virgin Born Saviour, "Immanuel" or "God with us," is going to be a Blessing! In fact, He is the Greatest Blessing this world has ever seen!

Then, "upper," the adjective, is spelled "elyon!" Folks, this is the very Name the Old Testament uses for God, One of Them anyway! Nearly four dozen times in the Old Testament God is called "Most High" or "The Most High." Surely here far more than a hint of the Divinity of Jesus is being pictured! God is coming to earth, via the womb of a Virgin young lady!

When "upper pool" is viewed in Hebrew, "elyon berekah" fuses together two theologically heavy words!

A Child, what a Blessing, Jesus Christ the Lord!

But, even more than That, The Most High God, has come to earth to die for sinners!

Lessons in Bible geography!

Beautiful!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

Also, archaeologists believe they have located this very pool. They have even published its dimensions, larger than I thought!

Furthermore, the Name of God, "Most High," is first used in Genesis 14:18. There Melchizedek meets Abraham, "And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand."

This Most High God is first introduced as "Possessor of heaven and earth!" His Name here specifies His might and position and substance! The Psalmists knew God the Most High also, using this specific Name dozens of times.

 

 

LESSON 6, THE END OF THE CONDUIT:

That day in Isaiah 7 when the Prophet, Isaiah of course, preached about the Virgin Birth, that great prophetic masterpiece of a Sermon, he was required to do so at a special place!

Geography mattered that day, even to a Preacher!

Here's what I mean, "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet King Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ... Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:3, 14

Why was it essential that the Message be delivered "at the end of the conduit," for example?

What is a conduit and why is it so important?

The noun "end" is spelled "qatzseh" in Hebrew. It literally means the "end, extremity, or outside" of something. Isaiah was to preach there where the conduit emptied out its precious life-giving water, water to slake the thirst of every living soul in Jerusalem!

I can almost hear the gurgling of the water, its roar if recent rains had been heavy!

One lexicon says "qatzseh" can also mean the "mouth" of something! Isaiah is to preach, using his "mouth" assuredly, right where the that great water pipe spews forth its refreshing liquid, at its "mouth!"

Then, while we already know part of it, "conduit" means "a trench, a watercourse," and later in history even more so, "a pipe or flume," here issuing from the "upper pool" near the fuller's field at Jerusalem!

It is a translation of "tealah" in Hebrew, a word only used 11 times in all the Bible. Here's an interesting aside though, a couple of times in the King James Text, two of those eleven occurrences in fact, "tealah" is rendered as "cured" or "healing!" There is something about this pipe, this conduit, that implies a sort of therapeutic function! Making sick things well!

Yes, it is a picture of the One Who cleanses sinners of their old malignant, terminal sin-sickness! A place where dead men are made to live! Now that's a cure! That's real healing!

Isaiah, stand by the spout where the water comes out!

And preach JESUS!

Exact words again, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 here does not give us all of the Prophet's Sermon that day, just its most important point! Read verses 4-13 to get the historical details.

This reminds me of one day when Jesus did nearly the same thing! At the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, just when the Priests were ceremonially pouring out a great vial of water, our Lord loudly proclaimed, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." John 7:37-38 occurred at the Temple itself too, surely with the sound of water in the background!

And when did Jesus say this? "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Tabernacles was held in the Fall, just before Jesus was crucified the next Spring!

Isaiah prefigures the Lord by seven centuries or so!

"He is coming!"

"Born of a Virgin!"

"God has promised!"

Preach more loudly Isaiah!

The water is flowing so rapidly we can hardly hear you!

Jesus is What?

"Water?"

"The Water of Life?"

John 4 makes it even clearer. "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

Amen!

Preach it!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

Yes, the Virgin Born Baby Isaiah has prophesied did come to earth! He lived a sinless life too! Then died on an old rugged Cross! Died for sinners! Shed His Blood to make dead men live! To make sin-sick women well! To redeem young people! It's the whole picture that presents the fullest Truth here! Paul worded it this way, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." Then Mark, quoting the Lord Himself, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

His miraculous Virgin Birth, His sinless Life, His substitutionary Death, His actual burial, His literal physical and glorious Resurrection, His Ascension to Heaven, His present Ministry of interceding for us, and His soon coming again ... God's whole Program is pictured by the roaring water spout, the upper pool, the highway and the fuller's field!

What geography this is!

Glory to God!

 

 

LESSON 7, SHEARJASHUB:

The first direct mention of Jesus, using His Title "the Seed of the woman," occurred in Genesis 3:15! That's rather "early" in Scripture! This verse is often called the "protoevangelium." That is, the first instance of the good news, the Gospel, in all the Bible! God, speaking to the devil, the serpent, promised: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

From that moment onward Satan knew that some day a woman would bear a Child, one Who would "bruise," really "crush," the devil's head! That, we believe, happened at Calvary!

Later, in Genesis 12:1-3, the devil learned that the Messiah would be a Jew!

Then still later again, in Genesis 49:10, he learned that Jesus would be from the Tribe of Judah!

By Micah 5:2, Satan has learned that The Coming One will be born in Bethlehem! "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

Glory to God!

But the very first direct mention of the Virgin Birth of Jesus occurred in Isaiah 7:14. God was talking to King Ahaz of Judah, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

See?

Satan now knows a Virgin Jewish young lady, of the stock of Judah, the Royal Family, while in Bethlehem even, would give birth to the Messiah!

And all these things, indeed, did occur ... just as God had promised! Among Joshua's dying words is this testimony to Israel, "Ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." That, Joshua 23:14, is faithfulness! Excuse the capital letters please. I couldn't help it!

In fact, when God did give the Promise of the Virgin Birth, much detail is supplied! "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him ... Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:2 and 3 and 14

Having examined each of these points of geography, in light of their inclusion in the Virgin Birth Prophecy, we now look at the proper names in the Account. These are important.

 "Ahaz" means literally, "He has grasped." One textbook says, "possessor." He, a wicked King anyway, had the same tendencies as many others. He was selfish and stingy and idolatrous! "Grasping" everything he could, "possessing" life's pleasures, yet the King lacked the one thing needful! Faith, real faith, living faith in the coming Son of God! He was not, as we would say today, "saved!" And, the point of the whole Text, that coming Messiah would be born of a Virgin! Someone said, "from the Virgin Womb to the Virgin Tomb" Jesus provided our Salvation, shedding His precious incorruptible Blood on the Cross for our redemption!

The name "Isaiah" means "Jehovah has saved!" Or more loosely translated, "Jesus saves!" Without the Virgin Birth there could have been no soul salvation! If He, Jesus, is not God come in human flesh ... then He is not the Lamb of God! BUT HE IS! Isaiah chapter seven presents the Gospel in microcosm!

But one more Name in the account must claim our attention. Isaiah's son is specifically mentioned as one who was to accompany his father on this evangelistic campaign! Again, remember: "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son ...." Isaiah 7:3

Shearjashub?

Translated "remnant" in Hebrew is "shaar." Second Chronicles 30:6 gives us an example. This is the first syllable in the young man's name. Next comes the verb "shub," meaning "to return, to turn back, even to repent!" So, "Shearjashub" means, "A remnant shall return!"

Here's more on the significance of this name: The Virgin Birth is some time in the future, quite some time! So long that Judah will go into captivity, Babylonian Captivity. This is due to her voluminous sinning! Sinning without repentance! Outright rebellion! But, after many years, a "remnant" will return to the Holy Land! It is from this remnant that Messiah will be born! God nearly always works through His "faithful few!"

Yes, the Virgin Birth is coming, Isaiah!

King Ahaz, it is a sure Thing!

And it did happen, seven centuries later! "And she (Mary the Virgin) brought forth her firstborn Son (Jesus), and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

Here's some more good news!

A "remnant" is today returning to Israel as well! Every week ... from the four corners of the globe. And some day Jesus, Virgin Born and sinless and crucified and buried and risen and ascended, will comE again to this old sin-cursed earth! And when He does, Israel will believe in Him, their blindness finally lifted, "a nation" shall be "born in a day!" Isaiah 66:8

Here's how Zechariah preached it. God is talking. "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day there shall be a Fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Zechariah 12:10 and 13:1

Shearjashub!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

By the way, Isaiah and his wife had one more child, another boy. "And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz." Isaiah 8:3 calls Isaiah's wife "the prophetess," a "pet name" or "nickname" he affectionately had for her. You have just read the longest proper Name in the Bible, "Mahershalalhashbaz!" One Hebrew noun for "spoil," war "booty," is "shalal." And their main verb "haste" is "mahar." Now add to these a secondary verb for "haste," spelled "hash." And a second word for "spoil," namely "baz." Wow!

Again, all fused together, "Mahershalalhashbaz" literally translates, "Haste to the spoil! Haste to the spoil!" The repetition is clearly for emphasis! God, as always, is serious here!

In other words, "The enemy is coming. He will rob and plunder and rape and kill and terrorize!"

Judgment is on the way!

Apparently this boy, Mahershalalhashbaz, is the firstborn.

But, then add the name of Isaiah's second son! Israel will not cease to exist! No! By God's amazing Grace ... "Shearjashub," A REMNANT SHALL RETURN!

God has future plans for His chosen people!

No wonder Isaiah said, "Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion." Isaiah 8:18

Friends, your children are special too! "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm127:3

 

 

LESSON 8, IMMANUEL:

It's one of the most debated verses in all the Bible. The Devil simply can not allow it to stand alone, without challenging its findings! "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we shall examine one of the Bible's most fundamental principles of Prophecy. Yet today we can be sure what Isaiah 7:14 means, absolutely sure!

The reason for such certainly is this, the New Testament has clearly and absolutely interpreted Isaiah's great statement about the Virgin Birth!

Listen to Matthew. It will take you a few seconds to read his divinely inspired conclusion, but it's essential that you do so. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." Matthew 1:18-25 is conclusive! Jesus' Birth, His miraculous Birth by means of a pure Jewish Virgin, is the subject of Isaiah 7:14.

Also do notice that Matthew interprets for us the Name "Immanuel!" In the New Testament it is spelled "Emmanuel," but the meanings are identical. Let me place the two writers' words side-by-side. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 first, now here's Matthew 1:23. "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Just in case any doubts remained, Matthew handles them! This Child, this Son, the Virgin Born One, is to be named "Immanuel!"

This Appellation contains two Hebrew elements. Its last syllable, "El," is one of God's major Bible Names! "El," as in "Elohiym," means "God of POWER!" The Mighty One! The prefix, "im," means "with." But "with" in this sense, "in conjunction" with us! "Accompanying" us! "Beside" us! "Before" us! And even "for" us!

Succinctly translated, "Immanuel" means "God with us!"

Without using Isaiah's exact "formula," John the Apostle tells us the same thing. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Jesus, here in John 1:14, is God come to earth, in a human body! Fully God and fully man!

Preach it!

Sing it!

Testify of it!

Delight in it!

Meditate upon it!

What?

Immanuel!

God with us!

And if you are saved, He is "with" you this very second!

More than that now, He is "in" you!

"Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?" 1st Corinthians 6:19

Immanuel!

Emmanuel!

Either way, Old Testament or New, it's great!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, CONCLUSION:

The chapter, Isaiah 7, ends with some real interpretive issues. After the great Virgin-Birth prophecy, Isaiah continues preaching. "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 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." Verses 15 and 16 are are especially relevant to our Text.

This dilemma has about three normally suggested "answers" from major fundamental Bible scholars.

Is the Child of the Virgin here being further described? Men of God like Matthew Henry suggest otherwise. He believes that the words "the child" in verse 16 revert to Isaiah's own child, Shearjashub, who was present during this whole encounter. If so, he would have been very young, perhaps even a baby. Then, Isaiah's son will be fed good nutritious food, butter and honey, and will be a harbinger of bad things to come for Israel's enemies, particularly Kings Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel.

Other Bible teachers think that the Text is telling us that before the Messiah really arrives, a time now known to be 700 years after this Prophecy, nations then powerful would have been marginalized! The subsequent paragraph, beginning at verse 17 anyway, predicts bad times for the future! "Wars and rumors of wars," to use Jesus' very words.

But thirdly, there is a Bible principle that often appears in prophetic Passages. I call it a "double fulfillment" of the particular future event in focus. One fulfillment being local and nearby chronologically, the other being far away and distant calendar-wise.  That may be what we are viewing in Isaiah 7, its conclusion. One baby, Isaiah's and his wife's, illustrates the nearness of God's judgment upon Judah! The Other Baby, the Virgin-Born Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, will be born further yet into the future and see even more nations in turmoil!

This view would "fit" our Text as well.

Any way one studies this chapter, it radiates Beauty!

The Beauty and Glory of the coming Son of God!

Who has now come and suffered and died for sinners!

Being subsequently raised from the dead!

Ascended into Heaven where He sits right now by the Throne of God His Father, praying or "making intercession" for His own!

And ... soon He is coming again!

Praise the dear Lord!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

THIS BIBLE STUDY SERIES CONTAINS A TOTAL OF NINE LESSONS. THANK GOD FOR HE VIRGIN BIRTH!

 

 

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