Names of Isaiah’s Children and Future Hope
It is important to scan the immediate context right after Isaiah six also to gain even more understanding of this chapter. Along with the foretelling of future prophecies, Isaiah also forthtold and preached about the past and of God’s already established Word. Isaiah seven begins a narrative, where Isaiah acts upon God’s calling. Isaiah is told to visit King Ahaz and speak against him. For King Ahaz trusted in man, worse is the fact that King Ahaz refused Isaiah’s warnings.
In this story Isaiah’s son, Shear-jashub, is mentioned. His name signifies "the remnant shall return.” Shear-jashub went with Isaiah to visit Ahaz. For Ahaz the name of Isaiah’s son would have meant that the threat in Judah would be reduced to a remnant and that small remnant would eventually leave and ‘return home.’ But in the much larger picture, Shear-jashub was meant to convey the promise of a remnant returning to Israel out of captivity.
Later in chapter seven, verse fourteen there is the infamous mention of Isaiah’s second son, “Immanuel.” The name means “God with us.” This verse is used out of context a lot in order to refer to Christ. While it does seem to have a double Christological meaning this is not what Isaiah originally was speaking of. The meaning is not “God (Jesus) is with us,” rather “God with us.” During the Assyrian conquest, God was with Judah. Hezekiah had trusted God and God protected Jerusalem. The verse reads in English “a virgin” will give the birth of Immanuel. In Hebrew the word simply means, “young woman.” This is not the same as the virgin (woman who has never had intercourse) – Mary- giving birth to Christ. This is a different word completely.
Isaiah’s third child was also a sign. His name was “Maher-shalal-hash-baz” (Isaiah 8:3). It signified “Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey” as Isaiah eight verse one clarifies. Similarly to “God with us,” The child’s named was referring to the Assyrian threat. They would soon (swiftly) be gone and destroyed. For the Angel of the Lord would destroy them.
Isaiah 6 in New Testament
Isaiah chapter six has even more meaning when examined within the broad context of the entire book of Isaiah as a whole. (This paper will not examine that full context.) Isaiah’s call to become a prophet is an essential to all of that follows in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah continues his story narrative. The teaching and foretelling of Isaiah builds on the actual history that takes place. A simple example is that of the naming of his sons, as mentioned above. God told Isaiah to name his sons those particular names for those particular reasons!
Also, as mentioned above Isaiah is one of the most quoted books from the Old Testament into the New Testament with sixty-six direct quotations and nineteen allusions to Isaiah. (Again, this paper will be unable to examine all of the references and contexts of Isaiah in the New Testament.)
One of the most famous quotations from Isaiah six in the New Testament is that of Mark chapter four, where Jesus is speaking. Jesus was teaching parables and the disciples asked him what the purposes of these parables were. Jesus quotes Isaiah six , verse nine. Jesus says basically that the Pharisees have hardened their hearts and cannot understand the parables. In fact, Jesus tells the disciples that the parables are intentionally ‘mysterious” to those outside (Pharisees, etc) “in order that” they may not understand. Those who are not willing to repent will not be forgiven. This is a universal truth from Isaiah that applies in the New Testament and even in modern day.
Imagine for a second, Jesus probably felt like Isaiah, teaching things directly to people who were hearing but not understanding and seeing but not perceiving. Even the disciples themselves did not understand completely. Jesus had an amazing understanding of the Old Testament. He dedicated a lot of His time to understanding it.
Conclusion and Application for Today
Starting with the more obvious things, Isaiah teaches that sin has consequences. God is displayed as Holy. God is Holy. This has not changed. God is Holy and cannot have anything to do with sin. Sin is rebellion against God. If man hardens their hearts against God in rebellion. God will continue to harden man’s heart. He is Holy and cannot put up with man’s sin. Not only will God continue to harden man’s heart in the direction of rebellion, but also He must deal with this sin in judgment and punishment. However if man repents of this sin and rebellion, God is there to accept man. God desires to see man repent! Isaiah himself is the model for Israel to repent. Few men followed this model. Hezekiah was one who did and God temporary secured Jerusalem from Judgment because of Hezekiah and Isaiah’s faiths. Although later Babylonian and Roman judgment would follow because men continued to reject God. God is Sovereign, Holy and Good.
When one has tasted redemption and holiness, it is his duty to carry the word of God to the people around who have ears but do not ear, and have eyes but do not see. As mentioned above the inability of people to move from perception to comprehension exists today, also. The call of Isaiah to preach this message exists today, except for modern Christians; this message is in a new light: The light of Jesus Christ. Our message of sin and rebellion is followed with the hope of salvation in Christ, not in being the remnant of Israel, but the remnant of Heaven.
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