Tiglath-Pileser

Isaiah 8: 2-4. :And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah .And I went unto the prophetess: and she conceived and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Mah-her-shalal-hash-baz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

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I like to know where places are.  Here you see the location of Samaria.  Syria (Aram) was to the north and west of Samaria, which was a geographical part of Israel (Ephraim.)  Assyria was farther north yet, but extended its empire all the way through Israel, Judah, and farther south.

In our passage today, we read first that Isaiah had a couple of reliable witnesses  to what he had written on the tablet: The name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, meaning plunder speeds, booty hastes.   Booty  is an old-fashioned word for the spoils of war; the conquering army took whatever grabbed their fancy, leaving those who still lived with very little by way of food, furniture, money, even clothing. These two witnesses (see II Kings 18:10 and II Chron. 29:1 and 13) would be able to attest  to the people how Isaiah had long before foretold, by his inscription and by the name of his son, what had now come to pass.

Then, we are told, Isaiah went in unto his wife, the prophetess.  I’ve always loved it that Isaiah and his wife shared this calling. We don’t hear much about her, but she clearly had a part in Isaiah’s work. She conceived, and bore the son who would be named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.

So, from the time of conception to the birth of the child was nine months. He would not learn to  speak the words Mother, Father,  before the destruction of Damascus and Samaria came to pass. The King of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser, would have swept through the area and left it in complete disarray.

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His sweep through Samaria and Damascus would be just the prelude to his attack on Judah, and King Ahaz should have been shaking in his sandals. Instead, he was deluded by his supposed alliance with Tiglath-Pileser, and would not, did not, choose to turn to God for help.

 

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