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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

1. CONNECTION OF THE PROPHECY WITH ITS CONTEXT.—In the eighth chapter Isaias repeats the threats and promises of the seventh. Instead of giving a far-off supernatural sign in confirmation of his predictions regarding Samaria and Syria, he appeals to a present proof for his words. Juda’s destruction too is foretold for the second time, but hope is held out through the influence of the Messias, or the Emmanuel.

2. ERRONEOUS EXPLANATIONS.—We need not here repeat the opinion of those authors who identify the Emmanuel of Is. 7:14 with Maher-Shalal, of whom the prophet speaks in the present passage. This view has been fully refuted in the chapter on Is. 7:1–17. But we must mention a few of the various aspects under which the theory has been proposed: a. The Holy Ghost is the prophetess (cf. Jerome, Haimo); b. the virgin-mother is called the prophetess, and Isaias merely witnesses the conception and the birth of Emmanuel (Sasbout, Pinto); c. God himself speaks in the person of the prophet and foretells the mystery of the incarnation through the special intervention of the Holy Ghost (Eusebius, Cyril); d. Emmanuel is called Maher-Shalal, because he will despoil the devil of his booty, and the king of Damascus shall be vanquished not only before Maher-Shalal will be able to speak, but also through the power of the child (Theod., Basil, Procopius, Osorio, Menochius, Gordon, Barheb.). But on the other hand, a great number of commentators distinguish between Maher-Shalal and Emmanuel (Thomas, Richard Vict., Sixtus Senensis, Arias, Vatable, Clarius, Maldonatus, Malvenda, Pagninus, Foreiro, Sa, Estius, Mariana, Tirinus, Sanchez, etc.).

3. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PROPHECY.—The Messianic nature of the Emmanuel mentioned in the eighth chapter appears: a. From the parallelism between him and the Emmanuel of chapters 7, 9, 11, and Mich. 5:2 f. b. Jewish tradition too has interpreted the passage in a Messianic sense: The Talmud (Sanhedrin, fol. 38, col. 1) has the following on 8:14: “Jehudah and Hezekiah, the sons of Rabbi Hiyah, were sitting at a meal, in the presence of Rabbi, without uttering a word. Give some wine to the boys, exclaimed Rabbi, that they may feel encouraged to say something. When they had drunk the wine, they opened their mouths and said: The son of David will not come until the two patriarchal houses of Israel shall cease—that is, the Head of the captivity in Babylon, and the Prince in the land of Israel; for it is said: ‘And he shall be for a sanctuary.’ My children, exclaimed the Rabbi, you are thrusting thorns into my eyes. Said Rabbi Hiyah: Rabbi, take it not ill of them; wine is given with seventy, and so is a secret; when the wine comes in, the secret goes out.” (Both the word “wine,” yayin, and the word “sod,” secret, have in Hebrew the numerical value of seventy).

Is. 8:1–10

And the Lord said to me: Take thee a great book, and write in it with a man’s pen: Take away the spoils with speed, quickly take the prey. And I took unto me faithful witnesses, Urias the priest, and Zacharias the son of Barachias: and I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said to me: Call his name, Hasten to take away the spoils, make haste to take the prey. For before the child know to call his father and his mother, the strength of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of the Assyrians.

And the Lord spoke to me again, saying: Forasmuch as this people hath cast away the waters of Siloe, that go with silence, and hath rather taken Rasin, and the son of Romelia, therefore behold, the Lord will bring upon them the waters of the river strong and many, the king of the Assyrians and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and shall overflow all his banks, and shall pass through Juda, overflowing, and going over shall reach even to the neck. And the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Emmanuel. Gather yourselves together, O ye people, and be overcome, and give ear, all ye lands afar off; strengthen yourselves and be overcome, gird yourselves and be overcome. Take counsel together, and it shall be defeated; speak a word, and it shall not be done, because God is with us.

1. The land of Emmanuel is identified with the land of Juda, i.e., with the Lord’s own land. Hence Emmanuel must be a specially appointed divine king.

2. The land of Juda shall be saved through, or on account of, Emmanuel, so that Emmanuel himself is represented as the Redeemer of his native land. These characteristics of Lord and Redeemer are, however, more clearly indicated in other prophecies as belonging peculiarly to the Messias.








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