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Verses 1-10

Isaiah’s son a sign for the people (8:1-10)

God then gives a second sign to guarantee the defeat of Israel and Syria. The sign of Immanuel had been given to the royal household, but this sign is given to the people. Another child is to be born, this one to Isaiah and his wife. The name of the child, Maher-shalal-hash-baz (meaning ‘the spoil hastens, the plunder comes quickly’; cf. GNB: Quick Loot, Fast Plunder), is announced publicly in advance so that the birth of the child will give added assurance to the people that God’s promises come true. The significance of the sign is that within a year or so of the child’s birth, Judah’s enemies (Israel and Syria) will be defeated and their goods seized by the conqueror (8:1-4).The people of Judah, however, are unmoved; they still refuse to believe. They reject the help of God (likened to the waters of the gently flowing canal of Shiloah in Jerusalem), and prefer instead the help of Assyria (likened to the waters of the mighty river Euphrates). This river will not only destroy Israel and Syria, but will overflow into Judah, the land of Immanuel, almost drowning the people (5-8).Then, turning to address Israel and Syria, Isaiah tells them that their plans for the conquest of Judah will not succeed. They have no chance of victory, because Judah is the land of Immanuel - ‘God with us’ (9-10).

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