Isaiah 8:3
(3) I . . . the prophetess . . .--The word may have been given by courtesy to a prophet's wife as such. Elsewhere, however, as in the case of Deborah (Judges 4:4) and Huldah (2Chronicles 34:22), it implies prophetic gifts. Possibly, therefore, we may think of the prophet and his wife as having been drawn together by united thoughts and counsels, in contrast with the celibate life of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 16:2), the miseries of Hosea's marriage (Hosea 1, 2), and the sudden bereavement of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 24:16-18). We may, perhaps, trace, on this view, the wife's hand in the toilet inventory of Isaiah 3:16-24.

Verse 3. - The prophetess. It is not necessary to suppose that the wife of Isaiah must have uttered prophecies because she is called "the prophetess." Titles were given in the East to the wives, daughters, etc., of officials, which merely reflected the dignity of their husbands, fathers, etc. Even Miriam seems to be called a "prophetess" (Exodus 15:20) from her close relationship to Moses, rather than from any supernatural power that she had. In the Mishna, a priest's wife or daughter is called "priestess" (Cheyne). Call his name. There is no reason for doubting that the name was actually given. Other Israelites had such names as Jushab-hosed (1 Chronicles 3:20), Haah-ashtari (1 Chronicles 4:6), Romamti-ezer (1 Chronicles 25:4), Machnadebai (Ezra 10:40), and the like. Assyrian names were even longer; e.g., As-shur-bel-nisi-su, Asshur-kinat-ili-kain, etc. In ordinary parlance, names of this type were commonly shortened, "Shalman-eser' becoming "Shalmau" (Hosea 10:14), "Sennacherib Jareb" (Hosea 10:6), and the like.

8:1-8 The prophet is to write on a large roll, or on a metal tablet, words which meant, Make speed to spoil, hasten to the prey: pointing out that the Assyrian army should come with speed, and make great spoil. Very soon the riches of Damascus and of Samaria, cities then secure and formidable, shall be taken away by the king of Assyria. The prophet pleads with the promised Messiah, who should appear in that land in the fulness of time, and, therefore, as God, would preserve it in the mean time. As a gentle brook is an apt emblem of a mild government, so an overflowing torrent represents a conqueror and tyrant. The invader's success was also described by a bird of prey, stretching its wings over the whole land. Those who reject Christ, will find that what they call liberty is the basest slavery. But no enemy shall pluck the believer out of Emmanuel's hand, or deprive him of his heavenly inheritance.And I went unto the prophetess,.... His wife, so called; not because she prophesied, but because she was the wife of a prophet; and besides, the birth of her son later mentioned, and his name, had in them the nature of a prophecy. The phrase of going unto her is an euphemism, a modest way of expressing the conjugal debt:

and she conceived and bare a son; which Jarchi would have the same with Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14 but this is a later prophecy, and a distinct one from that; and not only the names of the children are different, but the mothers also; the one a virgin, the other the prophet's wife.

Then said the Lord to me, call his name Mahershalalhashbaz: of the signification of this name; see Gill on Isaiah 8:1. Kimchi thinks that his name did not consist of these four words, only of two of them; and that he was sometimes called "Mahershalal", and sometimes "Hashbaz": both signifying the same thing. Some think that all this was done only in a vision, and not in reality, to declare and confirm what follows; though by that it seems rather to be a real fact.

Isaiah 8:2
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