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virgin"? On referring to 2 Kings xix. 21, we find the same Prophet make use of the very expression, where he informs the king, Hezekiah, of the denunciation of God against Sennacherib, the blasphemous king of Assyria, who was at that time besieging Jerusalem. “This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn.”-It is impossible to conceive that these words, expressly spoken of the king of Assyria, bear any allusion to the virgin, the mother of Christ; and it illustrates clearly the otherwise obscure expression of the Prophet addressed to Ahaz, when he foretold to him the happy reign of his successor Hezekiah. In Isaiah x. 32, “He (the king of Assyria) shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem,” the epithet “the daughter of Zion,” which in the last passage was used as synonymous with “ the virgin,” here signifies Jerusalem itself, in which sense it was commonly used in the figurative language of the Prophet, and no doubt well understood by Ahaz: for we find the same words in many other passages used to signify either a city or the people of a city. Isaiah xxiii. 12: “And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zion.” Ch. xlvii. 1: “Come down, and sit in the dust, О virgin daughter of Babylon.” Jeremiah xiv. 17: “ Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them: Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach.” Ch. xviii. 13: “ Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ask ye now among the Heathen, who hath heard such things; the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing." Ch. xxxi. 4: “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, О virgin of Israel ; thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.” Ver. 13: “ Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance," &c. Ver. 21 : “Set thee up
waymarks, make thee high heaps; set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest; turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.” Lam. i. 15: “ The Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine-press." Ch. ii. 13: “What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem ? what thing shall I liken to thee, O virgin daughter of Zion ? for thy breach is great like the sea; who can heal thee?” Amos v. 2: “ The virgin of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise; she is forsaken upon her land ; there is none to raise her up."
To shew that the passages in question, as well as all that is foretold in this and the succeeding chapters, refer to the reign of Hezekiah, nothing more than a comparison of them with the records of that reign is requisite. I shall therefore lay before my readers all those verses in these chapters that are commonly referred to by Trinitarians as alluding to the coming of Christ, with their contexts, together with such parts of the history of the reign of Hezekiah as appear to me to be clearly indicated by those passages.
Isaiah vii. 1: “And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate against Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 3. Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; 4. And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted, for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of
Remaliah. 5. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 6. Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: 7. Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 8. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 9. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. 10. Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11. Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. 13. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David, Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also ? 14. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. 17. The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah ; even the king of Assyria.”
Chap. viii. 5: “ The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, 6. Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah, that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son; 7. Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks; 8. And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, -he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.”
Ch. ix. 1: “Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulon, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan in Galilee of the nations. 2. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, * upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
* Those that are at all versed in scriptural language will attach no weight to the terms “no end” and “for ever,” found in ch. v. 7; for the former often signifies plenteousness, and the latter long, but not eternal duration. Vide Eccles. iv. 16: “There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them.” Isaiah ii. 7: “ Neither is there any end of their treasure, neither is there any end of their chariots.” Nahum ii. 9: “There is none end of their store.” Ch. iii. 3: “And there is none end of their corpses.” Psalm cxlv. 2, 9: “I will praise thy name for ever and ever.” Deut. xv. 17: “And he shall be thy servant for ever.”
: Ch. x. 5: “O) Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and
the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 57. How beit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so, but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations, not a few. 8. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether Kings? 9. Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad ? is not Samaria as Damascus ?* 10. As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11. Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12. Wherefore it shall come to pass, that, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the King of Assyria, and the glory of his hig looks.”—16. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17. And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.”—24. “ Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. 25. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger, in their destruction.” 27.4 “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder,
- * Compare vers. 9–11, with the historical relation of the vain boastings of the Assyrian, narrated in 2 Kings xviii. 33-35.
+ Compare with 2 Kings xvi. 7, “So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser, King of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son,” &c., and ch. xviii. 7, as above.