Collins’ claim is, “The more likely candidate is the wife of the king. The name Immanuel, “God is with us,” is an allusion to the royal ideology;…” (Collins p.313). He goes on to offer Psalm 46:7: the Lord of hosts is with us” also 2 Sam 7:9; 1 Kings 1:37; 11:38; Ps 89:21, 24. Collins goes on to back up his claim stating “there is no reason to think Isaiah was predicting a miraculous birth.” He goes on to say the birth was a sign of hope for the future of the Davidic dynasty. It cited medieval Jewish interpreters, which argued, for the sign to be meaningful it would have needed to happen, in Ahaz’s time and not 700 years later.
Isaiah seven serves as a pivot point in the way the book has been unfolding up to then. Chapters 1-6 have read like the opening statement of a criminal trial. There has been several occasions presented, demonstrating to many ways the people of Judah have broken the Lord’s commands; then followed, almost in sequence, by the results of their actions, and the punishments to be levied upon them and then chapter seven is post trial if you pardon the metaphor. There is a gulf between the holy and the unholy. The bridge over this gulf is children. This is my claim; all of the shaving of heads and feet is to make them humble, like a child. The children, only old enough to eat curds and honey, will be left with the power to rule over the nation once it is reconstructed from ruin.
Immanuel, in chapter seven, is the fulcrum, where the foci shift from the wrongs of the past to the future after the exile. Immanuel is the specific bridge needed to assure a holy line from the Davidic house will continue. Immanuel is the reason for chapter seven. He is the element of the story who can withstand the scrutiny of prior wrongs in chapters 1-6 and have the proper lineage to continue the promise from Genesis. Chapter seven seems to be a different writer than chapters 1-6. The tone is different as if it was inserted after the exile to leave a hopeful not to future generations. I noticed verse three does not say Thus says the Lord: but rather “Then the Lord says to Isaiah,” in third person. “The conduit in the upper pool” phrase was used again in chapter 36: 2, which Collins points out was not likely written by Isaiah either.
There are many more similarities throughout Isaiah. I shall enjoy digging deeper into the root systems linking this all together.
Please have your pet spayed or neutered. The overflowing shelters will thank you.