Birth of a son to Isaiah (Isa 8:1-8:4)

“Then Yahweh said to me.

‘Take a large tablet.

Write on it

In common characters,

‘Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.’

‘The spoil speeds.

The prey hastens.’

Have it attested for me

By reliable witnesses,

The priest Uriah,

And Zechariah

Son of Jeberechiah.’

I went to the prophetess.

She conceived.

She bore a son.

Then Yahweh said to me.

‘Name him

Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

Before the child knows how to cry

‘My father’ or

‘My mother,’

The wealth of Damascus

With the spoil of Samaria

Will be carried away

By the king of Assyria.’”

Once again, we have a conversation between Yahweh and Isaiah directly. Yahweh told him to write down on a large wooden tablet, the letters Maher-shalal-hash-bar, which means spoil spreads and prey hastens. Then Isaiah had to go to the priest Uriah, mentioned in 2 Kings, chapter 16, as well as Zechariah, probably the father of the wife of Ahaz, to have it attested. Next he went to the prophetess, probably his wife, who then conceived and bore a son that was to be named after the word on the large tablet. Before this boy would be able to utter the words father or mother, the wealth of Damascus in Syria and the spoils of Samaria in Ephraim would be carried away by the king of Assyria. This alliance of King Ahaz of Judah with the King of Assyria can also be found in 2 Kings, chapter 16. Thus the name of the child was really talking about what was about to happen to Syria and Ephraim.

The altar of Damascus is built in Jerusalem (2 Kings 16:10-16:16)

“When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. King Ahaz sent to the priest Uriah a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. The priest Uriah built the altar, in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. The priest Uriah built it just so, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus. When the king came from Damascus, he viewed the altar. Then the king drew near to the altar. He went up on it. He offered his burnt offering and his grain offering, poured his drink offering, and dashed the blood of his offerings of well–being against the altar. The bronze altar which was before Yahweh he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of Yahweh. He put it on the north side of his altar. King Ahaz commanded the priest Uriah, saying. ‘Upon the great altar offer the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, with their grain offering and their drink offering. Then dash against it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. The bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.’ Uriah the priest did everything that King Ahaz commanded.”

When in Damascus to see King Tiglath-pileser III, King Ahaz was enamored by the altar he saw in Damascus. He wanted the same kind of altar in Jerusalem. He sent a model to the priest Uriah to build it like his model. Uriah accomplished this before the king arrived from Damascus. King Ahaz then offered all the normal sacrifices as laid out in Exodus and Leviticus about burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the offerings of well-being. Then he told the priest Uriah that he wanted all the sacrifices done on this altar. They then put aside the bronze altar that had been there.