Behold I and the Children

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

The Prophet reminds the people of the fact that both he and his children were signs and wonders given them by the Lord as testimonies of his predictions. The names of two of his sons are recorded: Shear-Jashub (Is. 7:3) and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. (Is. 8:3) Whether Immanuel, mentioned in Is. 7:14 and 8:8, was the second son of Isaiah is a debated question. Among early Hebrew commentators Kimschi held that view. Grotius, Faber, Fritche, Gesenius, Hitzig and others have also advocated that opinion. Others have regarded the prophecy concerning Immanuel applicable only to our Lord and his virgin Mother. But, notwithstanding the preponderance of this interpretation, it seems to me that the context of Is. 7:14 compels us to regard the virgin, the “alma” of that text as a young woman living at the time of King Ahaz and the prophet; for, how could her motherhood otherwise have been a sign to the skeptic king, for whom it was intended? But, if the virgin was the contemporary of the king and the prophet, she was, in all probability the wife of the latter. We notice that Isaiah, before the birth of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, undoubtedly following divine instructions, summoned two competent witnesses to accompany him to the mother of the expected child, to ascertain to their own satisfaction and to disarm public criticism, that she, the “prophetess,” was the legal wife of the Prophet. And, is it not probable that she was given that title, because she was the mother of the prophetic child Immanuel,—the type of the Messiah?

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1