The Immanuel Prophecy


In his commentary today, LCG’s Wyatt Ciesielka wrote:

Isaiah delivered the Immanuel prophecy: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin (the `almah) shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). God would deliver Judah from Israel and Syria, and Israel and Syria would be “laid waste” before that infant would come of age (v. 14-16).

Isaiah uttered this prophecy around 735bc. Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel would both be destroyed within about fourteen years (ca. 721bc). As God promised, Judah was spared temporarily. However, Judah’s temporary deliverance foreshadowed a future deliverance by a future Deliverer—for the entire house of Israel, and eventually for all humankind.

Isaiah 7:14 promises the Immanel, born of a virgin (`almah).  The word `almah occurs nine times in the Old Testament. Twice, `almah is used as a musical term (1 Chronicles 15:19-20; Psalm 46). Seven times, `almah refers to young, unmarried women (Genesis 24:43; Exodus 2:8; Psalm 68:25; Proverbs 30:19; Song of Solomon 1:3, 6:8; Isaiah 7:14). The word never refers to a married woman.

Some who seek a historic-only fulfillment of the Immanuel prophecy attempt to identify the mother as Ahaz’ wife, and the child as Hezekiah. However, Ahaz’ wife was a married queen, not an unmarried virgin (`almah). Others point to Isaiah’s prophetess fiancée and the subsequent birth of Isaiah’s son, Maher-shalalhash-baz as the historic fulfillment of the prophecy (cf. Isaiah 8:1-4, 18). However, Scripture reveals the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy.

Matthew records that according to God’s prophecy through Isaiah, Mary (an `almah) would give birth to a Son to be named Jesus and Immanuel (Matthew 1:20-23). Jesus would give His life so that those who would believe in Him could be delivered from death into everlasting life (John 3:16; Galatians 1:4; 2 Timothy 4:18). After three days, Jesus would be resurrected to sit at the right hand of God (John 20:17; Hebrews 1:13)! And soon, Jesus will return as conquering King (Matthew 6:10; Revelation 1:7)!

Jesus came.  Jesus will return.

Bible prophecy has proven trustworthy and will again.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.
Jesus is God, But Was Made Man Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what?
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?

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