Immanuel

by Rev. John Cortright on November 30, 2008
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Notes:

Matthew 1:18-25 is the record of the birth of Jesus and the young man Joseph.

Matthew 1:23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."

Isaiah 7:1-13 The context behind this prophecy. King Pekah from northern Israel and King Rezin of Aram (Syria) had formed an alliance and were going to attack King Ahaz and the nation of Judah. The prophet Isaiah gave the word of the LORD to Ahaz.

Isaiah 7:14 The word "virgin" is the Hebrew word almah. Two Hebrew words are translated "virgin" in both the KJV and the NASB versions -- bethulah (virgin) and almah (young woman). The word almah can mean a young married woman as it is used in Proverbs 30:19. However, it can also mean a young woman who is unmarried and a virgin.

Genesis 24:16a; Genesis 24:43a The first usage of these two Hebrew words. Both almah and bethulah are used to describe the same young woman, Rebekah -- a virgin.

The dual meaning of Isaiah 7:14 This use of almah in Isaiah 7:14 is very significant. It can have an ambiguous meaning. It is a prophecy with a dual meaning, fulfilled at two different times.

- The first fulfillment occurred shortly after it was spoken. Isaiah the prophet had a son born of a young woman (almah), the prophetess.
- The second fulfillment occurred over 700 hundred of years later with the birth of Jesus the Messiah, born of Mary, a virgin (almah).

The name Immanuel means "God with us" or "with us is God". It is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that "God is for us" but rather "God is with us." God can be with His people in judgment just as much as He can be with His people to bring salvation. Many times in the Bible, signs are symbolic of Israel's unbelief. The context of this prophecy continues.

Isaiah 7:14-17 A child would be born of an almah (young woman). Before this child knew enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land of these two kings (Israel and Syria) would be forsaken.

Ahaz did not believe the words of Isaiah. He was afraid. So instead of believing Isaiah, Ahaz took matters into his own hands. Ahaz paid the King of Assyria to attack these other two kings. (II Kings 16:7-19); however, that was not the end of the matter. The king of Assyria didn't stop with just Syria and Israel. The Assyrians began attacking the southern tribe of Judah as well. This was an evil time for the nation of Judah, and the LORD was provoked to anger (II Chronicles 28:16-25). God was with His people in spite of their unbelief and their unfaithfulness.

First fulfillment of "Immanuel" predicted -- the son of Isaiah.

Isaiah 8:1-18, 22 God was with the nation of Judah in judgment. It was a time of darkness and distress.

Second fulfillment of "Immanuel" predicted -- Jesus, the son of Mary

Isaiah 9:1-7 A great light would shine on them! A child would be born that would sit on the throne of David forevermore!



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