The Sign of Immanuel

     Isaiah 7:10–17

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.    Isaiah lived in the eighth century BCE. At the time Isaiah began his ministry, pressure was placed upon Judah, the southern kingdom, by both Syria, and Israel, which is often referred to as Ephraim, the dominate tribe in the north, and whose capital was Samaria.

2.    Ahaz, the king of Judah was looking to Assyria, for an alliance and thus hoping Syria and Israel would be prevented from attacking. However, in 734 BCE they attacked anyway. This is the setting of events in a nutshell. We recall that after the death of Solomon, there was a civil type war and the nation of Israel was divided into the northern and southern kingdoms know as Judah in the south and Israel (or Ephraim) in the north.

3.    God sent Isaiah to King Ahaz in the though that due to the pending invasion, he would seek the Lord. But no, Ahaz decided not to “put the LORD to the test” and instead would depend on Syria and Israel for help.

4.    Therefore, as we read in verse 14, the LORD Himself would give a sign, a virgin, or Almah in Hebrew, would conceive an bear a son and His name would be Immanuel, which means, God with us.

5.    Almah can mean virgin, girl, and maiden in Hebrew. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the LXX or Septuagint, the word is parthenos, which clearly means a virgin female.

6.    The germ of this prophecy lies in Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring, he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his head.”

7.    Now turn in your Bible to the following passages and read how Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled: Matthew 1:18–25; Philippians 2:5–11; and Hebrews 1:1–4.

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