Immanuel CAN'T: Another Bogus Biblical Prophecy

"The Boss wants the point spread for the Notre Dame game."
"The Boss wants the point spread for the Notre Dame game."

When it comes to defending the Bible, nothing is more appealing to believers than prophecies, and one of the most widely quoted is Isaiah chapter 7, verse 14:

"...Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

In Matthew, chapter 1, Isaiah's prophecy appears fulfilled:

"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph...took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus."

But does this truly complete Isaiah's prediction? The initial validity of a prophecy (before it is 'fulfilled') depends upon three factors: specificity, uniqueness and factuality. For example, a prophecy that something bad will happen next month is so unspecific that it could be 'fulfilled' by practically anything.

Likewise, a prophecy that tomorrow the sun will shine -- something that has occurred countless times before -- isn't unique, and doesn't require any great foresight. Even if it does turn out to be a clear day, it's hardly prophetic.

Lastly, if someone points to Pippin's vision of the White Tree as a valid prophecy of Sauron's attack on Gondor, one need remind them that the Lord Of The Rings is a work of fiction, crafted by the author to continue his established narrative. It's consistent, but not factual.

Isaiah's Immanuel prophecy is certainly unique. After all, a virgin birth is hardly an everyday occurance (though some propose that the word "virgin" has been mistranslated). It's also specific in its mention of the name Immanuel, though it's not the actual given name of the New Testament child who supposedly fulfills the prophecy. In fact, Jesus is never mentioned by name here, nor does his name appear ANYWHERE in the entire Old Testament!*

*(I've explored this more fully in my hub, The Missing Messiah)

Once a prophecy is 'fulfilled,' its culmination must survive the same scrutiny as the original prediction. For those of us who consider both the Old and New Testaments works of fiction, it's easy to see both the original prophecy and its supposed culmination in Matthew as analogous to Tolkien's tale. It's simply an author maintaining a story line -- even more plausible, given that the New Testament was written years or even decades after the events it supposedly describes, leaving its authors greater freedom to employ artistic license.

Still, this initial analysis hinges entirely on whether one considers the Bible fact or fiction. At this point, if you accept the Bible as true, the prophecy still passes the factual test. However, a 'fulfilled' prophecy must pass one additional test of validity: continuity. In other words, does the culiminating event accurately fulfill what the prophecy originally predicted? This is where the Immanuel/Jesus prophecy ultimately fails, undermined by the Bible itself.

First, some historical context is necessary. According to the Old Testament, after the death of Solomon the larger kingdom of Israel split into the smaller kingdoms of Israel (in the north) and Judah (in the south). At the time of Isaiah's prophecy, Pekah ruled Israel and Ahaz ruled Judah (Ahaz is the king to which the prophecy is told).

The unraveling of the Immanuel/Jesus prophecy begins when we examine verse 14 in its entirety -- adding its beginning, which is often overlooked, forgotten or omitted altogether:

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

The inclusion of the first half immediately changes the intention of Isaiah's prophecy. Immanuel's birth is no longer significant in its own right. Rather, it is a SIGN OF SOMETHING ELSE more significant yet to come.

In the preceding verses, God explains to Ahaz that Rezin (the king of Syria) and "the son of Remaliah" (Pekah, the king of Israel) have allied and plan to attack Judah. He declares:

"Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass... Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God..."

Which returns us to verse 14. God has instructed Ahaz to request a sign that Israel and Syria won't succeed in their attack, then proceeds to offer that sign -- the birth of the child Immanuel. There is no reference to a 'savior' or to mankind's redemption, and no mention of the name Jesus.

In the next chapter of Isaiah, he prophesies the birth of yet another child (Mahershalalhashbaz) as a sign of another event: the takeover of Judah by Assyria (after the conquest of Israel and Syria):

"And he [the king of Assyria] shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel."

Not only is Isaiah's first 'birth' prophecy obviously not about Jesus, he makes a second, very similar prophecy regarding another impending military action, which reinforces (through repetition) the true intention of the first.

Even more damaging is the original prophecy's chronological place in history. The Bible identifies Ahaz (who received the prophecy) as a contemporary of the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III, who ruled from 745-727 BCE. As a 'sign', the birth of Immanuel is obviously supposed to occur prior to Tiglath's conquests, dating it to more than SEVEN CENTURIES before Jesus' time! Thus, the birth of Immanuel and the birth of Jesus are obviously two separate events, separated by hundreds of years.

The Matthew verse clearly suggests that it fulfills the Isaiah prophecy. As we can see, it absolutely DOES NOT, making this portion of the Bible either a careless mistake or an intentional lie. How many more will it take until we conclude the same about the entire Bible?


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Comments 33 comments

k12rswow profile image

k12rswow 3 years ago from New England

What do you think about Jesus then?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Though there's very little compelling evidence that Jesus of Nazareth ever even existed, I think there's a good possibility that he did exist, and that a religious cult grew around him. From what I've heard, there were quite a few "messiahs" around Palestine at that time, and it could be that his cult was one that took off. All it really takes is one person with a lot of charisma and enough people willing to believe.

That aside, I certainly don't believe he was the son of a god or that he performed miracles.

Thanks for visiting!


k12rswow profile image

k12rswow 3 years ago from New England

You began this with Isaiah, so I would ask you consider Isaiah 53

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah...


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

I do not agree that a book is bogus because your interpretation does not add up, no different then some one that reads Latin and some one who can not read or understand the language , does that make a book of Latin bogus because you do not understand the Author, the statements ,or the sound of words ? Really the Author of a book in Latin, would be offended if you where to call his inspired words in a Latin book bogus ,I would agree that the inspired Author of the the Holy scriptures would feel the same.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

K12, there are, indeed, a great many other passages from Isaiah that are also cited as prophecies of Jesus, but they will require others hubs to address. Isaiah 53 will certainly be among them.

However, I will offer you a clue from chapter 53 to consider in the meantime that may, at the very least, provide some food for thought (from verse 10):

"...he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand."


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Kiss, you suggest in your comments that I "don't understand" the Bible, and that you disagree with my "interpretation." If you'll please demonstrate to me which part of this prophecy I don't understand or have misinterpreted, I'll be happy to re-examine it.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Immanuel means " God is with us" Before Jesus went to Heaven, He told his followers, In Matthew 28:20 " And I am surely to be with you always"

That promise is repeated in the last book of Revelation 21:3 And I heard a voice from the throne saying " now the dwelling of God is with men. He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God"

So, that prophecy did come true. Immanuel is a meaning, a promise, and Jesus is the one who fulfulled that promise.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Michele, purely out of curiosity, I'm going to reiterate and summarize the evidence I just presented in my hub, to see if you can completely ignore it a second time:

-- According to verse 14, Isaiah's Immanuel prophecy is given as a "sign" -- a signal of something else yet to come. That something else is explained -- by God himself -- as an upcoming attack on Judah.

-- There is no mention of mankind's redemption or salvation anywhere in this prophecy (a major oversight, don't you think, given its importance?)

-- Isaiah's prophecy declares that the mother of the child "shall call his name Immanuel." In Matthew, Joseph "called his name Jesus" -- a name that appears NOWHERE in the Old Testament.

-- The attacks cited in Isaiah's prophecy date it to the early eighth century BCE -- fulfilling it more than seven centuries before Jesus.

Each of these points comes explicitly from the Bible itself, which suggests that whomever included the 'Emmanuel' reference in Matthew hadn't completely read the original Isaiah prophecy, or intentionally lied, hoping that others wouldn't catch the discrepancy.

Obviously the New Testament is suspect on this matter, so merely offering additional NT quotes isn't going to help. However, if you can demonstrate for me that the evidence I've provided thus far is incorrect, I'll gladly reconsider.


k12rswow profile image

k12rswow 3 years ago from New England

"...he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand."""""

I believe this is the seed of Abraham and the seed of the Woman vs the seed of the serpent. Could be wrong?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

That quote is directly from Isaiah 53, which is presumably a prophecy of Jesus. If God is saying that he "shall see his seed" and "prolong his days," he clearly isn't talking about Jesus of Nazareth, who had neither children nor a prolonged life.

I have another theory about to whom God is actually referring, but I'll explain that in another hub (which you've inspired me to write!).


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I won't give you any NT quotes, but there are a few OT Prophecies about Jesus. Not just the one about Immanuel, which is still about what Jesus's name means. That God is with you. Like Abram which means "exulted father" But, when it was changed to Abraham it mean "Father of a multitude"

There is more then just one prophecy about Jesus in the Old Testament.

Concerning His birth

1) Son of God Psalms 2:7

2) To be born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2

3) Herod kills children Jeremiah 31:15

Concerning His nature

1)His Pre-Existence Micah 5:2; Colossians 1:17

2)He shall be called Lord Psalm 110:1

3)Shall be a prophet Deuteronomy 18:18

4) Shall be a rabbi Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:5,6

5)Special anointment of the Holy Spirit Isaiah 11:2

Events after His burial

1). His resurrection Psalm 16:10

2)His ascension Psalm 68:18

3) Seated at the right hand of God Psalm 110:1

The following prophecies from the Old Testament, which speak of the betrayal, trial, death and burial of Jesus, were spoken at various times by many different voices during the five centuries from 1000-500 BC, and yet all of them were literally fulfilled in one twenty-four hour period of time in Jesus' life

1)Forsaken by His disciples Zechariah 13:7

2) Accused by false witnesses Psalm 35:11

3) Mute before accusers Isaiah 53:7

4) Wounded and bruised Isaiah 53:5

5) Smitten and spit upon Isaiah 50:6; Micah 5:1

6)Mocked Psalm 22:7,8

7) Fell under the cross Psalm 109:24

8) Hands and feet pierced Psalm 22:16

9) Crucified with thieves Isaiah 53:12

10) Made intercession for His persecutors Isaiah 53:12

11) Rejected by his own people Isaiah 53:3

12) Hated without a cause Psalm 69:4

13) Friends stood afar off Psalm 38:11

14) People shook their heads Psalm 109:25

15) Stared upon Psalm 22:17

16) Garments parted and lots cast Psalm 22:18

17) Suffered thirst Psalm 69:21

18 ) Gall and vinegar offered Him Psalm 69:21

19 ) His forsaken cry Psalm 22:1

20) Committed Himself to God Psalm 31:5

21) His bones not broken Psalm 34:20

22) His heart broken Psalm 22:14 (The blood and water which came from Jesus' pierced side are evidences that the heart had literally burst.)

23) His side pierced Zechariah 12:10

24) Darkness over the land Amos 8:9

25) Buried in a rich man's tomb Isaiah 53:9

Four more prophecies also in a 24 hour period of time

1) Betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:9 ( Judas)

2) Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12

3) Money to be thrown down in God's house Zechariah 11:13 ( the activity kind of pissed Him off)

4) Price given for potter's field. Zechariah 11:13 ( The 30 pieces of silver Judas gave back, before he hung himself)

You can write a hub, but using just one small scriptural quote cannot prove that the entire bible is false. Since the word Immanuel is the definition of the name. The definition!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

By the way, I am going to be in the hospital for problems epilepsy/kidney failure. Going in on Monday at 7am. Will be in for at least a week. We can continue this conversation when I get home, if that is ok.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Michele, first let me say that I'm sorry to hear about your medical problems, which sound rather serious. Here's hoping everything turns out okay. The hub will still be here when you return.

As for your other comments, thank you for all the Old Testament references. You've clearly done your homework! However, there is so much material (even in Isaiah alone!) that, to give each quote any justice, I must address them one at a time. What I'm focusing on here is the Immanuel quote.

You're correct that examining one quote can't prove the entire Bible is false. However, the author of the Matthew quote obviously chose to include that name (regardless of its meaning) to try to reconcile the New Testament story with the Isaiah quote. I believe I've demonstrated in this hub that it simply doesn't agree with the facts -- as presented in the Old Testament itself!

My point is that, if one New Testament author did this, how many more of them followed suit? It's something to think about.


k12rswow profile image

k12rswow 3 years ago from New England

Hi Michele,

I used your prophecy list in a sermon I did today at the nursing home. God bless and I hope all is well Monday.


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

Yes I would gladly list some important points of the book as well as the scripture you pointed out ,I do appreciate your response on the subject to to examine closely God's Inspired word. Will post to you when I have gathered my material, thank you.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Kiss. Though my focus here is specifically on the Immanuel prophecy, to be fair, I did open the door to others by suggesting that it casts doubt on the rest of the Bible.

So I'll do my best to examine your additional material. If anything, if I can't sufficiently address them in a comment here, I can always write another hub! (I'm already working on K12's sugestion)


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

To Paladin ,I have posted my hub on the holy scriptures, there you will find the subject about Immanuel in scriptures of its purpose. I hope you will be able view the whole picture of understanding , not just a small part.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Kiss, I visited your hub, but it doesn't explain why my analysis of the Immanuel prophecy is incorrect.

What we have here is someone (God, no less) telling you -- in his own words -- the meaning of what he's just said. Someone comes along hundreds of years later and says, "no, it means something else entirely."

Why would anyone accept the second story?


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

To Paladin ,

First I would like to thank you for reading the hub, but what is important

is Emmanuel yet there is more to it ,the beginning that led up to the name it can not be separated to understand it, and the ending of what it leads to .

Emmanuel simply means God is with us , he has not abandon us, though it seems that he is nowhere around , he is and has worked out a cure from the beginning in the garden of Eden, We all have went through heart aches and pains, and the hurt of losing loved ones, health problems ,crime, injustice you name it ,it is like a fever that some times has to run its course , Yes we have been running this course since Adam and Eve ,Now the fever has been broken ,we will soon fill the cure for all things ,As you see man can not! So it is time to allow the Sovereign Lord Jehovah to Govern us through his choice, meaning his Son !the greater David,yes even if you want to say Emmanuel ,that God is with us . That is ok ,but the whole story goes together , Ps

Just a thought could you really just eat the crust of your favorite pie ,to say you have eaten your favorite pie , you dig in deep to taste what makes that pie a pie ,from the top ,middle and bottom , We can dig in the bible the same way. And then it would be more understandable. Hope it's a good example to you.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for the follow-up, Kiss. But, to borrow your pie anology, I would suggest to you that the whole pie (the Immanuel prophecy) is there on the table. You don't need to sample the cookies and the cake to know what the pie tastes like.

You appear to be focusing solely on the meaning of the name 'Immanuel' and ignoring that the initial prophecy is completely explained in chapter 7 of Isaiah. I don't know how else to explain this other than to print the entire narrative here, word for word. Here it is (with all the extra irrelevant text removed):

------

"And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;

And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,

Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:

Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings."

------

In other words, God is saying that Syria and Israel are planning an attack on Judah, which God isn't going to allow to succeed ("it shall not stand"). As a sign (as proof), a child (Immanuel) will be born, and before that child is old enough to know good from evil, Syria and Israel ("the land that thou abhorrest") shall lose their kings.

God (through Isaiah) made a prophecy, and explained the prophecy, word for word. The fact that some New Testament author decided to borrow the name 'Immanuel' to lend credence to his Matthew narrative doesn't add anything to the original story, for it's already complete.


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

Well there you go again talking about cookies and cake when the subject is bout the whole pie, which let's me know this, either you do not openly want to say you agree to something or you really just will not consider any information on the subject at all even from the very start. But thank you or reading my hub.


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

Thank you for reading my hub


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

You're welcome.

Kiss, the "whole pie," as you say, is in the original Isaiah prophecy. I've repeatedly demonstrated to you that the prophecy is fully explained -- and fulfilled -- in Isaiah chapter 7. I even printed almost the entire narrative here again for you. Yet you continue to stubbornly insist that there is more to the story, because of one reference to it in the book of Matthew (added centuries later).

In my first reply to Michelle, I expressed curiosity as to how many times the evidence presented here would be ignored. As things turned out, you're the one who is ultimately serving that purpose.

Still, as a former believer and an atheist who's spent decades discussing such things with current believers, I do understand why you're avoiding the evidence that is clearly presented in Isaiah.

If the prophecy is fulfilled in Isaiah seven hundred years before Jesus, this means that the Immanuel reference in Matthew is bogus -- or, at best, erroneous. And if there is a bogus or erroneous reference to Jesus in the New Testament, it creates the possibility that there are other lies or errors in it. And if the New Testament is bogus or erroneous, perhaps the whole idea of Jesus and redemption is bogus or erroneous. Which threatens the very foundation of your faith.

And that's exactly why I'm doing this. It's been my experience that there's a part of every thinking human being that strives for truth. Even believers, who necessarily subordinate that desire to the demands of faith, can't completely shut it down. It's for that part of you (and others), deep down in your subconscious, that I write hubs like this.

You may ignore the evidence today, and you may continue to ignore it tomorrow. But it's my hope that, someday, you'll remember the seed I've planted here (and, hopefully, many other seeds that others may plant), and doubt will begin to blossom into reason.


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 3 years ago

To Paladin I have explain the book of holy scripturs in summery , I am not caught up on why something is not ,the way it should be from your personal point of view ,for this is God's words his personal point of view ,And he claims it, So you are questioning him not me , I do understand it ,it is clear in its message and I do not discredit it because it has proved it's worthiness to me and countless others ,You are entitle to your personal view ,and I respect that, but just because you can not see or understand this language does not make it bogus, nor makes the Entire language of the holy Scriptures non valid.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

To K12: I finally managed to publish a hub regarding Isaiah's prophecy in chapter 53. I actually completed it weeks ago, but I've been trying to compose a companion piece suggesting to whom Isaiah is truly referring.

Unfortunately, despite long research, I'm still not satisfied, though I may still publish my analysis in the future.

In any case, my new hub, "Isaiah 53: It's Not Who You Think," can be found here:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Isaiah-53-...

I've also added a link at the end of this hub.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@Paladin

"(Im·man′u·el) [With Us Is God].

A name first mentioned by the prophet Isaiah (7:14; 8:8) during the reign of Ahaz (761-746 B.C.E.). In Matthew 1:23, the only other occurrence, Immanuel is a name-title applied to Christ the Messiah.

In view of the circumstances under which the prophecy was given, Bible commentators have looked for an “Immanuel” in Isaiah’s day, one who fittingly served then as a sign that ‘God was with them.’ In that eighth century B.C.E., Pekah and Rezin, the kings of Israel and Syria, were bent on overthrowing Ahaz, king of Judah, in order to put the son of Tabeel upon his throne. (Isa 7:1-6) Jehovah, however, remembered his kingdom covenant with David, the forefather of Ahaz, and sent his prophet with this reassuring message:

“Listen, please, O house of David. . . . Jehovah himself will give you men a sign: Look! The maiden herself will actually become pregnant, and she is giving birth to a son, and she will certainly call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey he will eat by the time that he knows how to reject the bad and choose the good. For before the boy will know how to reject the bad and choose the good, the ground of whose two kings you are feeling a sickening dread will be left entirely.”—Isa 7:13-16.

Then, after telling about the birth of Isaiah’s second son, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, the prophecy next describes how the threat to Judah would be removed. As an irresistible flood, the Assyrians would completely inundate Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel, not stopping until they had dangerously spread over the land of Judah, even “to fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel!” Then, in poetic grandeur, the prophet Isaiah warns all those in opposition to Jehovah: If you gird yourselves for war, if you plan out a scheme, if you speak a word against Jehovah—“it will not stand, for God is with us [Immanuel]!”—Isa 8:5-10.

Some have suggested that in the type back there “Immanuel” was a third son of Isaiah, perhaps by a Jewish maiden who may have become a second wife of the prophet. Certain Jewish commentators endeavored to apply the prophecy to the birth of Ahaz’ son Hezekiah. This, however, is ruled out, since the prophecy was uttered during Ahaz’ reign (Isa 7:1), making Hezekiah at least nine years old at the time.—2Ki 16:2; 18:1, 2.

Another possible candidate was Isaiah’s second son, mentioned in the next chapter, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, concerning whom it was said: “Before the boy will know how to call out, ‘My father!’ and ‘My mother!’ one will carry away the resources of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria before the king of Assyria.” (Isa 8:1-4) Certainly this echoes what was said about Immanuel: “Before the boy will know how to reject the bad and choose the good, the ground of whose two kings [of Damascus and Samaria] you are feeling a sickening dread will be left entirely.” (Isa 7:16) Also, the birth of Isaiah’s second son is presented in close connection with the further prophecy involving Immanuel and, as Immanuel was to be a “sign,” so also Isaiah said: “I and the children whom Jehovah has given me are as signs.”—Isa 7:14; 8:18.

The principal objection to this identification of Isaiah’s second son as the Immanuel of Ahaz’ day is on the grounds that Isaiah’s wife is spoken of as “the prophetess,” not as “the maiden,” as well as the fact that she was already the mother of Isaiah’s firstborn, Shear-jashub, hence no “maiden.” (Isa 7:3; 8:3) It may be noted, however, that the Hebrew word here translated “maiden” is not bethu·lah′, meaning, specifically, “virgin,” but is ʽal·mah′, having a broader reference to a young woman, who could be either a virgin maiden or a recently married woman. ʽAl·mah′ as a common noun also occurs in six other texts, more than one of which specifically involves virgin maidens.—Ge 24:43 (compare vs 16); Ex 2:8; Ps 68:25; Pr 30:19; Ca 1:3; 6:8."

http://bit.ly/1xZpCxt


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@Paladin

"(Im·man′u·el) [With Us Is God].

"The full and complete identity of Immanuel, of course, is found in the office and personage of the Lord Jesus Christ. The use, therefore, of the Hebrew word ʽal·mah′ in the prophecy would accommodate both the type (if such was a young wife of Ahaz or of Isaiah) and the antitype (the betrothed and yet virgin Mary). In the case of Mary there was no question about her being a virgin when she became “pregnant by holy spirit,” both Matthew and Luke recording this historical fact. (Mt 1:18-25; Lu 1:30-35) “All this actually came about for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by Jehovah through his prophet,” Matthew observed. It was a sign that identified the long-awaited Messiah. So in keeping with these facts, Matthew’s Gospel (quoting Isa 7:14) uses the Greek word par·the′nos, meaning “virgin,” to translate ʽal·mah′, saying: “Look! The virgin [par·the′nos] will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Immanuel.” (Mt 1:22, 23) In no way was this taking liberties or distorting the text. Over a century earlier, the Jewish translators of the Greek Septuagint had also used par·the′nos in rendering Isaiah 7:14.

This identity of Jesus Christ as Immanuel did not mean he was the incarnation of God, ‘God in the flesh,’ which proponents of the Trinity teaching claim is implied by the meaning of Immanuel, namely, “With Us Is God.” It was a common practice among Jews to embody the word “God,” even “Jehovah,” in Hebrew names. Even today Immanuel is the proper name of many men, none of whom are incarnations of God.

If there seems to be a conflict between the angel’s instructions to Mary (“you are to call his name Jesus”) and Isaiah’s prophecy (“she will certainly call his name Immanuel”), let it be remembered that Messiah was also to be called by yet other names. (Lu 1:31; Isa 7:14) For example, Isaiah 9:6 said concerning this one: “His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Yet none of these names were given to Mary’s firstborn as personal names, neither when he was a babe nor after he took up his ministry. Rather, they were all prophetic title-names by which Messiah would be identified. Jesus lived up to the meaning of these names in every respect, and that is the sense in which they were prophetically given, to show his qualities and the good offices he would perform toward all those accepting him as Messiah. So also with his title Immanuel. He measured up to and fulfilled its meaning.

Worshipers of Jehovah have always desired God to be with them, on their side, backing them up in their undertakings, and often he reassures them that he is, sometimes giving them visible signs to this effect. (Ge 28:10-20; Ex 3:12; Jos 1:5, 9; 5:13–6:2; Ps 46:5-7; Jer 1:19) If today the personal identity of Immanuel in the days of Ahaz remains uncertain, it may be that Jehovah so directed in order not to distract the attention of later generations from the Greater Immanuel, when he put in his appearance as a sign from heaven. With the coming of his beloved Son to earth as the promised Messianic “seed” (Ge 3:15) and rightful heir to the throne of David, Jehovah was furnishing his greatest sign that he had not forsaken mankind or his Kingdom covenant. The title-name Immanuel, therefore, was particularly appropriate to Christ, for his presence was indeed a sign from heaven. And with this foremost representative of Jehovah among mankind, Matthew under inspiration could truly say, “With Us Is God.”"

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Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I'm sorry, Joseph, but your explanations don't contradict my assessment of this so-called "prophecy."

As I already explained in this hub, the full context of Isaiah's "prophecy" makes it clear that his reference to "Immanuel" is only a sign of SOMETHING ELSE to come, NOT the object of the prophecy itself. There is no way to rationalize that away (though I'm sure you'll give it a go).

As for the New Testament, there is nothing in it that can substantiate the assertion that Isaiah's "prophecy" refers to Jesus. It was written at least SEVEN CENTURIES after Isaiah supposedly made the prediction, and could easily have been adapted to fit that much older text.

And it clearly WAS, since -- as already explained -- Isaiah's "prophecy" had NOTHING to do with him, but instead refers to an event that happened within Isaiah's time.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

" refers to an event that happened within Isaiah's time."

What specific event are you referring to?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, as I already stated in the hub (please read before you ask!), the event to which the "prophecy" is referring is the failure of the attack by Syria and Israel on Judah.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You misapprehend. I'm asking what it was or whom you think Emmanuel was supposed to be. Apologies for the confusion :)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No problemo, Joseph.

To be honest, I don't know to whom Isaiah is referring, but it does seem clear from the wording of the prophecy that the child in question is to be born within the timeframe of the events Isaiah is predicting.

Some have theorized that the child in the "prophecy" is Isaiah's own, but there appears to be no more references to it (aside from the bogus one in the NT) so, in the end, it's all just speculation.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 16 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, Chasmine (I think...)!

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