- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about Jesus Christ
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:19
The context of these verses must include verse 14: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest ("fearest," JND) shall be forsaken of both her kings." Ahaz, Judahs king, feared the combined might of Syria and Israel (the 10 northern tribes). The current heir in Davids royal house thus received assurance of Judahs deliverance. The sign of this deliverance was a child named Immanuel, conceived, brought forth, and named by an unmarried woman. Although living in poverty (eating butter - or curds - and honey), the child would not be morally mature (knowing to refuse evil and choose good) before the forced removal of Israels and Syrias kings destroyed their feared alliance. Viewing this entire passage as referring to Christ (Matthew 1:22,23) brings with it the insurmountable problem of suggesting that there was a time when the Lord did not know to refuse the evil and choose the good (verses 15b, 16a). His deity demands omniscience and holiness from the moment of incarnation. In addition, the passage seems to clearly state that the promised deliverance (v.16) would come before the son (v. 14) came to moral maturity (v. 15).
Three observations may help: the word "virgin" means an unmarried woman capable of bearing children (E. Young, W. E. Vine); the passage does not sanction her naming her son "Immanuel," a name that only God could rightly bear; this is likely not the same son as foretold in 8:1. If these are reasonable, then the sign the Lord promised was fulfilled in Isaiahs day.
New Testament citations of Old Testament passages sometimes give a deeper meaning (not a differing or contradictory meaning) to that passage. In addition, we need not force every detail of a passage to conform with the prophecy or principle the Spirit highlights in a passage (see Psalm 41:9 with John 13:18; Psalm 69:4, 5 with John 15:25). Joseph, current heir of Davids royal house (Mathew 1:16), received news that a virtuous, unmarried woman (verse 20) had conceived a son. The virgin birth of the true Immanuel assured the final and spiritual deliverance of His people (verse 21); this fulfilled the deeper meaning of Isaiah 7:14.