Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino - 26 Para

The Virgin Birth and Immanuel (33:1)

Verse from Old Testament (33:2)

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (isa 7:14) (33:3) see

Predictions (33:4)

This verse clearly states that "the Lord himself" will give a sign: A virgin will bear a son and will call Him "Immanuel". The fact that "the Lord himself" would be the one giving the sign would certainly seem to indicate that there would be no doubt as to its impact. For, of anyone who could give a sign, certainly the Maker of the heavens has power to make great signs. Who but the Lord could cause such a thing to happen? (33:5)

For a virgin to have a child is certainly miraculous, and one acquainted with this verse might think that when the birth occurred - whenever that might be (for there was no time given) - it would be the cause of wonder and excitement in the community, possibly in all of Israel. Such a strange and wonderful thing would surely cause people to contemplate God and His power (33:6)

And this child would have its life, in large part no doubt, determined by this birth - growing up as the child born of a virgin - the child from God, the divine child. We can imagine what his childhood would bring, how he would be loved by all, and would become the hope of His people. And what a joy for the mother to bear such a child (33:7)

Isaiah's words also clearly state that this child would be called "Immanuel" (33:8)

From this verse, it seems clear, at sometime in the future, that a child called Immanuel would be born of a virgin. It also seems, when this miraculous event was to occur, that the people would immediately recall these words of Isaiah. The words would not be forgotten, for not only was his birth to be miraculous, but the name of the child embodied a wonderful promise: for "Immanuel" means "God with us" (33:9)

Fulfillment (33:10)

Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost (33:11)

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example4, was minded to put her away privily (33:12)

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (33:13)

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (33:14)

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying, (33:15)

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel6, which being interpreted is, God with us. (mat 1:18-23) (33:16) see

Commentary (33:17)

Right away we see that this prophecy was not fulfilled in a way that could be predicted (33:18)

The scriptures promised that "a virgin shall conceive" and this is what happened, but the New Testament's reference to Joseph not being willing to disgrace her publicly seems to indicate that there was no great sign associated with this miraculous conception, no way for people to know that it was happening, or that it had occurred. The Bible doesn't indicate that the news of the virgin birth was spread to anyone. A crier did not go out through the city, and give the glad tidings of the virgin birth. No. The New Testament clearly indicates that the initial reaction to Mary's becoming pregnant would be the assumption that she certainly was not a virgin. Her own husband needed the reassurance of an angel that she had conceived of the Holy Ghost. In fact, there is no mention that anyone in the community at large was ever told of, or believed in the virgin birth, except Mary's cousin, Elisabeth. After the description of Christ's birth in the Gospels, that is the last we hear of the virgin birth. Not only do we find that knowledge of the virgin birth had not reached the ears of the people, there are clear references that during Christ's ministry, the people assumed that He was the son of Joseph (33:19)

Did Isaiah mention anywhere that although it would be a sign from "the Lord himself" generally, the virgin birth would be unknown to the people? That during the child's life, he would not have been known as the child of the virgin birth? Did he say that this virgin would have a husband? Could this situation have been inferred from Isaiah's prophecy? Did Isaiah say anywhere that even the man who would take this virgin as his wife, would want to divorce her because of the child? Did he give any hint as to the details that would surround the virgin birth? No. Isaiah simply referred to her conception as a sign from "the Lord himself" (33:20)

And what about being called Immanuel? There is no mention in the New Testament of anyone referring to Christ as Emmanuel. No mention of anyone even using the word "Emmanuel". Is there any indication in the words of Isaiah that we should look to any name but "Immanuel" for the fulfillment of his prophecy? Any indication that Isaiah's words have a purely symbolic, rather than a literal meaning? Did Isaiah anywhere say "his name might not be Immanuel, and no one during His time will call Him by that name"? Did he give any clue that He may be called by another name? That a new interpretation in the future would have Him called by a name that means not "God with us", but "Saviour"? (33:21)

Isaiah mentions nothing about other names; he mentions only what he was to be called. What recourse would anyone have had but to assume that this would be the name given this child, or at least that He would have been called this, if given another name? Could we have predicted by Isaiah's words that Christ's name would be Jesus and that no one would call Him "Emmanuel"? No (33:22)

Isaiah's words are silent regarding many things. He didn't explain the circumstances surrounding the fulfillment of this prophecy. He didn't even hint at them. He simply stated the truth (33:23)

As we will see with the other prophecies pointing to Christ's appearance, there is no way that this prophecy could have been understood before its fulfillment. If we had clung to the thinking that the sign from "the Lord himself" was to be great, that news of the virgin birth was to be heard, or that someone named or called "Immanuel" was to appear, we would have missed the Christ (33:24)

Reflect how disastrous holding stubbornly to particular interpretations and clinging to assumed details, or even a mere name can be (33:25)

Yet, for those who believe, how beautiful and timeless are the words of Isaiah. Cherished by multitudes as the great and holy promise of the Lord, these simple words became clothed with majesty through their fulfillment. Though not fulfilled as one could have foreseen, to those who believed, it mattered not, for the words were true (33:26)

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Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino