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The identity of the mother of Immanuel in Isaiah has been a subject of debate over the centuries: Was the prophet Isaiah speaking of a virgin conceiving or not? The Gospel of Matthew quotes Isaiahlinking Jesus' conception to the the prophet Isaiah had given centuries earlier. Those who believe the gospel regard Isaiah as a messianic passage fulfilled by Jesus.
A common argument raised against the virgin birth and against the New Testament's reference to Isaiahis that the Hebrew word ' almah does not mean virgin, and Jews do not believe in such a thing as a virgin birth. Archaeological findings show that the Hebrew word 'almah refers to a virgin. The possibility of a virgin birth is upheld by open-minded Jewish sages and scholars, even those who are not believers in Jesus. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a : The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a : behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. The commonly held view that "virgin" is Christian, whereas "young woman" is Jewish is not quite true.
Donate Today! The historical context of this important prophetic saying, actually, one of the most popular messianic texts in the Christian interpretive tradition, may be summarized in a few words. The king of Israel, Pekah, had ed Rezin of Damascus in his revolt against Assyria, and together they were heading to Jerusalem, in order to depose Ahaz, a client of Assyria, and replace him with a certain ben tab'al "son of Tabeel" 2 Kgs ; ; Isa Isaiah's message to Ahaz was quite simple: Trust God rather than all weaponry and any measure of defense because all man-made remedies are meant to fail.
Yet, instead of listening to Isaiah's warning Isa f. Assyria intervenes promptly. Damascus and Samaria are attacked and territorially diminished, while Ahaz's Judah was reduced to vassalage. The text to be discussed here, Isaiahis part of the so-called Book of Immanuel Isathat gathers prophecies of Isaiah pertaining to the Syro-Ephraimite war. In his approach to king Ahaz, Isaiah gives him the chance to ask God for a "" as a warranty that divine protection is an immediate, concrete reality, "Do ask a from Yahweh your God, as deep as Sheol or as high as above" Isa In the context of his meticulous preparations for war, Ahaz's refusal to ask God for a sounds rather What is the meaning for the word almah, "I will not ask.
I will not test Yahweh" Isa In spite of the refusal, the is revealed, namely, in the above quoted prophecy. The refers to birth ofwhose prophetic name Immanuel "God [is] with us" ifies that Yahweh is still with his people and that he will protect Judah. These prophetic sayings may be listed under the rubric royal messianism already found in Nathan's prophecy 2 Sam 7and subsequently reworked by Mic ; Ezek ; and Hag The center of the so-called royal messianism is occupied by the belief in the permanence of the Davidic dynasty.
The text of Isaiah opens with the interjection hinneh "behold, look, there is" which announces something out of the ordinary, a new moment in the unfolding story cf. Gen ; Numor which calls attention to the following noun or phrase cf. Gen ; In the context of Isaiah 7 the second function seems more likely.
The divine initiative in offering a of Yahweh's willingness to protect and bless Judah is emphasized by the personal pronoun hu' "he, himself" in the phrase "my Lord himself. The basic meaning is a woman the age is less important ready able to be married.
Bible & scripture
The span of life covered by this term is poorly defined and quite long, ranging from the onset of puberty to the birth of a woman's first. In Isaiah's case, the prophecy is a of confirmation of Isaiah claims in regarding the fate of Judah's enemies. Interestingly, the pregnancy and birth are described by means of an adjective harah "pregnant" and an active participle yoledet "the one who gives birth"both forms being quite loose in terms of timing.
The prophecy is intentionally ambiguous and evasive with respect to the precise time when these events will occur. Everything is wrapped in mystery and cautiously disclosed.
According to the Hebrew text, it is the mother who names her son "she shall call"while the Septuagint re "you shall call," which refers to the king Ahaz's invitation to name the. The Hebrew version underscores the role of the mother in giving a name to her son, while hinting at the absence of the physical father.
The latter name also underscores God's willingness to descend to a place among us, to share our human destiny with us, to be one of us. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived togethershe was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit The virgin 's name was Mary And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus'" Lk Matthew insists that Mary was engaged to Joseph when she conceived her son.
Then, he cites the Septuagint's version of the Isaianic text, with a slight modification, "they shall call," instead of "you shall call. Note that the same Matthew cites the Hebrew text of Hosea when he speaks of the return of the infant Jesus from Egypt after Herod's death Mt The Hebrew text of Hosea has the singular "my [i.
As one can notice, Matthew was at ease with both Hebrew and Greek versions of the Scripture. One explanation may be that the quotation from the Septuagint of Isaiah he parthenos "the virgin" was inserted later into the Gospel of Matthew.
Another explanation might be that initially Matthew wrote the gospel in Aramaic, with Isaiah in Hebrew or Aramaic translation and a later disciple translating Matthew's Gospel into Greek automatically used the Septuagint version without paying attention to his master's emphasis on What is the meaning for the word almah betrothal to Joseph, and without mention of Mary's virginity. Mt It is interesting to note that the word "virgin" parthenos with respect to Mary appears in Lukeperhaps under the Septuagint's influence, but not in Matthew, while the brief note "betrothed" appears in both gospels.
One may deduce that the most common feature of Jesus' birth tradition was Mary's betrothal to Joseph, and that the miracle of Jesus' conception occurred during this betrothal period. We might add that Luke cites freely from Isaiah replacing Immanuelthe prophetic name of Messiah, with Jesusits historical counterpart. If the Hebrew text of Isaiah would have had the word betulah "virgin,"  then What is the meaning for the word almah would have been a quite general reference: Jesus' conception will occur in the life of a grown-up girl with no sexual experience, most likely not yet engaged cf.
Exod This can not be the case if we try to understand the entirety of the Christian tradition of Christ's birth as a fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Assuming that our proposed etymology is correct,  the unmarried woman mentioned in Isaiah might have been a woman betrothed at the moment of her child's conception.
Meaning of "almah" in the english dictionary
The Hebrew version corresponds much better What is the meaning for the word almah what Matthew and Luke had to say about Mary; namely, that she was "betrothed" to a man, named Joseph, when the annunciation, or the conception, occurred. Finally, we should also mention that there is important theological ificance to be extracted from both evangelists' observation that Jesus' conception occurred during the betrothal period. In ancient Israel, betrothal was considered a sacred institution which existed only as a free covenant between a man and a woman.
The Hebrew text of Isaiah alludes prophetically to the fact that God's intervention will break the betrothal covenant so that Immanuel will be born. Symbolically, with the birth of Immanuel, a covenant was broken so that a new covenant between God and his people could be initiated.
As an example of early Jewish interpretation, the Septuagint has its own merit, because it offers new readings and nuances of Hebrew words unknown to today's readers of the Hebrew lexicon, but familiar to Hebrew speakers in the pre-Christian era. Thus the Septuagint's reading he parthenos "the virgin" is quite plausible on social-ethical and perhaps lexical grounds.
Given its use and authority since the time of the apostles, and then throughout patristic period, the Septuagint was seen by Christians as an almost inspired version of the Scripture.
Within this pious context, the text of Isaiah has been always read as a reference to the virginal conception and birth of Christ. In our opinion, in order to gain a complete profile of the one who conceived and gave birth to Immanuel, we should take a closer look at both venerable biblical versions, namely, the Hebrew text and the Septuagint.
The conclusion drawn from a linguistic investigation of Isaiah is that Messiah's mother will be a "virgin" parthenosand the birth of Messiah will occur during her betrothal period, when she will be "concealed" from her future husband.
According to Luke, the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy is announced by the angel Gabriel to a virgin by the name of Mary, betrothed to a man, Joseph, and living in Nazareth of Galilee at the time of the announcement. Gabriel gives Mary the good news that she will conceive and give birth to a son, who will be named Jesus.
The dialogue between Mary and Gabriel, according to the evangelist Luke, finishes by pointing to the virginal conception and birth of Jesus, made possible exclusively by God's wonderful power.
Mary's reply to the angel's news, "I do not know a man," refers to the absence of any intimate relationship with a man, and thus marks the betrothal period during which time the engaged ones were living in separate homes. It does not imply any "monastic" vow to spend one's life in absolute chastity, and, in What is the meaning for the word almah, ancient Israelite society did not know such an institution.
We may note that the conception of Jesus is described in terms of a new creation, and hence the imagery of the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary, which parallels its manifestation in the beginning, as the Spirit of God hovering over the primordial watery deep, keeping a vigilant eye on the possible enemies of the Creator Gen The title "Most High"  mentioned by Gabriel is a famous name for God used in the Hebrew Bible, which is found in texts dealing with themes such as creation, and royalty.
Messiah's incarnation is an act of power, and is due exclusively to God. In the Hebrew reading of Isa and in its New Testament application Mt; Lk, it is not merely the chastity, but rather the seclusion of Messiah's mother during the moment of conception, that is primarily underlined.
Baumgartner, eds. Leiden: Brill, Because she set about her errand speedily. Greek hypsistos "Most High. In the context of Exod 2, where na'arot "female servants" v.
Eugen J. Look, the concealed one shall conceive and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel" Isa Gen ; Ps