The Sign of “Immanuel” (“God with Us”), Two Fulfillments (Part 3)
September 30, 2015 Speaker: Adam Olean
Scripture: Isaiah 7:1-9
In this class, we conclude our study of the Hebrew word almah (“young maiden”), which figures so prominently in disputes over the sign of “Immanuel” (“God with us”), pointing initially to Isaiah’s own son Maher-shalal-hash-baz, as a sign to Ahaz and the people of God’s presence with them in their own day, but ultimately, far beyond, to a far greater sign that God had taken up residence in the midst of his people, in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Note: I forgot to mention in class that Michael Heiser has a short, helpful article called “The Virgin Shall Conceive: The Vocabulary of Virginity” in the Faithlife Study Bible. Although Heiser, in this article, does not connect the sign of Immanuel to its future, greater fulfillment (Isa 9:6), he insightfully links the parallel usages of almah and betulah where they are contrasted with queens and concubines (respectively in Song 6:8 and in Esth 2), to their usage where they they are used synonymously (almost interchangeably) for an unmarried, virgin Rebekah (in Gen 24:16, 43).