The Linkage Between Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6

John Ronning ronning at xsinet.co.za
Sun Mar 4 17:10:34 EST 2001


Harold,

Finally had a chance to read your paper.

(http://journalofbiblicalstudies.org)

I believe you made some good points and are on the right
track.

I would take your analysis further:

1. The name PELE' ("Wonderful") in Isa 9:5/6 would bring to
the mind of the observant a  couple cases of miraculous
conception, thus forming a link back to Isa 7:14.  PELE' is
similar to PELI'Y found in Judg 13:18, where the Lord
appears to Manoah's wife to predict the birth of Samson.  A
few verses earlier we see wording almost identical to Isa
7:14 (Judg 13:7).  Further, the niphal of the same root
shows up in connection with another miraculous conception -
that of
Isaac - Gen 18:14 HAYIPPALE' MEYHWH DABAR (Is anything too
difficult for the Lord?).   Both of these passages reinforce
the link you see between Isa 9:6 and Isa 7:14, suggesting
that in the latter passage the nature of the sign is also a
miraculous conception - this time not because the woman was
barren (Mrs. Manoah) or barren plus past menopause (Sarah),
but because the mother is what an `ALMAH is supposed to be,
i.e. a virgin.

2. Isa 9:3/4, part of the introduction to the announcement
of the birth of the divine child, recalls the defeat of
Midian.  Most likely a reference to Gideon's defeat of
Midian "as one man".  Of interest here is the way the
narrative of Gideon begins, with what he thinks is a man
saying "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior."  Gideon
takes "with you" in its customary meaning, i.e. the Lord
grants you success, blessing, etc., whereas he comes to find
out it's to be taken more literally than that - the Lord is
literally with him, speaking to him.  When one reads the
names of the child of Isa 9:5/6, one likewise can see that
he is literally "God with us," i.e. by the child being with
us, God is with us the name of the child in 7:14.

3. In Isa 7:14 you have a prediction of a birth with no
record of the birth.  In Isa 9:5/6 you have a record of a
birth (the perfectives YULLAD  +  NITTAN) with no
prediction.  Put the two together and you solve both
problems.  Yes I know Isa 9:5/6 can be read as a prediction
(and is in fact); my point is that it is spoken of as if
already fulfilled.

I doubt you could find anywhere else a prediction of the
birth of a child where there is no further reference to the
child's birth or his activities after his birth - especially
when his birth serves as a sign.

4. Comparing the promise in Isa 9:5/6 of a child who will
sit on David's throne forever with the original promise of
dynasty to David (2 Samuel 7) would lead to the question why
is this child so special - so much greater than David? 
Unlike 2 Samuel 7, there is no mention of succession, or of
any sin in him.  Referring back to Isa 7:14 gives us the
answer.

Suffice it to say that there is plenty of reason for a
careful student of Isaiah (like Matthew) to connect Isa 7:14
with Isa 9:5/6.  

John Ronning





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