[b-hebrew] Almah vs. Bethulah in Isaiah 7

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Apr 2 09:51:56 EST 2005

On 02/04/2005 15:15, Evgeny Ivanov wrote:

>It's interesting that the argument of early christians
>was exactly the opposite - the Is.7.14 is a message of

It is certainly a prophecy, but of events to occur within the next five 
years or so.

As for how Matthew used this verse in the New Testament, and the 
subsequent Christian use of this verse: In Matthew chapters 1-2 Matthew 
uses several Hebrew Bible passages e.g. Hosea 11:1, Jeremiah 31:15 in 
ways which sometimes cannot possibly be the original prophet's intention 
when writing. And I am sure that Matthew did not intend to indicate the 
original meaning of the prophecy; for example, surely he understood that 
in 11:1 Hosea was referring to the nation of Israel rather than to the 
Messiah. Rather, when Matthew writes e.g. "All this took place to fulfil 
what the Lord has said through the prophet", his concept of "fulfil" was 
much richer than that a specific prediction had come true, but rather 
that some deeper underlying significance of the prophecy had been 
fulfilled in the coming (as he saw it) of the Messiah.

In other words, in the Jewish terminology which John Leys used, 
Matthew's use of these passages is more drash than pshat.

>>However, the author draws no particular
>>attention to this amazing fact
>"For this reason the sovereign master himself will
>give you a confirming sign". If the message is just a
>routine birth by a young women, then what is this
>phophesy about, what is the sign?
The sign, surely, is that a particular young women will have a son - not 
in itself miraculous, but perhaps noteworthy. And the prophecy is not 
only this but that before the child grows up the land of two kings will 
be laid waste.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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