[b-hebrew] Isaiah 7

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Fri Jul 20 11:55:24 EDT 2007

Dear James,

This is where we disagree. I, for one, don't know how to know if a prophet 
has the ability to predict salvation. If it's belief we're discussing (which 
it should not be), then my belief is that the prophets that were accepted 
into the canon were included because their words were relevant for future 
generations. But if it's the actual literary context that we're talking 
about, then the "sign" is not that the woman, whoever she was, was pregnant. 
The sign was that by the time the yet unborn child could tell right from 
wrong, Aram and Israel would be gone. Now that's not a sign that would be 
recognized right away. Isaiah's message was "keep faith, things will work 
out for the better - eventually".

Yigal Levin

BTW, note that we're no longer discussing virginity, but the meaning of the 
"sign" in Isaiah 7: 7-17. Now that's very close to the edge, but I think 
that we can allow it as long as participants stick to the literary and 
linguistic issues and do not begin to debate messianic issues.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "JAMES CHRISTIAN READ" <JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk>
> I agree that the prophecy is in connection with an act
> of salvation. And I agree that the girls pregnancy was
> a sign that this salvation would be coming quickly.
> However, any speculation about who the woman was is
> exactly that, pure speculation.
> The context talks about a sign. We usually believe a
> prophets ability to predict salvation if he can also
> predict another event. Isaiah's ability to predict a
> 'alma' getting pregnant out of the blue proved his
> ability to predict the salvation which would quickly
> follow.
> The sign would have no meaning if it were merely 'some
> random woman who is already married will get pregnant'
> to which you can imagine the sarcastic reaction of
> critics would be 'Wow! Fancy that! A married woman
> getting pregnant? Never before have I heard of such a
> miraculous sign. You truly are god's spokesman Isaiah.
> I can't believe I doubted you for a minute.'
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