[b-hebrew] virginity

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Jul 20 14:54:11 EDT 2007

Yigal and Kevin:

There are two points that need not be forgotten:

1) tense in Biblical Hebrew was not grammaticalized, therefore any
assumption that the woman was already pregnant at the time that Isaiah
made his statement based on the forms of the verbs used is just that,
an assumption.

2) "name" did not always refer to the given name, rather also referred
to reputation, or to an aspect of the person.

3) (I can't count) Prophecy was not always fulfilled immediately, and
there are contextual clues that this was not intended as a prophecy
with an immediate fulfillment.

Bottom line: the New Testament understanding of this verse is not out
of line with the linguistic, grammatical and lexicographic
understanding of this verse, unless one can prove that (LMH cannot be
restricted to a person who has never "known" a man. That is why there
is such an emphasis that (LMH cannot be restricted to a virgin by
those who do not want to accept the New Testament as being a true
history, whether we are dealing with 19–21st century Europeans,
20–21st century Americans, or any other group.

Because this issue is so ideologically driven, we on this list may
give each man his own understanding, the linguistic reasons we hold to
our understanding, why we disagree with another's understanding, but
we are not to go beyond that. We are not to make personal attacks, nor
use logical fallacies to deride another's position, nor to
proselytize, rather at some point we need to agree to disagree, and
let it go.

In past messages I have now given a few linguistic reasons why I read
the verse as I do, and a couple of theological ones which I have
clearly labeled as theological, and unless someone shows up something
that I missed, I really don't have anything more to add. Let's agree
to disagree in a civilized manner, and move on to the next issue.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 7/20/07, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
> I think that Kevin's comment is right to the point. The "prophecy" involved
> is not about the birth of the boy, but about the fact that within a fairly
> short time God will make the threat posed by the kings of Israel and Aram go
> away. The message is really, "have faith, life will go on as usual, all will
> be okay". And as part of the normalcy, I would assume that the 'almah in
> question was one of the (young) women of the court, whose pregnancy was not
> to be considered out of the ordinary: "See, that there girl is pregnant and
> will have a boy...". That considered, I would assume that she would have
> been married, although if someone WAS to show that the term 'almah always
> refers to an unmarried young woman (I don't think that this has yet been
> proven) that would be fine with me as well.
> Yigal Levin
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kevin Riley" <klriley at alphalink.com.au>
> > Why?  Isn't the point rather that God is in control and Ahaz's concerns
> > are
> > about to be taken care of within a certain time?  I believe the identity
> > of
> > the young woman was known and she was already pregnant, and therefore the
> > end point of the prophecy could be calculated fairly precisely.  The sign
> > has to relate to the concern, not be spectacular.  Personally, if such a
> > prophecy as you posit above were given in 1943 when things looked bad in
> > England - as they did in Judah at the time of the prophecy - I would have
> > been more than satisfied with the ordinary birth of an ordinary child to
> > an
> > ordinary young woman *because of what it signified*.
> >
> > Kevin Riley

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