Who is Immanuel? -- By: Gordon Franz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 20:4 (Fall 2007)
Article: Who is Immanuel?
Author: Gordon Franz

Who is Immanuel?

Gordon Franz

What is one of the greatest proofs of the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures?

I believe that fulfillment of Bible prophecy is one of the greatest proofs that the Bible is true. Over and over again the Old Testament prophets predicted certain events in the life of the Lord Jesus hundreds of years before they happened. For example, Daniel foretold the time of His death (9:26), Micah predicted He would be born in Bethlehem (5:2), Psalm 22 described His crucifixion, Psalm 16 His resurrection and Isaiah 53 gave the reason for His death: to pay for all our sins.

Does the Bible predict His virgin birth?

Yes, Matthew records the fulfillment of that in his first chapter where he quotes Isaiah 7:14, “’Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, ‘God with us’” (vs. 23).

Some have charged Matthew with “proof-texting” because he has taken that verse out of its historical context. Is that the case?

No, quite the contrary. If one understands the historical context of the entire chapter it only enhances the identity of Immanuel as the Lord Jesus Christ.

King Ahaz, whom Isaiah is addressing, reigned in Judah during the second half of the eighth century BC. What would the historical context be and how would this relate to the Lord Jesus?

The events of the life of King Ahaz are recorded in 2 Kings 16 and 2 Chronicles 28 as well as Isaiah 7:1–14:28. Around 734/733 BC, Ahaz was having problems with his neighbors to the north. Israel, with its capital in Samaria and ruled by Pekah, and Syria, with its capital in Damascus and ruled by Rezin, wanted Ahaz to join a coalition of nations to fight the “super power” of that day, Assyria, ruled by Tiglath-pileser III. Ahaz was not a godly or spiritual man, but he was politically smart. He knew that this coalition could not stand up against the mighty Assyrian army, so he declined the invitation.

Seal of Ahaz, king of Judah in the south.

Seal of Pekah, king of ...

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