Isaiah 7 Predicts the Virgin Birth of Jesus

Date: 12/22/2019
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: virgin birth
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Isaiah 7  Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it. 2 When it was reported to the house of David, saying, “The Arameans have camped in Ephraim,” his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind. … 13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

The Setting of Immanuel

The Sign of Immanuel

“If you are not able to understand, believe, that you may understand. Faith goes before; understanding follows after; since the prophet says, ‘Unless you believe, you shall not understand.’” AUGUSTINE SERMON 68 (118).1.5  (Ancient Christian Commentary)

Three reasons for this referring to Jesus’ birth exclusively:
1) Grammatically - Since the “you” is plural it is addressing the whole context of the Davidic promise, i.e., not just limited to the historical setting. (There’s more to say on this, there are structural reasons, as well.)
2) Lexically - It wasn’t just Christians, like Matthew, who cited this text to mean “a virgin”… the virgin birth of Jesus. Actually the Jews (circa 200-132 BC) who translated Isaiah made this, “virgin” (parthenos in the LXX).
3) Literarily - Isaiah (and all ancient literature) was spoken, “scribed,” edited, arranged, reviewed. (Isaiah and Paul and Solomon, etc., did not sit down at a desk and write these books from start to finish as if we are writing a dear John letter in modern times.) This is how so many biblical books exhibit deep literary structure (e.g., parallelisms, chiasms, 7 signs, arr. of the Psalter, et al). Thus, the book of Isaiah is something more like “the collected” prophecies of Isaiah curated over the long life of Isaiah —- in which case pressing the meaning to only have relevance to Ahaz in (let’s say) 734 BC is quite a wrong assumption about the book of Isaiah. The reason Isaiah is prophet with a book in the Bible is precisely because he was speaking (by the Spirit of God) to the people of God over generations and his “word” is not at all confined to a 10 year period of crisis in Judah.

The meaning and application of this prophecy is the fulfillment of the theme, "the seed of the woman will crush the serpent's head" + the theme of the barren wife + the headship of Adam replaced and more.
 

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more