We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

Immanuel (Emmanuel)

Source:
The Oxford Companion to the Bible What is This? Provides authoritative interpretive entries on Biblical people, places, beliefs, events, and secular influences.

    Immanuel (Emmanuel)

    Israelite prophets could give names to individuals in accord with a specific message that they were trying to communicate (e.g., Jer. 20.3–6). In the same way that Hosea named his three children to correspond with his message (Hos. 1.2–2.1), so Isaiah noted, “I and the children whom Yahweh has given me are for signs” (Isa. 8.18): Shear‐jashub, meaning “a remnant will return” (Isa. 7.3; 10.21, 22); Maher‐shalal‐hash‐baz, meaning “swift is the booty, speedy is the prey” (Isa. 8.1, 3); and Immanuel, meaning “God is with us” (Isa. 7.14; 8.8, 10).

    The time between the birth and the maturation of Immanuel is the specific focus of Isaiah's prophecy. Isaiah claims that before the boy reaches a certain age, Judah's enemies in Damascus and Samaria will be driven back by Assyria (Isa. 7.14–17; cf. 8.1–4). Assyrian sources affirm that in 732 BCE the two kings (cf. Isa. 7.1) reigning in those cities were killed and their kingdoms subdued by Assyria.

    This larger context makes it probable that Immanuel was a son of Isaiah. However, because Isaiah laconically says that Immanuel will be born to “the young woman” (Isa. 7.14), some suggest that the mother is someone other than Isaiah's wife, whom he refers to elsewhere as “the prophetess” (Isa. 8.3). Some propose that the mother is a queen (a wife of King Ahaz, to whom Isaiah is speaking), an unidentified bystander to whom Isaiah points, or a cult figure. The traditional Christian interpretation that “the young woman” is an intentional reference to Mary, the mother of Jesus (see Virgin Birth), does not do justice to the immediate prophecy, which required fulfillment in the eighth century BCE.

    The gospel of Matthew (1.23) applies Isaiah 7.14 to Jesus in the same way that Matthew applies other events that had already happened in Israel's history to Jesus' life (cf. Matt. 2.15, 18; 4.15–16; 10.35–36; 12.40; 13.35; 15.8–9; see Quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament). Because Immanuel is one of the few names for which Matthew supplied a translation (“God with us”), it is clear that Matthew wished to stress that in the miraculous birth of Jesus there was a dimension of Isaiah's words appropriate only to Jesus. The echo of the name Immanuel in Jesus' last words in the gospel, “I am with you” (Matt. 28.20; cf. 18.20) is a literary recapitulation of the promise of the birth.

    Samuel A. Meier

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2021. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice