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The Immanuel Prophecy
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The Immanuel Prophecy

Hi Folks

I'd like to start a discussion on the whole section of Isaiah from chapters 7 through 12, which seems to be one continuous section, which I'll call "The Immanuel Prophecy". (We might even include chapter 6, because it seems relevant.)

First of all, I'll say that the prophecies do seem a little confusing and disjointed. For example, it talks about the defeat of Syria and Israel, who at the time were trying to war against Jerusalem (Judah). On the other hand, it also contains many Messianic prophecies which Christians use to prove the identity of Christ.

Chapter 7 - The Maiden Gives Birth To Immanuel

Ahaz is told to ask for a sign from God, and when he refuses, God gives him one. The most famous part is this...

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (7:14)

Of course, this is applied by the gospel writer Matthew to be a prophecy about Christ, but in context, the birth of the boy was to indicate a major change in world events at the time:

"He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that E'phraim departed from Judah--the king of Assyria." (7:15-17)

In other words, in the days of Immanuel, Jehovah was going to bring upon the land the Assyrians. I suppose we can certainly see a parallel, because in the days of Jesus Christ, God brought upon them the Romans to do the same kind of thing.

Chapter 8 - Rejecting God's Waters, The Rock Of Stumbling

Now, this is an even more intriguing chapter. Isaiah is told to take a tablet and write upon it Ma'her-shal'al-hash-baz... which means "Hasten, O [or Hastening to the] Spoil! He Has Come Quickly to the Plunder".

Uriah and Zechariah were the two witnesses to attest to it. Isaiah's wife has a child and they call his name Mahershalalhashbaz... and Jehovah says that before the child is able to call out for his father or mother, the wealth of Damascus (Syria) and Samaria (Israel) would be carried away before Assyria.

Jehovah uses an interesting metaphor here. He says "this people have refused the waters of Shilo'ah that flow gently... therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory.." (8:7)

The king of Assyria and his army is likened to the River, overflowing the land of Judah. However, here we have ANOTHER reference to Immanuel: "...it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck; and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel." (8:8)

So here we have Assyria likened to a RIVER... and also having WINGS.

Clearly this has some bearing on later prophecies, such as the one in Daniel 9, in which the end of Israel was foretold to come by the FLOOD, upon the WINGS of disgusting things... and also in Revelation 12, in which the dragon attempts to DROWN the woman, but she is given the WINGS of an eagle.

Anyway, here is another interesting part of The Immanuel Prophecy. Pay attention here. It says...

"But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble thereon; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken." (8:13-15)

Now, WHO will become a sanctuary and stone of offense? I guess Trinitarians don't have a problem here, because Jesus IS God. However, for non-Trinitarians like myself, I guess rejection of Jesus was rejection of God.

Anyways... this passage is quoted by Peter, as applying to Christ: "So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do." (1 Peter 2:7,8 ESV)

The account then talks about disciples:

"Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him." (8:16,17)

Clearly Christians view The Immanuel Prophecy as ultimately relevant to Christ.

The account continues...

"Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion." (8:18)

The author of Hebrews briefly quotes from this passage, in reference to Jesus as bringing many sons to glory. (Heb 2:10-13)

The Lord then says that they will stumble in darkness through the land, which transitions into chapter 8 and yet another prophecy applied in reference to Christ... namely, the light that would come upon Zebulun and Naphtali... Galilee of the nations.

There's much more, but I'll end this post for now. In the meantime, feel free to further this discussion, please sticking to Isaiah 6-12 and it's relevance.

I started this thread because I find it a bit of a weird section... it ALMOST seems like the Christian writers cherry pick the parts that applied to Christ... however, by going through it more carefully, it might end up seeing less weird, as we see how it all fits together.

So all comments (as long as they don't go too far off-topic) are welcome.


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04-06-2011 12:39 PM
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Mavos
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RE: The Immanuel Prophecy

A general thought:

We should look at how the Apostles quoted the Old Testament, and learn to interpret it the exact same way they did.


"I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour." - John Newton
04-06-2011 01:09 PM
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RE: The Immanuel Prophecy

Chapter 9 - Galilee's Light, The Prince Of Peace

Chapter 9 is where it gets REALLY interesting :)

It begins with talking about Galilee of the nations receiving a great light, which of course was applied by the gospel writers to the ministry of Jesus.

We then have the famous passage about the Prince Of Peace:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." (Isaiah 9:6,7)

I suppose this is why, to Christians, the preceding strangeness about Immanuel and Ma'her-shal'al-hash-baz were really prophetic signs and indications of what Jehovah was going to do in later times.

The rest of the passage talks about the arrogance of Israel against Judah.

Chapter 10 - Assyria, The Remnant, Returning To The Mighty God

Now, chapter 10 is intriguing, and it seems actually to be an early version of the prophecy in Daniel 9!

God talks about Assyria being the instrument of His anger, but that He will also judge Assyria for its arrogance.

This is an interesting comment:

"The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day." (10:17)

Now, this is where it gets Daniel-esque, because the prophecy continues...

"In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness." (10:20-22)

So we have a destruction decreed, and a remnant of Israel returning to God. However, the language is VERY similar to that used in Daniel 9. We can see that if we look at the NWT in the two prophecies:

"For although your people, O Israel, would prove to be like the grains of sand of the sea, a mere remnant among them will return. An extermination decided upon will be flooding through in righteousness, because an exterminating and a strict decision the Sovereign Lord, Jehovah of armies, will be executing in the midst of the whole land." (Isaiah 10:22,23 NWT)

"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off, with nothing for himself. And the city and the holy place the people of a leader that is coming will bring to their ruin. And the end of it will be by the flood. And until [the] end there will be war; what is decided upon is desolations. And he must keep [the] covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease. And upon the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the one lying desolate." (Dan 9:26,27 NWT)

So I view Isaiah 10 as an EARLIER version of Daniel 9!

Incidentally, the apostle Paul also quotes from Isaiah 10, showing that only a remnant from Israel were also going to survive the coming tribulation upon the Jews, just as happened in the first destruction:

"And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence upon the earth with rigor and dispatch."
And as Isaiah predicted, "If the Lord of hosts had not left us children, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomor'rah."
What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith;
but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law." (Romans 9:27-31)


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04-06-2011 01:16 PM
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RE: The Immanuel Prophecy

Hi Mavos

Mavos Wrote:
A general thought:

We should look at how the Apostles quoted the Old Testament, and learn to interpret it the exact same way they did.


I agree from a Christian point of view, and that's what I (and hopefully others) will be doing in this thread.

However, what about non-believers? Many non-Christians argue that Christians "cherry pick" the prophecies to apply them to Christ.

A good case in point would be the scripture about the maiden giving birth to Immanuel. Technically, it's NOT about Jesus, is it?... because we're told that before the child knows how to refuse evil and do good, Israel and Assyria would be desolated. That happened WAY before Jesus!

Of course, I accept from the Christian point of view, these passages have a deeper application... but how do we convince non-believers that we or the apostles were not merely cherry picking?


My Blog: The Prophetic Word

Latest post: Daniel 9 And The Seventy (70) Weeks - How Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled.
04-06-2011 01:21 PM
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