August 13, 2006



& ALMA, His 'Virgin' Mother

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
In the ancient Hebrew language, a young woman, primarily unmarried - but at the right age to marry and/or bear children, was called many things, including, a maiden, a damsel, a young woman, or a virgin - all meaning a girl from about the ages of 13 to 20.
Notice below how the word for a virgin, 'Alma', is very similar to that of a young man, 'Elem' - as Alma is taken from the word 'Elem' - from which the word 'elementary' has since derived.

 Young Woman = Strong's Concordance # 5959
`almah {al-maw'}
from # 5958 - virgin, maid, damsels,  - a young woman of marriageable age, a maiden, unmarried, or newly married.
 Young Man = Strong's Concordance #5958 `elem {eh'-lem} from # 5956; young man
The Hebrew VIRGIN of Isaiah 7:14
Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

.............. which should be read as follows to be accurate:

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you, King Ahaz, a sign: Behold, a young woman will become pregnant and bear a son, and she will call the baby boy, Immanuel [this name means 'God is against us' - NOT 'God is with us', in this particular case].

Strong's # 6005: The name 'Immanuel'  utilizes three Hebrew  words, which are: 'im, nu, and EL. These three words put together make up the name, 'Im-nu-el', or Immanuel.  BUT, if we look closely at what is going on in the book of Isaiah, chapter seven and eight, we find that God is about to allow Assyria to kill the king of Israel, and further still, Isaiah prophesies the capture of the northern tribes - for God divorces them, allows them to become captured, and later to become scattered.  This entire event is telling us that 'God is against us, rather than 'God is with us'. There has been a gross error on choosing the correct terminology in this instance, for the word 'im' [see # 5973 in Strong's Concordance].  This same word, IM, can mean 'with', but it can also mean 'AGAINST', and was used as such [AGAINST] in Dueteronomy 9:7.  IN OTHER WORDS: 'GOD IS AGAINST US [Israel]',  is more accurate than 'God is with us'.
     Notice, that when you read the entire seventh and eighth chapters of Isaiah, there is no mention either in this verse, or in the surrounding verses that the child, 'Immanuel', is ever to be THE Messiah. If this were the case, then the Hebrew Testament would be full of the fact that the Messiah would be named 'Immanuel' and he would be born to a unmarried virgin woman.  Matter of fact, this child, born as a SIGN, foretells of the doom awaiting Israel, for God was against their actions against Judah.

     It' is all too easy to take a selected verse from scripture and build a full-blown institution from seemingly obscure verses. Take another look at the entire seventh chapter of Isaiah to learn the time frame of this young woman who would conceive and give birth to a son that she named Immanuel.

    Ahaz was the eleventh king of the southern kingdom of Judah, he reigned from 741 - 726 BCE. Isaiah tells the story of the northern Kingdom of Israel, under King Pekah; and King Rezin of Damascus, Syria, laying siege over the Kingdom of Judah. The Elohiym sent the Prophet Isaiah to Judah's King Ahaz, to let him know that divine intervention was close at hand - not to worry - help was on the way.  Isaiah told King Ahaz that this intervention was coming soon and that the king would know it to be so when the sign, named in Isaiah 7:14, became a reality. To back up a few verses, we also learn:
Isaiah 7:11- 16 "Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy Elohiym; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary the Elohiym also?  Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.  For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest [Syria and Ephraim [northern kingdom of Israel]] shall be forsaken of both her kings."
    Verses 11 and 16 puts verse 14 in proper perspective. "Before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings."This tells us that the problem King Ahaz was having with the King of Syria, and the King of northern Israel, would be resolved shortly after some particular male child, named 'God is against us', was born - to take place within King Ahaz’s reign -  more than 500 years before Jesus was born. King Ahaz, remember, reigned from 742 - 726 BCE. Syria lost their king, Rezin, shortly after Israel lost their king, Pekin, which was very close to the year 740 - 739 BCE. Many of the northern Israelite tribes were later taken captive by Assyria in 721 BCE. The sign given to Judah's King Ahaz, starting with the birth of this boy, occurred a few months [before the lad could even say Mama or Daddy] before the deaths of these two kings - which narrows the year of birth to be sometime around 741-739 BCE.  Below is a chart of historical events for a twenty year period during that era.

  • 753 BCE April 21, - Rome founded by Romulus. Beginning of the Roman 'Ab urbe condita' calendar.
  • 747 BCE - February 26, Nabonassar becomes king of Assyria - Assyrian Empire
  • 747 BCE - Meles becomes king of Lydia.
  • 745 BCE - The Crown of Assyria seized by Pul, who takes the name Tiglath-Pileser III.
  • 742 BCE - Start of Ahaz's reign of Judah [reigned approximately 16 years - 742 BCE - 726 BCE]
  • 740 BCE - Tiglath-Pileser III conquers the city of Arpad in Syria after two years of siege.
  • 739 BCE - Hiram II becomes king of Tyre
  • 739 BCE - Pekah, King of northern Israel slain by Hosea, son of Elan. Rezin, king of Syria [Damascus] slain.
  • 738 BCE - King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria invades Israel, forcing it to pay tribute.
  • 732 BCE - Hoshea becomes the last king of Israel, after he murdered prior king, Pekah.
  • 730 BCE - Osorkon IV succeeds Sheshonq IV as king of the Twenty-second dynasty of Egypt.
  • 730 BCE - Mattan II succeeds Hiram II as king of Tyre.
  • 728 BCE - Piye invades Egypt, conquering Memphis, and receives the submission of the rulers of the Nile Delta. He founds the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt.
  • 727 BCE - Babylonia makes itself independent of Assyria.
  • 726 BCE - Hezekiah's religious reformation, the Great Passover
  • 724 BCE - The Assyrians start a four-year siege of Tyre.
  • 722 - 705 BCE Sargon II reigns in Assyria
  • 722-720 BCE - Israel is conquered by Assyrian king Sargon II.
  • 720 BCE - End of the Assyrian siege of Tyre.

        Do you know of any important events, virgin births, or Messiah-type occurrences that I am overlooking for this time period? If so, let me know. The birth 'sign', and the first couple of years of the child's life, would have occurred shortly before the two kings were assassinated in 739 BCE, in fact, this boy was too young to know right from wrong, and too young to speak - which would most likely be under the age of two. Surely, the 'boy's' birth must  have been right around 741-739 BCE - after Ahaz took reign, and before the two kings were slain.

    We need not remain clue-less for too long however, for when we read the eighth chapter of Isaiah, we find that the son-sign birth-sign is actually with the son of Isaiah. The child who would be born as a SIGN, was actually the son of Isaiah, and the ALMA, or the woman, was actually a prophetess that Isaiah impregnated, perhaps she was his wife and was called a prophetess because she was the wife of a prophet. Notice too, an all important verse that most people overlook entirely:

Isaiah 8:18: "Behold, I [Isaiah] and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for SIGNS and for WONDERS in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion."  Too bad we don't have more information on Isaiah's two sons.

Isaiah 7:3: "Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field." This verse mentions Isaiah's second son - who could be the oldest.

    Isaiah's children, especially his son, Mahershalalhashbaz, was to be the SIGN for King Ahaz - as well as for all ISRAEL !!!!!!
Mahershalalhashbaz means 'swift is booty, speedy is prey'; and Shearjashub means 'a remnant [of Israel] shall return. Assyria captured the northern tribes about 721 BCE, but at some point in time they would return from being 'lost' to the world. The name 'Isaiah' means the salvation of the Lord.

Isa 8:1-4 "Moreover the LORD said unto me, Isaiah, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I went in unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, 'My father', and 'my mother', the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria."

Strong's Concordance # 4122
Maher Shalal Chash Baz {mah-hare' shaw-lawl' khawsh baz}
Mahershalalhashbaz - Maher-shalal-hash-baz, means:  "swift is booty, speedy is prey", symbolic name given by Isaiah by the Lord's direction to Isaiah's son; prophetic indication that Damascus [Syria] and Samaria [northern Israel] were soon to be plundered by the king of Assyria.   MAHER-( = quickly, hasten, swiftly) SHALAL- (booty, prey, loot) HASH-BAZ means the same as MAHER-SHALAL

Isa 8:7-10 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them [Israel] the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, [Sargon II] and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his [Israel's] banks: And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his [Assyria's] wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O' Immanuel [i.e. God is against you]. Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken into pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand, for God is against you'. There, you have it - this verse tells us plainly - 'for God is against you'.
        The word 'Immanuel' in the above verse is referring to Israel - the northern kingdom, aka, Ephraim, in foretelling their captivity by Sargon II of Assyria in 721 BCE - and how 'God is against them'.  The term 'for God is against us/you' in the 10th verse of Isaiah 8, is telling us that no matter what Israel did at that time, Assyria would defeat them. They could take counsel and call unto the Lord, but those words would be of no effect, for they were to become a captured people at that time.
722-721 BCE - The northern kingdom of Israel is conquered by the Assyrian King, Sargon II, which lasts for about 105 years.

587 - 586 BCE - Jerusalem falls to the Babylonians, ending the southern kingdom of Judah. The conquerors destroy the Temple of Jerusalem and exile the land's remaining inhabitants. Babylonian captivity for Judah began, to last for 70 years.

     If the birth of Immanuel was not going to happen within King Ahaz's lifetime, then wouldn't it seem, to Ahaz, as well as to all readers of the Hebrew Scriptures, that the entire sign was a hoax or a lie? If it took 500 years to take place, I,  for one, would say that Isaiah was a story-teller and is not to be believed. Remember, prophesy does not take 2000 years, or even 500 years to take place - if it does, it is not prophecy, but merely an observance of repeated patterns. If a prophesy is meant to occur far into the future, the verse, or verses, in question, would most certainly be worded that way, such as, 'in the latter days', or 'in those days', or 'at the end of the Age', or 'in a time, times, and half a time'. However, when the word 'behold' is used, you can bet it was meant for completion within King Ahaz's lifetime - and before the death of his two enemy kings. Remember, a son to be born was to be a SIGN, not prophesying THE prophesied Messiah, of which the Judeo-Christian people - i.e. tribes of Israel, seek.

Note: For those who will point out Isaiah 9:
6 "For unto us a child is born, unto 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."

    The above verse is speaking of Hezekiah, 1) the son of King Ahaz. 2) Hezekiah reigned as king of Judah from 715 - 687 BCE, and he brought many religious reforms during his reign. 3) The kingdom counted on Hezekiah in many ways, as a great and strong leader, able to confront Judah's enemies; 4) The memory of his name comes down to us today as great, good, a reformer, strong, righteous, loyal to God, worthy of much praise,
he resumed the Passover pilgrimage, and destroyed idols, including the "brazen serpent," which had been taken to Jerusalem as an object of idolatrous worship.  A great reformation was wrought in the kingdom of Judah in the day of Hezekiah. Perhaps Hezekiah was a proto-type of the coming Messiah - a good strong leader of peoples and nations who will root out the evil and upholds that which is good, bringing peace and harmony across the globe - making 'right' which has been so long 'wrong'.

Genesis 24:16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin [ALMA], neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
Genesis 24:43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin [ALMA] cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
Exo 2:8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid [ALMA] went and called the child's mother.
Psa 68:25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels [ALMAS] playing with timbrels.
Pro 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid [ALMA].
Solomon 1:3  Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins [ALMAS] love thee.
Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins [ALMA] without number.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin [ALMA] shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

May the Spirit of Truth and Light be with you always,
Betty Rhodes