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2021.11.28 05:08 TribeofYHWH Immanuel and the 'El gibbôr Child in Isaiah 7 and 9: The Virgin Birth of the Messiah as YHWH Himself in Isaiah's Original Context
Many interpreters take Immanuel in Isaiah 7 as Hezekiah, a descendent of Ahaz, to be born in the imminent future, not necessarily from a virgin, and not divine. I will however be arguing against the grain on all of these points.
This is my final post on these passages in First Isaiah.
Hezekiah? Many think that the child of Isaiah 7 and 9 is Ahaz's son, Hezekiah. However, the equation of Hezekiah with the "Son" in Isa. 7 and 9 is specious:
- Hezekiah is not mentioned anywhere in the immediate literary context of the denkschrift.
- Hezekiah was already born according to the historical context. J.J. Collins writes: "According to 2 Kgs 18.10, the fall of Samaria (722/721 BCE) was in the sixth year of Hezekiah, but according to v. 13 in the same chapter, the campaign of Sennacherib in 701 BCE was in his 14th year . . . Accordingly, his date of accession is variously given as 728/27 or 715 BCE. In 2 Kgs 18.1 we are told that he was 25 years old when he came to the throne, and if this is correct he would have been born too early on either date of accession" (J.J. Collins, "The Sign of Immanuel," in Prophecy and Prophets in Ancient Israel, 2010, pp. 232). See also Antti Laato, "Isaiah in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Jewish Traditions," in The Oxford Handbook of Isaiah, 2020, pp. 511: "Hezekiah cannot be identified with Immanuel."
- It would be awkward if Isaiah saw Hezekiah as Immanuel ("with us [is] God") or the "Son" of Isaiah 9. As Antti Laato points out, "Hezekiah rebelled against Assyria. This political decision was, according to Isaiah, nothing but filth in the eyes of the Lord (Isa 30,1-5; 31,1-3)" - Antti Laato, "History and ideology in the old testament prophetic books," Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, 1994, pp. 294. Isa. 22:1-14; 32:9-14 (and 1:4-9) also show that Isaiah son of Amoz was very critical with Judah's foreign policy under Hezekiah (see Antti Laato, "Understanding Zion Theology in the Book of Isaiah," in Studies in Isaiah, History, Theology, and Reception, Bloomsbury, 2017, pp. 31, 42-43).
- Details within Isaiah 7-11 will reveal the boy to be the future Messiah, not Hezekiah (see below).
- The biggest point here is: there is no evidence of Isaiah viewing Hezekiah as deity (see below for the deity of the Son's). So I can't see how Isaiah saw Hezekiah as the fulfillment of Isaiah 7 and 9.
(6) Many point to Isaiah 36-39 to show that Immanuel in Isaiah 7 and the el-gibbor
child in Isaiah 9 was meant to be Hezekiah (see, for example, Isa. 9:7; cf. 37:32). But this turns out this be a very specious argument. Jacob Stromberg writes for example:
Hezekiah, having been told that “days” (ימים) are coming when his kingdom will be dismantled by the Babylonians, responds by noting that “there will be peace [שלום] and security in my days" (39:8 → 38:3) . . . This, the last line of the story, seems carefully calculated to tell the reader that, although Hezekiah had earlier looked like the fulfillment of the days anticipated by 9:1–7, in the end, he was not: the scope of peace (שלום) in those days would be “without end” (9:7).
(Jacob Stromberg, "The Book of Isaiah: Its Final Structure," in The Oxford Handbook of Isaiah
, 2020, pp. 25-26).
Isaiah 39 overall has a negative view of Hezekiah as well (e.g., he trusts in his gold to deliver himself rather than YHWH). Most importantly though, Isaiah 38 and 39 are not in chronological order. In light of this, it is striking that in Isaiah 38, Hezekiah at last puts his trust in YHWH alone, unlike Ahaz. But in Isaiah 39, Hezekiah is leaning on the Babylonians and his possessions for help. As Sehoon Jang points out, by purposely switching the chronology of the story by ending with a negative portrayal of Hezekiah, the author of Isaiah 36-39 is implying that Hezekiah was not the coming king prophesied in the royal oracles of Isaiah 6-12.
This is because, as noted above, the author of Isaiah 36-39 at first leads on the reader to think that Hezekiah was the fulfillment of the royal oracles. For this argument further fleshed out, see:
- Sehoon Jang, "Is Hezekiah a Success or a Failure? The Literary Function of Isaiah’s Prediction at the End of the Royal Narratives in the Book of Isaiah," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 2017, pp. 132-133.
While Hezekiah was thought of as a better king, he wasn't good enough (and apparently not as good as Josiah, per 2 Kings 23:25). So this actually turns out to be a 6th point against Hezekiah as Immanuel and el-gibbor
, though not proof (since most scholars think that Isaiah 36-39 dates later, perhaps much later, than the royal oracles of Isaiah 6-12). \
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________) The Immanuel Oracle (Isaiah 7).
When Assyria continued to march westward in the year 734 B.C.E., Ephraim and Syria wanted Judah to form an alliance with them to defend against the Assyrian swarm. When Judah refused, Ephraim and Syria (what was than known as "Aram") teamed up against Judah so they could lay a siege against it and install a puppet King, "the son of Tabeel." This lead to the shaking of the heart of Ahaz and the people of Judah "as the trees of the forest shake before the wind" (Isa. 7:2). While Ahaz fears, Isaiah and his son is sent to Ahaz to encourage him to have complete trust in YHWH (v. 3-6), with v. 6-9 announcing the failure of Judah's enemies.
In v. 10-11, Isaiah says YHWH encouraged Ahaz to ask for a sign "as deep as Sheol or high as heaven," but Ahaz refused, and v. 12 gives the reason: "I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test." The imperative verbs are all second person masculine singular in form, as well as two pronouns. V. 13 than switches to the second person plural, indicating that the sign is for the ENTIRE Davidic house, not just for Ahaz in particular (v. 13 thus alludes to v. 9b; see below). This switch from the referent being Ahaz in v. 12 to the entire dynasty of the House of David in v. 13 after Ahaz refused the sign
is key. Peter J. Gentry explains:
The quoted speech [in v. 13] begins as follows: “Hear O House of David, is it too trivial for you humans that weary my God?” The two verbs, “hear” (וּעמשׁ) and “you must weary” (וּאלתּ) are second person plural in form. The one pronoun employed with the infinitive “to weary” is also second person plural. Yahweh/Isaiah is no longer addressing Ahaz directly or specifically; he is addressing the entire dynasty of David: past, present, and future—the whole House of David. The pronoun in verse 14 is also second masculine plural in form. The sign in verse 11 was offered specifically to Ahaz. Ahaz declined. In spite of Ahaz’s response, Yahweh gave a sign. The sign he gave was for the entire family line of David and is therefore not at all tied to the time of Ahaz.
(Peter J. Gentry, "Isaiah 7:12-16—A Direct Prediction of a Distant Future Relative to Isaiah’s Time?," in The Mother of the Infant King
[Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2020], pp. 188).
So Isa. 7's sign spans the entire history of the remaining Davidic family tree, something that will be clarified in Isa. 11:1. Verses 15-16a continue to speak in the third person masculine singular about the promised boy. Then, suddenly, v. 16b switches to second masculine singular in form, once again addressing specifically Ahaz and his days again, including what follows (v. 17-25).
This analysis is supported by Isaiah 7:9b, which is also couched in the plural (which v. 13f. alludes to), in contrast to the preceding verses, and v. 10-12. Isa. 7:9b supports Gentry's interpretation because it echoes the Nathan oracle of 2 Samuel 7, which suggests a dynastic application.
A counter could be raised by Isaiah 7:2:
וַיֻּגַּ֗ד לְבֵ֤ית דָּוִד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר נָ֥חָה אֲרָ֖ם עַל־אֶפְרָ֑יִם וַיָּ֤נַע לְבָבוֹ֙ וּלְבַ֣ב עַמּ֔וֹ כְּנ֥וֹעַ עֲצֵי־יַ֖עַר מִפְּנֵי־רֽוּחַ׃
Here, the threat was explained to the "house of David," and Ahaz's
heart is said to be shaken, and the heart his
people. So one could argue that the "House of David' refers to Ahaz in v. 13ff. also, i.e., no switch in subject. But "House of David" in Isa. 7:2 is singular
(as are the rest of the verbs and pronouns in this verse), unlike v. 13-14, which mysteriously switches from the singular as used in v. 10-12, unambiguously referring to Ahaz.
Ahaz is a natural referent in v. 2 because he was the current representative of the House of David at the time of the author's writing (most likely). The message given here to the House of David is in the present tense and concerns how Aram is putting pressure on Ephraim to attack Judah and Jerusalem. In contrast, we are dealing first of all with a sign
(see below) and with something that is definitely future. What we don't know is how far
into the future Isaiah thought of when just reading him alone. As the text shows, before the boy is at the age of responsibility, the land (which includes Judah) will be in exile (see Isa. 7:15-16). This content in itself suggests a future not in the time of Ahaz. The shift to the Second Person Plural facilitates this as part of the picture.
The Verbs in Isaiah 7:14
For the verbs used in Isa. 7:14 vis-à-vis the temporal scope of the oracle, see here
. For even more detailed comments, see Peter J. Gentry's appendix in Christophe Rico's The Mother of the Infant King
(Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2020), pp. 188-196.
There isn't actually a grammatical tense relationship in this prophesy. Context is what defines the “when," and the "when" points to a time beyond the imminent future.
Peter J. Gentry summarizes the child “eating curds and honey" (Isa. 7:15):
Curds are a product of pastoralists, those who herd flocks of goats or sheep and cattle. Honey comes from bees and refers to the forests as opposed to cultivated land because honey bees flourished in the wild . . . Pastoralists, those who grazed animals, would look for uncultivated areas for pasturage. Farmers, on the other hand, were terracing the hillsides and turning areas that grew wild into cultivated fields and vineyards. What Isaiah is saying is that . . . there will be few farmers, and the cultivated fields will return to regions left to grow wild. This would allow bees and pastoralists more territory. So . . . the fact that the child will eat curds and honey means that the land will be dominated by pastoralists and not farmers. This is an indication of the devastation and destruction.
(Gentry, "Isaiah 7:12-16," in The Mother of the Infant King
, pp. 215)
The negative use of the same terminology in 7:21-22 suggests this analysis is correct. Immanuel is to be born beyond
the immediate future during the aftermath of destruction
, for Isa. 7:15's curds and honey "signifies the aftermath
of catastrophe and the disruption of a thriving agricultural society" (Etan Levine, “The Land of Milk and Honey,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 2000
, pp. 57 [emphasis mine]). So construed through Gentry's and Levine's analysis, Immanuel eating curds and honey means that he will be born during a time of want and adversity in Israel.
Many point to Isa. 7:16 for the imminence of the Immanuel boy. But this v. is hard to render. It is thus immature to speak about the imminence of the birth of Immanuel from this alone. The NRSV translates the v. as:
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.
Whether one should agree with his "tearing apart" translation (which he makes a good case for), Peter J. Gentry correctly argues
The pronoun on the suffixed noun, “her kings” must refer to “land” since the pronoun is feminine singular . . . The two kings cannot be the King of Israel and the King of Aram . . . because one could not say of them, that “the land had two kings."
Gentry interprets the two kings as that of Northern Israel and
Judah, which would expand the horizon of the oracle. One doesn't have to agree with Gentry's translation of v. 16 to recognize that the NRSV contradicts Hebrew grammar though.
H.G.M. Williamson has "before whose two kings you are in dread
but asserts that "many (though by no means all) commentators" regard this part of the verse "to be a later addition" (Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
, pp. 168). Williamson than writes in what relates to Gentry's point:
It is incongruous to have one land mentioned with two kings . . . (ibid., 168).
Thus, in ibid.
, 167 Williamson translates the earliest text behind the current oracle in v. 16 as:
For before the lad knows to reject the bad and choose the good, the land will be abandoned.
This also may imply that Judah will be deserted (with no decisive temporal indictor).
Christophe Rico, in his book The Mother of the Infant King
(Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2020), pp. 144-147 argues that the v. should be translated as:
Before [Immanuel] knows to reject evil and to choose good the land which disgusts you because of its two kings will be abandoned.
Rico's translation is most supported by the versions and I agree with it. "The text implies that the country would be emptied of its inhabitants" (ibid.
, 147). This broadens the horizon of this prophecy, for "the abandonment of the land can refer either to the campaign of Tiglath-Pileser in 732 or to the successive deportations which occurred in Samaria (722-21) and in Judah (597 and 586)" (ibid.
, 147). So Rico interprets this v. as speaking about one country 'the land (Judah) whose two kings you hate, that land will be abandoned.' This dramatically increases the temporal horizon of the oracle here. \
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________) The El-Gibbor Oracle (Isaiah 9:1-7). Isaiah 9:1-2
The word כִּ֣י in 9:1 continues the thought of Isa. 8:19-22. "Galilee of the Nations"
is a phrase that is unique in the Hebrew Bible. No one else who mentions Galilee in the Hebrew Bible "found it necessary to call attention to Gentiles" (J. Motyer Alec, The Prophecy of Isaiah
, kindle loc. 3002). But the authors of the Hebrew Bible conceived of a Messiah for the entire world, not just Israel (see below//Isa. 11:4, 10)! "The people"
include gentiles, as it does in Isaiah 11:10 ("the people"), which no doubt refers to gentiles, as in 42:6. As noted above, Isaiah 9:2 picks up on an important theme from Isaiah 2:2-5 (which depicts the gentiles streaming to YHWH in the distant future in relation to the original author) by picking up the imagery of light: "let us walk in the light of the Lord" (Isa. 2:5). The thought of Isaiah 2:5 follows 2:2-4, as evidenced by a number of literary echoes that 2:5 picks up from 2:2-4 (for evidence of this, see Bertil Wiklander, Prophecy as Literature: A Text Linguistic and Rhetorical Approach to Isaiah 2-4
[ConBOT 22; Stockholm: Liber Tryck, 1984], pp. 101). Isa. 2:5 thus functions as an "exhortation to the house of Jacob to imitate the nations in their conversion from idols to the true God. This has the literary effect of associating the imagery of light in 2:5 with the revelation of God to the nations in 2:2-4" (James P. Ware, Paul and the Mission of the Church
, pp. 57).
As Isaiah 9 picks up on themes from Isaiah 2, Isaiah 11:9-10 does the same thing with both Isaiah 9 and 2. There are many lexical and thematic themes picked up in Isaiah 11 from chapters 2 and 9, in addition to what was pointed out just above (see here
for the links between Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 2, and below for the links between Isaiah 11 and 9). All "these intertextual connections link the dawning of the light upon the mixed gentile populace of northern Israel (“Galilee of the nations”) in Isaiah 9 . . . with the conversion of the gentiles envisioned in 11:9-10" (ibid.
, 57). Since Isaiah 2 and 11 deal with distant future, so does Isaiah 9.
The Messiah in Isa; 11:1 is associated with "branch" imagery. The Hebrew word for "branch" or "scion" in Isa. 11:1 is neṣer
(unlike the branch imagery in Jer. 23:5 and Zech 3:8; 6:12, which user the word ṣemaḥ
). As Christophe Rico points out in The Mother of the Infant King
, there is a striking connection, at least at face value, between the word neṣer
, and town historical ancient town of Nazareth. The Hebrew word neṣer
contains consonants which approximate those in the name Nazareth; N, Z, and R. Thus, the mention of a light dawning upon "Galilee of the gentiles" in Isa. 9:1, and the word neṣer
used in Isa. 11:1 vis-à-vis the name of Nazareth, which Jesus was associated with ("Jesus of Nazareth"), is probably what spurned the author of the Gospel of Matthew to make the connections made in Mt. 2:22-23 ("ta merê tês Galilaias" - 2:22, "Nazôraios" - 2:23).
Many interpret these verses as referring to an end to war (or a victory from a battle with the Assyrians) and a return of the exiles from northern Israel in connection with the advent of the Davidide. But neither options are being communicated here literally. Christopher Seitz writes: "the cause for joy is not so much pending military victory but the “birth” of a new ruler" (Seitz, Isaiah 1-3
9, pp. 147). Supporting this interpretation is the "for" construction leading up to the birth of the "Son." So the joy experienced from "the people" due the coming of the "Son" is like
or is compared
to the joy over a return from exile or the conquering of enemies.
The Titles Given to the "Son" in Isaiah 9:6-7 "Wonderful Counselor"
Markus Zehnder notes that, whenever
Isaiah "uses the root פלא, either in the form of the noun פלא ("wonder”) or the verb פלא in the hiphil
conjugation (“to work wonders”), it is used with God as the subject of the wonders" (Zehnder, "The Question of the “Divine Status of the Davidic Messiah," Bulletin for Biblical Research
, pp. 497). The root פלא thus strictly relates to the realm of divine action in Isaiah. Markus Zehnder also writes that: "In two of the three instances, פלא is combined with the root יעץ ("counsel”), exactly as we find it in Isa 9:5, and in both instances it is clear that it is God himself who is designated as a “wonder-counselor" (Isa 25:1; 28:29)" (ibid.
, 497). H.G.M. Williamson adds:
The root יָעָ֖ץ, whether as verb or noun, is also used in relation to God at 14.24, 27; 19.12, 17; 23.9
(Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
, pp. 399)
The same exact words, 'ēl gibbôr,
is applied for YHWH Himself in 10:20-21 - the very next chapter that follows Isaiah 9. Outside of the verse in question, 'ēl gibbôr
is a "divine designation which is never used elsewhere for a human being" (Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
[ICC, 2018], pp. 399). See Deut. 10:17 and Jer. 32:18 (Neh. 9:32 also points this way). There is one example from Ezekiel 32:21, a text written 120+ years after Isa. 9:6-7, where a modified form of 'ēl gibbôr
is not used for YHWH, but for mighty warriors. However, there are three main arguments against the relevance of this text: (a)
Unlike Isaiah 9:6; 10:21 (and Deut. 10:17 and Jer. 32:18), the term in Ezekiel is "plural and overtly linked in a genitive relation" (J. Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah
, pp. 105). H.G.M. Williamson says that "it is difficult to relate the plural in any direct way with the name/title in our verse" (Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
[ICC, 2018], pp. 399, n. 121); (b)
the usage of the phrase in Isa. 10:20-21 is much more illuminating than the text in Ezekiel; (c)
Paul Wegner points out that "the most common use of 'el
in the book of Isaiah . . . refer to divinity, either the true God . . . or false gods" (Paul D. Wegner, "A Re-Examination of Isaiah Ix 1-6," VT
, pp. 110, n. 29), among other arguments.
The use of "Father" for the Israelite king is unattested (the king was usually designated as YHWH's son; see Williamson below). Interesting than is Isaiah 1:2-3, where "the fatherhood of God underlies the opening metaphor of the book" (Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
, pp. 400). See also the use of "Father" for YHWH in Isa. 63:16 and 64:7. The notion of eternity only further supports the divinity of the "Son."
Responding to Counter-Arguments For the Deity of the "Son."
In response to the divinity of the names given to the "Son," some Jewish interpreters (e.g., Rashi) translate or have translated Isaiah 9:6 as: ". . . and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, 'the prince of peace.'" However, H.G.M. Williamson calls this construction "least plausible" (Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
, pp. 396). If pele' yo'ets 'el gibbor 'abi'ad
would all be one subject, it would be very strange to have it in the position of this translation (it would be much more natural to have either the verb q-r-'
followed by shmo
or at least shmo
moved directly before sar shalom
); additionally, it would be much more natural to have the subject precede the direct object (shemo
) - the sequence first direct obj. then subj. is ungrammatical. Some try to support this translation by appealing to the Hebrew word for “name," which is singular here. So it is argued that that this child could only have one name - the one at the end (with the rest describing God). But while שם here is singular, the word is used in multiple contexts for multiple meanings, and doesn't just refer to one singular "name" each and every time it's used (e.g., Gen. 31:48-49). It may be helpful to compare Isa. 8:1-3 to Isa. 9:6. There Isaiah is instructed to write on a scroll before witnesses מַהֵ֥ר שָׁלָ֖ל חָ֥שׁ בַּֽז, 'Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz
.' So, Isaiah and "the prophetess" have a son, and the prophetess evidently conceived and bore this son of Isaiah. Now the name given to Isaiah's new son has several components and is quite lengthy (it is actually one of the longest name in Scripture!). Yet Isaiah has no problem using the singular שְׁמ֔וֹ, "name" to describe it. While this may not be an exact parallel, the grammar point is worth considering.
Besides, if one wants to argue along these lines, how exactly does one decide which designation applies to whom? Is it the "Wonderful Counsellor" that names this child "Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"; or is it the "Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God" that names this child "Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"; or is it the "Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father" that names this child Prince of Peace," etc?
Others try and separate the four names into two clauses, thus resulting in two theophoric names ("wonderful planner [is] the mighty God; the Father of eternity [is] a prince of peace"). Paul D. Wegner for example writes:
This interpretation would be favoured by: (1) its similarity to the parallel structure in the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; (2) the translation of sem as one name which the singular form suggests; (3) the Masoretic pointing; and (4) the common pattern in theophoric names. (Wegner 1992: 111)
H.G.M. Williamson agrees with Wegner's interpretation (see Williamson, Isaiah 6-12
, pp. 398). In response to this,
- The distinct elements of the names in Isa. 9:6 make perfect sense on their own, unlike the separate units of the name 'Maher-shalal-hash-baz' as such.
- One has to bear in mind the frequency of a singular used as a collective in Biblical Hebrew. Just look at a grammar of biblical Hebrew, one will find many examples of this.
- Despite the MT, Jewish tradition overwhelmingly translates the text differently. Just look for instance at the French translation of "The Bible du Rabbinat": "Conseiller merveilleux, Héros divin, Père de la conquête, Prince de la Paix."
- The names in Isaiah 9 do not follow the common pattern of theophoric names and have embarrassed commentators who think that the Messiah (or a king) couldn't have possibly been thought of as YHWH himself in ancient Judaism. So, per these interpreters, most of the names could only be borne by YHWH. But the names are preceded by a passive form of the verb qara' which points to a divine passive ("he will be called" that is, by YHWH), which points against this.
Williamson admits that his reading of the names is a "minority line of interpretation" on pp. 397 (ICC, 2018).
Another dubious way certain scholars try and get around the language of the "Son" being YHWH Himself is to attribute the names given to the "Son" as being merely highly rhetorical cultic and court language. Many will point to Psalm 45:7-8 in support of this, where the King is, according to certain constructions, called ’ĕlōhîm
. However, against the names being merely court/cultic hyperbole and against the relevance of Psalm 45: (a)
the word 'ēl gibbôr
is used for YHWH in the very next chapter (cf. 10:21), and the 'ēl gibbôr
in 10:21 echoes 9:6, thus relating the use of 'ēl gibbôr
in 9:6 with 10:21; (b)
the word ’ĕlōhîm
does not always denote divinity in the HB, unlike 'ēl gibbôr
(at least outside of Isa. 9:6, which is the verse in question); (c)
similarly, Williamson (who doubts the relevance of Psalm 45 here) notes that "there is no known parallel to calling the king ‘Father’; rather the king is more usually designated as God’s son" (ibid.
, 397); (d)
Ps. 45:7-8 is syntactically ambiguous (certain scholars translate the verses in such a way as to have no implication of deity for the king); and finally (e)
Williamson notes: "... the use of this kind of language in a birth oracle (as opposed to an accession oracle) is less securely attested and perhaps even unlikely" (ibid.
, 397). This is where Williamson than posits splitting the names into two theophoric clauses (but see above). Many scholars have thought that Isaiah 9 is an accession oracle, but this I think has been refuted by Paul D. Wegner in his 1992 VT
article, pp. 104-109 (esp. 104-107) and H.G.M. Williamson's 2018 ICC commentary, Isaiah 6-12
, pp. 394-395. \
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________) The Messianic Identity of the "Son."
The "Son" of Isaiah 7 is the same "Son" in Isaiah 9, since both passages speak about a Davidic "בֵּ֚ן" ("Son") given lofty titles/names to be born as a sign of hope for the Davidic dynasty. By Isaiah expanding his prophecy in Isa. 7:14 to include the oracles of 9:1-7 and 11, Isaiah has left nothing ambiguous regarding the Messianic identity of Immanuel.
The Shoot of Jesse in Isaiah 11 as the Future Messiah
J.J.M. Roberts points out in The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Collected Essays
(Eisenbrauns, 2019) that no where in the HB does the actual Hebrew word for Messiah, מָשִׁיחַ, refer to the actual Davidic Messiah in the full sense of the concept. I think there is an exception in the book of Daniel, but that book dates much later. As such,
"A discussion of the Old Testament’s contribution to the development of the later messianic expectations can hardly be focused on the Hebrew word for messiah" (pp. 376).
So the lack of the use of the word for 'Messiah' in this passage is a poor argument against this passage speaking about the future Messiah. Isaiah 11 is traditionally read as Messianic in Jewish tradition. Reasons for a long range Messianic interpretation of Isa. 11 include:
- The figure is from Jesse, not David. Thus, this figure is not just a physical decedent from David like his predecessors, but is also a new David (see Ezek. 34:23-24; 37:24ff.)
- The reign that the stump of Jesse has is on a scope that encompasses the entire earth. Isa. 11:4-5 says that the stump of Jesse will judge the "meek of the earth," and this figure's mouth strikes the earth like a rod. Notice 11:9: "the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Interesting is the parallel between "the earth" in 11:9, which no doubt refers to the entirety of the earth, with "the earth" in 11:4-5. This could hardly refer to a contemporary earthly king among kings.
- The reign of the Messiah in Isaiah 11:9 "is directly related to the holy mountain of YHWH, which means that the reign of this new Davidic king is directly related to the kingship of the Holy One himself, centered on Mount Zion" (Jaap Dekker 2012: 17-18). Again, this could hardly refer to a contemporary earthly king among kings.
- Isaiah 11 has the same (and important) themes present in other Messianic oracles, especially e.g., Jer. 23:5-8.
The Messianic Identity of the "Son" in Isaiah 7 and 9.
Isaiah 5-12 contains three consecutive panels portraying the coming King, just as Deutero-Isaiah contains three consecutive panels describing the Servant of YHWH (Isa. 49, 50, 52-53 [ch. 42 is much earlier]). The cumulative evidence links the three sections revolving around Isa. 7; 9 and 11 as portraying a coming King using quite variegated imagery and symbolism. One of the connections between Isa. 7 and the section that revolves around Isa. 11 is that Isaiah has a son named Shear Jashub
(which literally means 'a remnant will return'), as one can see in Isa. 7:3. But the thought of a remnant returning is communicated by Isa. 10:20-21 (Isa. 10:21 says that 'a remnant will return'). Isa. 10:20-21 lands in a section (Isaiah 10:5-34) which Christophe Rico and Jacob Stromberg (cf. "Hezekiah and the Oracles against the Nations in Isaiah," The History of Isaiah
, Mohr Siebeck, 2021) have shown revolve around the Stump of Jesse oracle in Isaiah 11, and thus inaugurates it
, especially since Isaiah 11:1ff. is syntactically linked with what precedes (וְ
יָצָ֥א). This link with Isaiah's son in Isa. 7:3, Shear Jashub
(“A-Remnant-Shall-Return”), and the words “a remnant shall return” in Isa. 10:20-21, is thus developed in the Messianic oracle of Isaiah 11. Both Isa. 11:11 and Isa. 11:16 have two uses of the word שׁאר, and this word is present in 7:3 and 10:21. The Hebrew word מסלה, "highway," is also seen in Isa. 11:16, as in 7:3. There are more links noted in Stromberg's 2021 essay (pp. 319, n. 43), further strengthening the point about Shear Jashub.
Other links between Isa. 11 and 7 include Isa. 11:2's “The spirit of counsel and strength” (rûaḥ ēşâ gəbûrâ
), which will rest on the shoot of Jesse. These two qualities, "counsel and “plan” ( tēşâ ) echoes the first chapters of the Immanuel booklet (yā’aş
in Isa. 7:5, "he plotted”; ‘üşû êşâ
in Isa. 8:10, “form a plan”). Additionally, as in Isa. 7:2, Isa. 11:2 [4x], 15 has the image of rûaḥ
Moving on, the el-gibbor
child of Isaiah 9 (the same person as Immanuel) is also clearly the Messiah. For example, Isa. 9:1-7 clearly relates to Isaiah 11. James P. Ware in his book Paul and the Mission of the Church: Philippians in Ancient Jewish Context
(Baker Academic, 2011), pp. 57, n. 22 notes numerous striking thematic and lexical links that connect Isa. 11:9-10, with the opening of the first royal oracle in Isaiah 9 (cf. 9:1b-9:2). These thematic and lexical links are:
- "earth”/“land” (11:9; cf. 9:1, 2);
- “sea” (11:9; cf. 9:1);
- “in that day”/“in days to come” (11:10; cf. 9:1);
- “people” (11:10; cf. 9:2);
- “nations” (11:10; cf. 9:1);
- “glory”/“glorify” (11:10; cf. 9:1).
There are other similarities between Isaiah 9 and 11 as well:
- Jacob Stromberg notes three consecutive parallels between Isaiah 9 and 11, namely "the description of a king whose rule is characterized by “counsel” and “might” (9:5; 11:2), which enables “justice” and “righteousness” (9:6; 11:3–4), accompanied by peace in the land (9:5–6[6-7]; 11:6–9)" (Jacob Stromberg, "Hezekiah and the Oracles against the Nations in Isaiah," The History of Isaiah, Mohr Siebeck, 2021, pp. 319, n. 43).
- The rûaḥ ... gəbûrâ, applied to the Messiah in Isa. 11:2, echoes ’el gibbôr (Isa 9:6). Stromberg writes that gəbûrâ in Isa 11:2 "is often thought to be a deliberate parallel to . . . Isa. 9:5[Eng. 6]" (ibid., 320).
- Like Isa. 11:1-9 and 11:10, Isaiah 9 picks up important themes from the pilgrimage oracle of Isa. 2:2-5 (see my last post for Isaiah 11 and 2's relationship).
- Like the "root of Jesse" in Isaiah 11:10, the "Son" in Isaiah 9 is a deity (see my post just above for this).
Since Isa. 11 is about the Messiah and
seemed to take Isa. 9 (and 7) as Messianic, that probably means that Isa. 9 (and 7) was originally about the future Messiah as well. Isaiah 9 itself however makes clear that the "Son" (same person as "Immanuel") was no normal earthly king among kings, and transcends mundane earthly rule. Isaiah thought "there will be no end" to the reign of this King "from this time forth and forevermore." How does this apply to Hezekiah or any of the pre-exilic kings in Judah? Childs puts it this way:
The description of his reign makes it absolutely clear that his role is messianic. There is no end to his rule upon the throne of David, and he will reign with justice and righteousness forever.
(Brevard S. Childs, Isaiah
, pp. 81 [emphasis mine])
There is also a glorious image that emerges in the background of the dramatic movement of Isaiah 6-12. It is the image of a cut down tree that begins to sprout again, which symbolizes both the people and also the Messianic King
(Isa. 6:13; 7:2, 23-25; 9:15, 18; 10:15, 18-19, 33-34; 11:1). See my last post
for more on this imagery. The fact that Isaiah 11:1 is syntactically linked with what precedes (which is Isaiah 10:33-34), where the forest/tree imagery is present, is thus noteworthy.
It must be noted though that, just because Isaiah 11:1 is syntactically related to the preceding, does not necessarily mean that the Messiah will come around the same time as the hewing of the Assyrians as trees, as depicted in 10:33-34. One has to bear in mind that a prophecy or an oracle is never an exact chronological account of what is to come. The biblical oracles have their own literary genre, which has nothing to do with the way we write history nowadays. The vav
before the perfect verb does not necessarily indicate a strict order of events (look at the narrative of Gen. 1 for a good example of this). Besides, is it really believable that, in the times of Hezekiah or after the return from exile, Judah was reconciled with Ephraim (Isa. 11:13)? Chapter 11 refers to the coming of the Messiah and to its era but it does not indicate a specific time for the event. \
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________) The Virginity of 'Immanuel's' Mother. Christophe Rico
in a recent monograph (The Mother of the Infant King
) argues that ‘almāh
means "young virgin," distinct from betûlāh
, which refers to a virgin of any age. Aside from the textually uncertain text in Prov. 30:19, the surrounding context around the uses of the word ‘almāh
in the Bible reveal that ‘almāh
denotes a young virgin (in areas where the context allows us to make a judgement)
. Many different languages from all different types of family languages have a distinction between ‘girl,' ‘virgin’ and ‘young virgin' (e.g., Arabic [fatâ’ah
]; Catalan [noia
]; Russian [devuška
]), so it isn't hard to believe that the same set of distinctions existed in ancient Hebrew before ‘almāh
eventually became a technical musical term later on. For the full case for "young virgin," see Rico's full book (or here for more
). Rico claims to make arguments regarding ‘almāh
purely as a linguist.
A key point though is that the birth of Immanuel is a "sign" (’ôt
). While it is true that ’ôt
doesn't necessarily denote anything miraculous, the context and use of ’ôt
First, the verb ’nissâ
("to test") occurs in the context of Isa. 7:14 (cf. v. 12). As Rico points out, when used in the context of a sign request, the verb nissâ occurs in only one other place in the Bible.
That occurrence is found in the Midian episode with Gideon (see the use in Judg. 6:39), where the sign is miraculous. The use of the verb nissâ
in the context of Isa. 7:14 thus suggests that the sign is meant to be miraculous as well. There are striking parallels to this story in Judges with the oracles of Isaiah 7-11, which strengthen this link with Isa. 7 and the Gideon episodes. See my last post
for the parallels.
Second, Mark D. Schutzius (II) argues in The Hebrew Word for 'sign' and Its Impact on Isaiah 7:14
that every unambiguous miraculous use of the word ’ôt
has YHWH specifically provide the sign. Instructive is Isa. 38:7 ("This is the sign to you from the Lord . . ."), where the sign is miraculous. Contrary to verses like this, uses of the word ’ôt
that aren't miraculous do not come directly from YHWH. Rather, they describe God designating
ordinary people, things, or events as "signs" (e.g., Gen. 1:14; 9:11-17; 17:11; Exod. 3:11-12; 12:7-13; Num. 2:2; 16:38; Ezek. 14:8). If ’ôt
in 7:14 did not denote a miracle, it would be far out of step with the typical usage of ’ôt
where YHWH says he provided it.
For KTU 1.24:7 as an objection to Rico, see his counter quoted in my post linked above.
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to AcademicBiblical [link] [comments]
2021.11.28 05:07 stillborn_Soup What's the laziest way to kill someone?
Still actual murder but just very lazy and low effort.
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2021.11.28 05:07 Benneeettt Here we go again!
2021.11.28 05:07 AdeebTakaji MS project work
Good afternoon everyone, I’m having a free lance work on MS Project, anyone can help about the prices?
submitted by AdeebTakaji to UAE [link] [comments]
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2021.11.28 05:07 biscuit231 Regirock Adding 10 2222 5996 9542 and 2043 9197 3373
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2021.11.28 05:07 ImNotAnAlienDude Are Arguing Friends Bad Friends?
( THESE ARE ALL FAKE NAMES) Currently one of my oldest Friends Brooklyn has for an unknown reason to me has blocked my friends Tobi and Drew on Roblox which is an app we all frequently play on. This has caused confusion, distrust and panic ( at least for me ). I don't know how this will go on. Maybe I need new friends. They fight at the time. One of them vents shares how they see things on a topic and then it just goes downhill from there. I can't count the amount of arguments they’ve had but it's been so common this year that it unfazes me. The Latest one was a week ago. I'll explain it as well as I can. A ( Friend??) of mine ,Viviana heard my friend Drew yelling at Noah (rightfully so) and Viviana then started yelling at Drew. While Viviana was yelling at Drew she dead names them( Drew is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns) which deeply offended Drew, but Drew first told Viv that, that was wrong and she shouldnt do that. As Viviana said she didn’t care/ It wasn't her problem/continued doing so (the specifics here, I'm not sure about I'm just putting for what I felt she would have said from what I’ve been told from Tobi and Viviana herself). Drew then stood up for Themselves which is not something they do often so I was glad they did when I had heard. Vivana and Drew fought, the specifics afterward are unknown to me (carrying on). Drew told what happened toTobi, Viviana told what happened to Rhianna (my second oldest friend in the friend group) And Rhianna got mad at Drew. Tobi stood up for them, Explained Drews side of the story and they then argued. Dakota (another person in the friend group) But in and said HER opinion (SHE ALWAYS DOES THIS IN ARGUMENTS NOT ABOUT HER IT PISSES ME OFF) Yada yada argument we don't sit all together during lunch. I sat with Tobi,Drew and some of Tobis friends. I did this as somewhat part of the trans community ( im pangender btw) I understood the deadnaming. Rhianna sat with Viviana,Dakota and Brooklyn. Brooklyn didn't know what happened and started playing the messenger and told Drew to say sorry to Viviana and Viviana to say sorry to Drew. Drew didn't want to because she was right to yell at Viviana. Apparently Viviana “didn’t know” even though Drew was telling her during the argument( but Viviana continued I belive). The specifics are odd and everywhere because I don't like fighting, it causes stress for me. It made me angry and mad until the fourth period. In second period One of my friends asked me why I was so mad and because I trust them I told them. Apparently Rhianna heard I did that well not me but somebody told like it was a huge secret. Rhianna yelled at everyone and Tobi said (somewhat around this) “ I mean okay I just told (insert my name) and that's it”. Then somehow they both get in an argument and Rhianna calls everyone Toxic and takes a break. Dakota (wowo guess what?) BUTS IN and wow more arguments.Rhianna comes back says sorry for calling everyone toxic and that she didn't mean it. Problem gets resolved sometimes starts back up but gets quickly shut down. 1 week passes and Now we’re in the current time. We still have fun and hang out and talk and are friends but I just… Are they Bad Friends? Do I need new ones? Honestly I don't Know. I’d appreciate it if you guys told me what you thought.
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2021.11.28 05:07 rubbenga TIL that Jack Nicholson grew up believing his mother was actually his sister. His mom June was 17 years old and unmarried when she gave birth to him. Her parents agreed to raise Jack as their own child with June acting as his sister. Reporters from Time magazine revealed this to Jack in 1974.
2021.11.28 05:07 Porodicnostablo Tara national park, Serbia
2021.11.28 05:07 _hiwoo what's your fav genre of porn?
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2021.11.28 05:07 GreenBottom18 Popular Show South Park Predicts Bitcoin As The Only Acceptable Means Of Payment In The Future
2021.11.28 05:07 ImportantDesk Is Spotify crashing on the Apple Watch for anyone else?
I have an Apple Watch SE running the latest version of watchOS. Every time I open the Spotify app, it hangs for like a second and then immediately crashes. It successfully opens every once in a while, but usually crashes after a few seconds.
I tried restarting and factory resetting my watch, but it keeps crashing.
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2021.11.28 05:07 misspelt-negative Favorite donor superstition?
Okay, hear me out…
I was talking with the phlebotomist today and explained why I brought my own squeezy -- basically, superstition that since it's longer, it'll prevent my hand from gradually turning over during the draw. She laughed and said a lot of people did little things like that, which got me curious.
Do you have any fun "superstitions" that you like to indulge in when you donate? Lucky socks? Special beverage? Actual scientifically-supported preparation (e.g. being well-hydrated or eating high-iron foods) doesn't count here -- this is only for those little rituals or "lucky" items that are particular to you.
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2021.11.28 05:07 Jackbenny270 My Current Board—an IKEA Hejne Shelf
2021.11.28 05:07 FanningFucker Chloe Moretz
2021.11.28 05:07 Trickey89 Gibson Steps, Australia [Leica M6 + Pro Image 100]
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2021.11.28 05:07 essufin 🙄🙄
2021.11.28 05:07 JohnnyEnglishPegasus Ever been attacked by a Martial Artist? What's your story?
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2021.11.28 05:07 Sucrose0 How can I help my long distance gf out?
Me and my gf are both 15 and long distance, met online a year ish before we started dating and then started dating a year later. Today She was telling me how this person she met a very long time ago and the last time they spoke was over a year ago (cishet male) dmd her and said that he had feelings for her, this made her really uncomfortable and brought back bad memories for her and she told me about it. We are both lesbians btw! I comforted and validated her and whatnot and told her that if she needs anything specific from me, to let me know and she said “okay” but I rly think I should do something but idk what! Please help ya girl out🙏
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2021.11.28 05:07 22LOVESBALL Who is a current All-Star right now that you think will be prematurely out of the league or close to out of the league because of their ego like Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony?
Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony were both superstars and they both had massive egos which prevented them from understanding that they needed to take a lesser roll on a team to continue to play. Dwight still wanted to be that guy and Carmelo infamously told P that they wanted him to come off the bench.
What player today is a legit all star talent that you think will have these sort of struggles in the future?
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2021.11.28 05:07 chubbsbfd420 Anyone near the Murray mouth?
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2021.11.28 05:07 axjkx How do you download a video/GIF from reddit onto your device?
So, I'm fairly new to reddit and still learning how to go about using the platform. My question is, is there a way to download videos/GIFs from reddit directly onto your device?
submitted by axjkx to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]
2021.11.28 05:07 Nanamagari1989 ordered a lot online, this was in it.. i can't find this variant of the honda odyssey anywhere! anyone know what this color scheme is?
2021.11.28 05:07 itsunfabulousww Met a grumpy tawny owl today