Athetotheist wrote: ↑Wed Sep 20, 2023 8:57 pm One of the best examples of the Septuagint’s erroneousness is its mistranslation of almah (young woman) as “parthenos” (virgin) in Isaiah 7:14, which isn’t a messianic verse.
Interesting that all these “errors” happen to relate to Christian proof texts that Jesus is the Messiah.
Let’s look at Isa 7:14:[Isa 7:14 KJV] 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.
Virgin is almâ. It can be translated as virgin or young woman.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon … v/wlc/0-1/
So, the issue here is how should it be translated, virgin or young woman.
Translating it with young woman doesn’t make it any special sign:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
What is the sign then? There is nothing special about a young woman conceiving or bearing a son. The only thing is calling him Immanuel, which is nothing special as a miraculous sign.
However, if it’s translated as a virgin, then that would be a miraculous sign.
[Gen 24:43 KJV] 43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin[H5959] cometh forth to draw [water], and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; [Sng 1:3 KJV] 3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name [is as] ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins[H5959] love thee. [Sng 6:8 KJV] 8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins[H5959] without number.
Betula is also translated maid and maiden: virgin (38x), maid (7x), maiden (5x).
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon … v/wlc/0-1/
As a side note, the word alma [“young woman”] is a gender-specific feminine noun with a masculine form [elem], which means “young man” (it doesn’t mean “male virgin“).
It is only used twice and is translated as: young man (1x), stripling (1x).
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon … v/wlc/0-1/
This is referring to David after he killed Goliath:
[1Sa 17:56 KJV] 56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling [is].
David was not married at this time.
The other one is referring to David’s servant:
[1Sa 20:22 KJV] 22 But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows [are] beyond thee; go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away.
Most likely he was just a young kid and not married either.
In Isaiah 7, the child’s mother is to call him Immanuel.What textual support do you have for this?
Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.
You cannot use the same verse to show it both prophesied it and fulfilled it. What passage showed the fulfillment of someone called Immanuel?
Since the child’s father is commanded to call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz, who would name him Immanuel if not his mother?
What text shows his mother named him Immanuel?
My point is it is not clear who the two kings are. Again, it could be Rezin and Pekah, but it doesn’t have to be.
Again, this is grasping at straws. It’s clear from the context that the two kings are still Rezin and Pekah. Thus we can see why Matthew would pluck out only a single verse from the chapter. If he had put the verse in context, anyone could see that it isn’t a messianic passage.
No, it’s not grasping at straws. Again, the text does not explicitly say Rezin and Pekah are the two kings.
Here’s my interpretation. Actually, I do agree the prophecy was fulfilled with the fall of Rezin and Pekah. But it was also fulfilled with Jesus. There are issues with both of these fulfillments. With the former, there is nobody named Immanuel that was born of a virgin. With the latter, it’s unclear who the two kings are. It could be representing the kings of Israel and Judah. Though this would be many years before Jesus was a young child, it would still be before it.
No idea what you mean by “self-fulfilling”. We have a passage from Isaiah and we have a passage from somewhere else. This is how we show prophecies are fulfilled.[Isa 7:14 ESV] 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [Mat 1:23 ESV] 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Now, if you claim it is erroneous for Matthew to claim this was the fulfillment of Isaiah, then that’s another matter.
There’s no one born to a virgin, but Isaiah prophesies that the pregnant woman he points out to Ahaz will call her son “Immanuel”.
Again, there’s no additional textual support of anyone else being named Immanuel. A single verse cannot be used to both show what is the prophecy and the fulfillment of it.
Therefore, if you agree that the prophecy was fulfilled with the fall of Rezin and Pekah, you have to agree that they were the kings Isaiah was talking about when he said this to Ahaz.
As I stated, I believe it was partially fulfilled at that time and it was referring to the downfall of Israel and Syria. I’m not disagreeing with that. I’m pointing out there is no requirement it exclusively had to refer to them.
Again, where does the Tanakh “explicitly” [as you would say] state that any prophecy therein will be fulfilled more than once?
No, I do not claim the Tanakh explicitly says this. I readily acknowledge it’s an interpretation.
You’ve agreed that Isaiah 7:14-16 was fulfilled with the fall of Rezin and Pekah. That means you agree, as I mentioned earlier, that the fall of those two kings was timed within the early life of a child whose mother was still pregnant with him before the kings fell.
For Isaiah to have uttered that prophecy, he must have been referring to a woman who was not a virgin.
Yes, I understand that interpretation. But it doesn’t make any sense of the whole point of Isa 7:14 of giving a sign. There is nothing special or sign worthy of having a non-virgin having a child and bearing a son. Further, there is no textual confirmation of anyone named Immanuel. And we don’t even know who exactly who was the alma.[Isa 7:14 HNV] 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, an almah shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanu’el.
What textual support shows verse 14 was fulfilled as a sign? Or should it be dismissed altogether as a sign?
This means that Isaiah must be referring to a non-virgin when he uses the word “alma” in verse 14.
I’ve never claimed alma only refers to a virgin. I’ve claimed alma can refer to a virgin. Yes, with your interpretation, alma cannot refer to a virgin.
No, they were not asking for a sign that he was virgin-born. They were asking by what authority Jesus had to disrupt the temple.[Jhn 2:15-16, 18-19 NIV] 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” … 18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
Because Matt 1:23 and Isa 7:14 are separate verses.[Mat 1:23 ESV] 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
[Isa 7:14 ESV] 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Then who was the virgin who gave birth to the child whose early life timed the downfall of Pekah and Rezin?
That’s the problem, nobody really knows who the alma is. There’s several possible candidates: a prophetess (impregnated by Isaiah) and Ahaz’s wife. But neither really fits well.[Isa 8:3 KJV] 3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.
Who is the prophetess? How do we know she is a young unmarried woman? And the son’s name is Mahershalalhashbaz, not Immanuel.
There is no textual confirmation of Ahaz’s wife fulfilling the prophecy.
If every use of the word “alma” in the Tanakh refers to a virgin, then either:
I think the emphasis on alma being a virgin or not makes the water muddied. I’m not claiming alma necessitates being a virgin. But in the vast majority of cases, it does. Virginity is an inference from alma being an unmarried woman. Most unmarried woman were virgins. Yes, it could be possible an unmarried woman had a secret affair and lost her virginity, but that would be the exception.
In the few verses where almah appears, the word clearly denotes a young woman who is not married but is of marriageable age. Although almah does not implicitly denote virginity, it is never used in the Scriptures to describe a “young, presently married woman.” It is important to remember that in the Bible, a young Jewish woman of marriageable age was presumed to be chaste.
So, the primary meaning of alma is of a young unmarried woman, but it infers virginity.
The only way to avoid all of these scenarios is for Isaiah to be using the word “alma” to refer to a nonvirgin.
Even if it was a non-virgin, it’s problematic for it to refer to an unmarried young woman and be fulfilled. There is no textual confirmation of a young unmarried woman naming her child Immanuel.
And how would a sign of a son born from an unmarried young woman who is not a virgin be a sign from God? Wouldn’t this rather be a sign of fornication rather than a godly sign?
If there’s no passage in Christian text with anyone calling Jesus Immanuel, there’s no evidence of any “prophecy” being fulfilled there (you can’t use Matthew 1:23 to prove its own fulfillment.
My emphasis is not on someone being “called”. My emphasis is on a separate text showing another person being referred to as Immanuel. Where in the Tanakh has this textual confirmation?
What they don’t do is assign the prophecy another literal fulfillment. That’s what you’re trying to do with Isaiah 7
I’m not even sure it was literally fulfilled at the time of Isaiah since there’s no textual confirmation of anyone named Immanuel.
We can go on forever really about debating what does Isaiah 7 refer to. People have been debating this for thousands of years and it’s perhaps one of the most contentious and difficult passages to understand. One thing for sure, it’s not conclusive what it really means, both on the Jewish side and the Christian side.
Then what does alma mean if not a young unmarried female? All the usages of it refers to that:
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon … v/wlc/0-1/
There’s no instance of it referring to someone that’s pregnant.
The only other “Immanuel” you have to offer is the one proposed by the author of Matthew, and that “Immanuel” was born far too late for his early life to mark Pekah’s and Rezin’s fall. To disqualify the child born in Isaiah’s time from being Immanuel, you have to strike the entire passage above from scripture because Pekah and Rezin are explicitly and exclusively the kings Isaiah is referring to.
That’s why I go with a dual fulfillment. A single fulfillment does not satisfy who is Immanuel and who is the unmarried woman. And this is not a belief that is just made up by modern readers, but it is explicitly stated by Matthew.
Where have I changed a definition? As I’ve pointed out before, here’s the definition of alma:
virgin (4x), maid (2x), damsels (1x).
virgin, young woman
of marriageable age
maid or newly married”There is no instance where it can be proved that ‘almâ designates a young woman who is not a virgin. The fact of virginity is obvious in Gen 24:43 where ‘almâ is used of one who was being sought as a bride for Isaac.” (R. Laird Harris, et al. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, p. 672.)
Remember Rebekah? The text specifically says that she is a virgin. That’s why she’s referred to as a betulah, not just an alma.
Here’s the verse:[Gen 24:16 KJV] 16 And the damsel [was] very fair to look upon, a virgin(betula), neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
Damsel in the above verse is na’ara. This is a young woman that can either be a virgin or a non-virgin.
girl, damsel, female servant
girl, damsel, little girl
of young woman, marriageable young woman, concubine, prostitute
maid, female attendant, female servant
Alma is used later in the chapter, which is a repeat of verse 16 about meeting Rebekah, which confirms alma and betulah are equivalent.[Gen 24:43 KJV] 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;
You seem to have latched onto the notion of the alma being “unmarried” because Jews for Jesus suggested it, but “alma” still refers only to a young female.
Which most, if not all, would be virgins.
Actually, it can be interpreted to be the reverse. In verse 16:[Gen 24:16 KJV] 16 And the damsel [was] very fair to look upon, a virgin (betula), neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
When betula is mentioned, it immediately says “neither had any man known her”. If betula always means virgin, it is pointless to explain to readers what does a virgin mean. But if it simply means a young women, then it might mean she was not a virgin. So it then clarifies by stating no man has had sex with her.
Does it make any sense if I say, “She is a virgin, neither had anyone had sex with her.”? It would make more sense as, “She is a young girl, neither had anyone had sex with her.”
In verse 43, it does not give the parenthetical comment about no man has known her, So alma would automatically convey virginity without the need to comment “neither had any man known her”.[Gen 24:43 KJV] 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;
That’s your claim, but many things are ambiguous so it’s not totally clear.
First off, Ahaz declined for a sign. So why should the sign necessarily be for him?[Isa 7:11-12 KJV] 11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
Since it was a sign, there’s nothing special about a young woman (who is not a virgin) having a child. But if it was a virgin, then that would be a special sign.[Isa 7:14 KJV] 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.
We don’t know who specifically is named Immanuel. And we don’t know specifically who is the alma. We don’t even know the significance of “God is with us” since it’s more like God has left them since all of Israel and most of Judah was conquered by the Assyrians.
Another thing is in verse 16, land is singular, not plural.[Isa 7:16 KJV] 16 For 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.
Why would a single land be attributed to two foreign kings? Especially when they are kings of Israel and Syria?
The young woman Isaiah points out to Ahaz while they’re talking. She is in their presence at the time.
This is just a hypothetical person that you’re proposing.
I’m pointing out that if the alma pointed out by Isaiah is to be the mother of Immanuel and “alma” means “virgin”, the young woman Isaiah points out to Ahaz must be an earlier childbearing virgin.
And we don’t know who that person was. Another reason it’s not clear the prophecy had a near fulfillment in addition to what I mentioned above.
I’m asking specifically who is Immanuel’s mother? You have several candidates to choose from: the prophetess that Isaiah impregnated or one of Ahaz’s wife.
And I’ve pointed out that it doesn’t matter which of those two it is since neither of them is the mother of Jesus.
I’m giving you candidates for a near fulfillment, which is what you claim it had. My claim is it had a far fulfillment and Mary would be my answer.
Does Isa 7:16 explicitly or implicitly say who are the two kings?[Isa 7:16 KJV] 16 For 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.
It explicitly identifies the land of the two kings as the land Ahaz abhors [dreads]. The land he dreads is the Syria-Israel alliance, whose kings are Pekah and Rezin.
Again, you did not answer my question. The answer is it implicitly says who the two kings are. It does not explicitly say who the two kings are. So I’m justified in my interpretation since it’s not explicit.
You yourself pointed out that a pregnant woman who wasn’t married wouldn’t be a very godly sign.
If she was not a virgin then it would not be a godly sign. But if she was a virgin, then it can be a godly sign.
You use the assumption that Mary gave birth as a virgin to argue that Isaiah was stating that a virgin would give birth.
There’s no assumption on my part. It’s what the NT text explicitly says.[Luk 1:27 KJV] 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary.
If it was “the young woman”, what would that mean?
It would mean—-and does mean—-that Isaiah was directing Ahaz’s attention to a young woman who was present at the time.
Which is a hypothetical woman in your case. Who exactly is she?
Athetotheist wrote: ↑Mon Oct 23, 2023 11:59 pm You’re trying to argue that since we can’t know for sure whether Immanuel was born to the wife of the prophet or to the wife of the king, he must have been born to Mary 700 years after the event which his early life was supposed to foreshadow. That’s completely illogical and nothing more than wishful thinking.
Whose wishful thinking? It’s certainly not mine. I’m just presenting what Matthew and Luke says.[Mat 1:23 KJV] 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. [Luk 1:34 KJV] 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Now, if you think both Matthew and Luke were wishful thinking, then it could be a possibility. But it’s more likely it’s wishful thinking on the skeptic’s part on dismissing any credibility of the authors.
So, the Christian interpretation is justified since the Isa 7:14 account and the Matthew and Luke accounts are consistent. They align with each other and it is derived from a plain reading of scripture.
Ahaz declined for a sign. So why should the sign necessarily be for him?
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
For a near fulfillment, yes. But in a far fulfillment, he was addressing the Davidic line. We see this in the context of the previous verse:[Isa 7:13-14 KJV] 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 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.
The “land” is the alliance between Syria and Israel. It’s clear that the “land” consists of two lands because it has two kings.
From the viewpoint of a Jew, it would be strange to consider a foreign nation to be identified as the same land as your own. This was also only a temporary alliance to fight against the Assyrians. It’s not like they had any type of political agreement to unite as a single nation.
Why would a single land be attributed to two foreign kings?
That is indeed the question. What single land would have two kings?
Israel. With this view, it is honoring the land for the Jews since it’s only referring to Israel and not claiming any foreign power is also included.
Not hearsay. Not “testimony”. What was the sign? What could anyone see about Mary which identified her as a virginal mother?
There is no requirement to be so hyperliteral. Even in the near fulfillment case of the unknown alma giving birth to an unknown Immanuel, what evidence can we see of her giving birth to him? Where’s the empirical evidence?
The sign is simply a virgin having a child. There’s no requirement that if we don’t have empirical evidence for it, then even if a virgin had a child, it’s disqualified as a sign.
You can’t justify your “interpretation” unless you can explicitly identify which other two kings they would have been.
Well, the last king of Israel was Hoshea and the last king of Judah was Zedekiah.
You ignore the context of the chapter because it unravels the entire Christian narrative.
Actually I believe the opposite as I’ve extensively argued.
Now, I’m not completely dismissing a near fulfillment. But interestingly it has less support than a far fulfillment.
The assumption that the alma is not a virgin is based on the fact that Isaiah says she will give birth to Immanuel before the fall of Pekah and Rezin.
Well, how do you know she was not actually a virgin if we don’t know who she was?
If she was not a virgin and married, it could easily be a godly sign.
But it would not be anything special.
As I’ve said, the only verification we would have of it is the testimony of Mary and Joseph. If you do not accept that as a sign, then not really going to spend time to persuade you that it is.
But, what I do claim as a sign and what Jesus himself claimed as a sign was his resurrection. And of course with that we do have empirical evidence that anyone can see.
Here’s what I mean by a plain reading…
Why should the sign be addressed to Ahaz when Ahaz denies wanting a sign?
What is special about a sign of a non-virgin having a child? Why even call it a sign?
Why do contortions on Prov 30 to show that alma is an adulteress when all other passages refers to a virgin?
Who is the alma? Why use circular reasoning to say the mother of Immanuel is the mother of Immanuel?
What person specifically is named Immanuel?
Why is land singular?
Why doesn’t the text explicitly say who the two kings are?
You must be running out of arguments. I pointed out some time back that this is clearly addressed only to Ahaz, because Ahaz is the only one wearying Isaiah’s God.
Again, never said I denied a near fulfillment. I believe in a dual fulfillment.
The wording gives hints it is addressing more than Ahaz.
In verse 10, it specifically addresses Ahaz when asking for a sign. In verse 13, it addresses the house of David when presenting the sign.[Isa 7:10, 13 KJV] 10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, … 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
What two kings did Israel have?
The kings of northern Isreal and southern Israel.
My claim comes directly from a plain reading of the text, so it is your burden to answer.
You had asked, “Then who gives birth to the child who won’t know right from wrong before Pekah and Rezin—-the only two kings being discussed—-fall?”
As I mentioned, since I believe in a far fulfillment, the person who gives birth to Immanuel is Mary. I do not know who it would have been for a near fulfillment. As a matter of fact, nobody knows who the person would be for a near fulfillment. So, there is no plain reading of the text to be able to answer that question for a near fulfillment.
Are you so desperate to erase the prophecy of the fall of Pekah and Rezin that you would have Isaiah uttering a false prophecy? You would have to strike everything chapter 7 says about Pekah and Rezin.
I’m just using your same logic. You say there’s nothing we can see of Mary being a virgin or giving birth to Immanuel. All I’m saying is likewise there no evidence we can see of the alma giving birth to an Immanuel. As a matter of fact, we have nothing we can see that such an alma exists for a near fulfillment.
And you can’t just argue it must’ve happened because otherwise Isaiah would’ve been a false prophet. It’s not presenting anything that we can see.
Bottom line, I’m disputing the requirement that fulfilling a sign requires something that is directly seen with anyones’ eyes.
And even if Hoshea and Zedekiah were the two kings in Isaiah 7:16, what did they have to do with the birth of Jesus?
The land of Israel no longer had kingly lines before Jesus was a child.
Then who are the two kings whose fall is preceded by the birth of the child Immanuel, if not Pekah and Rezin? (Hoshea and Zedekiah have already been ruled out.)
For a near fulfillment, it would be Pekah and Rezin.
Well, how do you know she was not actually a virgin if we don’t know who she was?
Since Isaiah says that the early life of her child will herald the fall of Pekah and Rezin, we know when she lived.
You didn’t answer the question. But the answer is we don’t know.
It would as a sign of the fall of Pekah and Rezin.
Then what is the entire point of uttering Isa 7:14?[Isa 7:14 KJV] 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.
Now, the fall of Pekah and Rezin taking place before the birth of Jesus 700 years after they lived—-that was nothing special.
Never claimed the fall of Pekah and Rezin has anything to do with a far fulfillment. However, it would be very serious for Israel to have no kings at all.
When Jesus said that every jot and tittle of the law was to be kept and then violated the command not to add to the law by saying, “Do not swear at all”, he was contradicting himself.
Only if there’s a command that says one must swear would it be a contradiction. Is there such a command?
There’s nothing special of the fall of Rezin and Pekah in the far fulfillment. But, it would be tragic for there to be no kings in the entire land of Israel.
Nobody’s claiming there’s any empirical evidence of Mary’s virginity. But, there is testimonial evidence. Simply you not accepting testimonial evidence does not mean there’s no evidence.
It would be a completely different matter if Matthew and Luke did not mention Mary being a virgin. Then I would be completely making it up with no evidence. And this is the case of the near fulfillment where there is no textual evidence who is the alma or who is the Immanuel.
If you’re disputing the requirement that a sign be observable, then you’re disputing the requirement that a sign be a sign.
A sign wouldn’t be a sign if it didn’t happen or we can’t confirm it happened. We have confirmation Mary was a virgin by the testimony of Joseph and Mary as recorded in Matthew and Luke.
Is it strong evidence? I wouldn’t classify it as that. It could be Mary, Joseph, Matthew, and Luke are all in collusion and making it all up. But again, it’s doubtful.
A fulfillment in the time of Jesus would have had nothing to do with Hoshea or Zedekiah, so they are irrelevant.
It’s relevant because at the time of Jesus there were no Davidic kings in Israel.
Right. So what did Hoshea and Zedekiah have to do with the birth of Jesus?
You had asked me who are the last kings, so I answered that. The point is there were no more kings in the land at that time.