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23“必有童女怀孕生子,他的名要叫以马内利。”以马内利就是“ 神与我们同在”的意思。
23Behold, 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.
23 Verse 23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child] We have

already seen, from the preceding verse, that this prophecy is

taken from Isa 7:14; but it may be necessary to consider the

circumstances of the original promise more particularly. At the

time referred to, the kingdom of Judah, under the government of

Ahaz, was reduced very low. Pekah, king of Israel, had slain in

Judea 120,000 persons in one day, and carried away captives

200,000, including women and children, together with much spoil.

To add to their distress, Rezin, king of Syria, being confederate

with Pekah, had taken Elath, a fortified city of Judah, and

carried the inhabitants away captive to Damascus. In this

critical conjuncture, need we wonder that Ahaz was afraid that the

enemies who were now united against him must prevail, destroy

Jerusalem, and the kingdom of Judah, and annihilate the family of

David! To meet and remove this fear, apparently well grounded,

Isaiah is sent from the Lord to Ahaz, swallowed up now both by

sorrow and by unbelief, in order to assure him that the counsels

of his enemies should not stand; and that they should be utterly

discomfited. To encourage Ahaz, he commands him to ask a sign or

miracle, which should be a pledge in hand, that God should, in due

time, fulfil the predictions of his servant, as related in the

context. On Ahaz humbly refusing to ask any sign, it is

immediately added, 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, &c. Both

the Divine and human nature of our Lord, as well as the miraculous

conception, appear to be pointed out in the prophecy quoted here

by the evangelist:-He shall be called IM-MENU-EL;

literally, The STRONG GOD WITH US: similar to those words in the

New Testament:-The Word which was God-was made flesh, and dwelt

among us, full of grace and truth: Joh 1:1, 14.

And, God was manifested in the flesh: 1Ti 3:16. So that we are

to understand, God with us, to imply God incarnated-God in human

nature. This seems farther evident from the words of the prophet,

Isa 7:15.

Butter and honey shall he eat-he shall be truly man, grow up and

be nourished in a human, natural way; which refers to his being

WITH US, i.e. incarnated. To which the prophet adds, That he may

know to refuse the evil and choose the good:-or rather, According

to his knowledge, le-daato, reprobating the evil, and

choosing the good. This refers to him as GOD; and is the same

idea given by this prophet, Isa 53:11:

By (or in) his knowledge (the knowledge of Christ crucified,

be-dadto) shall my righteous servant sanctify many; for he shall

bear their offences. Now this union of the Divine and human

nature is termed a sign or miracle, oth, i.e. something

which exceeds the power of nature to produce. And this miraculous

union was to be brought about in a miraculous way: Behold a VIRGIN

shall conceive: the word is very emphatic, ha-almah, THE

virgin; the only one that ever was, or ever shall be, a mother in

this way. But the Jews, and some called Christians, who have

espoused their desperate cause, assert, that "the word almah

does not signify a VIRGIN only; for it is applied, Pr 30:19, to

signify a young married woman." I answer, that this latter text

is no proof of the contrary doctrine: the words derec

geber be-almah, the way of a man with a maid, cannot be proved to

mean that for which it is produced: beside, one of De Rossi's MSS.

reads be-almaiu, the way of a strong, or stout, man

( geber) IN HIS YOUTH; and in this reading the Syriac,

Septuagint, Vulgate, and Arabic agree, which are followed by the

first version in the English language, as it stands in a MS. in my

own possession-the weie of a man in his waring youthe; so that

this place, the only one that can with any probability of success

be produced, were the interpretation contended for correct, which

I am by no means disposed to admit, proves nothing. Beside, the

consent of so many versions in the opposite meaning deprives it of

much of its influence in this question.



The word almah, comes from alam, to lie hid,

be concealed; and we are told that "virgins were so called,

because they were concealed or closely kept up in their fathers'

houses, till the time of their marriage." This is not correct:

see the case of Rebecca, Ge 24:43, and my note there: that of

Rachel, Ge 29:6, 9, and the note there also: and see the case of

Miriam, the sister of Moses, Ex 2:8, and also the Chaldee

paraphrase on La 1:4,

where the virgins are represented as going out in the dance. And

see also the whole history of Ruth. This being concealed, or kept

at home, on which so much stress is laid, is purely fanciful; for

we find that young unmarried women drew water, kept sheep, gleaned

publicly in the fields, &c., &c., and the same works they perform

among the Turcomans to the present day. This reason, therefore,

does not account for the radical meaning of the word; and we must

seek it elsewhere. Another well known and often used root in the

Hebrew tongue will cast light on this subject. This is galah,

which signifies to reveal, make manifest, or uncover, and is often

applied to matrimonial connections, in different parts of the

Mosaic law: alam, therefore, may be considered as implying the

concealment of the virgin, as such, till lawful marriage had

taken place. A virgin was not called almah, because she was

concealed by being kept at home in her father's house, which is

not true, but literally and physically, because, as a woman, she

had not been uncovered-she had not known man. This fully applies

to the blessed virgin: see Lu 1:34.

"How can this be, seeing I know no man?" and this text throws much

light on the subject before us. This also is in perfect agreement

with the ancient prophecy, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the

head of the serpent," Ge 3:15; for the person who was to

destroy the work of the devil was to be the progeny of the woman,

without any concurrence of the man. And, hence, the text in

Genesis speaks as fully of the virgin state of the person, from

whom Christ, according to the flesh, should come, as that in the

prophet, or this in the evangelist. According to the original

promise, there was to be a seed, a human being, who should destroy

sin; but this seed or human being must come from the woman ALONE;

and no woman ALONE, could produce such a human being, without

being a virgin. Hence, A virgin shall bear a son, is the very

spirit and meaning of the original text, independently of the

illustration given by the prophet; and the fact recorded by the

evangelist is the proof of the whole. But how could that be a

sign to Ahaz, which was to take place so many hundreds of years

after? I answer, the meaning of the prophet is plain: not only

Rezin and Pekah should be unsuccessful against Jerusalem at that

time, which was the fact; but Jerusalem, Judea, and the house of

David, should be both preserved, notwithstanding their depressed

state, and the multitude of their adversaries, till the time

should come when a VIRGIN should bear a son. This is a most

remarkable circumstance-the house of David could never fail, till

a virgin should conceive and bear a son-nor did it: but when that

incredible and miraculous fact did take place, the kingdom and

house of David became extinct! This is an irrefragable

confutation of every argument a Jew can offer in vindication of

his opposition to the Gospel of Christ. Either the prophecy in

Isaiah has been fulfilled, or the kingdom and house of David are

yet standing. But the kingdom of David, we know, is destroyed:

and where is the man, Jew or Gentile, that can show us a single

descendant of David on the face of the earth? The prophecy could

not fail-the kingdom and house of David have failed; the virgin,

therefore, must have brought forth her son-and this son is Jesus,

the Christ. Thus Moses, Isaiah, and Matthew concur; and facts,

the most unequivocal, have confirmed the whole! Behold the wisdom

and providence of God!



Notwithstanding what has been said above, it may be asked, In

what sense could this name Immanuel be applied to Jesus Christ, if

he be not truly and properly GOD? Could the Spirit of truth ever

design that Christians should receive him as an angel or a mere

man, and yet, in the very beginning of the Gospel history, apply a

character to him which belongs only to the most high God? Surely

no. In what sense, then, is Christ GOD WITH US? Jesus is called

Immanuel, or God with us, in his incarnation.-God united to our

nature-God with man-God in man.-God with us, by his continual

protection.-God with us, by the influences of his Holy Spirit-in

the holy sacrament-in the preaching of his word-in private

prayer. And God with us, through every action of our life, that

we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to

comfort, enlighten, protect, and defend us in every time of

temptation and trial, in the hour of death, in the day of

judgment; and God with us, and in us, and we with and in

him, to all eternity.