Who was Emmanuel in the Bible – Emmanuel is a significant figure mentioned in the Bible, particularly in the Old and New Testaments. This name, which translates to “God is with us,” holds great importance in Christianity as it is associated with the prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ. Understanding who Emmanuel is in the biblical context provides insight into the prophecies surrounding Jesus’s life and his role as the savior of humanity.
The prophecy of Emmanuel can be found in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, where God promised that a virgin would bear a child, and his name would be Emmanuel. This prophecy is oftentimes interpreted as the prediction of the birth of Jesus Christ, who came to save humankind from sin. In the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew refers to Emmanuel as a fulfillment of the prophecy, emphasizing Jesus’s divine role in Christianity.
Table of Contents
- Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us,” is a figure in the Bible associated with the prophecy of Jesus Christ’s birth.
- The prophecy of Emmanuel is found in the Book of Isaiah and is believed to predict the coming of Jesus as the savior.
- In Christianity, Emmanuel represents the divine presence of Jesus Christ and his role in the salvation of humanity.
Who is Emmanuel in the Bible
- Emmanuel was the name prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 for a child that would be born to a young woman.
- The name Emmanuel directly translates to “God with us” in Hebrew.
- The prophecy stated that before the child Emmanuel was old enough to know right from wrong, the lands of the two kings threatening Judah would be laid waste.
- This sign was meant to comfort King Ahaz of Judah and assure him that God would protect the nation.
- Christians believe the prophecy was fulfilled through the virgin birth of Jesus to Mary.
- Jesus took on the human name “Immanuel” or “Emmanuel” at his conception by being born of a virgin.
- As Emmanuel, Jesus was understood to be both fully God and fully human – God coming to dwell among his people in the flesh.
- His name demonstrated that God was personally present with humanity in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled the meaning of Emmanuel by reconciling God and humanity.
- Christians see Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of the Emmanuel prophecy, bringing the divine presence to dwell permanently with humankind.
Role in Isaiah
Emmanuel, also spelled as Immanuel, is a name that appears in the Hebrew Bible, specifically in the book of Isaiah. The name means “God is with us” and is a key symbol in understanding the relationship between God and the people of Israel. In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah speaks to King Ahaz of Judah about a sign that will be given to them by God. This sign is the birth of a son to a young woman, and this child shall be called Immanuel. The birth of this child is a confirmation of God’s presence and protection amidst the political turmoil faced during King Ahaz’s reign.
In the context of Isaiah’s prophecy, Immanuel represents hope and reassurance for the people of Israel that God remains with them during difficult times. The prophecy also ties Emmanuel to the Davidic lineage of kings, as Ahaz was a descendant of King David.
Role in Matthew
The gospel of Matthew in the New Testament presents Emmanuel as an important title for Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:23, the prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 is referenced and applied specifically to Jesus, suggesting that He is the embodiment of “God with us.” According to the gospel, an angel instructed Joseph to name the baby “Jesus” and explained that he shall be called “Emmanuel” as well. This establishes a connection between Jesus and the Old Testament prophecy, positioning Him as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s words.
Throughout the gospel, the presence of Jesus as Emmanuel is emphasized in many ways, such as the miracles He performed and the teachings He provided. In the book of Matthew, Jesus’ role as Emmanuel signifies the peak of God’s presence among His people, exemplifying the ultimate expression of divine love and connection.
By linking Jesus to the Emmanuel prophecy, the gospel of Matthew showcases the significance of His birth and mission, highlighting that Jesus Christ is the anticipated Immanuel, the manifestation of God’s presence on Earth. This connection further reaffirms the belief in the divinity of Christ and the special bond between God and His people.
Understanding the Prophecy:
The prophecy of Emanuel comes from Isaiah 7:10-16. In this passage, the prophet Isaiah is speaking to King Ahaz of Judah during a time when the kingdom was threatened by enemies. Isaiah prophesies that God would give Ahaz a sign, which was that a young woman would conceive and bear a son, and name him Emanuel.
Significance of the Virgin Birth:
The significance of the virgin birth prophecy is that Emanuel would be born of a virgin, which Christians understand as fulfilled by the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary. This signified that Jesus was divine as well as human.
Here is a table comparing the importance of the prophecy of Emmanuel to Jews versus its fulfillment in Jesus:
|Importance to Jews||Fulfillment in Jesus|
|Provided assurance that God would deliver Judah from its enemies through a promised sign.||Christians believe Jesus fulfilled the prophecy by being born of a virgin as the incarnate God who dwelt among humanity.|
|Signified God’s ongoing presence would be with the people of Judah for protection and deliverance.||Through his life and ministry, Jesus demonstrated God’s loving presence and salvation for all people, not just the Jews.|
|Prophecy focused on near-term deliverance of Judah from Syrian and Israelite invasion.||Jesus’ life, death and resurrection achieved the ultimate and eternal deliverance of humankind from sin and death.|
|Name “Emmanuel” meant God would be with His people in their earthly land of Judah.||“Emmanuel” took on a broader meaning as God being with and saving all nations through Jesus, not just the Jews in their homeland.|
|Temporal significance for assurance during a specific military threat.||Eternal theological significance as God incarnate in the person of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us forever.|
|Prophecy had conditional nature based on response of Judah’s king.||Fulfillment in Jesus was not conditional but established God’s unconditional love and salvation for all.|
|Significance for Jews was national and political deliverance.||Significance through Jesus is personal salvation, reconciliation with God for all people regardless of ethnicity or nation|
King Ahaz and the Sign:
King Ahaz did not believe the prophecy and did not want a sign from God. But Isaiah gave the prophecy anyway, telling Ahaz that God himself would give the sign – that a virgin would conceive. This sign was meant to comfort Ahaz and assure him that God would protect Judah.
Omen and Hope:
The prophecy of Emanuel brought both an omen (warning to enemies) and hope (assurance for Judah). It warned that God would defeat Ahaz’s enemies, but also assured the people that God would be with them as Emanuel, whose name means “God with us.”
The Meaning and Interpretation of Emanuel:
Emanuel literally means “God with us” in Hebrew. Christians interpret this name, given to Jesus, as signifying his divine nature as fully God and fully human – that God was with his people in the person of Jesus.
Interpretation in Hebrew:
In Hebrew, “Emanuel” combines the words “Immanu” meaning “with us” and “El” meaning God, directly translating to “God with us.” This refers to the divine presence that would be with Judah.
Interpretation in Greek:
When translated to Greek in the Septuagint, “Emanuel” became “Emmanuel.” This is the name used in the Gospel of Matthew when recounting the fulfillment of this prophecy in Jesus’ virgin birth.
Emanuels Implication in Christianity:
Christians believe Jesus fulfilled the Emanuel prophecy by being born of a virgin. As Emanuel, Jesus was the manifestation of God being fully present with humanity in a personal way through the incarnation.
Here is a table of facts about the virgin birth of Jesus:
|Prophesied in the Old Testament||The virgin birth was prophesied centuries earlier in Isaiah 7:14 which said “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son.”|
|Fulfilled in the New Testament||Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38 directly state that Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit.|
|Mary was a virgin||Both Gospels emphasize Mary had not yet known a man sexually when she became pregnant with Jesus.|
|Conceived by the Holy Spirit||The angel Gabriel told Mary the child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit, not through human means.|
|Born of the line of David||Fulfilling prophecy, Jesus was born through the line of David as Joseph was of the house and lineage of David.|
|Given the name Jesus||The name Jesus means “the Lord saves” which is significant as he came to save people from their sins.|
|Born in Bethlehem||As prophesied by Micah, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, though he grew up in Nazareth with Joseph and Mary.|
|A sign and wonder||The virgin birth showed Jesus was both fully God and fully human, the sign of God dwelling among his people.|
|Attested by shepherds||Shepherds were among the first to see the baby Jesus after being divinely led to the manger by an angel.|
Fulfilling Old Testament Prophecy:
The birth and life of Jesus is seen as the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, including this one in Isaiah about the virgin birth of Emanuel. It shows how God kept his promises through the coming of the Messiah.
Significance to Christmas:
The prophecy of Emanuel and its fulfillment in Jesus’ birth is hugely significant to Christmas, as it establishes the theological meaning of the incarnation – that God came to dwell with humanity in the person of Jesus at Christmas.
Emanuels Presence in the Modern Day Church:
While not often directly referenced, the promise and reality of “God with us” through Jesus is still foundational to Christian faith and the modern church. God continues to be present through the Holy Spirit dwelling in believers.
In Christian Litergy:
The name Emanuel and its meaning as “God with us” shows up frequently in traditional Christian hymns, prayers, and liturgy. It is a reminder of God’s ongoing presence through Jesus at the center of Christian worship.
Best Bible Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
Below is a table featuring some highly regarded Bible Encyclopedias and Dictionaries along with their publishers and websites where they can be found or purchased.
|The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia||Eerdmans||Eerdmans|
|Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary||Zondervan||Zondervan|
|Easton’s Bible Dictionary||Thomas Nelson||Thomas Nelson|
|Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary||B&H Publishing Group||B&H Publishing Group|
|The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary||Moody Publishers||Moody Publishers|
|HarperCollins Bible Dictionary||HarperOne||HarperOne|
|Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words||Thomas Nelson||Thomas Nelson|
You can generally find these resources on the publishers’ websites, as well as other online book retailers such as Amazon or Christianbook. It’s always good practice to confirm availability and review additional details on the specific websites or other reliable online bookstores.Purpose of Life Launcher by Gregory Gaines