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Isiah 7:14
#1
Hi, my name Sarah.  I am not Jewish but I am a born again Christian.  I have a friend who is Jewish and lives in Jerusalem.  She and I have recently been discussing our faiths through email.  It is a friendly and open discussion and we are each learning a great deal.  One thing she has mentioned a couple times and that I have no real knowledge of is Isiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (NAS version)."     I have very little back ground in Hebrew, but she has told me that in the Hebrew the word is not virgin but simply maiden. She says she has no idea why it's been translated as virgin in the English, but she finds this a gross mistranslation, wrong, and feels that this a huge flaw in the Christian beliefs -obviously w/o the virgin birth you negate a huge fundamental factor of the Christian faith.   Can someone explain this to me?  I would like to understand it for myself and more importantly I wish to be able to explain it to her.  I saw that there is another post on this, however, w/ kids running around I only had a chance to read the couple of posts in it.  To be quite honest, as I have very little back ground in the Jewish faith and know very little Hebrew, I really was lost on the 1st post in that thread as I don't know what a lot of the words they referred to mean.  I do plan on looking at it more closely and hopefully I can find some answers there, but I thought if anyone could explain it in terms that I as a non-Jew, w/o a Jewish or Hebrew background could understand it might help some.  Thank you in advance.
#2
blue_aphalt Wrote:Hi, my name Sarah.  I am not Jewish but I am a born again Christian.  I have a friend who is Jewish and lives in Jerusalem.  She and I have recently been discussing our faiths through email.  It is a friendly and open discussion and we are each learning a great deal.  One thing she has mentioned a couple times and that I have no real knowledge of is Isiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (NAS version)."     I have very little back ground in Hebrew, but she has told me that in the Hebrew the word is not virgin but simply maiden. She says she has no idea why it's been translated as virgin in the English, but she finds this a gross mistranslation, wrong, and feels that this a huge flaw in the Christian beliefs -obviously w/o the virgin birth you negate a huge fundamental factor of the Christian faith.   Can someone explain this to me?  I would like to understand it for myself and more importantly I wish to be able to explain it to her.  I saw that there is another post on this, however, w/ kids running around I only had a chance to read the couple of posts in it.  To be quite honest, as I have very little back ground in the Jewish faith and know very little Hebrew, I really was lost on the 1st post in that thread as I don't know what a lot of the words they referred to mean.  I do plan on looking at it more closely and hopefully I can find some answers there, but I thought if anyone could explain it in terms that I as a non-Jew, w/o a Jewish or Hebrew background could understand it might help some.  Thank you in advance.

You can have your friend read this thread which is about isaiah 7:14


http://forums.jewsforjesus.org/showthread.php?tid=108


also you can read this also


http://www.tektonics.org/guest/antianti.html#four
#3
Blue_aphalt,

Welcome to the forum. I am Jewish and would ask you this. Please read the entire chapter of Isaiah 7 in context. The way it is supposed to be read. Then let me know if you think it is about a "virgin" birth to be in the next couple of hundred years. What kind of "sign" is that for King Ahaz?

You can even read the xtian version where the word virgin is used and tell me if it makes sense. If not, substitute the word maiden as it is written in the Hebrew bibles.

I'm sure you will receive plenty of reasons why it is virgin and it is a prophecy, from many on this forum. But the best thing to do is to read it for yourself and come to a conclusion.
#4
blue_aphalt, Shalom, and welcome.

From what I understand, your friend is correct, and the Hebrew word does mean maiden, and not the word for 'virgin.'  However, from the Hebrew/Jewish writings, a maiden was what a female was called when at marrying age, and virginity is a foregone conclusion of eligibility for 'bride-price.'  This may not be a good example, but the 'Hyman,' being in tact, is also called the 'maiden-head.' (qualifier: at least that was the case the last time I heard, about fifty years ago)

You might ask your friend to share with you her definition for virgin, and maiden.  So often, when translating from Hebrew into English, the translator attempts to use 'one word' to express 'one' Hebrew word, which often is impossible.  Ask her which English word she feels would best describe maiden, and still encompass all the  spiritual and social aspects expected of that person called 'maiden,' some two-thousand years ago.

Good Luck, and again, welcome.

In Messiah, His shalom.  Arley
#5
hey I hope your doing on in your study.

did you check out J.p holding article?  it covers isaiah 7 front and back
#6
I read all of your replies yesterday but did not have a chance to reply. Thank you each for your answers and thoughts.  

Sugarman, Yes, I am still studying and learning.  The J. P. Holding article you mentioned, that is the Tektonics link you gave?  I didn't see an authors name on that article but I'm assuming that is the one you are referring to?  I have not had the time to sit down and read it all the way through.  I have skimmed some of it and hopefully today while my kids are napping I will have a chance to read it all the way through.   I will let you know what I think.   Thank you again.
#7
You may want to ask her the importance of the virgin birth...why the Messiah had to be born of a virgin.  
#8
blue_aphalt Wrote:I read all of your replies yesterday but did not have a chance to reply. Thank you each for your answers and thoughts.  

Sugarman, Yes, I am still studying and learning.  The J. P. Holding article you mentioned, that is the Tektonics link you gave?  I didn't see an authors name on that article but I'm assuming that is the one you are referring to?  I have not had the time to sit down and read it all the way through.  I have skimmed some of it and hopefully today while my kids are napping I will have a chance to read it all the way through.   I will let you know what I think.   Thank you again.

yes that the One Tektonics.

make sure you read the other to ok? god bless Smile
#9
blue_aphalt Wrote:...... I thought if anyone could explain it in terms that I as a non-Jew, w/o a Jewish or Hebrew background could understand it might help some.  Thank you in advance.

Hi Sarah - many blessings and peace to you.

I remember having this debate a long time ago before I became a Christian with a Jewish friend when I was in Egypt.

I discovered the original Hebrew word was `almah  which means 1) virgin, young woman 1a) of marriageable age 1b) maid or newly married; traditionally, “virgin.” Because this verse from Isaiah is quoted in Matthew 1:23 in connection with Jesus’ birth, the Isaiah passage has been regarded since the earliest Christian times as a prophecy of Christ’s virgin birth. Much debate has taken place over the best way to translate this Hebrew term, although ultimately one’s view of the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ is unaffected. Though the Hebrew word used here (עַלְמָה, ’almah) can sometimes refer to a woman who is a virgin (Genesis 24:43), it does not carry this meaning inherently. The word is simply the feminine form of the corresponding masculine noun עֶלֶם (’elem, “young man”; see 1 Samuel 17:56 & 20:22). The Aramaic and Ugaritic cognate terms are both used of women who are not virgins. The word seems to pertain to age, not sexual experience, and would normally be translated “young woman.” The LXX translator(s) who later translated the Book of Isaiah into Greek sometime between the second and first century BC however, rendered the Hebrew term by the more specific Greek word παρθένος (parqenos), which does mean “virgin” in a technical sense. This is the Greek term that also appears in the citation of Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:23. Therefore, regardless of the meaning of the term in the Old Testament context, in the New Testament Matthew’s usage of the Greek term παρθένος clearly indicates that from his perspective a virgin birth has taken place.

David
#10
Being a Christian, I really have no problem with Jesus' virgin birth, but would like to comment.  

One interesting point, is that Isaiah uses the term for virgin "betulah" elsewhere in Isaiah, but not here.  So, it would seem that he obviously knew the difference.  

I had very lively conversation with a Jewish webmaster on this verse years ago, who actually yelled at me to "read the context!" At least the type was all in caps!  :lol:   It took me a long time to do just that!  It amazed me how I could zero in on just one verse and not see the context at all!!!   How many other times do I, or anyone, do that?  In any event, both of us still have our own basic belief on the subject.  

A virgin birth would not seem to be of any significance whatsoever to Ahaz whether it be in his time or any other time.  It seemed that Ahaz was implicitly concerned about his own welfare about an impending battle, and rightfully so.  However, God in His mercy, through Isaiah, instructed him to not be afraid or lose heart.  Praise be His Name!

I take this as a double prophecy, one for him . . .  with a real young woman about to give birth . . and before he grew old enough to reject bad, and choose good, "the ground whose two kings you dread shall be abandoned."  

. . . and the other, that there would be a real virgin birth, and whose name would be Immanu-el = "God with us," came as Jesus, in flesh and blood -- truly 'with us'.    

The term "almah" or young woman, at least with how we would interpret the latter, could mean either virgin or not, e.g., a teenage girl is a young woman, and may or may not be a virgin, and quite possibly, was the reason that Isaiah, with God's inspiration, chose that term, to cover both events.  That is how I see it.  



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