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Holman Bible Dictionary

Immanuel

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(ihm man' yoo ehl)Personal name meaning, “God with us.” Name of son to be born in Isaiah's prophecy to King Ahaz (Isaiah 7:14 ) and fulfilled in birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:22-23 ).

When King Ahaz refused to show his faith by asking God for a sign (Isaiah 7:10-12 ), Isaiah gave him a sign of the birth of Immanuel, using the traditional form of a birth announcement (Isaiah 7:14 ; compare Genesis 16:11 ; Judges 13:3 ,Judges 13:3,13:5 ). The Hebrew language apparently indicates that the prophet and king expected an immediate fulfillment. Recent study has pointed to Ahaz's wife as the woman expected to bear the child and show that God was still with the Davidic royal dynasty even in the midst of severe threat from Assyria. Such a sign would give hope to a king who trusted God but would be a constant threat to one who followed his own strategy. The double meaning of the Immanuel sign appears again in Isaiah 8:8 . The Assyrian army would flood the land until Judah was up to its neck in trouble and could only cry out, “O Immanuel”; a cry confessing that God is with us in His destructive rage but at the same time a prayer, hoping for divine intervention. Isaiah followed this with a call to the nations to lose in battle because of Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 8:10 ).

The Bible says nothing else about the effects of the Immanuel prophecy in the days of Isaiah and Ahaz. It does announce the great fulfillment in Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:22-23 ). Jesus' birth showed all humanity that God is faithful to fulfill His promises in ways far beyond human expectations; for Jesus was not just a sign of God with us. Jesus was God become flesh, God incarnate, God with us in Person.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Immanuel'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/i/immanuel.html. 1991.

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