Virgin Birth Prophecy?

Did the prophet Isaiah predict that Christ would be born of a virgin as described in the opening chapters of Matthew's gospel?

      The gospel of Matthew opens with a falsified genealogy. After being this nimble, the Matthew account then proceeds to twist and pervert a mistranslated verse from Isaiah found in the Greek Septuagint. By twist and pervert I mean that the verse is obviously taken out of context and then employed as ‘a prophecy of Christ' and, in particular, for reasons peculiar to one segment of the Matthew community and their ideological outlook, as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. They then prove to be equally nimble in proceeding to make up a story no person on the face of the earth has ever heard of, Herod's massacre of babies, to explain why Christ's good Jewish family were forced to live up North in Gentile dog country, and then they prove to be equally nimble in making up a false prophecy no one else ever heard of (‘he shall be called a Nazarene') to help justify the story. They are forced to be nimble with this ‘virgin birth prophecy', and twist the meaning of this particular passage in Isaiah and employ it is ‘a prophecy of the virgin birth' simply because they are really, really hard up for prophecies of Christ that they can use to support their ideological position in this matter, thus forcing them to go looking for a passage, any passage they can find to defend their doctrine. First the Matthew gospel tells us that Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant before they got married, but an angel came and told him that it was alright, because she got pregnant from the Holy Ghost. Furthermore, Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary until after the time that the child was born, thus, the gospel makes clear, this was a virgin birth for sure.

"All this took place to fulfill what YAHWEH had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of YAHWEH commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Joshua." (Matthew chapter 1 verse 22)

      The word ‘virgin' in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew scriptures is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word ‘almah' (translated ‘virgin' in the passage in Isaiah in the Septuagint) is a generic term that refers to a girl or any young woman, married or unmarried, virgin or not. The Hebrew language has a specific term used to refer to a virgin, and that word is ‘betulah,' employed in many other passages, and correctly translated as ‘virgin' (this example of ‘almah' becoming ‘virgin' being that one example of when a word must be incorrectly translated for doctrinal reasons, simply because the nimble Matthew gospel used the mistranslated version as ‘a prophecy of Christ.')

      This is only the first problem with Matthew's virgin birth prophecy. The passage is not only mistranslated, it is also ripped out of context. You see that passage has nothing to do with the future messiah, and certainly nothing to do with a virgin birth, but as I noted above, someone is being particularly nimble, especially when they are hard up for a line of prophecy, and the fact that no such prophecy is found in Isaiah does not stop such a nimble verse quoter.

      When you actually put that (mistranslated) stripped out single verse back into context in Isaiah, what it actually means is as follows. Around 742 B.C.E. the King of Judea, King Ahaz, was under threat of attack by an alliance of Rezim, the King of Aram, and Pekah, the King of Israel. Although their planned attack against Jerusalem did not at first succeed, Ahaz was fearful of their future plots against his kingdom. The prophet Isaiah then attempted to calm the king, and he proved to be an astute analyzer of the current political situation. He prophesied to the King that a young woman would have a child, and before the child was old enough to tell right from wrong, both Pekah and Rezim would get their comeuppance at the hand of the Assyrians. The young woman would call the child ‘Immanuel' which means, ‘YAHWEH is with us,' and as the King saw those two Kings being destroyed by the rising power of Assyria, he would know that God was with them. (Note that the Matthew gospel twists this part in using this line of prophecy, to read ‘they shall call his name Immanuel' since it was obvious that Mary called his name ‘Joshua', not Immanuel, and someone was going to have call his name ‘Immanuel', so ‘they' did, in Matthew's nimble style of using prophecy.) As the prophecy was in the process of being fulfilled, Isaiah named his next child Maher-shalal-hashbaz., which means, ‘the spoil speedeth, the prey hasteth.' In other words, these prophecies would be hurriedly fulfilled and not delayed (for centuries, as in the Matthew gospel's forced interpretation). The prophecy was for Isaiah's time, and was directed at the King of Judah (as Isaiah told him, that was a sign for the King of Judah at that time). The prophecy was also poetic, and not strictly literal, as the child ‘Immanuel' was 10 years old when the kingdom ruled at that time by Rezim fell to the Assyrians, and 21 years old when Israel fell. So we actually have two children given prophetic names in this prophecy, both Immanuel and Maher-shalal-hashbaz and both children were given prophetic names significant to the times they lived in, as the unfolding nature of the prophecy is described in Isaiah in the verses that follow. (The Matthew author had no use for Maher-shalal-hashbaz, and so that child goes unmentioned. But then they had no use for the whole rest of that prophecy, no use for that second concluding reference to that child ‘Immanuel' at the end of the prophecy, the entirety of the prophecy not being much of a ‘prophecy of Christ' after all. They just needed that one line.)

"And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it; but could not prevail against it ... Then said YAHWEH unto Isaiah: ‘Go forth now to meet Ahaz ... and say unto him: Keep calm, and be quiet; fear not, neither let thy heart be faint, because of these two tails of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and of the son of Remaliah ... ‘Ask thee a sign of YAHWEH thy God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.' But Ahaz said: ‘I will not ask, neither will I try YAHWEH.' And he said: ‘Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also? Therefore YAHWEH Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ... Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou hast a horror of shall be forsaken ... And it shall come to pass in that day, that YAHWEH shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria ... And YAHWEH said unto me: ‘Take thee a great tablet, and write upon it in common script: The spoil speedeth, the prey hasteth ... And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bore a son. Then said YAHWEH unto me: ‘Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz.For before the child shall have knowledge to cry: My father, and: My mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be carried away before the king of Assyria.' ... Now therefore, behold, YAHWEH bringeth up upon them the waters of the River, mighty and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks ... And he shall sweep through Judah overflowing as he passeth through he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel." (Isaiah chapter 7 verse 1)

      On consideration of this matter it should be obvious to anyone who is not fond of dogmas, and has a truly open mind, that the single verse taken out of context and twisted and perverted to become a 'prophecy of Christ' was no prophecy of Christ, but rather something else was going on here. Follow the links to the following pages to find out exactly what it was...

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