Merry Christmas all of you good people!
I know I said I was going to continue our fascinating study on our closest celestial object, the moon, but seeing that it is Christmas, I thought we would touch on a subject closer to our Savior’s birth.
The prophecy written in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” was written in Hebrew. But does the Hebrew word for “virgin” actually translate as virgin? The Hebrew word is almah, and indeed it can be translated as “young woman” or “young maiden” or “virgin”. However there are several problems with the young woman/maiden translation.
First, and most obvious is many, many young women (maidens) bare children all the time. Quite a few even younger than Mary was! This is nothing new, or unique or supernatural that would warrant a prophetic revelation. Second, if the prophet indeed did intend the meaning of “young woman” then a whole slew of young women, by now, could and would have proclaimed they were carrying the Son of God. And how would you know they weren’t? Third, there would be nothing miraculous about such a birth. So even though one of the translations of the Hebrew word almah is young women (maiden), it does not fit with any kind of prophecy.
But if that is not enough to convince anyone, listen to what the apostle Matthew (verses 22 and 23 of chapter 1) wrote: “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, 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.” This quote that Matthew wrote clears up any doubt. You see he translated almah by the Greek word, parthenos. And parthenos can only be translated one way; virgin.
Other scriptures also attest to the virgin birth: “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:20); and Paul wrote (Galatians 4:4) “when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman”. Now that is some absolute evidence.
Then there are those who claim that processes such as artificial insemination and parthenogenesis can count as a virgin birth. The problem with that is the seed is still from man, human man. There is nothing miraculous about that, or prophetic.
“The conception and birth of Jesus did, indeed, require a mighty and unique miracle. But how else could the infinite God ever become a man? ‘Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh’ (1 Timothy 3:16). He became ‘God with us,’ and He is still the man in the glory! We can never comprehend such a miracle, but we can believe it, and rejoice!”
Merry Christmas! And may God bless you all, each and every one!
PS in the sky this week-“Christmas conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, with Aldebaran right nearby! Jupiter and the Moon are only a degree or two apart, depending on your location (in the Americas) and the time of evening. Watch them change separation and orientation as the night progresses. Binoculars show stars of the big, loose Hyades cluster in their background.” And Thursday is this month’s full moon!
Morris, Henry M., Days of Christmas, institute for Creation Research, 2009, p. 16.