However, the description of
as prince of the land (Isaiah8:8, 10) and the definite article (
virgin) militate against the first two views.
Since the prophecy was addressed to the ‘house of David’, it seems more appropriate to understandthe prophecy as a divine assurance of the continuation of Davidic dynasty through the birth of an heir, whose birth is a reminder of God’s presence with them. Isaiah’s prophecy was indeed fulfilled with the miraculous survival of Judah in the days of theAssyrian invasion. By abandoning the use of force and resistance, Ahaz would outlive both Rezin and Pekah. His son would be placed on the throne of a small but independentnation.
At some point, the Davidic covenant of a perpetual dynasty originating in 2Samuel 7 developed into the hope of a perfect King who would reign universally forever.In that sense, the prophecy of the preservation of the royal lineage may be seen as‘Messianic’.If Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled during the time of Ahaz, was the writer of Matthewmistaken in claiming that the prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus many centurieslater? Christian thinkers have proposed different approaches of harmonizing these two passages that can be categorized as essentially historical, essentially Messianic, doublefulfillment and pesher interpretations.
Walter Kaiser, a proponent of single-meaning hermeneutic,argued that the promised child was King Hezekiah and this partial fulfillment of a
For a case of Isaiah’s wife as the prophesied virgin, see R. E. Clements, Isaiah 1–39, New Century Bible(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), pp. 86–88.
Walter C. Kaiser Jr.,
Toward an Old Testament Theology
, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), page 209
John D.W. Watts,
Isaiah 1 – 33
, Word Biblical Commentary, (Waco: Word Books, 1985), page 102