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Who was "Immanuel"?

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;


Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and
shall call his name Immanuel (God is with us)."

Isaiah 7:14

Muslims are commanded in the Qur'an to believe


in Jesus (pbuh) as a true and faithful prophet of
God. For this reason, Muslims have no trouble
believing that prophets of the Old Testament
prophesied the coming of Jesus (pbuh). However,
mankind continued to feel the need to embroider
and improve upon the word of God. This was not
restricted to merely inserting, deleting, or
changing words , they even went so far as to try to
"prove" their innovations through the citation of
other ancient passages. There are many examples
of this. One such example shall be studied here.

When members of the clergy read to their flock the


verse of Isaiah 7:14, they then go on to explain to
them: "Do you see? Prophet Isaiah prophesied the
coming of the God Himself. Immanuel means 'God
is with us,' so this is not only a prophesy of the
coming of God but also a prophesy of the
'incarnation' of God Almighty in the form of
Jesus".

It is true, Immanuel does mean "God is with us."


However, this is a prime example of how the
evangelists manage to constantly base their
arguments on catch words or phrases and then
quickly gloss over the details.

The phrase "a virgin" which we find in our


English Bibles does not appear in the original
Hebrew ****. The word used is 'almah {al-maw'}
meaning "a young woman of marriageable age".
The Hebrew word for "virgin" is bthuwlah {beth-
oo-law'}. When the Hebrew **** is translated into
Greek in the NT, it uses the word parthenos {per-
then'-os}, which has a dual meaning; a young girl
or a virgin. The translators have mistakenly
chosen the latter. More recent and accurate
versions of the Bible such as the Revised Standard
Version present this verse as follows:

"Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign.


Look, the young woman is with child and shall
bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel"

Isaiah 7:14 (RSV)

Biblical scholars have suggested that this prophesy


was concerning the second son or possibly the
third son of Isaiah by a Jewish maiden. It does not
relate to Jesus or his virgin birth.

If Jesus (pbuh) was indeed intended by this


prophesy, then why was he named "Jesus" and not
"Immanuel" as the prophesy requires? Notice that
the prophesy states that "his NAME shall be
Immanuel." It does not say that "HE shall be
Immanuel." There is a big difference between
saying "His name shall be 'God is with us'" and
between saying "He shall be God with us."

"Immanuel" is not the only name in the OT that


contains the word "El" (God). There are hundreds
of Hebrew names that consist of "El" and another
noun. For example, "Ishmael" which means "God
hears." Did God's sense of hearing come down to
earth and live among us in the form of a man?
Was God's sense of hearing "incarnated" in the
form of a man?. There is also "Israel" (prince of
God), and "Elijah" (my God is Jehovah), and so
forth. As we can see, it was a very common
occurrence for Israelites to have such names.
Neither prophet Isaiah, nor King Ahaz, nor any
Jew ever thought that the prophesy was for God
himself to come down and live among them.

In Genesis 28:19 we read "And he called the name


of that place Bethel (house of God)". Since the
place was named "house of God," does this mean
that God lived inside this house?

In Genesis 32:30, we are told that Jacob (pbuh)


called a piece of land "Peni-el" (Face of God). The
actual **** states: "And Jacob called the name of
the place Peniel," is this the same as saying: "And
Jacob said this place is Peniel"? Was the patch of
land the actual face of God? Was the face of God
"incarnated" in this piece of land?

Gabriel, the name of the angle of God, has been


interpreted in Biblical references as having the
general meaning of "Strength of God." So, does
this mean that the angle Gabriel is the
"incarnation" of the "strength of God"?

"The name Immanuel could mean 'God be with us'


in the sense 'God help us!'"

Interpreter's dictionary of the Bible, V2, p. 686.

Jesus (pbuh) was given his name by the angel


Gabriel even before his birth (Matthew 1:21).
Never was he named "Immanuel." King Ahaz was
in danger. His enemies were closing in. This is
when a promise was made to show him a sign, a
pregnant woman, not a virgin Mary (pbuh) who
would not show up until many centuries after he
had turned to dust. Can we see how the Trinitarian
doctrine of incarnation was forced upon the
message of Jesus (pbuh) through "bending" of the
prophesies and general glossing over of the "trivial
details"? For more on how the "incarnation" was
forced upon the message of Jesus centuries after
his departure, please read section 1.2.5