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The Sign of ''Immanuel''

October 29, 2014 Speaker: Adam Olean

Scripture: Isaiah 7:1–9:7, Matthew 1:22-23

In this study, we cover Isaiah 7:1-9:7 in its original context focusing on God's sign to king Ahaz: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14 ESV). After studying this passage in its original context, we then consider the apostle Matthew's application of this prophecy to the birth of Jesus Christ (Matt 1:22-23).
This lesson should be a reminder that we must study passages of Scripture in their original context even when a later portion of Scripture quotes an earlier portion of Scripture (as in the case of the New Testament authors' use of the Old Testament). Only after studying each passage in its original context can we become fully equipped to bring them together, to compare them to each other (e.g., for their similarities and differences), and to understand what they originally meant and how they are now being used. Our goal should always be to understand what what God has spoken, not to protect our unfounded assumptions and traditions. In cases like Matthew's use of Isaiah 7:14, we may find that Isaiah's prophecy is even more grand and astonishing than we would ever know from reading Matthew alone.