How can the virgin birth in Matthew 1:22 be a fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14?


(KJV)Matthew 1:22-23

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, [23] 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.

(KJV)Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

The prophecy was given around 740 years before Christ during the reign of Ahaz king of Judah, Judah was threatened with an invasion by the united armies of Syria & Israel, Ahaz was alarmed,instead of seeking the lord he sought help from Assyria. The prophet Isaiah came to ask Ahaz to seek for a sign & he refused so the prophet asked for a sign & it was given that a virgin should have a son.The prophecy was designed to signify to Ahaz that the land will be delivered from its calamities.What I find difficult to understand is in what sense this prophecy should be said to be fulfilled in Matthew 1:22-23 around 740 years later,since this was supposed to be a sign to Ahaz that Judah shall not be destroyed, shouldn’t this have taken place within the time frame of Ahaz according to the context of Isaiah 7.Most signs in the bible took place within the timeframe of recipients like Zechariah (Luke 1:20) & Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:9)


  • Reply December 19, 2018

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Matthew 1:21;. The angel explained that Mary’s conception was supernaturally produced by “the Holy Spirit.” The angel addresses “Joseph [as] son of David,” a reminder that it was through the house of David that the messianic king was to come (2 Sam 7:16).

    The son whom Mary would bear was to be called Jesus. That name signified His mission and identity as God. He was to “save His people [Israel] from their sins.” The name Jesus means “Yahweh is Savior.” He is God who is able and willing to perform what His name proclaims of Him. The salvation Jesus came to offer Israel was deliverance that was both spiritual and physical. Spiritually, He would offer free forgiveness of sins. Only God can forgive sin (cf. Mark 2:5-7). Physically, He would restore collectively a nation that was out of favor with God because of their sins. He would save (deliver) Israel from the consequences of her sins. The angel is announcing that Jesus is the promised Deliverer of the nation (Zech 9:9-10). The idea that the angel was referring exclusively to spiritual salvation from hell, though commonly held, is foreign to this context.

    1:22-23. Matthew interrupts the story to show the readers that Jesus’ virgin birth fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa 7:14). A “virgin [was to] be with child.” Such a supernatural sign (v 14 a; cf. v 11) indicated that an unusual child was to be born—unusual because His name reflected His divine nature and presence: “‘Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’”

  • Reply December 20, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    RichardAnna Boyce are you saying the prophecy fulfillment in Is 8 was not sufficient ?

  • Reply December 15, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    via Henry Volk “Isaiah does not say that “a” virgin or young woman will bear a child. Isaiah says “the” young woman will bear a child (Isaiah [7:10]-16). “The” is a definite article indicating that not anyone would give birth and still be a virgin, but someone in particular would be a virgin mother. We did not know who the “the” would be until Mary was singled out to be the mother of Jesus, but we knew it would be a “the.” Not just any young Jewish girl would do. The one to carry Jesus would be “Mary.”

    That “the” made all the difference for how the church fathers read this text. For them what was significant was that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the virgin.”

    — Stanley Hauerwas

  • Reply December 15, 2019

    Isara Mo

    Difficult question

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