Defining ‘Virgin’ and ‘Sign’

By David M. Cook

10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.   Isaiah 7:10-14 NASB

For many years some have attempted to discount the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus.  In the 1950’s and 60’s “liberal” theologians infiltrated Christian seminaries where many of the students later became pastors of churches for Christian mainline denominations.  These “liberal” professors systematically taught their students to doubt the Holy scriptures, especially those that allow us to see that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Son of God.  Some of these “liberal” professors–wolfs in sheep’s clothing, argued that the Hebrew word for virgin–almah also means “young woman” as well as a maiden who has not had sexual intercourse.  So these non-believing professors taught that the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 is simply stating that a young woman will become pregnant and give birth to a son and that the scripture is not a prediction of a miraculous virgin birth.  It is ironic that unbelieving professors were instructing future pastors in matters of the Christian faith and doctrine.

In Isaiah 7:10 NIV we read; Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”   A sign is sometimes given to let us know that God’s word or promise will come true, something to strengthen our faith in God.  If the sign God gave us is simply stating that a young woman would become pregnant and would give birth to a son, what is so special about that?  Of course even natural births are amazing, but they are common and happen every day around the world.  You see God gave a sign that was very uncommon, a young woman who had never had sexual relations with a man–a virgin became pregnant and gave birth to a Son!  The Father of the Child was Almighty God, the mother of the Child was a young Hebrew virgin named Mary and the Child’s name is Jesus, Immanuel — ‘God with us’!

Others in more recent years who are self proclaimed experts of the scriptures and supposedly of the historical Jesus have also sown seeds of doubt and unbelief.  Many of these pseudo-intellectuals are simply rationalists.  Rationalists do not believe in the supernatural or miraculous, of course they would attempt to rule out the miraculous virgin birth of Christ and other supernatural aspects of Jesus such as the miracles he performed and His resurrection.  It seems irrational of these rationalists not to expect the supernatural from the supreme supernatural being–the Almighty God.  The true and living God is all knowing, all powerful and everywhere present i.e. omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent.  He created everything both the visible and invisible.  It is very logical and rational to expect the supernatural and miraculous from an infinite all-powerful God.




Filed under a sign from God, miraculous virgin birth, the Almighty God, the supernatural and miraculous, The true and living God, virgin birth of Jesus, virgin named Mary

2 responses to “Defining ‘Virgin’ and ‘Sign’

  1. David. I don’t know if this is an honest mistake. But your interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 indicates that you haven’t read this chapter from the first verse. Nor do you seem to have read past 7:15.

    If you think the ‘sign’ is the fact that the baby will be born, then you clearly stopped reading at 7:14 as the prophecy continues.

    A text out of context is a pretext

    • Yash613, why would it be a sign for a young women to give birth to a male son, this is an every day occurrence? Here in Isaiah we see that the Lord wanted to give a “sign” that was out of the ordinary, which a virgin giving birth to Messiah is indeed most unique. The prophet wrote, 10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 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 7:11-14 ESV

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