What does Immanuel mean?
The word Immanuel appears three times in the Bible. It occurs two times in the Old Testament and one time in the New Testament.
Immanuel In The Old Testament
The first time is at the announcement that Jesus would be virgin born.
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 7:14 (NASB)
Some have said that the Hebrew word for “virgin” should be simply young woman. But that is not exactly correct since the word means young unmarried woman. God is giving us a sign – a virgin gives birth to a child. Is it a sign when a married woman gives birth? If all that God is saying is that a sexually active woman gives birth, we must ask, “What kind of sign is that?” The conclusion is obvious. The passage is referring to a virgin giving birth. Now, that is the sign! It is a sign of Immanuel – Jesus!
The next time Immanuel occurs in the Bible is in the next chapter of Isaiah.
Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and it will rise up over all its channels and go over all its banks.Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, it will reach even to the neck; and the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel. Isaiah 8:7-8 (NASB)
These two verses prophesied that the king of Assyria would be defeated and would move down from Israel and invade Judah. Judah is the land which our God, Immanuel, owns. The Assyrian army overflow like a river and defeat Judah.
Immanuel In The New Testament
Immanuel occurs once in the New Testament. What is the meaning of Immanuel? The apostle Matthew answers our question in the Gospel of Matthew.
BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” Matthew 1:23 (NASB)
Immanuel means “God with us.” That is who Jesus is – our God!
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