Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20010516.htm
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS BY ISAIAH'S PROPHECIES
Part I: Christ Predicted In His Birth
(Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-2, 6-7)
Lesson: Hence, Isaiah's prophecy which is attested by archaeological evidence to predate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth by AT LEAST 150 years (Scripture information would make it 700 years), predicted (a) an unmarried virgin of king David's line would miraculously conceive and bear a Child. (b) He would be God Incarnate, (c) and would be uniquely associated with the areas around Israel's northern tribal allotments of Zebulun and Naphtali though he was of David's tribe, Judah in southern Israel!
- Jesus Christ, and with Him the entire Christian faith, stands or falls based upon His credibility.
- One of the most powerful signals of Christ's credibility, and hence the credibility of our faith, is the way Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled prophecy that we can verify existed before His earthly life.
- We begin a series on how Christ in His Person and Work are predicted in a prophecy we can verify from archaeological records existing long before the time of Jesus Christ as follows:
- Christ Predicted In His Birth, Isaiah 7:1-14; 9:1-2, 6-7.
- The Isaiah scroll discovered at the Qumran caves by the Dead Sea in Israel consists of all 66 chapters of Isaiah's prophecy, and is written as a single literary unit credited to Isaiah. It existed long before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth: it is dated by paleontologists around 150 B.C., or 146 years before Christ's birth, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. 3, p. 320.
- This scroll predicts that a honorable, unmarried maid who is a virgin would conceive and bear a son whose name would be "Immanuel," or meaning He was "God with us" as Israel's God:
- To introduce this prophetic announcement, Isaiah uses "Behold!" to signal an event of unusual significance (its equivalent form appears in works of a related language to Hebrew, in Ugaritic for solemn, important announcements, Young, Isaiah, vol. I, p. 284-285).
- In the prediction, the word for "virgin" is almah, and Isaiah's choice of this word as compared to other words shows that he referred to an unmarried, chaste virgin:
- Another Hebrew word, bethulah could designate a virgin, but also a betrothed virgin; were Isaiah to have used this word, without knowing of the coming history of Mary and Joseph, a Hebrew might have concluded the betrothed virgin was unfaithful in her betrothal period, and was thus conceived by way of immorality, cf. Young, Isaiah, v. I, p. 288.
- The word, bethulah could also designate a married woman (cf. Joel 1:8), making the sign by Isaiah not that unusual or significant to Ahaz, Ibid.
- Since almah always refers to an unmarried maid, it was the best word for Isaiah to use to picture how a chaste, unmarried (hence virgin) maid would become miraculously pregnant, Ibid., p. 287ff.
- The virgin would call the name of this child "Immauel," literally meaning, "God-with-us," Isa. 7:14. Well, since this is an important, unusual announcement and God had associated with Israel for many years in a general sense, and since a virgin would miraculously conceive and bear a son in complete honor, and the child's birth actually brings God's presence to Israel in a unique way in the context, the "God with us" name would have to mean the Child Himself would be Israel's GOD, Ibid., p. 291!
- This scroll predicts this Child would be of the lineage of David and minister in a unique way in Galilee:
- Isaiah 9:1-2 with 9:6 predicted that the area around Galilee's tribal lots of Zebulun and Naphtali would see a Great Light, and that Great Light would be the Child who is God!
- This area includes Nazareth (in Zebulun) where Jesus grew up and Capernaum (Naphtali) where He later made His home by the Sea of Galilee, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, Map 4, "The Twelve Tribes of Israel."
- This Child Who is to be the Supernatural Counselor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity and Prince of Peace would rule on David's throne, Isaiah 9:6-7. This meant He would be of the lineage of David!
- Hence, the God Incarnate would be of David's tribe of Judah though uniquely associated with Galilee!
Application: Since only Jesus of Nazareth fits this prediction as to His earthly origins, a prediction long predating His time, Jesus is in truth the Son of God, and our Christian faith is credible!