BlessedLDS. You said:
I am doing some Scripture reading before Christmas and I was wondering if I am remembering correctly that there is a passage or 2 in Isaiah about the birth of Christ.
I personally enjoy Isaiah 7 as a Christmas meditation too, so I thought I’d share a few items that I focus in on with you BlessedLDS.
The birth of Jesus is a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.
Isaiah 7:14 talks about how a virgin conceives a child . . . . AND . . . .
. . … a virgin BEARS this child.
It is a description of the virginal birth of Jesus. The Blessed Virgin Mary is a Perpetual Virgin. Isaiah 7:14 shows us two of the three aspects of this doctrine.
Mary’s Perpetual Virginity includes three aspects.
*]The Virginal Conception
*]The in partu inviolability of Mary when delivering Jesus (the actual Virginal Birth)
*]Mary’s subsequent Virginity
The fact that Mary is a Virgin in conceiving and Mary is a Virgin even in bearing Jesus can be seen from Isaiah 7:14.
That’s part of what Isaiah has said concerning this great “sign”.
ISAIAH 7:10-14 (DRV) 10 And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: 11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. 12 And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. 13 And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin (almah) shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
Parenthesis of “almah” above from me.
Some translated “almah” merely as “young woman”.
Since prophecies have layered fulfillment, “young woman” is fine, but “virgin” is a fuller and better prophetic fulfillment.
St. Matthew sees the birth of Jesus as a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.
MATTHEW 1:22-23 22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).
*]The Virgin conceives this Son.
*]The Virgin bears this Son.
The Angel Gabriel also hearkens back to Isaiah 7 with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
LUKE 1:26-28, 31 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” . . . . 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
The Angel of the Lord also hearkens back to Isaiah 7 with the Shepherds too.
LUKE 2:9a, 12 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, . . . . 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
Although it would take a little more space to develop this (so I won’t unless you ask me to), the prophet Simeon’s “sign” concerns Jesus’ work on Calvary but it ALSO alluding to Isaiah 7 (the “sign”) as well—the Virgin Birth.
LUKE 2:34b-35 “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
Why do I put emphasis on the Marian doctrine aspect of this?
Because it gives me a fuller view of Jesus for one thing. All Marian doctrines have Christologic implications. They all tell us about not just Mary, but Jesus.
The early heretics in the Church knew this and often sought to deny Marian doctrines to attack Jesus indirectly. For example Cerinthus denied Mary as a Virgin. Karl Keating brings out some facts about how the Beloved Disciple was repulsed by Cerinthus (here).
Another reason is I didn’t see anyone else directly mention the Blessed Mother yet so I thought I would (after all, this is a Christmas mediation).
Another reason why I include the Blessed Mother and how even She shows up in Isaiah and how it relates to Her Perpetual Virginity is it is important for me to be in union with historical Christianity—that matters to me.
I have been reading the ancient Church Fathers in depth and they all seem to come back to the Virginity of Mary (at least in the sense of the Virginal Conception and often times the miraculous Virgin Birth—or how a Virgin conceives a son and a Virgin bears a son, and sometimes the whole concept of Mary explicitly stated as EVER Virgin). The Church Fathers just matter-of-factly keep referring to Mary as “the Virgin” time and time again (I mean hundreds of times in my computer search). Something I wouldn’t expect if they thought Mary was NOT a Virgin or if they thought Mary’s Virginity was unimportant. The heretics like Cerinthus keep denying Mary’s Virginity as a springboard to deny . . . JESUS’ DIVINITY.
Anyway, enjoy your readings in the book of Isaiah BlessedLDS!