Study Guide

Book of Isaiah Immanuel

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Immanuel ("God is with Us") is another figure interpreted as being the same as Jesus by Christian readers. Isaiah tells King Ahaz that a sign will come to the Judah: a child will be born to a virgin (or young woman), and his name will be Immanuel. He'll grow up to be a shepherd (a shepherd of people? a literal shepherd?) and will eat honey and curds (which also might have some kind of symbolic value.) Although devastation—brought by Assyria—will come to the rest of the land, Immanuel will keep surviving, tending to his herd animals.

Aside from the Jesus interpretation, traditional Jewish readings of the prophecy see Immanuel as referring to a child born at the time of the Assyrian invasion. He could potentially be Ahaz's child, like the righteous future king, Hezekiah. Or he could be a child born to some other woman of the time. As well, he could also be another of the symbolically named children of Isaiah, himself.

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