One of the many Messianic prophecies, this one mentioned in Matt. 1:23, deals with the meaning of the name, not the name itself, that is given to a child.
Here we have a double purpose in the prophecy given by Isaiah to Ahaz.
First, Ahaz seeks a sign of the safety of himself and of his nation. But more so, Ahaz did not listen to the message of Isaiah and so rejected the promise of the safety of the nation, so God is now going to give a sign, that Ahaz can recognize within his own time, that God is indeed with the nation, despite the fact that God and Gods message has been rejected.
Second, Isaiah also gives the sign of the birth of a child, that is far more distant into the future. A sign that no one but God can accomplish.
Just as no one but God, can accomplish the safety of the nation, though rejected, so also, no one but God can accomplish the sign as stated in the distant future when the entire nation of Judah has gone to an all-time low as virtually negative toward God.
In the first instance, Ahaz will be able to relate to the passing of a general time frame for the dissolution of the alliance that has been set against him. In the second instance, the nation and the world in general can see the fulfillment of the virgin pregnancy for the sake of all of humanity.
Adonay, is the proper name for the Lord. It is He and only He who can give the signs and fulfill them. Since Ahaz was given the opportunity to request a sign, but rejected that opportunity, then it falls on God, to provide a sign that is neither requested nor desired from anyone in humanity. God alone provides us with signs, it is for us, through doctrine, to be able to recognize them and see them.
Virgin, ‘almah,’ is derived from a word that describes a young person growing up, a young person whose identity is hidden and as yet is to be identified. This typically is used for a young woman of marrying age, but is not yet married, a virgin. And thus in the first application of this sign to Ahaz, of which Ahaz can see for himself, there will be a woman, any woman, who is now a virgin, or not yet married, who will get engaged, get married, get pregnant, have a child, and that child will grow up, but before that child is of the age of discernment, perhaps three to five years of age, or perhaps older, then with that passage of time, within a few years, Ahaz will see the confederation of Israel and Syria, dissolved and of no more threat to Judah. Thus this first sign to Ahaz will be fulfilled.
And so Ahaz is given a sign, namely that within a few years, his enemies will no longer be a united alliance against him.
This is a sign of a general statement of time. It could apply to any unmarried woman that is yet married and will thus go through the marriage process and have her first child.
And as a result of this sign, the attached meaning of the sign, is Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’
So it is God who is really with Ahaz, even though Ahaz rejects Gods words. It is God who will accomplish the dissolution of the enemies of Ahaz, and He will do it within just a few years.
Note, that this is unrelated to the sixty-five year prophecy when the northern nation of Israel will no longer exist. This is a sign specifically for Ahaz’s eyes to see.
And then there is the second application of this prophecy, which it mentioned in the New Testament, and therefore applies to Christ.
And so behold, a virgin, an unmarried girl of marrying age, hidden, as yet unidentified, will conceive and have a son, and his name will be associated with Immanuel, namely ‘God with us.’
In the first instance, God is with the king and with the nation in the accomplishment of the defeat of their enemies.
In the second instance, ‘God with us,’ carries likewise a double meaning, for God is in fact with humanity quite literally, for it will be God who is born a man, and it is God who accomplishes the miracle of the sign.
End of study