“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matt. 1:23)”
If you have been in Church very long, then you’ve heard this verse before, especially during the Christmas season and you’ve probably sang the lyrics to this song also or songs very similar using the name “Emmanuel or Immanuel”.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, his name is called Emmanuel
Emmanuel, God with us, Revealed in us
His name is called, Emmanuel
The scripture in Matthew 1:23, is quoted from the Prophet Isaiah 7:14. It’s interesting when you read the first twelve chapters of Isaiah and what God said, (through his prophet), of what he would do through this special person called Immanuel and compare it to what Jesus did while he was on this Earth: one would have to wonder, is this really the Immanuel or did the angel make a false declaration to Mary?
I’ll give you a brief overview to set the stage. Israel as a nation has been divided into two separated kingdoms; one called Israel the northern kingdom and the other called Judah the southern kingdom. The Lord tells Isaiah to go and prophecy to Israel of their fallen condition and how he is about to bring them down like a fallen oak tree, with only a stump to remain; however, there will remain a remnant. Then by chapter 4, the Lord gives Israel the hope that one day the kingdom will be restored, even to a point where the Glory will once more be in their midst; as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day, similar as it was in the days of Moses.
Chapters 5 & 6, once again the Lord speaks to Jerusalem, where he speaks of the people going into captivity as judgment for their rebellion; and Isaiah has a vision of the Lord sitting on his throne in his Holy temple, (and says, I’ve seen The King). The Lord sends Isaiah to prophecy his judgment. It is in the next two chapters where we find the only two references to one called “Immanuel”.
Chapters 7 & 8, we find that the northern kingdom (Israel) has gone to war against the southern kingdom (Judah), but they could not prevail against them; so, Israel joined forces with Syria to come and try again and go to war against Judah. However, Isaiah was told to go to Ahaz (the king of Judah); and tell him that Israel will not prevail against Judah, if the king would only trust in the Lord; and the Lord would establish his kingdom. King Ahaz, refused to believe. So, the Lord said he would give his own sign, of a virgin giving birth and his name will be Immanuel and he would establish or give the kingdom to him.
This Immanuel would become the victory over the enemy. (One can even see the Assyrian as a type of the “anti-christ” and these pages as a shadow of the end-times or things to happen much father in the future than the days of king Ahaz and his kingdom.)
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa. 9:6-7)”
We find that this Immanuel, he will be given the throne of David and his kingdom. It’s interesting that the “Immanuel” in Isaiah, according to the word of the Lord, he will reign in the earth on David’s throne, (not a spiritual throne, but he will be given the throne and kingdom of David).
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)”
The angel tells Mary, his name shall be called Jesus and the Lord God shall give him “the throne of his father David; and he will reign over the “whole house of Jacob” (the restored kingdom as it was in the days of David, not as it was in the days of king Ahaz. (not a split kingdom.)
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Acts 1:6-7)”
It’s no wonder that after the resurrection, the disciples of Jesus asked about the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel. (Notice that Jesus didn’t say that they had the wrong conclusion of what the kingdom is or that one day he wouldn’t, only that it wasn’t for them to know about that season! That season was still in the power of the Father to reveal at a later time.)
Even though he was “God with us” while he walked on this earth; he was never known or called by the name of Immanuel, except by the angel. His glory was hidden, however there is a day where Isaiah 9:6-7 must come to pass and his Glory will be seen, as he sits on the throne of David over the whole house of Jacob and he will be known as Immanuel to the whole house of Jacob. (Not a spiritual throne, for David’s throne was never a spiritual throne.) Or, Jesus is not the Immanuel of Isaiah.
Immanuel is to come at Israel’s darkest hour, where he brings hope for the restoration of Israel and he becomes the Prince of Peace, where they will have to fear no more. Much of the Church have lost this hope for Israel, but the whole book of Isaiah still declares this hope of Israel and what will happen when Israel sees their coming King.
Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel
Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high, Who ordered all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might, Who to your tribes on Sinai’s height, In ancient times gave holy law, In cloud and majesty and awe. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come O Rod of Jesse’s stem, From ev’ry foe deliver them That trust your mighty pow’r to save; Bring them in vict’ry through the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, O Key of David, come, And open wide our heav’nly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high, And cheer us by your drawing nigh, Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind In one the hearts of all mankind; Oh, bid our sad divisions cease, And be yourself our King of Peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!