14. The "Virgin Mary" MYTH
"Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break into song and cry aloud, you who did not labor, for the children of the desolate are more than the children of a married woman," says the L-rd.
"For your Maker is your Husband, the L-rd of hosts is His Name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, `The G-d of the whole earth,' He is called. For the L-rd has called you like a woman deserted and distressed in spirit and like a wife of one's youth who was rejected," says your G-d.
These verses are referring to the Messianic redemption of the Jewish people and the repopulation of the "barren" Land of Israel, as this chapter continues to state:
For a brief moment I [G-d] forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.
"No weapon that is formed against you shall succeed, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you shall condemn-this is the heritage of the servants of the L-rd, and their just reward from Me," says the L-rd.
Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she had delivered a son. Whoever heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Is a land born in one day? Is a nation brought forth in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor, she brought forth her children.
G-d is Israel's "Husband":
"And on that day," says the L-rd, "you [Jews] will call Me, `my Husband,' and no longer will you call Me `my Master.' "
Missionaries claim that the verses under discussion refer to Mary, who is said to be "married" to G-d!
Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.
King Ahaz of Judah was distressed by the imminent invasion of Syria and northern Israel:
G-d promised Ahaz His help (Isaiah 7:4-9) but suggested that he nevertheless ask for a sign of the L-rd's protection:
And the L-rd spoke again to Ahaz, saying: "Ask a sign of the L-rd, your G-d...."
Ahaz refused, however, so Isaiah responded with the verse under discussion. Concerning this child, Isaiah said:
He shall eat curd and honey when he knows how to refuse evil and choose good. For before the child knows how to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.
Scripture relates that the promise was fulfilled: 2 Kings 15:29-30,16:9.
According to the original Hebrew, the verse under discussion states that the young woman "is with child," in the present tense, i.e., it is referring to someone living at the time. This same present tense Hebrew verb, "harah," appears in the following verses:
And the angel of the L-rd said to Hagar: "Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ishmael because the L-rd has heard your affliction."
About three months later, Judah was told: "Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; moreover, she is with child by harlotry...."
II Samuel 11:5
And Batsheba conceived and she sent and told David: "I am with child."
Furthermore, the use of the definite article-"the young woman"- indicates that this was someone both Isaiah and Ahaz knew. When the child would be born, she would unknowingly give him a name with a symbolic message for Ahaz: Immanuel, which means "G-d is with us."
According to the New Testament, the verse under discussion foretells that Jesus would be born to the "virgin" Mary, even though the child's name was Immanuel!
All this took place to fulfill what the L-rd had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel...."
But news of a virgin birth in another seven hundred years would have offered Ahaz little comfort.
Moreover, the original Hebrew explicitly calls the mother of Immanuel "the young woman" ("ha'almah"), not "the virgin" ("ha'betulah"). Both of these words appear in the following verses describing Rivkah:
The girl was very pretty, a virgin (betulah), no man had known her....When the young woman (ha'almah) comes out to draw water....
Missionaries deny that Jesus had siblings, lest this familial background detract from his "uniqueness." Therefore, they maintain that Mary was a virgin both before and after his birth. But the New Testament says otherwise:
When Joseph woke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the L-rd commanded him; he took [Mary], but knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus.
While [Jesus] was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?...