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Risto Santala: The sign of Messiah`s birth

The birth of the Messiah was foretold in Isaiah 7:10-14: “Ask the Lord your God for a sign -therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name “Immanu El”, “God with us”. 200 years before Christ the Septuagint understood the Hebrew concept “almah” in Greek as “parthenos” as a “virgin”. This is the sign!

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name “Immanu El”, God with us.” This was the first sign! There is also an interesting passage in the Dead Sea Scrolls which speaks of “the Messiah whom God will beget”, words taken from Psalm 2:7. Dr. R. Gordis states that this passage serves “as the most important source for the divine birth of Messiah”. In Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18, in a prophecy which was used by Peter and Stephen (Acts 3:22 and 7:37) we read of a prophet “like Moses”, “whom God will raise up\” and he will speak in God’s name. We noticed that the Aramaic Targum of Jonathan expounds it twice saying that “God will beget him by the Holy Spirit ” (deruach qudsha and be-ruach qudsha ). That relates also to the birth of Messiah!

According to Micah 5:2 the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem and his “goings forth have been from old, from everlasting”. The Jewish commentator RASHI states that he was already “before the stars and zodiacs” and “only God was before eternity”. Jesus himself proclaimed that he was before the creation and before Abraham. Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6 gives divine attributes to the Messiah, such as “Immanu El” or “the mighty God” and “everlasting Father”. Targum Jonathan explains that God “will call his name from ancient times” and that “the Messiah has eternal existence”. No wonder that the shepherd heard: “This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk. 2:12). Both the physician Luke and Matthew were stressing the fact that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

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