Alma: On the virgin of Isaiah 7.14


On Isaiah 7.14-24
(The Sign of the Virgin)

There seems to be a continuing denigration of Isaiah since 70 A.D. by parties who have an interest in claiming that Jesus has no claim to be the Messiah. He is the only one who appeared before the destruction of the temple to claim being born of a virgin, whose mother is called the Virgin Mary. The scripture which is fulfilled regarding that claim is at Isaiah 7.14-24, which refers to an "alma" meaning "maiden" or "virgin," as demonstrated below and also confirmed in Hebrew dictionaries. The time of the Sign of the virgin is when Israel is scattered to the nations (which has happened). The argument confronts those who deny that the Sign of the Virgin is a "virgin" and also the point of view that David was promised that his seed would not cease to sit on the throne of Israel. There was a period, after Zerubbabel, circa 560 B.C. to the time of Herod where a son of David did not sit on the throne of Israel. Then circa 33 A.D. Jesus laid claim to being the Son of Man, a son of David, which was never objected to by the pharisees. They filed a claim with Pontius Pilate that Jesus had committed blasphemy, claiming to be the Messiah, when he was not. That claim is still being pursued by some who have failed to realize that there is a scripture, which if denigrated by Israel, invites the LORD to scatter Israel off the land again.

The other part of the argument against Isaiah 7.14-24 is that Jesus, being born of the virgin, and not of Joseph, is not a son of David (even though Mary is accounted to be a daughter, descended of David; see the Protoevangelon). Those who pursue this argument argue against themselves since Isaiah 7.14 speaks of an unmarried girl conceiving, but makes no mention of her husband, and the son which she brings forth is called Emmanuel, meaning "God with us." This scripture, lacking any other detail, presumes that she is betrothed and probably wedded and we know all maidens then and even until the time before the pill were assumed to be virgins. So the scripture can be read to mean that a young girl conceives and gives birth to a son who for practical purposes is a bastard and not entitled to be counted as a son of David. That Isaiah used the term "alma" instead of "betula," the latter of which means a virgin, is interesting, since Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was also pointed out by an angel of God to Isaac, as the one whom he would marry, and she was called an "alma," the same term used for the Sign of God, the Virgin of Isaiah 7.14.

As a whole, a search of the scriptures on the use of betula (virgin) reveals that betula is the predominate word used. The few and rare instances of alma, which I have found, suggest a brilliant and provocative choice of words referring back to Rebekah, who is the mother of Israel. I have posted this small portion to counter rabbis who would denigrate a scripture using illogical methods.

Exodus 22.16 And if a man entice a maid (betula) that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

Leviticus 22.10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes....
Leviticus 22.13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity (betula).
Leviticus 22.14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin (betula) of his own people to wife.

II Samuel 13.2 And Amnon was so vexed that he fell sick for his sister Tamar: for she was a virgin; (betula) and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.

I Kings 1.1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covereth him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
1 Kings 1.2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: (betula) and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
1 Kings 1.3 So they sought for a fair damsel (alma) throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunamite, and brought her to the king.
1 Kings 1.4 and the damsel (alma) was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

Psalm 45.14....the virgins (betula) her companions that follow her shall be brought unto the...

Proverbs 30.5 Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
30.6 Add thou not unto his words lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
30.19 ....and the way of a man with a maid (alma).

Isaiah 7.14..behold the virgin (alma) will conceive and will bear a son, and will call his name Emmanuel...

Isaiah 22.12 And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, (betula) daughter of Zidon...

Isaiah 37.22 This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, (Betula) the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee...

Isaiah 47.1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin (betula) daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne...for thou shalt no longer be called tender and delicate.

Isaiah 62.5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, (betula) so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
62.6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem...

Jeremiah 2.32 Can a maid (betula) forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
Jeremiah 51.22 With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid (betula).

Genesis 24.40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house.
24.41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
24.42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
24.43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin (alma) cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;...
24.45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water; and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
24.61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels (alma), and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
24.67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife...


Some argue that Jesus cannot be a son of David since he is born of a virgin (the inheritance is set through the father); thus the inheritance of anyone born of the Sign of the Virgin in Isaiah 7.14-24 would also be in question.

It is clear that Isaiah used both betula and alma; but with regard to a Sign of God the prophet chose "alma" which refers back to Rebekah ( who sat on her idols).

It would appear that "alma" is an older word for a maiden, which is always presumed to be a virgin. Critics may argue that Rebekah was not a virgin and not pure in the eyes of the Angel.

If one wishes to argue the case that God provides mothers of his Messiah's using whores, thus making the children bastards and not worthy of an inheritance, one may use the case of Tamar who stood outside the temple of Baal and played the harlot to entice her father-in-law, Judah, to lie with her and conceive twins, one of whom, Pharez, was the ancestor of Jesse, the father of David.

As to the idea that God promised David and Solomon that a son of David would not cease to reign on the throne of Jerusalem, it would appear from the argument of critics that God is a liar, where after Zerubbabel, until 33 A.D. there was no son of David ruling over Israel. That some rabbis await the Sign of the Virgin and the desolation of Israel (Isaiah 7.14-24) is curious. No doubt heaven has an interest in our conversation, and, if the rabbis believe in discrediting Isaiah and other prophets, Israel probably needs to be reminded that it is God who does the writing of the scriptures, not man. And it is God who fulfills them.

If I were Israel, I would be happy to acknowledge that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 7.14-24, so that Israel need not have the dark cloud of doubt and cynicism with regard to that scripture affecting their future. Also, I was curious why you passed over my direction regarding the correct name of Israel, which should be, "married," Beulah (Isaiah 62.4). Many people taste the scriptures as they taste meat (Job). It is unfortunate, since gluttony tends to be the practice and the fine taste of the manna is missed.

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