What does Isaiah 7:14 really mean?

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


Setting the Scene for Isaiah 7:14

In Isaiah chapter 7, the scene is set in the kingdom of Judah during the reign of King Ahaz. The kingdom is facing a crisis as it is being threatened by the kingdoms of Israel and Syria. Ahaz is feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the situation, unsure of what to do next. In the midst of this turmoil, the prophet Isaiah is called upon by God to deliver a message to Ahaz.

As Ahaz paces back and forth in his royal chambers, surrounded by his advisors and court officials, Isaiah enters the room. The prophet’s presence commands attention, and all eyes turn to him as he begins to speak. Isaiah delivers a message of reassurance from God, urging Ahaz to trust in the Lord and not be afraid. He prophesies about a sign that will be given: a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, who will be called Immanuel, meaning “God is with us.”
The atmosphere in the room shifts as the weight of Isaiah’s words sink in. Ahaz and his advisors listen intently, their hearts stirred by the promise of God’s presence and protection. Despite the challenges facing the kingdom, there is a glimmer of hope in the midst of uncertainty, as they are reminded of God’s faithfulness and power to deliver them.

What is Isaiah 7:14 about?

The prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ is a foundational belief in Christianity. The verse prophesies that a virgin will conceive a child and give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel, which means “God is with us.” This prophecy is found in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible. It is a powerful testament to the miraculous nature of Jesus’ birth, as it signifies that he will be both fully divine and fully human.

This verse holds deep theological significance for Christians as it not only foretells the birth of Jesus but also reinforces the belief in his divine nature. It establishes the idea that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a savior to humanity. The virgin birth is seen as a sign of God’s extraordinary power and love for humanity, as it shows that Jesus is a unique and special figure in the history of salvation. Reflecting on this prophecy can deepen our faith and help us appreciate the magnitude of God’s plan for our salvation as Christians. This prophecy has profound implications that should be considered. How does the idea of a virgin conceiving and giving birth to the Savior of the world challenge our understanding of what is possible? How does this prophecy speak to the profound mystery of the Incarnation, where the divine enters into the human experience? Let this verse inspire you to contemplate the depths of God’s love and the miraculous nature of Jesus’ birth.

Understanding what Isaiah 7:14 really means

To provide a meaningful commentary on Isaiah 7:14, we’ll follow a structured approach that includes context, analysis of key phrases, cross-references with other biblical passages, relevance to contemporary life, and a concluding anecdote. Let’s delve into this powerful verse.

Context and Background

Isaiah 7:14 is a profound prophecy delivered by the prophet Isaiah during a time of great political turmoil. King Ahaz of Judah faced threats from surrounding nations, leading to fear and uncertainty among the people. Isaiah’s prophecy served to reassure King Ahaz and the people of Judah that God was still with them. This context highlights the importance of faith and divine intervention in times of crisis.

Key Phrases and Analysis

The verse contains several meaningful phrases worth exploring. The first is “the Lord himself will give you a sign.” This emphasizes that the sign is divinely initiated, indicating God’s direct involvement and assurance. The term “sign” in biblical terms often signifies a miraculous or significant event meant to convey a deeper truth or promise.

Next, “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son” introduces the concept of a miraculous birth. The term “virgin” (translated from the Hebrew word “almah,” which can also mean a young woman of marriageable age) is significant. It underscores the miraculous nature of the event, pointing to something extraordinary and divine.

Finally, “and will call him Immanuel” translates to “God with us.” This phrase encapsulates the essence of the prophecy: the promise of God’s presence and intervention in human affairs. This concept is foundational in Christian theology, emphasizing that God is not distant but intimately involved in the lives of His people.

Cross-References with Other Biblical Passages

Isaiah 7:14 finds its fulfillment in the New Testament, specifically in Matthew 1:23, where the birth of Jesus Christ is directly linked to this prophecy. Matthew’s Gospel quotes Isaiah to show that Jesus’ birth is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to be with His people. This connection between the Old and New Testaments underscores the continuity of God’s plan for salvation.

Another relevant passage is John 1:14, which states, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” This verse echoes the theme of Immanuel, God with us, highlighting the incarnation of Jesus as the ultimate expression of God’s presence and love.

Relevance to Contemporary Life

Today, people still face uncertainty, fear, and challenges. Isaiah 7:14 offers timeless reassurance that God is with us, especially in difficult times. This promise encourages us to trust in God’s presence and plan, even when circumstances seem bleak. A young couple facing a difficult pregnancy is a modern-day example to consider. Amidst their fear and uncertainty, they find comfort in knowing that God is with them, just as He was with the people of Judah. This assurance can transform fear into faith, giving them strength to face their challenges with hope.

Concluding Anecdote

I recall a story of a woman named Sarah, who faced a terminal illness. Despite her prognosis, she found peace and strength in the promise that God was with her. She often quoted, “God is with us,” drawing on the comfort and assurance of Isaiah 7:14. Her faith inspired those around her, demonstrating the power of believing in God’s presence even in the darkest times. Isaiah 7:14 is a powerful reminder of God’s promise to be with us. This verse not only reassured King Ahaz and the people of Judah but continues to offer hope and encouragement to us today. We can appreciate the profound significance of the text and apply its message to our lives by understanding its context, key phrases, and fulfillment in the New Testament.

What does ‘God with us’ mean for us?

The phrase “God with us” in Isaiah 7:14 is a powerful reminder of God’s presence and involvement in our lives. It signifies that God is not distant or detached, but rather intimately connected to us. This declaration should bring comfort and reassurance, knowing that we are not alone in our struggles and challenges. God being with us means that we can rely on His strength, guidance, and love to see us through any situation.

Furthermore, the idea of “God with us” emphasizes the closeness of our relationship with God. It indicates that He is actively involved in every aspect of our lives, walking alongside us every step of the way. This should inspire a deeper sense of trust and faith in His plan for us, knowing that He is always near, ready to offer support and comfort. The phrase “God with us” ultimately serves as a profound declaration of God’s faithfulness and commitment to never leave nor forsake His people.


Imagine juggling work and family, feeling overwhelmed, but suddenly you receive a clear direction that brings peace and focus. Isaiah 7:14 is like that—a divine promise fulfilled to show us we can trust God’s timing and faithfulness. Reflect on this prophecy and let it strengthen your trust in God’s plans. Will you take a bold step in faith, trusting in God’s promises for your life?