Bob Cornwall: Isaiah 7 Has an Original Context

Bob Cornwall, “The Sign of Emmanuel – Lectionary Reflection for Advent 4A (Isaiah 7)” (12.12.22),

Isaiah’s message has an original context. It speaks to the concern of that moment when Ahaz faces invasion by his neighbors, as well as perhaps a larger threat from the emerging empire to the north. So, while early Christians drew on this passage in creating a messianic theology featuring Jesus, Isaiah speaks to a real eighth-century political crisis. In other words, Isaiah doesn’t have in mind a sign that involves a child born in the first century. In other words, this is not a prophetic word about a child born in Bethlehem to a virgin.

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