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The Young Woman and the Virgin, Isaiah 7:14

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Dr. Richard Schultz

I know it is beyond Christmas, but it always worth hearing from senior scholar, Dr. Richard Schultz. Here about context of Isaiah’s prophecy that is taken up by Matthew to discuss the virgin birth.

Dr. Richard Schultz, the Blanchard Professor of Old Testament in Wheaton College Graduate School, has co-edited with Daniel Block, Isaianic Intertextuality and Intratextuality as Composition-Historical Indicators: Methodological Challenges in Determining Literary Influence, along with other books and articles. In this episode he discusses the contexts and wording of the prophecy of Isaiah that Matthew applies to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Matt. 1:23.

To listen to the 8 minute podcast click here.


“Exegetically Speaking” is a weekly podcast of the friends and faculty of Wheaton College, IL and The Lanier Theological Library. Hosted by Dr. David Capes, it features language experts who discuss the importance of learning the biblical languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek—and show how reading the Bible in the original languages “pays off.” Each podcast lasts between seven and eleven minutes and covers a different topic for those who want to read the Bible for all it is worth.

If you’re interested in going deeper, learn more about Wheaton’s undergraduate degree in Classical Languages (Greek, Hebrew, and Latin) and our MA in Biblical Exegesis

You can hear Exegetically Speaking on SpotifyStitcherApple Podcasts, and YouTube. If you have questions or comments, please contact us at exegetically.speaking@wheaton.edu. And keep listening. 


  1. […] The Young Woman and the Virgin, Isaiah 7:14 […]

  2. Nemo says:

    Dr Capes,

    I have a question about the “sign”: Tertullian, whose works I happen to be reading, argues that it is a supernatural sign, because a young woman giving birth would be too common to draw attention and be recognized as a sign. (By contrast, a prophet walking around naked would definitely draw people’s attention, because it is uncommon, though not supernatural). What do you think?

    • Nemo, good question. The word “sign” does not always refer to a supernatural act. Tertullian takes the word “sign” to refer to the virgin birth as a miraculous event. I’d concur. The Gospel of John uses the Greek word “sign” always to refer to a miracle of Jesus. In Isaiah’s context, “the young woman who gave birth” did not have to be a miracle for it to garner the king’s attention. The sign Isaiah refers to is a message directed to the king, not to the wider public. The name of the child is the “sign” part, not necessarily the conception and birth. Take a look at how the word “sign” is used in the OT. You can go to biblegateway.com and just type in the search “sign”. It will take you all the times the word occurs. I think that might help.

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