Jehovah remains faithful toward his covenant with David. A sign was offered, a sign will be given! Isaiah continues: “Jehovah himself will give you men a sign: Look! The maiden herself will actually become pregnant, and she is giving birth to a son, and she will certainly call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey he will eat by the time that he knows how to reject the bad and choose the good. For before the boy will know how to reject the bad and choose the good, the ground of whose two kings you are feeling a sickening dread will be left entirely.”—Isaiah 7:14-16.
Here is good news for anyone fearing that the invaders will put an end to the Davidic line of kings. “Immanuel” means “With Us Is God.” God is with Judah and will not allow his covenant with David to be nullified. In addition, Ahaz and his people are told not only what Jehovah will do but also when he will do it. Before the boy Immanuel is old enough to distinguish between good and bad, the enemy nations will be destroyed. And this proves true!
The Bible does not reveal whose child Immanuel is. But since the young Immanuel is to serve as a sign and Isaiah later states that he and his children “are as signs,” Immanuel may be a son of the prophet. (Isaiah 8:18) Perhaps Jehovah leaves the identity of Immanuel in Ahaz’ day uncertain so as not to distract later generations from the Greater Immanuel. Who is that?
Outside of the book of Isaiah, the name Immanuel occurs only once in the Bible, at Matthew 1:23. Jehovah inspired Matthew to apply the prophecy of Immanuel’s birth to the birth of Jesus, the rightful Heir to the throne of David. (Matthew 1:18-23) The birth of the first Immanuel was a sign that God had not forsaken the house of David. Likewise, the birth of Jesus, the Greater Immanuel, was a sign that God had not forsaken mankind or his Kingdom covenant with David’s house. (Luke 1:31-33) With Jehovah’s chief representative now among mankind, Matthew could truly say, ‘With us is God.’ Today, Jesus rules as heavenly King and is with his congregation on earth. (Matthew 28:20) Surely, God’s people have added reason to cry out boldly: “With us is God!”