Was Yeshua Really Born of a Virgin?

Recently, I talked with two people who were questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua. Of the two who were questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua, one was a Christian searching for truth and the other was someone who had already came out of the traditional/syncretized Christian church; the latter questions everything he previously learned in the past because Jewish sources he has been reading indicate the Jews expect an ordinary human being to be the Messiah, and that this person could appear in any given generation.

If these men are questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua, others must be questioning it as well. So, let’s explore this topic.

Information regarding the account of the virgin birth of Yeshua is found in Luke 1 beginning with verse 26. Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth was already six months pregnant with John when the angel Gabriel came to visit a virgin named Miriam (Mary). The Greek word for virgin that is used in this verse is parthenon; it can also mean maiden or unmarried daughter. Gabriel told Miriam that she had found favor with God and that she would become pregnant with a son who would:

  • Be great;
  • Be called the Son of the Highest;
  • Be given the throne of His father David;
  • Reign over the house of Jacob forever;
  • Have a never ending kingdom.

Wow! What a prophecy! Miriam’s only response to this news was, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34) This response is a clue that the word “parthenon” really means “virgin” and not just a young unmarried daughter. Gabriel explained, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Note: If Yeshua was born of the seed (sperm) of man, we would not have called Him the Son of God.

Matthew 1 also contains information regarding Miriam’s virginity. When Joseph found out about Miriam being pregnant, he planned to divorce her because their engagement was legally binding. He knew the child she was carrying was not his, but he didn’t want to make a public example of her. Fortunately, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the male child was of the Holy Spirit. In other words, this baby was not the result of another man’s seed (signally immorality), but a result of the Holy Spirit. The angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to name him Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins; Yeshua means “YHVH saves.” In addition, Matthew 1:25 indicates that Joseph did not know (have sexual relations with) Miriam until after she had given birth to Yeshua. The overall net result was that once Yeshua was born, Joseph adopted Him and raised Him as his own son.

Matthew 1:22-23 says, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Here, the writer of Matthew is quoting from the Greek Septuagint which uses parthenon for virgin.

Now that we’ve seen the Greek term for “virgin,” let’s look at the two Hebrew terms that are used for “virgin.” The first one is betulah. We know this term definitely refers to a virgin because it is used in verses such as:

  • Genesis 24:16 which describes Rebekah as a virgin; it specifically says no man had known her.
  • Deuteronomy 22:14 describes a law that deals with the possibility of a man marrying a woman and later claiming she was not a virgin (betulah).

The second term is almah; it can be translated as a virgin, a young woman who is of marriageable age, a maid, or a newly married woman. Since the word almah is used in Isaiah 7:14 instead of betulah, some people are suggesting that “virgin” might not be the appropriate translation here. This makes people doubt what they’ve been taught. In this passage, we can’t focus on a single word and ignore the surrounding context of the text. We have to take everything into account.

Look folks, we have to decide. Are we going to believe the Apostolic Scriptures or not? We need them to know:

  • how the prophecies of Yeshua were fulfilled in the past;
  • how Yeshua and His disciples interpreted the Tanach;
  • how the prophecies of Yeshua will be fulfilled in the future.

We must exercise caution when we test everything. We can’t simply reject various portions of the Apostolic Scriptures because they don’t fit into the beliefs of Judaism; after all, the Jews missed the coming of the Messiah because of their beliefs; lack of knowledge; and/or improper interpretation of the prophecies of Scripture.

Now let’s look at another verse. Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

The problem raised with this verse is that various translations use the present perfect tense, the present tense, or the future tense. The question is raised, “which tense is correct and who is the child mentioned here?” Are translators trying to lead us astray with their translation or is either tense valid? Can this verse apply to someone in the past as well as to Yeshua? Tense is not as cut and dry in Hebrew as it is in English. Various things come into play when translating Hebrew. Personally, based on the Hebrew verb forms, I think it probably should be translated with a present perfect tense; but based on Ecclesiastes 1:9, I think it also refers to Yeshua both in our past and in our future. Other reasons I say this is because of the titles in verse 6; no man in past history was a true Prince of Peace, Mighty God, or Everlasting Father.  Look at verse 7. This leader’s government and peace will increase, it will not end but be established with judgment and justice. That just hasn’t happened yet; it’s got to be for a future time.  We’re probably looking at a kind of prophetic perfect that is completed but the manifestation would be in the future, which is our past.  It was God’s completed intention that hadn’t yet taken place.

The Jews may say this prophecy from Isaiah 9 was already fulfilled but I don’t know exactly who this person was. There is certainly a midrash as it pertains to Yeshua.

If we were to take away the account of Yeshua’s conception and birth from the Apostolic Scriptures, could we prove the virgin birth and prove that Isaiah 9:6-7 is referring to Yeshua? I think we can; but before we attempt that, there is another problem we need to address.

There is a difference between the two genealogies of Yeshua. The first is found in Matthew 1:1-17; the other is found in Luke 3:23-38. Some have suggested that the genealogy in Matthew is Joseph’s biological line and that Luke’s genealogy is of Miriam’s. There is just no way to know if that is true or not; however, from what I understand genealogies were traced through the men and not the women.

Let me offer some information from the Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Regarding the genealogy in Matthew, the writer notes a concentric structure. On the outer edges (A, A’), the focus is on the Messiah. On the next inward level (B, B’), the focus is on the Son of David and David. The innermost section (C, C’) focuses on the Son of Abraham and Abraham. The writer says, “In ancient perspective, family line was intimately connected to identity. In addition to the inverted literary framework, Matthew structures Jesus’ genealogy by arranging it in three groups of fourteen (1:17). This shaping coheres with the genre of ancient genealogy, in which the listing of generations could be condensed (i.e., generations skipped) for specific purposes.” [1] In this genealogy, there were several kings omitted from the genealogy. The writer goes on to explain that this genealogy was grouped this way to show how Israel:

  • began with Abraham,
  • gained King David;
  • lost a king and kingdom (was exiled);
  • regained a king in the line of David through Yeshua.

This writer also offered possibilities for the emphasis on the three sets of 14 generations. My personal favorite was that they represent six cycles of seven that lead into the time of the Messiah.[2]

If this genealogy was purposefully shaped, the one in Luke was purposefully written with something else in mind. Matthew’s genealogy shows how Yeshua’s line was traced back to David’s son, Solomon; whereas Luke’s genealogy was traced back to David’s son, Nathan who was never even a king. Perhaps the reason for Luke’s genealogy lies in the meaning of Nathan’s name; it means “to give.” It could have been meant as a way to signal the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6 — a son was “given.”  In other words, Luke’s genealogy connects Yeshua to His identity as the Son who was given.

As we consider Matthew’s genealogy, we need to know that there was a king in Solomon’s line named Coniah (Jeconiah); he was the last king of Judah. Jeremiah 22:24-30 was a prophecy concerning this man and his descendants; it says Coniah, his mother, and his descendants would be taken to Babylon. None of his descendants (seed) would prosper sitting on the throne of David and ruling anymore in Judah. This would be a big problem if Yeshua was Joseph’s biological son; fortunately, Yeshua was “the seed of a woman;” He was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. He was adopted by Joseph and has the legal right to sit on the throne of David.

How do we know adoption was YHVH’s plan?

First, we know YHVH had a plan of some kind. Immediately after the prophecy of Coniah is the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness. Jeremiah 23:5-6 says, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

This is a Messianic prophecy. Only Yeshua will do this. This verse reminds me of two verses.

  • Luke 1:32 – “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” – Here we see Him reigning and prospering.
  • Revelation 19:11: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” — Here we see Him executing judgment and righteousness.

The only way to get around the problem with Coniah and to fulfill the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness is adoption. The idea of a Branch of Righteousness being adopted into the royal line of David parallels Gentiles being grafted into the olive tree of Israel through adoption. What was bad was pruned, and what was good was grafted in. If the Jews will believe, they will be grafted back in too.

Take time to read about adoption in Romans 8:15, 23; Romans 9:4; Galatians 4:5; and Ephesians 1:5.  Think about it.  If we were to be adopted into God’s spiritual family, surely Yeshua was to be adopted into an earthly physical family too.  It fits the pattern!

There is debate that Yeshua wasn’t born of a virgin, that he wasn’t adopted, and that He doesn’t have the legal right to the throne. If what we’ve discussed so far doesn’t help, I’m hoping the Bible codes will put the matter to rest. Bible Codes are not bogus; statistically, they are very real. Some have not only found single terms in matrices but also sentences. Modern day events such as Katrina, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Yitzak Rabin, 9-11, and much more have been encoded in Scripture. For the full history of Bible codes, read Cracking the Bible Code by Jeffrey Satinover.  Of course, these need to be approached with great caution because they can be easily misinterpreted, especially if they are single terms instead of full sentences.

See the following Bible code matrix and report. The primary search term is “Generations (Genealogy) of Yeshua.” The matrix was found using this term. “Yeconiah” and “Joseph” both cross this primary search term while “Miriam” is very close by and in parallel with “Joseph.” The words “adoption” and “adopt,” as well as the name “Coniah” appear in the matrix.  The statistics and location of the code are found in the report.  Click to enlarge. You will need to click one more time on the matrix when it comes up.

Generations of Yeshua2R

Generations of Yeshua2M

Now let’s look at a Bible code using “betulah” as the primary search term. In this matrix, we also have almah; on Tishrei 1 (Yeshua’s birthday); 2/3 BC (year of His birth); Wonderful; Counselor; Mighty God; Prince of Peace; Immanu-El; and mother of Yeshua. I believe this matrix shows Yeshua was not only born of a virgin but also of an almah.  It also suggests He is the fulfillment of the promised child of Isaiah 9:6. Click these to enlarge. Be sure to click a second time on the matrix.

betulah 20R

betulah 20M

We still have two other codes to consider.  The next one is based on Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses said that YHVH would raise up a Prophet like him from their midst, from their brethren.  Yeshua is the primary search term.  The matrix indicates He is “the Lamb without blemish” who “was conceived by Miriam.”  What is also very surprising is that it shows us that “a scribe (amanuensis) came into her.”  This might cause our faith to falter; but, wait until you see the next code that shows who this scribe is.

Here is the code for the prophet like Moses.  Be sure to click twice, pausing in between clicks to fully enlarge:

Like Moses ME3

Like Moses R3

The last matrix is for the Holy Spirit, which is the primary search term.  Some of the matching terms include:  discernment, Creator, Teacher, Counselor, God, tongues, to prophesy, etc.  But most important for us, it includes the term for “scribe (amanuensis).”  According to the Webster’s dictionary, amanuensis means one employed to write from dictation or to copy a manuscript.  Why would the Holy Spirit have this term as a thematic characteristic?  I could be wrong; but, I wonder if it’s because when the amanuensis entered Miriam to cause conception, it was writing or creating the proper genetic code for Yeshua.  It’s as if the scribe wrote/created the Word that would become flesh. Be sure to click twice, pausing in between clicks to fully enlarge:

Holy Spirit ME3

Holy Spirit R3

If there was ever a doubt in your mind that the virgin birth actually took place, I hope all of this sets your mind at ease.

[1] The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, Gary M. Burge and Andrew E. Hill. Published by Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2012. P.954-957.

[2] Ibid.

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