Isaiah 7:14

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

AD 373
But what does this passage mean, if not that God has come in the flesh? - "Letter 60.6"
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Do you hesitate or refuse to believe his birth of a virgin, when you ought rather to believe that thus it was fitting for God to be born man? Learn that this, too, was foretold by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, which is interpreted, God with us.” You will not doubt, therefore, the motherhood of a virgin if you want to believe the nativity of a God who does not relinquish the government of the universe and comes in flesh among human beings; who bestows fecundity on his mother yet does not diminish her integrity. - "On Faith in Things Unseen 3.5"

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
You must appreciate, brothers and sisters, what a tremendous desire possessed the saints of old to see the Christ. They knew he was going to come, and all those who were living devout and blameless lives would say, “Oh, if only that birth may find me still here! Oh, if only I may see with my own eyes what I believe from God’s Scriptures!” The saints who knew from the holy Scripture that a virgin was going to give birth as you heard when Isaiah was read: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb and shall bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” What Emmanuel means the Gospel declares to us, saying, “which is interpreted, God with us.” So do not let it surprise you, unbelieving soul, whoever you are, do not let it strike you as impossible that a virgin should give birth, and in giving birth remain a virgin. Realize that it was God who was born, and you will not be surprised at a virgin giving birth. So then, to prove to you how the saints and just men and women of old long...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
But who shall say that Christ and Christians have no connection with Israel, seeing that Israel was the grandson of Abraham, to whom first, as afterwards to his son Isaac, and then to his grandson Israel himself, that promise was given, which I have already mentioned, namely: “In your seed shall all nations be blessed”? That prediction we see now in its fulfillment in Christ. For it was of this line that the Virgin was born, concerning whom a prophet of the people of Israel and of the God of Israel sang in these terms: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son; and they shall call his name Emmanuel.” For by interpretation, Emmanuel means “God with us.” This God of Israel … has forbidden the worship of other gods, … has forbidden the making of idols, … has commanded their destruction, … has by his prophet predicted that the Gentiles from the ends of the earth would say, “Surely our fathers have worshiped lying idols, in which there is no profit.” This same God is he who, by the n...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Christ was born a visible man of a human virgin mother, but he was a hidden God because God was his Father. So the prophet had foretold: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son; and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is interpreted, God with us.” To prove that he was God, Christ worked many miracles, some of which—as many as seemed necessary to establish his claim—are recorded in the Gospels. Of these miracles the very first was the marvelous manner of his birth; the very last, his ascension into heaven in his body risen from the dead. - "City of God 18.46"


AD 735
The Savior’s name, because of which he is called “God with us” by the prophet, signifies both natures of his one person. For he who, born before time from the Father, is God himself in the fullness of time, became Emmanuel (that is, “God with us”) in his mother’s womb, because he deigned to take the weakness of our nature into the unity of his person when “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” In a wonderful manner he began to be what we are, while not ceasing to be what he had been, assuming our nature in such a way that he himself would not lose what he had been. - "Homilies on the Gospels 1.5"

Eusebius of Caesarea

AD 339
House of David, from this time on when you encounter your enemies, call upon the one who is named Immanuel. The meaning of the title, which is “God with us,” reveals the power of the Word. Believe this sign, be courageous, and do not call upon the gods of Damascus. Do not enlist those who have no assistance to offer. Rather, call upon Immanuel, the God who will “be with” people at the appropriate time. Take heart with confidence, trusting in the power of the title.… If the prophet had said, “They will call his name Immanuel,” he would have been speaking only of a future time. This would have caused doubt for some, because when the Savior was born of the virgin his name was not Immanuel but Jesus, as the angel had instructed Joseph, saying, “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” If the prophecy was “they will call his name Imman...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Virgin, halma, (Haydock) one secluded from the company of men. Alma in Latin signifies "a holy person "and in Punic "a virgin. "The term is never applied to any but "a young virgin. "If it meant a young woman, what sort of a sign would this be? (St. Jerome) It was indeed above the sagacity of man to declare that the child to be born would be a boy, and live till the kings should be destroyed. But the prophet undoubtedly speaks of Jesus Christ, the wonderful, (chap. ix. 5.) as well as of a boy, who should prefigure him, and be an earnest of the speedy destruction of the two kings. He was to be born of Isaias, (chap. viii. 4.) and of all the qualities belonging to the true Emmanuel, only that regards him, which intimates that the country should be delivered before he should come to years of discretion, ver. 16. (Calmet, Diss.) (Bossuet) The Fathers generally apply all to Christ. Called. Or shall be in effect, chap. i. 26. (Calmet) The king hardly trusted in God's mercies, whereupon t...

Gregory the Theologian

AD 390
Humanity was blended with God, and he was one. The more powerful predominated in order that I might become god just as he became human. Although he was already begotten, he was born of a woman, who was a virgin. Because his birth was from a woman, it was human. Because she was a virgin, it was divine. He had neither a human father nor a divine mother. - "On the Son, Theological Oration 3(29).19"
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AD 420
Isaiah tells of the mystery of our faith and hope: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.” I know that the Jews are accustomed to meet us with the objection that in Hebrew the word almah does not mean a virgin but “a young woman.” And, to speak truth, a virgin is properly called bethulah, but a young woman, or a girl, is not almah but naarah! What then is the meaning of almah? A hidden virgin, that is, not merely virgin, but a virgin and something more, because not every virgin is hidden, shut off from the occasional sight of men. - "Against Jovinianus 1.32"


AD 420
By no means will God speak in many and various ways, according to the apostle Paul, nor according to another prophet will he be represented through the hands of the prophets, but he who previously spoke through others will himself say “Here I am.” The bride in the Song of Songs also asked in this regard: “O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth!” For “the Lord of hosts is himself the King of glory.” He will descend to a virginal womb and will enter and exit through the eastern gate that always remains closed, concerning which Gabriel said to the virgin: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the one who will be born to you is holy and will be called the Son of God.” And Proverbs writes, “Wisdom built itself a home.” Thus when it is said, “The Lord himself will give you a sign,” this should refer to something new and marvelous. - "Commentary on Isaiah 3.7.14"

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Were she not to be a virgin, the birth would not have been a sign. A sign is something that differs from the normal way things happen, that is outside the natural manner. A sign is so unusual and unexpected that someone who sees it or hears of it sees that it is out of the ordinary. It is called a “sign” because it is significant. Were the birth to be like normal births, it would not have been significant. If the prophecy is about a woman giving birth in the normal manner, like what happens every day, then why call it a sign? - "Commentary on Isaiah 7.5"

John Chrysostom

AD 407
What precedes this passage also gives us its meaning. He does not simply say, “Behold, the virgin will conceive.” First he said, “Behold, the Lord will give you a sign,” and then he adds to it, “Behold, the virgin will conceive.” If the one who was to give birth was not a virgin but the conception occurred in the natural manner, then what sort of sign would this be? A sign must be extraordinary and strange, or how else could it be a sign? - "Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew 5.3"
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
To prevent you from thinking that his coming to earth was an accommodation, as those others were, and to give you solid grounds for truly believing that his was real flesh, he was conceived, born and nurtured. That his birth might be made manifest and become common knowledge, he was laid in a manger, not in some small room but in a lodging place before a throng of people. This was the reason for the swaddling clothes and also for the prophecies spoken long before. The prophecies showed not only that he was going to be a man but also that he would be conceived, born and nurtured as any child would be. Isaiah proclaimed this when he said, “Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call his name Immanuel.” He eats butter and honey. And again, the same prophet said, “A child is born to us, a son is given to us.” Do you see how these prophecies foretold his infancy? - "Against the Anomoeans 7.49"

John Chrysostom

AD 407
You have heard, therefore, that the Father is called Lord. Come now, and let me show you that the Son is called God. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall give birth to a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.’ ” Did you see how both the name Lord is given to the Father and the name God is given to the Son? In the psalm, the sacred writer said, “Let them know that Lord is your name.” Here Isaiah says, “They shall call his name Immanuel.” - "Against the Anomoeans 5.15"
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Justin Martyr

AD 165
And again hear what was prophesied through Isaiah the prophet, that he would be born of a virgin. He said, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they will call his name, God with us.” Through the prophetic spirit God announced beforehand that things which are unimaginable and believed to be impossible for human beings would take place, in order that when it occurred it would be believed and received by faith because it had been promised. In order to ensure that someone does not accuse us of saying the same things as the poets, who say that Zeus came to women for sexual pleasure, we will explain the words of this prophecy clearly. The phrase “behold, the virgin shall conceive” means that the virgin would conceive without intercourse. If she had in fact had intercourse with someone, she would not have been a virgin. God’s power came on the virgin, overshadowed her and caused her to conceive while she remained a virgin. - "First Apology 33"

Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius

AD 320
He [God] was with us on the earth, when he assumed flesh; and he was no less God in man, and man in God. That he was both God and man was declared before by the prophets. - "Epitome of the Divine Institutes 44"
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Maximus of Turin

AD 423
The manner of his birth proves the truth about the Lord: a virgin conceived without knowing a man; her belly was filled, having been touched by no embrace; and her chaste womb received the Holy Spirit, whom her pure members preserved and her unsullied body carried. Behold the miracle of the mother of the Lord! She is a virgin when she conceives, a virgin when she brings forth, a virgin after birth. What glorious virginity! What splendid fruitfulness! The world’s goodness is born, and there is no pain of childbirth. The womb is emptied, a child is brought forth, and still virginity is not violated. For it was fitting that when God was born, the value of chastity should increase, and that one who was untouched should not be violated by his coming—he who came to heal what was injured—and that bodily purity should not be harmed by him who bestows virginity on those who have been baptized and had formerly been unchaste. The child who has been born, then, is placed in a crib. This is God’s f...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
What is the sign? “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” In fact, a virgin did conceive and gave birth to “Emmanuel, God with us.” This is the new birth: a man born from God. God was born in the man, taking the flesh of the old human race without the help of the old human seed. God took the flesh in order to reform the old human race with a new seed. In other words, he spiritually cleansed the old human race by removing its old stains. - "On the Flesh of Christ 17"
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
The Jews say that it is not written in the prophecy “virgin” but “young woman.” To which it may be answered that “young woman” and “virgin” mean the same thing in Scripture, for in Scripture “young woman” refers to one who is still a virgin. Furthermore, if it was not a virgin that gave birth, how would it be a sign, something extraordinary? Listen to Isaiah, who says, “For this reason the Lord himself shall give you a sign,” and immediately he adds, “Behold, the virgin.” So if it were not a virgin that would give birth, it would not be a sign. The Jews, then, alter the text of Scripture in their malice, putting “young woman” instead of “virgin.” But whether the text reads “young woman” or “virgin,” it should be understood in either case that it is a virgin who will give birth so that the event may be a miraculous sign. - "Explanation of Matthew 23"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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