Emmanual (Septuagint Emmanouel; A.V., Immanuel) signifies "God with us" (Matthew 1:23), and is the name of the child predicted in Isaiah 7:14: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel". The various views advanced as to the identity of the child cannot be fully explained and discussed here; the following observations must suffice:
The question why the Messias was called Emmanuel, or "God with us", admits of a double answer: the name is a pledge of Divine help and also a description of the nature of the Messias. King Achaz had not believed the Prophet's first promise of deliverance from his enemies, Rasin, King of Syria, and Phacee, King of Israel (Isaiah 7:1-9). And when the Prophet tried a second time to restore his confidence, Achaz refused to ask for the sign which God was ready to grant in confirmation of the prophetic promise (7:10-12). The Prophet, therefore, forces, in a way, King Achaz to confide in God, showing that the Messias, the hope of Israel and the glory of the house of David, implies by his very name "Emmanuel", or "God with us", the Divine presence among his people. A number of the Fathers, e.g. St. Irenaeus, Lactantius, St. Epiphanius, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret, regard the name "Emmanuel", not merely as a pledge of Divine assistance, but also as an expression of the mystery of the Incarnation by virtue of which the Messias will be "God with us" in very deed.
APA citation. (1909). Emmanuel. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved April 26, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05404a.htm
MLA citation. "Emmanuel." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 26 Apr. 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05404a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph P. Thomas.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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