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  • Elizabeth Puntel
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    Great thought, Brother. Thanks.

    In further reply to post #9291:
    I listened to Dr. Larry Feingold’s first lecture “Mary and the Old Testament” in which towards the end he explains that the word “almah” is translated as ‘virgin’ in the LXX. In the Hebrew, it is only used 5 times in the Bible and each time as referring to an unmarried ‘maid.’ Very helpful!
    I notice the translation of Gen. 3:15 on usccb.org uses ‘they shall strike at your head while you strike at their heel’

    Then, I found this in “Mary, the Church at the Source” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Joseph Card. Ratzinger, c.1997), p. 86:
    “…In this passage <Mt.28:19-20)> Jesus now reveals himself as the God-with-us whose new kingdom embraces all nations in its span, because there is but one God for all. Correspondingly, Matthew, in his account of Jesus’ conception, makes one alteration to the words of Isaiah. He does not repeat the phrase “she <the virgin> shall call his name Emmanuel.” Instead, he says “they shall call his name Emmanuel (which means God with us).” This “they” is an allusion to the future communion of believers, the Church, which shall call Jesus by this name.
    Footnote: Ratzinger footnotes that from p. 21 of J. Gnilka, Das Matthausevangelium, vol 1 (Freiburg, 1986)

    I found both sources really helpful.

    Elizabeth Puntel
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Why don’t I? I would need your prayers with Our Lady of the Miracle and then I will have the wisdom to make a good decision about that, the courage to try and perhaps the grace to do it reasonably well. Thanks for the challenge, Brother.

    Elizabeth Puntel
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Has anyone ever commented or written on Aron Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger’s reflections on Matthew ch. 2, found in three chapters of his book The Promise?

    Elizabeth Puntel
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I think pp. 46-51 of Benedict XVI’s book Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives addresses some of this issue.
    P. 49 sums up four hypotheses of interpretation of the passage, then concludes none of them quite fit.
    In Benedict’s exegesis, though, he translates ‘almah’ as ‘virgin’ and perhaps it’s not difficult to see that a ‘young woman’ could be that. Perhaps in fact with the hindsight of seeing that God pulled off the impossible and that the Virgin Mary did conceive and bear a son even Isaiah would testify that that word is an excellent translation!
    At any rate, Matthew’s choice of ‘virgin’ is not a proof text so much as a celebration of what had become reality. It is ratified by Joseph’s whole experience in Mt. 1 and with Luke’s Gospel’s announcement of the Annunciation.

    Finally, I really liked Benedict XVI’s summary on p.50 into 51-
    that the sign was not addressed merely to Ahaz or even to Israel, but to humanity (through Israel, with Mary and Joseph as the ‘root Israel’:
    “The prophets prediction is like a miraculously formed keyhole into which the key of Christ fits perfectly.” (quoting Marius Reiser from Bibelkritik, p. 328) So, again, it’s not a ‘proof text’ but a source of amazement for those who believe.

    I’m not an expert but you can see I’ve been doing a little thinking on it.
    To conclude, here is a page on a website about Our Lady of the Sign: (the author uses Isaiah’s ‘young woman’ without batting an eyelash!)
    https://austindiocese.org/icon-of-our-lady-of-the-sign-is-complex-very-symbolic

    Hope this helps.
    Betsy(no number)

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