Books of Bible
The Virgin Birth
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. Necessity of a virgin birth.
1. By decision of deity a member of the Godhead appeared in
the form of a man.
a. Jesus gave up being "equal with God" to come in human
b. Jesus is now and has always been "in the form of God."
c. When he was in the "form of man," he did not abandon
his God form.
d. Jesus was fully God while also being fully human.
e. His divine and human natures are both stressed in the
f. Still, it was necessary for the God/man to limit some
of his God attributes to be "made in all things like
unto his brethren."
g. His God nature did not change, but he limited his
knowledge, power and presence during his days on earth
as a human.
h. God has the power to limit himself or he is not God,
that is, is not all powerful.
2. An Almighty being could not be procreated by natural means
in the very nature of his deity. In heaven they neither
marry nor are they given in marriage.
a. A miracle was therefore required in the case of the
coming of Jesus into the world as a man.
b. "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith,
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body
hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and
sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure" (Hebrews
c. "Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt
offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not,
neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by
the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O
God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish
the second. By the which will we are sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once
for all" (Hebrews 10:8-10).
(1) This explains the saving power of the sacrifice
(2) The Creator died for the creatures' sins.
(3) The blood of animals could never accomplish what
the blood of God/man was able to do.
B. God decided on a virgin birth as the means to bring an
embodied deity into the world.
II. The Virgin Birth.
A. Virgin birth in prophecy.
1. This is such an important matter one would expect it to
be mentioned often in prophecy.
2. However, only once did the Old Testament foretell of a
virgin birth (unless you count the "seed of woman"
prophecy of Genesis 3:15 to reference virgin birth).
3. The one place in the Old Testament were the words "virgin
birth" are used is Isaiah's prophecy to King Ahaz.
4. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and
shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).
B. Background of the virgin birth prophecy.
1. Ahaz was king in Judah (Isaiah 7:1).
2. Rezin was king of Syria and Pekah was king of Israel
3. The kings of Syria and Israel made threatening moves
toward the king of Judah (Isaiah 7:6).
4. Ahaz was terrified (Isaiah 7:2-4).
5. God sent Isaiah to assure Ahaz that the evil plans of
Rezin and Pekah to destroy Judah would fail
6. Ahaz, apparently, intend to rely on Assyria and Egypt to
rescue him (Isaiah 7:18,19).
7. God warned that Assyria and Egypt would be a bane to
Judah as well as the destroyers of Syria and Israel
C. The Sign.
1. Ahaz was told to ask for a sign of God to show that Syria
and Israel would not destroy Judah (Isaiah 7:10).
2. Ahaz declined, possibly because he had no confidence in
Isaiah but trusted in the power of Assyria and Egypt
a. Ahaz pretended that his respect for and fear of God
caused him to refuse Isaiah's invitation to ask for a
b. The implication of the context is that he did not
3. Isaiah responded to Ahaz's refusal to ask for a sign by
saying that a sign would be given even if it was not
requested (Isaiah 7:14).
a. The prophecy was that a virgin would conceive and
bear a son whose name would be Immanuel (Isaiah
b. Within the time it would take for the virgin's son to
know good from evil, Syria and Israel would be
c. The sign to Ahaz and Judah was the unexpected
destruction of the kingdoms of Pekah and Rezin within
a short time.
d. The birth of Jesus about 600 years after Isaiah
promised a sign to Ahaz would not be a sign to him,
since he would be long dead. The sign therefore
cannot refer to the virgin birth of Jesus.
D. Fulfillment of the Virgin birth prophecy.
1. Prophecy often has an immediate and a long term
a. The immediate fulfillment of the virgin birth
prophecy was the destruction of Syria and Israel
within a short period.
b. The long term fulfillment was the birth of Jesus, the
son of Mary of Nazareth.
2. Matthew reveals the long term fulfillment of the famous
a. "The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream,
saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take
unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring
forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for
he shall save his people from their sins. Now all
this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a
virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a
son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which
being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being
raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had
bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her
not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and
he called his name JESUS" (Matthew 1:20-25).
b. Matthew tells us the angel said to Joseph that the
birth of Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah,
seeing this is the only Old Testament prophecy that
specifically mentions that "a virgin shall be with
3. The meaning of the word "virgin" as used by Isaiah and
a. It is unnecessary to spend time discussing the
definition of either the Hebrew or the Greek word
translated "virgin" in Isaiah and Matthew because Luke
gives the meaning of the word.
b. An angel said to Mary, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast
found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt
conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt
call his name JESUS" (Luke 1:30-31).
c. Mary answered, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a
man?" (Luke 1:34).
(1) The virgin of Isaiah 7:14 was, according to this,
a woman who had never known a man. Never mind
arguments about the meaning of Hebrew and Greek
words. The angel announced the fulfillment of the
Isaiah prophecy and Mary gives the definition of
the word. These inspired statements give us
a clear understanding what Isaiah and Matthew
meant by the word "virgin."
(2) A virgin -- a young woman who had never known a
man -- was the vehicle, but God prepared the body
(3) He who made the body of Adam from the dust
prepared a body for the coming of the Lord.
E. Explanation delayed.
1. If the claim of virgin birth had been made immediately,
it is unlikely that it would have been accepted.
a. Matthew and Luke wrote three or four decades after
the birth of Jesus. The claim of virgin birth
therefore was not made at the time of the birth.
b. The people who knew Jesus personally assumed that he
was Joseph's son.
(1) "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his
mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and
Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters,
are they not all with us?" (Matthew 13:55).
(2) "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty
years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of
Joseph" (Luke 3:23).
c. If Mary had immediately claimed to have conceived a
child supernaturally, she would have been ridiculed
and her claim rejected, just as a claim of virgin
birth today would be scorned. No one would believe
(1) The people of Nazareth and all Israel considered
Jesus to be the natural born son of Joseph.
(2) This assumption was allowed to prevent his
rejection and especially his exclusion from the
sacred confines of the temple in Jerusalem (See
(3) If the enemies of Jesus had suspected that he
was not the natural born son of Joseph, they
would have used this to deny him entrance into
the assembly of Jehovah.
2. The revelation of virgin birth was delayed for several
a. In the meantime, Jesus gave his superb teaching
(doctrines that could not have come from a human
source and must therefore be from heaven), confirmed
the message by miracles, rose from the dead, and
ascended into heaven.
b. The gospel of the kingdom was preached in all the
world and more than half of the world's population
was converted to Jesus, and then Matthew and Luke
gave the stunning information that Jesus of Nazareth
was born of a woman who had never known a man.
c. The time was right and the revelation was given. The
timing of the declaration of virgin birth for Jesus
d. Jehovah placed safeguards around the details of the
birth of Jesus, but in the fullness of time gave the