by Brad ScottOutside the exceptions of the deity of Yeshua‘ and the trinity, the idea of a miraculous virgin birth is perhaps the most strongly debated teaching. This is not the forum to protest or defend the virgin birth, but rather to research the etymological meanings of the words that the true Author of scripture chooses to use. The Hebrew word used in Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 7:14 is 'almah (עלמה). This word is the feminine gender of the verbal root 'alam (עלם) . This root is the basis for two seemingly unrelated ideas. Their shared root is the basis for their fundamental meanings. The word 'alam is the root for the Hebrew word 'olam, the Hebrew word translated as everlasting, forever, and eternal. The reason why these two words are brothers in the world of Hebrew philology is because they both share the same meaning of hidden or not known. The word 'olam is not the Hebrew equivilent of infinite or never ending, but rather simply an age, time or existence that is not known. The same is true of the status of 'almah. This word is translated as a virgin, a maid, or young woman. It appears 7 times (coincidence!) in the Tanakh. Every appearance gives no indication in the context as to whether the young woman referred to has known or not known a man, i.e. virgin. However, the verbal root of the word does signify someone who has not known a man. In the Hebrew scriptures, the idea of "knowing a man" means having had intercourse. In the Hebrew language, the words 'almah, which is the same root for widow (having no man), and betulah can both refer to a virgin or someone having not known a man. If the anti-virgin birth groups want to deny this teaching, they are better off approaching the subject from a different angle than using or abusing the word 'almah.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊