As a theology major in college, I am fascinated with the languages of the Bible (although I never took Greek or Hebrew). I most likely learned about Immanuel vs. Emmanuel, but didn’t recall this morning, so I looked it up:
Dive in here if you are really curious. The short answer is that “Immanuel” is translated from the Hebrew and “Emmanuel” is a Greek Translation of the Hebrew.
The Old Testament is where we first hear of this name for Jesus:
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
How amazing that God is going to give us His heavenly son! God is going to become man and he is going to be called a name that figuratively means “God is with us.”
This passage from Isaiah is they quotes in the New Testament:
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,[a]
which means ‘God is with us.’” – Matthew 1:22-23 (NLT)
The Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled. Jesus was born and became God incarnate as a human being. He walked this earth, taught his followers, healed, and showed what love is with the ultimate sacrifice. And then he gave the Holy Spirit, which meant that God would never leave our side.
This song came into my mind as I was thinking about this name for Jesus. These lyrics express the unworthiness of our sin to be cared for in this way, but the thankfulness we have to know the love and forgiveness of Emmanuel!