Going Deeper

Immanuel means "God With Us'
Log onto
Blue Letter Bible and enter Immanuel in the Search Bar. Look for it in the KJV translation and make sure that you check Strong's in the tool bar at the top of the page when you get to the Immanuel page. You will see 2 Strong's numbers after Immanuel. H410 and H6005. H410 is the number for El, which is translated God. H6005 is the number for Immanuel. Click on H6005. You can listen to how this word is pronounced in Hebrew. In the Root Word box you can see that Immanuel is derived from two root words. H5973 is the work for "with" and H410 is a word for God. These two root words form the word that means "God with Us."


Finding the Story Links in the Bible:

You probably noticed that King Ahaz's story is written in more than one place in the Old Testament. It is found in 2 Kings 16 and 2 Chronicles 28 (History books)and in Isaiah 7 (Prophet book). Finding the whole story can be tricky since the Bible is not written in chronological order. Here are a few tips to finding the whole story:
1. As you become familiar with Blue Letter Bible or any other concordance, you can easily search for other parts of a story by searching for the name of the main character.
2. The history books of 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings are written in chronological order, and I & 2 Chronicles are a recap of those books. There are often pieces of the story that are only told in one place or the other so it is good to read both. If you know where the story falls in Samuel or Kings, you can probably browse through Chronicles and find what you are looking for.
3. Timelines of the Bible are pretty easy to find online. There is a nice one on Blue Letter Bible under the Study Tab called the
Chronological Map. As you scroll to the right, you can see which prophets were around during the time of individual kings and leaders.
4. I met a woman at the
Breathe Writers Conference in Michigan who had the idea for a Bible printed in the familiar order but with links so that you can read it in Chronological order. It is called The Wayfinding Bible and is published by Tyndale in the New Living Translation. I think it is a great format and highly recommend it if you are looking for a Bible to help you follow the story lines.


How the United Kingdom of israel was Divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms:

The first three kings of Israel: Saul, David and Solomon, reigned over the United Kingdom of Israel. Each of the 12 tribes lived in their allotted land but they were governed by one throne.

During David’s reign God chose the city of Jerusalem as dwelling place for His name. That meant that both the government and the place to offer sacrifices and worship God would be Jerusalem. David honored God and loved Him with his whole heart. He built his palace in Jerusalem and his son Solomon built the temple there. The temple built under Solomon’s direction was beyond brilliant. Every detail, from the magnificent architecture to the ornate and costly stones used to build it to the impeccably designed furniture, pointed Israel to the knowledge of the presence of God. When the temple was finished the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Holy place and when they left, the glory of the LORD filled the temple. A cloud literally filled the temple so that the priests could not even perform their duties. GOD WAS THERE. The sacrifices and offerings were unimaginably abundant (22,000 cattle and 20,000 sheep and goats!) and the prayers of dedication on that day were heartfelt and sincere and full of absolute promises to live lives that honored and served YHWH, the One True God. That was the deal. God’s blessing in Israel was contingent on Israel’s obedience and dedication only to Him. On that day, everyone was in, especially King Solomon. (2 Chronicles 5)

It is easy to say yes to God when everything seems shiny and new and everyone in the crowd is saying yes. It is the day-to-day, long-term commitment that is not so easy, even for guys as wise as Solomon. He did so much that was right during his reign as the king of Israel. People came from all around to see his immense wealth and hear of his extraordinary wisdom. But King Solomon had a problem with pretty women. I Kings 11 says Solomon loved many foreign women. They were the women God had warned Israel not to marry – the ones who would turn Israel’s hearts to other gods. Did Solomon think he was immune from their influence? Did he forget that the condition of God’s blessing was his whole-hearted obedience? His 700 wives and 300 concubines led him away from the promise of his youth to stay true to YHWH. In his old age he even built high places on a hill east of Jerusalem for his wives to offer sacrifices to their detestable gods.

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God.” (
I Kings 11:4)

The consequences are so sad and SO not worth it. Because of Solomon’s disobedience God said that he would tear the kingdom away from Solomon and his descendants. (
I Kings 11:9-13) The United Kingdom would be divided and descendants of another family would rule most of Israel. But for the sake of his father David, David and Solomon’s descendants would stay on the throne in Jerusalem.

After King Solomon died, the kingdom was divided into the larger northern kingdom and the much smaller southern kingdom. The period of the Divided Kingdom of Israel began. In the Old Testament, the northern kingdom is referred to as Israel (or sometimes Samaria or Ephraim) and the southern kingdom, where Jerusalem is, is called Judah. The northern kings did not remain true to YHWH. They set up places of worship in the north to keep the Israelites from traveling back to Jerusalem in the south, which meant they lead people away from whole-hearted devotion to God. The descendants of David and Solomon stayed on the throne in Jerusalem in the south. The kings of Judah varied in their devotion to God. Some served him whole-heartedly, some half-heartedly, and some not at all. But always, for the sake of their father David, God remained faithful to Jerusalem, the city where God chose to put His name.

As you read through history books in the Old Testament you will see subtitles like Pekah King of Israel, and Ahaz King of Judah. The writers tell Israel’s story going back and forth between the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. Although all of Israel had started out as one nation, over time the kingdoms drifted apart. Ahaz’s story begins 200 years after the kingdom divided. He is the 12th king since Solomon to sit on the throne in Jerusalem and one of his enemies is Pekah, King of Israel. A lot changed for Israel over those two centuries but one of the things that remained the same was God’s preservation of Jerusalem as the dwelling place for His name.


Links for further reading:

Archaeology, Ahaz and Tiglath-Pilesar III

An impression of the seal of King Ahaz, son of Jotham has been found and credibly established as the first seal impression of a hebrew King discovered by archaeologists.
The annals of Tiglath-Pilesar III have been found and offer an interesting bit of information about King Ahaz. Tiglath-Pilesar boasts of receiving tribute from Ahaz. Ahaz's name appears in a "theophoric" form, that is with a prefix of the name of God. Tiglath-PIlesar refers to Ahaz as Yeho-ahaz. It was not uncommon for the kings of Israel to have a form of YHWH incorporated into their names. But the Bible never refers to Ahaz as anything other that plain Ahaz. Did Tiglath-Pilesar add "Yeho" to describe the God of Ahaz whom he felt he was defeating? Or did Ahaz, in another attempt to remove God from his story, also remove God's name from his own name?
Follow this
link to an article in Biblical Archaeology Review if you would like to read about it.

Charles Spurgeon preached a Christmas sermon about Ahaz and Immanuel on December 24,1854, Click
here to read it.


Jesus and Immanuel

Immanuel and Our Stories