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Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth…

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You bring Israel to the brink of disaster, implying that the disaster wasn’t total. I meant total disaster did actually happen - which was what all the nations saw.

I think a virgin conception (of a male child) would strike anyone as more remarkable than simply a prophetic sign (i.e. it was in some way symbolic, or a metaphor).

Jerusalem was not preserved under Ahaz, but it was thoroughly compromised. Matthew was far from stupid. He was engaging in 2nd temple exegesis, in which entirely new meanings were given to passages of scripture by applying them to a different context. The ‘cleverness’ of the application was applauded by appreciative audiences, as we see with Jesus and Paul..A new meaning was given which could not possibly have been understood in the original context. Matthew does this with other OT prophecy/texts.

The post is not about Paul, but Paul helps us understand how righteous people in Israel might come to see themselves as sinful in the light of Paul’s autobiography and awareness.

I still can’t see how Luke 1:76 reflects Malachi.

Simeon’s words were right, but there was no restoration of Israel. It never happened. Salvation must have meant something else of a very different order.

Always a pleasure to have these discussions Andrew.