Isaiah 7; 14 ‘Almah’ and ‘Immanuel’ in the context of Igbo and Hebrew languages. (Part III)

By Sampson Iroabuchi Onwuka




2, WE should also be able to pick apart some of the teachings of Isaiah by looking at the words and the wordings evident in the Bible. For instance, we read of ‘Emmanuel’ ‘Immanuel’ which means God with us in the Book of Isaiah 7;14. This term Emmanuel is so original to Hebrew that nothing has been done to compel out knowledge of Emmanuel in its descriptive curve for a ‘Christ’ that is already with us. In a essence, the meaning of Emmanuel is that ‘God is with us’, but we have to suggest that Christ died to bring in the Holy Spirit, as such Christ was an event leading to the Holy Spirit and not the ever-abiding holy spirit. In some surface explicating, the Holy Spirit was the ever-abiding spirit of God, which Christ was to initiate, to which Christ was to perform as his ministry teaches. The prophets of old preached with this holy spirit, so also those who were considered suffering servants of God.


So how what did the Apostles of Christ say about Jesus and how did they themselves see Christ. Luke 7; 16 mentions Christ as one of the Prophets, a point which may perhaps suggest that the disciples of Christ saw Christ as perhaps a prophet, perhaps ‘more than a prophet’ (Luke 7; 26) – for in John 6; 14 we also read “This is indeed the prophet – who is to come into the world.” 2 Chronicles 1; 20, Jesus is “the anointed one in whom God’s promises have become yes and amen.’ By tradition (Lk 7; 39) explains the position of the Jewish generality, some of which is still a lasting phenomenon in our time, for it seems that the even today the tradition prevalent among the Jews is that Christ is all probability a Prophet and in some sense, a suffering servant of God .


From additional citations in the Bible, we read in Mt. 21; 21-11, 46, (Lk 9; 7-9; Jn 6; 14-15 and in 1; 21. Luke 24; 19> regarding the two men on their way to Emmaus> that Christ was in his time considered a prophet by his people, who must remain blessed since he is the one “who comes in the name in the name of the Lord”>Hossannah in the highest – as go the tedium. C/c Luke 11; 14-23 and Matthew 12; 22-30. In essence, enough exist to indicate that the Disciples of Christ and ministerial years of their early beginning of his ministries, the pastoral ministries of their Letters to the Church and Epistles, the Apostolic of later years say that Christ is one of the prophets – according to the tradition of Israel and ven eventually the son fo God according to the scriptures. The Disciples of Christ were probably drawn to Christ because of this unusual ability and only with time later recognized as Peter would famously proclaim that he is the ‘ anointed one’> the Christ.


Edward Schillebeeckx in his book ‘Jesus; an experiment in Christology’ was serious about the fact that Jesus was perceived as a prototype of Moses, Elijah, Samuel, who in their lives were extraordinary men of God. All three of them were suffering servants of God – meaning that prayed for the sins of the people of Israel. Moses was the prophet that set in order things to come for a prophet greater than him. So did Elijah, so did Samuel who may or may not have laid the foundation of priestly head and function of Israel. These men are believed to cited, that in the future a prophet that was greater than them was coming. In that tradition of these prophets was John the Baptist – walking in the tradition or ‘spirit of Elijah’ also mentioned that there is one coming after him ‘whose sandals he was unworthy to untie . In the transfiguration it was ‘Elijah and Moses’ that appeared along side Christ, as if Christ was a prototype of these two. Samuel was not among the people that appeared to Disciples of Christ, but Samuel I and II in keeping to David’s life, brought the instruments of God’s divinity to bear against his people. Schillebeeckx indicated that according to the scriptures, that “Jesus, saw ideas about a Davidic messiah behind that popular reaction (Jn 6; 15); and ‘he withdrew’.”


But one prophet that best embodied all these teachings of Christ and the very nature of his transfiguration is Isaiah –known to us through his Book – who some believe is composed after the passions of Jeremiah. Perhaps, there was such a person who suffered in the Bible like Isaiah and Jeremiah, perhaps such as Job in the Bible, but these suffering servants of God were also expected to remove the Sins of Israel. These Israeli believe that according to the promises of the most high when Israelite obeyed the words of God and did them, they will always be saved from their enemies. This man as the Bible indicated would be a prophet or minister of God from his mother’s womb. That a prophet is a prophet ‘from his mother’s womb’> (Jeremiah 1; 5, Isaiah 49; 1-3, Psalms. 110), so was Christ who the people believed in – even though they say he is one with the prophets. That according to the Scripture however, Christ Jesus was the messiah that was expected.


While this essay is not about Edward Schillebeeckx, it is proper to indicate that in (p.475), he inserted the fact that “According to the people of Israel Jesus is ‘one of the prophets’ a Semitism for: he is a prophet (Mak 6; 15, 8; 27-28). Herod said the same thing in of Mk 6; 14-15 and of Christ Jesus he said that “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him” But we take from that page a section of Mk 6; v.15 concerning the teachings and saying about concerning Christ, that people said that in terms of Christ, “It is Elijah” And others said, “it is the Prophet, or like one of the Prophets.” In summary of these incident reports, we read that Jesus Christ at some point in Mark 8; 27-28 turned to his disciples and asked, ‘who do men say I am’? v.28 ‘So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And in v.29, we learn that Jesus turned to his disciples and asked them, now who do you say I am? And Peter made the famous confession that ‘you are the Christ.’ These portions discussed in this paragraph largely appeared according to the commentary of Schillebeeckx. They may or may not have seen something in Christ to have even hung around him, especially when he was not among the greatly rich. That’s – going by the above scenario.


John 1 ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God’; John 1; 2 ‘He was with God in the beginning ‘; and John 1; 14 ‘The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth”


Genesis 1; 1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” We learn from these portions of the Bible, the theme of Creation (okike in Igbo – as if to say o’kere>he created), through the word of God. The Bible book of Genesis 1; 1-3 says the following, that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. V.2, The Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. V.3, And God said, “Let there be light and there was light.” This Divine Logos; this creator spirit, this spirit from which all things were made, from which things came to be is known as the word of God – which is the spirit and as many theological language would deem, is the Holy Spirit of God. Christ came to bring this event of the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Creation; Creator Spirit), Christ brought the event because the event was a re-awakening of the Divine Logos. In the beginning was this Holy Spirit which was one and only with the father and the Egyptian called it the ‘Ptah’>Creator Spirit.


The Holy Spirit may be a new event, as according to the teachings of Christ disciples, but may have been around since the creation of the divine logos by John I. The main point is that Emmanuel is a person of highly derived salvific import or Emmanuel is the beginning of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Both themes are hardly new and we know that the Gnostic themes from the desert also proves a point, and the point mentions that, “In the beginning was Ptah and his Ka was with him”, a theme not far from John of St John Gospel (The Fourth) who also a Gnostic. But Ptah and its career as a creed seem to have been quite old. How old?


The etymology of the name Emmanuel is rooted in Hebrew as ‘Emmanu-a’ (Immanua), pronounced as we have been told as the Ewwanu-a (Ewwanuel) or whatever. He can indicate that Emmanuel which means ‘God with us’ is not a term unfamiliar to African languages such as Kemit. As far as recent family of languages are concerned, Hebrew is part of the world language family called ‘Afro-Asiatic’, and one of the reasons why Hebrew and Arabic are called Afro-Asiatic is that words in Hebrew as in Arabic are very close to Aramaic. These words such as Emmanuel, or Christ and the saying ‘God with us’, have Afro and Asiatic origins which is quite clear in terms of the meaning of the words above.


Why Hebrew and Arabic or Aramaic should be called Afro-Asiatic and not Greek and Latin is not clear. It does appear that Greek language as much as Hebrew has as many common words and its meaning, as they Igbo words are close to Greek as words and language. Greek contains as many words of Hebrew as there are many words in Nigerian Igbo that is also Greek, same with Latin. If Hebrew is Afro-Asiatic along with Arabic then Greek like the Igbo is Afro-Asiatic.


The word Emmanuel as many Afrocentric have argued (without really mentioning George G.M James) is very original to Kemit or Ancient Egyptian language/s. These words are true and if we are likey to indulge the mystics, Africa languages can help to widen the ground support of points made by these great minds such as George James, Martin Bernal, and Dr. Ben. Their stock of American Intellects are deserving of all the praises, despite the fact that they are not the first to have written about Hebrew, Christian, and Islam as footnotes to African religious experiences. The missing gaps in G.M James argument is the connection of what they termed mysteries of Egypt to Zoroastrian, and in the sophistry of Martin Bernal, he failed to show that the reasons why there is so much connection between Egyptian religion and rest of Middle East religion is because of the Zoroastrian.


There is a determined and fitting finale for some of the argument about the Creature God and his words which Jews (Hebrew-Israelite) hold dear and true. If we place these significant cog of religious experience and understanding within the context of its revelation in the Bible, we may yet suggest that the paternity of Divine Logos – which some undoubtedly place at the biological genus of Greek in spite of the fact that logic and civilization is without doubt a reference to understanding the difference between God (Ra – to speak), his divine speech through Creations materialized (Ptah>Putah) and the very spirit of Ra – (his Ka, Ki, Chi, or Christ). The overall philosophy of Logic and Logos is the attempt to find the meaning and mind of God in his creation>either/or. Reread the book of Exodus concerning the coming out of the angel or spirit of death, the word ‘pesah’ ‘pusah’ does not mean ‘ Passover’> concomitant to ‘God passed over’, rather, Passover was the closest word-meaning for the ‘coming out’ (becoming) or the en-fleshing of the word of God (Putah, Ptah), and in terms of the angel of death as the Exodus incident will show, Ptah was a function of God’s act. That may also be saying that there is such a thing as form or function Ptah, which is God in action and God doing his work.


That the words Emmanuel meaning God with us, also applies to Amun, who is believed to be the God transcendental  There are no mistakes about the same group of words applied to the very presence of God or otherwise the ray of God or the shine of Ra. The Ray of the Sun is the revelation of God and it is his presence in more domestic terms that may be referred to as the shine which ever abides. While these accouterments about the eye of the Sun (Ra) and the light or rays of the Sun (Amun), are within domestic meaning, they are also used as a reference to eternity of the most high God. While we are arguing that Emmanuel is Christ, we trying to show that Christ as a name is a term variously reserved for the holy ones, for instance the Greek Chrisma, which they have argued means, ‘ anointed one’.


Some of us may disagree, since Chrisma is not the same as Kerygma and Kerygma not the same as Misaiich. Older versions of the same word, literally meaning ‘isma’ from a term closer in meaning to ‘maran atta’ referring to anointed lord, suggest that the word Chrisma – particularly the ‘chr’ as in Christ was added sometime later. No doubt that ‘isma’ or ‘iesma’ is close to the Hebrew word Misaiich (whose spelling I doubt is correct), prove of this would be an Igbo meaning and translation of the ‘annointed one’ literally meaning, ‘onye etere isi manu’ or ‘isi etere manu’ – part of the ‘ekke-iza’ (ecclesia) where ‘isi’ means head and ‘manu’ means oil in Igbo respectively. ‘Isi-manu’ as a term in of itself in Igbo language will mean, ‘head of oil’ – alludeds to some oil on a head or one ‘with head of oil’ but does not necessarily mean a ‘head anointed with oil’ or ‘ anointed one’ as the overall context will deem.
But the word Emmanuel is quite the same if not similar to the word yamanu or Yamahu, and it is this idea of ‘ transcendence’ without Hegelian ‘ Phenomenon of Spirit’, that envelops a sense of the ever abiding God or the sense of God’s presence as the rays to the Sun of the more realized meaning of the word ‘Emmanuel’. For sure, there is an understanding that God created man in his ‘own image and likeness’ and breathed on him, the breathe of life. This breath of life is believed to be one with the creator spirit. The direct meaning of the word man in context of Divine pre-eminence is not that dissimilar from Man as a name that has roots elsewhere. In all reality, the word of God which surpasses all understanding goes along way to wet our appetite on the working nature of God’s word and the meaning of God’s Holy Spirit>the Creator Spirits which is said proceeds from the father, a term that is within the meaning of the saving Christ come from the Father, and somehow relates to the coming of the Holy Spirit – which is a parallel remediation as in light that shines from up on high.


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