In the  prophecy of the virgin birth, Isaiah 7:14,  the prophet Isaiah declared, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him  Immanuel.” This prophecy refers to the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:22-23, “All  this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The  virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him  Immanuel’ which means, ‘God with us.'” This does not mean, however, that the  Messiah’s name would actually be Immanuel.

There are many names given to  Jesus using the phrase “He shall be called,” both in the Old and New Testaments.  This was a common way of saying that people would refer to Him in these various  ways. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “His name shall be called Wonderful,  Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). None of these  titles was Jesus’ actual name, but these were descriptions people would use to  refer to Him forever. Luke tells us Jesus “shall be called the Son of the  Highest” (Luke 1:32) and  “son of God” (1:35) and “the prophet of the Highest” (1:76), but none of these  was His name.

In two different places, the prophet Jeremiah says in  referring to the coming Messiah, “And this is His name by which He shall be  called, JEHOVAH, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah  23:5-6; 33:15-16). Now we know that God, the Father, is named  Jehovah. Jesus was never actually called Jehovah as though it was His name, but  His role was that of bringing the righteousness of Jehovah to those who would  believe in Him, exchanging that righteousness for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Therefore, this is one of the many titles or “names” which belong to  Him.

In the same way, to say that Jesus would be called “Immanuel” means  Jesus is God and that He dwelt among us in His incarnation and that He is always  with us. Jesus was God in the flesh. Jesus was God making His dwelling among us  (John 1:1,14). No, Jesus’ name was not Immanuel, but Jesus was the  meaning of Immanuel, “God with us.” Immanuel is one of the many titles for  Jesus, a description of who He is.

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