Wednesday (12/11/19)

Read Isaiah 7

Today we see the first stanza of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel from Isaiah 7:14.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here,
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” LATIN HYMN 1710 TRANSLATED NEALE

  • What are the areas of captivity you see in your life?
  • Can you relate to being lonely and mourning? Write out how that looks and feels in your daily experience:
  • Take those experiences to the Lord today.


The King James Version of the Bible uses the spelling Emmanuel. The English Standard Version and others (e.g., NASB, NLT, NKJV, HCSB, NIV) use the spelling Immanuel. The New English Translation employs both spellings, Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) and Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23).So, which spelling is correct? Well, to be fair, there really is no “right” way to transliterate words from one alphabet to another. 

The process of transliteration is all about getting the sounds into the other language, and both spellings, Immanuel and Emmanuel, allow us to pronounce the original word correctly. But still, why the difference in spelling? And why would the NET Bible use both spellings? The answer lies in the languages behind the English translations. 

The Old Testament is written in Hebrew (and some Aramaic), and the New Testament is written in Greek. The Hebrew for Immanuel looks like this: עִמָּנוּ אֵל. Reading right-to-left, the first letter “עִ” (Ayin) is silent (with a vowel point beneath it) and typically gets transliterated as an “I.” So, the English transliteration of the Hebrew word usually looks like Immanuel.

The Greek transliteration of עִמָּנוּ אֵל looks like this: Ἐμμανουήλ. Do you see the “E” (Epsilon) in there? The Gospel of Matthew has Ἐμμανουήλ present in Matthew 1:23. Epsilons often come over to English as “E’s.” Now, knowing the Greek and Hebrew background, we have our answer.

Quoted from a sermon at Immanuel Church