Why a website named EmmanuelsLand.com?
The name Emmanuel (Hebrew: "God with us") comes from Isaiah 7:14, 8:8, 10 and Matthew 1:20-23. King Ahaz of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) was facing an imminent invasion by a coalition of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Syria. The Prophet Isaiah pronounced to Ahaz that the attack would not be successful (Isa. 7:7) and urged the king to ask any sign from the Lord to verify the Prophet’s message of hope. When Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, Isaiah announced, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14, later quoted by Matthew in 1:23). All of the promises of God will be realized in Christ, the definitive God with us (compare II Cor. 1:20)!
Isaiah continues in chapter eight warning of the chastisement that would come to Ahaz’ son, Hezekiah. Once Assyria in 722 B.C. conquered Samaria, Assyria would next attempt to conquer Jerusalem for her refusal of “. . . the waters of Shiloah [Siloam], that go softly . . . therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all its channels, and go over all its banks. And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel” (Isa. 8:6-8). History testifies that indeed the Assyrian army was able to conquer forty-six Judean cities; however, God spared Jerusalem when the Angel of the Lord [God, the second person] slaughtered 185,000 of the Assyrian army (II Ki. 19:35; Isa. 37:36). When the Prophet announced the hope of deliverance, it was with these words: “Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us [Emmanuel]” (Isa. 8:10). Isaiah in chapters 7 & 8 teaches us that the Land belongs to Emmanuel and this is preparatory to Isaiah’s great climaxing message:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The Holy Land is truly Emmanuel’s Land! Throughout the Scripture, it is the Land that carries—and even mediates—the message. The Land is the stage upon which God revealed Himself in history, first through the holy prophets (Luke 1:69-70) and in the fullness of time, through His incarnate Son! This makes the Bible unique among the world's “scriptures;” it is the only one for whose comprehension the study of historical geography is basic. It is my goal to teach this unique relationship of the Land and revelation. In fact, a study of historical Bible geography is necessary for a thorough understanding of the Bible. Geography, history, and revelation are so inextricably bound together that the spiritual message cannot be fully appreciated without attention to the setting and conditions of that revelation.
Hopefully the student of historical Bible geography will increase in love for God's Word and in desire to carefully study it. Our goal is to learn to handle the Bible in a way that truly honors the Author. Spurgeon once told his people:
I am content to live and die as the mere repeater of Scriptural teaching; as a person who. . . concluded that he was simply to be a mouth for God to the people, mourning that anything of his own should come between (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 51, page 4).