Annunciation of the Lord ABC
A “again” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
B “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
D “Ahaz” = Achaz. From achaz (to grasp, catch, seize, take and hold in possession; to be afraid or hold back). This is Ahaz, meaning “he has grasped” or “possessor.”
E “ask” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
F “sign” = ot. From avah (to mark, sign, point out); OR from uth (to agree). This is a sign in a literal or figurative sense. It could be a flag or monument. It could be evidence or a mark. It could also be an omen or a miracle.
G “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v10. It is the same word as “Lord” in v10, but with a different vowel pointing. It has the same meaning. See note B above.
H “God” = Elohim.
I “deep” = amoq. 9x in OT. This is to be deep in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean profound.
J “Sheol” = Sheol. Related to “ask” in v11. Perhaps from shaal (see note E above). This is the place where the dead go, the grace, the underworld.
K “high” = gabahh. This is to soar or be lofty. So, this is to be high or lift up literally. Figuratively it means to be exalted or proud.
L “heaven” = maal. From alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is the upper part, forward, high above, upwards, greater, heaven, or exceedingly.
M “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v11. See note G above.
N “put…to the test” = nasah. This is to test, prove, try, tempt, or attempt.
O “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
P “then” = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
Q “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
R “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
S “little” = me’at. From ma’at (being or becoming small, decrease, diminish, pare off). This is a little or few, lightly little while, very small matter.
T “weary” = laah. 19x in OT. This is to be weary or exhausted, parched, faint, or tired. It could also mean to be impatient, or have a hard time. Figuratively, this could refer to being grieved or disgusted. This is the root verb that Leah comes from.
U “mortals” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
V “therefore” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
W “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
X “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
Y “look” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
Z “young woman” = almah. 7x in OT– this is the same word used in Isaiah 7:14 to refer to the “young woman” who is with child and shall name her son Immanuel. From elem (youth, lad, stripling; something that remains out of view); perhaps from alam (to hide, conceal, a dissembler; to conceal in a literal or figurative sense). This is a young woman or girl. It can be a maid as one who is veiled. By extension, this can mean virgin since a girl/young woman was presumed to be a virgin.
AA “is with child” = harah. 16x in OT. From harah (to conceive or be pregnant –literal or figurative). This is conceive or pregnant.
BB “bear” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
CC “son” = ben. Related to “house” in v13. From banah (see note Q above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
DD “name” = qara + shem. Literally, “shall call his name.” Qara to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth. Shem may be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
EE “Immanuel” = Immanu-el. Related to “God” in v11. 2x in OT. From im (with, among, near, together) + nu (a prefix for first person plural i.e. us) + el (see note H above). This is literally “with us God.”
Image credit: “Isaiah” from Santuário do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos in Brazil. Photo by Pedro Henrique Ponchio, 2010.