A WOMAN SHALL COMPASS A MAN
How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man. (Jer. 31:22)
This is one of the Old Testament prophecies that historically has been applied to the virgin birth of our Lord. In the 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible (actually, this was the first Protestant Study Bible) the editors applied this verse in Jeremiah to the virgin birth of Christ and also to the future fruitfulness of the spiritual Jerusalem.
Think about it… the Lord has created a new thing in the earth: a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son. No one but the Lord would ever do such an unusual thing—actually the most impossible of all of the miracles in the Bible, the birth of Christ without a human Father. If Christianity was a man made religion, no one would have had the audacity to try to sell the virgin birth. Man would have pitched something somewhat more believable. The Lord loves to shock the minds of man; born of a virgin, born in an animal stall, probably the feeding trough of a farm animal…talk about unprecedented.
What do you think Joseph’s family thought about the virgin birth, or Jesus’ brothers and sisters, or even the neighbors in Nazareth? No, the virgin birth has always been a hard sell.
Matthew Henry also taught that this “new thing” was referring to the birth of Christ. Here are his thoughts about this passage:
“Many good interpreters understand this new thing created in that land to be the incarnation of Christ, which God used with an eye on bringing them back to that land, and which had sometimes been given them for a sign. A woman, the virgin Mary, enclosed in her womb the Mighty One; for so Geber, the word here used, signifies; and God is called Gibbor, the Mighty God ( xxxii. 18), as also is Christ in Isa. ix. 6, where his incarnation is spoken of, as it is supposed to be here. He is El-Gibbor, the mighty God. Let this assure them that God would not cast off this people, for that blessing was to be among them.”
Our modern world, and many modern preachers and teachers have moved far away from the supernatural nature of Christ, His life, His ministry, His birth, and His death. Maybe it’s time to return again to the ancient paths and follow the Lord down the path of His amazing supernatural plan. Christmas, the virgin birth, this is unprecedented—only God could come up with something like this.