A Hebrew word signifying a 'young woman', unmarried as well as married

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia Alma
    A Hebrew word signifying a "young woman", unmarried as well as married, and thus distinct from bethulah, "a virgin" (see Hebrew Lexicons). The interest that attaches to this word is due to the famous passage of Isaiah 7:14: "the Alma shall conceive", etc. We can only mention some of the various opinions with regard to the meaning of Alma in this verse. She is said to be
    ♦ the wife of Achaz;
    ♦ the prophetess mentioned in Isaiah 8:3,
    ♦ any young married woman, who on account of the promised victory of Judah, could at some near date call her child Immanuel (God with us),
    ♦ metaphorically, the Chosen People;
    ♦ the Virgin Mother of the Messiah. This last view is the one adopted by St. Matthew 1:23, and after him by Christian tradition. (See EMMANUEL; MESSIAS.)
    CONDAMIN, and other Commentaries on Isaias.
    R. BUTIN
    Transcribed by Cloistered Dominican nuns of the Monastery of the Infant Jesus, Lufkin, Texas Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

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