One wonders why it was necessary for our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ to have been born of a genuine virgin woman rather than through the typical man-with-woman sexual-connection process. Along those lines, one would wonder why is was necessary for an angel to relay that predicted info of a virgin birth to Mary, why Mary apparently did not relay that info to Joseph, and why it was necessary for an angel to relay the info directly to Joseph.
The proof text of a virgin young woman giving birth to Jesus is found in Matthew 1:23 in practically every major Bible translation:
Matthew 1:23 Hey, a virgin [Gr. parthenos] shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
HOWEVER, the Old-Testament reference for "virgin" is typically given as Isaiah 7:14 by commentators, because most Bible translations incorrectly include the [wrong] word "virgin," because Strong's Numbered Hebrew word H5959 for Isaiah 7:14 is NOT associated with virgin, but instead with: young woman, maid, damsel, or girl. That exact same Strong Word# H5959 is found in Exodus 2:8 (with reference to the sister of Moses communicating with Pharaoh's daughter), BUT most translations do not have Exodus 2:8 rendered virgin...but instead [correctly] rendered: girl, damsel, maid.
Again, note the irreconcilable discrepancy with such versions as the KJV (and others) associating Strong's Word# H5959 is with young woman, maid, damsel, or girl in Exodus 2:8....while NOT associating that exact same Strong's Word# H5959 with young woman, maid, damsel, or girl in their rendition of Isaiah 7:14!
Obviously, according to simple logic, all young-women virgins are virgins are young women, maidens, damsels, or girls....but NOT ALL young women, maidens, damsels, or girls are virgins. Therefore, the word "virgin" is NOT synonymous with any of the words: young woman, maid, damsel, or girl -- and so it seems that the RSV and JPS have it correct for Isaiah 7:14 which states:
Isaiah 7:14 (RSV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14 (JPS) Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Actually and in reality, Strong's Numbered Hebrew word H1330 is THE word for virgin, and while the JPS, KJV, and KJ21 have the wrong word in their misrendition of Job 31:1 (using the incorrect and non-compatible word: "maid"), the RSV, ASV, LIT, and VULGATE have Job 31:1 correct, by stating various variations of stating the accurate word virgin in Job 31:1 which reads:
Job 31:1 (RSV) I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin?
Another proof that H1330 means: virgin and NOT "maid, damsel, or girl" is Genesis 24:16, where Rebekkah is said to be a virgin fair to look upon, whom no man had known. The word "maid, damsel, or girl" is found in practically ALL Bible translations for that particular verse.
So, being H1330 is the word for "virgin," WHY is H5959 (i.e. the word for young woman, damsel, girl, etc.) instead found in Isaiah 7:14 -- the verse that purportedly is the basis for the virgin word of Matthew 1:23? Why is NOT Strong's virgin Word# H1330 rather used in Isaiah 7:14?
The answer is: Isaiah 7:14 is NOT the source for the Matthew 1:23 word "virgin," and (to my present knowledge) there is no known written source in all of the Old Testament where that would come from. Apparently it is one of those "Jannes and Jambres" (Second Timothy 3:8) and "sawn asunder" (Hebrews 11:37) things of which there is also no known written Old-Testament record.
So, we get back to the questions stated at the beginning. Why the virgin birth, why Mary's secretiveness against Joseph, and why the angel encounters?
We sort of understand Mary's secrecy, perhaps because she was (as all women) a representative of the inferior gender, who apparently did not communicate all nor exactly nor completely what she should have to her man for whatever causes (such as figuring it was not necessary, that Joseph had taken Mind Reading 101 and pychicly already knew her thoughts, did not think that he would believe her story about the angel encounter and words, did not consider it important for him to know, whatever).
Moreover, Joseph knew enough about Mary to know that she was not the fornicating type, that perhaps she had been raped and thus impregnated but was ashamed to tell him about it. Whatever the case, he was under obligation to not consummate marriage with who appeared to any sensible man as one who - for all practical purposes - had been defiled (whether she knew about it or not while perhaps sleeping or drugged) and thus not qualified to become his full-fledged wife.
Thus, we see the absolute necessities for the numerous angelic visitations.....for Mary, for Joseph, for the shepherds, and for even indirectly for favorable international reputation regarding the three magi ambassador/astronomer scientists.
On to our topic subject.
Should concubines (secondary-status wife-equivalents not considered "mistresses" nor prostitutes nor harlots, but nevertheless are common-law married without being registered as married to State officials) have weddings? Should they wear gold marriage rings on the 4th fingers of their left hands? Should they privately admit informally to friends and neighbors (though not government bureaucrats) that they are married without having nor having acquired nor applied for State marriage licenses or similar government registration nor declaring such on IRS Form 1040? What should the inlaws and employers of both common-law-married husbands and concubines think, and what should they and should they not inform and respond to government officials? Are children of such bound by police and social-worker child protection? What about offspring inheritances possibly contested in government courts? What should be the last names of offspring produced by common-law couples? Will family albums show multiple partners? How did polygamous Old-Testament patriarchs and their harems work that all out? How do polygamous islamic Saudi sheiks with harems and muslim African tribal leaders legally work that all out presently?
WILL 'Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell'-repealed homoperverts succeed in global redefinition of marriage?
Genesis 12:11 When [Abram] was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, "I know that you are a woman beautiful to view and consider;
12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife'; then they will kill me, but they will let you live.
13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account."
14 When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.
15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, he-asses, menservants, maidservants, she-asses, and camels.
17 But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.
18 So Pharaoh called Abram, and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her, and be gone."
Genesis 20:1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he traveled in Gerar.
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Hey, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man's wife."
4 Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, "Lord, will You slay an innocent people?
5 Did he not himself say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she herself said, 'He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this."
6 Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
7 Now then restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you, and all that are yours."
8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told them all these things; and the men were very much afraid.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, "What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done."
10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?"
11 Abraham said, "I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.
12 Besides she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
13 And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, 'This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.'"
14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah his wife to him.
15 And Abimelech said, "Hey, my land is before you; reside where it pleases you."
16 To Sarah he said, "Hey, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; it is your vindication in the eyes of all who are with you; and before every one you are righted."
17 Then Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.
18 For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Genesis 26:6 So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.
7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is my sister"; for he feared to say, "My wife," thinking, "lest the men of the place should kill me for the sake of Rebekah"; because she was fair to look upon.
8 When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac fondling Rebekah his wife.
9 So Abimelech called Isaac, and said, "Behold, she is your wife; how then could you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac said to him, "Because I thought, 'Lest I die because of her.'"
10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us."
11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, "Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to death."
The Old Testament is full of references of patriarchs engaging in non-God-condemned legitimate polygamy (not considered "bigamy" either then nor now):
Genesis 4:19 And Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Genesis 32:22 The same night [Jacob] arose and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
Deuteronomy 21:15 If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other disliked, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the disliked, and if the first-born son is hers that is disliked,
16 then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the first-born in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the first-born,
17 but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the disliked, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the first issue of his strength; the right of the first-born is his.
First Samuel 1:2 He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
First Samuel 30:5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
First Samuel 30:18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.
First Chronicles 4:5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah;
Second Chronicales 24:3 Jehoiada got for him two wives, and he had sons and daughters.
They, with their harems of wives and concubines, were compliant with:
Malachi 2:14 You ask, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
Malachi 2:14 Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.
First Timothy 5:8 If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a disbeliever.
But, one wonders...when Sarai gave her maid Hagar to her husband Abram (Genesis chapter 16)...if Abram really desired Hagar or erotically wanted to have sex with her.
One wonders if Jacob actually wanted his additional wife Leah (who bore Christ's ancestral parents Levi and Judah according to Genesis 29:31-35) when he had instead desire Rachel but was tricked by father-in-law Laban. One continues to wonder if Jacob even erotically desired to have sex with the two maids of Rachel and Leah.
The sexual skeleton in the Christ-ancestral closet concerning Tamar having illegitimate sex with her father-in-law Judah was recorded in Genesis 38:1-30.
somewhat contrary to:
Leviticus 18:15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. Samson consorted with a harlot in Gaza and with Philistine masseuses:
Judges 16:1 Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a harlot, and he went in to her.
2 The Gazites were told, "Samson has come here," and they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, "Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him."
3 But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is before Hebron.
4 After this he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
Christ-ancester Ruth the Moabitess was previously married before she married Boaz:
Ruth 1:1 In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.
3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.
4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years;
5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband.
Then, there was David who had adulterous sex with the adulterous wife of Uriah the Hittite (Bathsheba) and thereafter set up Uriah for murder.
Solomon's many wives and concubines turned his heart to compromising with foreign idols
First Kings 11:4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
Hosea married a prostitute, then it seems had another live-in woman besides (see Hosea chapters 1 through 3):
Hosea 3:1 And the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress; even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins." 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 And I said to her, "You must dwell as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you."
Is it any wonder, with all this male-human sex drive, that -- duressed besieged with hypocritical religious heretics (with the anti-marriage pseudo-bible mistranslations) and prudes and insubordinately non-submissive sexist-feminists girlfriends and wives and exhibitionists -- red-blooded men crave copious all-the-way erotica but lamentably, impatiently, and faithlessly resort to exchange-massage masseuses, escorts, girlie magazines and movies, plus internet porn pix and vids?
Or, if we meet former masseuses or escorts with whom we have had "one-night-stand" sex-oriented exchange-massage episodes of momentarily complete or partial fornication in the near or distant past, would we be tempted at the behest of either them or ourselves to "slip in one more for old time's sake" regardless of our present and probably-different marital status compared to the state we were formerly in?
Jeremiah 3:1 If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the harlot with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the LORD.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named [suggested] among you, as is fitting among saints.
I wonder if all what all those wives and concubines thought about each other, how they communicated with or avoided, shared or did not share amongst themselves, if they went shopping together, were jealous for the affections of their shared husbands. Were they on a variable-rate schedule having to set appointments for sex with their shared husbands? Were there any cancellations due to menstual periods, illness, headache, vacation with inlaw relatives?
How did the patriarchs select which wives and concubines to acquire? We're there preliminary Doctrine-Qualification forms to fill out, Mate-Selection Forms, and Concubine-Registration Forms?
When David took back "Michelle" after she had been his wife but became wife with Pashur for a while afterwards, did David require Michelle to re-apply as one of his many wives with Doctrine-Qualification-Analysis Form to fill out, Mate-Selection Form, and Wife-Registration Form to re-marry him?
First Samuel 18:20 Now Saul's daughter Michal [we'll call her: Michelle] loved David; and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
First Samuel 18:27 David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines; and David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.
First Samuel 19:11 That night Saul sent messengers to David's house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, told him, "If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed."
First Samuel 19:12 So Michal let David down through the window; and he fled away and escaped.
First Samuel 19:13 Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats' hair at its head, and covered it with the clothes.
First Samuel 19:17 Saul said to Michal, "Why have you deceived me thus, and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?" And Michal answered Saul, "He said to me, 'Let me go; why should I kill you?'" [What a LIAR Michelle was!]
First Samuel 25:44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
Second Samuel 3:13 And he said, "Good; I will make a covenant with you; but one thing I require of you; that is, you shall not see my face, unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face."
Second Samuel 3:14 Then David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, "Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed at the price of a hundred foreskins of the Philistines."
Second Samuel 6:16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
Second Samuel 6:20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, "How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' maids, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!" [Davy WAS wearing an ephod]
Second Samuel 6:21 And David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father, and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD--and I will make merry before the LORD.
Second Samuel 6:23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death [and she AMPTLY DESERVED that!].
First Chronicles 15:29 And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David dancing and making merry; and she despised him in her heart.
With all the previously-indicated sexual dalliances and deviations with previous Israeli patriarchs and their Jewish and Moabite women (read the Hebrew-Joseph-line geneology of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1, and the Hebrew-Mary-line geneology of Jesus in Luke chapter 3), it is no wonder that Mary had to not merely be an honorable young Jewish woman who conceived and bore a Hebrew Son, but instead (and shockingly) a virgin when so conceiving and bearing.
Being that there was indeed no written Old-Testament basis for Torah/etc.-familiar Mary and Torah/etc.-familiar Joseph to prepare for that quasi-awesome and bizarre virgin-conception-without-male-sexuality thing, it was necessary for credible belief on the part of both Mary and Joseph to be Divinely pre-informed by God's angels. Similarly, for Mary to avoid being stoned as an adulteress for purportedly having a child before marriage, public-opinion news-reporter shepherds also had to be Divinely-informed by heavenly angels.
In every way, Jesus was the ultimate in sexual purity to make up for all the sexually-wayward deviations occurring in His Jewish-lineage ancestry.