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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Isaiah 9



Verses 1-21

Isaiah 9:1-7Messianic Prophecy - Comments- Isaiah 9:1-7 contains a clear Messianic prophecy. Note how God sends Israel, especially Isaiah , words of great hope and comfort in the midst of a perverse generation. God promises Israel a future of mercy as He brings judgment upon Israel.

Isaiah 9:3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

Isaiah 9:3Comments- The world can only know a joy from their circumstances in life. The Christian joy comes from the heart and can rejoice under any situation.

Isaiah 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

Isaiah 9:4Comments- Isaiah 9:4 refers to "the day of Midian," an event recorded in Judges 7:1-25 when God raised Gideon up to deliver the children of Israel from the oppression of the Midianites.

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

Isaiah 9:5 — "but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire" - Comments- The reference to the burning of the weapons of those defeated by the Lord reflects that fact that ancient weapons consisted largely of wood. For example, their weapons of war consisted of wooden arrow and spear shafts, wooden shields, wooden catapults, etc.

Isaiah 9:6-7 — Prediction of the Birth and Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ - Isaiah 9:6-7 gives a prediction of the birth and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Very often when Old Testament prophecy speaks of the coming of the Messiah we find descriptions of Jesus Christ's first and second comings placed side by side with no distinction between these two events, although they are separated by two thousand years of Church history. It is as if the prophet looks down a long tunnel and only sees one event. This is the reason we find in the Gospels the Jews looking for a Messiah that would immediately set up an earthly kingdom by throwing off the Roman rule over the Jewish people. They saw nothing in their Messianic prophecies that spoke of two returns. In contrast, the prophecies of the New Testament make this distinction very clear.

As we examine Isaiah 9:6-7 we clearly see references to Jesus' first coming to earth by being born of a woman, and we see a prophecy of His triumphant eternal reign on earth. We understand that the phrase "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given," clearly speaks of Jesus Christ's birth and earthly ministry up until His crucifixion. However, the rest of the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks clearly of Jesus' second return at the end of the seven-year Tribulation period in which He sets up an earthly kingdom and reigns in Jerusalem as King of Kings forever.

This leads us to the question of why no reference is made to the two thousand years of Church history that takes place between these two Comings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The answer lies in the fact that Isaiah is prophesying primarily to the Jews and not to the Church. Although the Old Testament Scriptures are also for the Church to read and to understand, these prophecies were spoken to the Jewish people as the primary recipients and to the Church as secondary recipients. Thus, Isaiah 9:6-7 only addresses the role that Israel will play during Jesus' first and second coming. Since Israel does not play a vital role in Church history for a period of two thousand years, the prophet leaves out such events.

Another example of this distinction in end-time prophecy can be found by comparing the books of Ezekiel and Revelation. The book of Ezekiel was written to the people of Israel to help them persevere through their time of persecutions during the Babylonian Captivity. But the book of Revelation was addressed to the Church, and not to the Jews, to help them persevere until the end. Therefore, Ezekiel speaks of three major events leading up to the ushering in of the Millennial Reign of Christ Jesus, which are the restoration of Israel (36-37), the great battle with Russia and its allies (38-39) and the rebuilding of the Temple with its institution of worship. These are the three important events that will involve Israel during these last days leading up to and through the seven-year Tribulation Period.

In contrast, the book of Revelation speaks of many other events that take place during this time from the perspective of someone who is standing in Heaven. This is because the Church is raptured at this time and is watching these events while in Heaven. The book of Revelation opens with a message to the seven churches in Asia Minor by telling them to sanctify themselves. This is a message of preparation for the Rapture, which takes place figuratively in Revelation 4:1-2 with the catching up of John the apostle into Heaven. The rest of the events that unfold in this book are events that one would see if he was in Heaven after having been raptured. These events are not something that the Jewish people would see from their nation on earth while awaiting their Messiah, having rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah. This explains why two different biblical writers tell the same story from two different perspectives to two different readers.

Isaiah 9:6 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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 — "For unto us" - Comments- John Gill understands the phrase ( לָ֗נוּ) "unto us" to mean "for us," or "for our good, for our profit and advantage." 28]

28] John Gill, Isaiah , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6 — "a child is born, unto us a son is given" - Comments- Isaiah 9:6 prophesies both the physical and divine birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase "unto us a child is born" seems to reflect Jesus' human birth through His mother Mary. The phrase "unto us a son is given" may refer to the fact that God gave to us His only begotten Son through a miraculous conception, sending Him from His glory in heaven.

Isaiah 9:6 — "and the government shall be upon his shoulder" - Word Study on "government" - Gesenius and Holladay tell us that the Hebrew word "misrah" ( מִשְׂרָה) (H 4951) means "dominion." BDB says it means, "rule, dominion." Strong says this word comes from the root word ( שׂוּר) (H 8280), meaning "to prevail, to have power (as a prince)." It is used two times in the Old Testament ( Isaiah 9:6-7), being translated "government" in both uses.

Comments- "upon his shoulder" - Isaiah mentions in the preceding verse that the Messiah will break "the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor." ( Isaiah 9:4) We find a similar phrase of authority being placed upon the Messiah's shoulders in Isaiah 22:22, "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." Thus, the phrase "upon his shoulder" refers to the impartation of authority.

If the phrase "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" speaks of the Messiah's birth at His First Coming, then the phrase "and the government shall be upon his shoulder" could properly speak of Jesus' Second Coming when He will return to Jerusalem and rule and reign over the nations during the Millennial Reign. However, Jesus received His authority, or dominion, at His Resurrection, when He said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." ( Matthew 28:18).

Isaiah 9:6 — "and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" - Comments- When Jesus Christ rules and reigns on earth, beginning during the Millennial Reign, His office will best be described with the following names, "Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Wonderful - His presence will cause us to wonder and marvel as we sense His Holy presence and the anointing surrounding His throne.

Counsellor - His words will be full of wisdom and His counsel will exceed what man can devise.

The Mighty God - His power will excel above all that is known upon the earth and His words will overcome all of His enemies. None can stand against Him.

The Everlasting Father - He will be the image of the eternal God, being "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person." ( Hebrews 1:2) When we have seen Jesus Christ, we have seen the Father because they are one ( John 10:30; John 14:9). Because He is eternal and everlasting, His reign shall be the same.

The Prince of Peace - His reign will be described as a reign of peace that the world had never known.

Isaiah 9:7 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 judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:7 — "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end" - Comments- If the previous verse refers to Jesus' "government," or dominion, being given to Him at His Resurrection, then the phrase "of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end," could refer to the growth of the church across the earth, culminating in Jesus' Second Coming. Such growth and increase in the Kingdom of God is reflected in Daniel's interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, "and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." ( Daniel 2:35) We see the idea of increase of Jesus' dominion upon the earth in the Great Commission, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Song of Solomon , and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." ( Matthew 28:19-20)

"upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever" - Comments- The throne of David is seated in Jerusalem. Jesus will return at His Second Coming and rule the nations from this Holy City. This rule will never end.

Isaiah 9:7 — "The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" - Comments- This coming Messiah would carry many titles as described in Isaiah 9:6-7. Isaiah prophesies that it would be the zeal of the Lord that would bring this to pass. In other words, it would be a divine, miraculous intervention of God Almighty in the affairs of man to accomplish this prophecy.


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 9:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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