This is a stunning prophecy (prediction) of the Kingdom of Jesus found in Isaiah 9:1-7. It was made by Isaiah. I am amazed that our God spoke through Isaiah to alert us about His Son Jesus and His Kingdom.
The poetry here blends elements of thanksgiving and royal psalms to emphasize the ideals of Davidic kingship. It similarly emphasizes a future idealistic rule of a Davidic king. Later Christian interpretation has understood both chapter 9 and 11 as messianic prophecies awaiting perfect fulfillment in the Messiah’s second coming; no historical Davidic king fits the picture of the ideal ruler described here.
A son will be given to us: The promise of hope through a future Davidic king. Attempts to connect this promise to a ruler of Isaiah’s day usually focus on Hezekiah, son and successor of Ahaz, the king to whom Isaiah delivered his warnings and who rejected his offer to provide a sign. It is clearly a prophecy about Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God.
The government will be on His shoulders: Jesus will rule over God’s people and the world. This figuratively refers to the kingly robe to be worn by the Messiah. As King, He will be responsible to govern the nation. In Isaiah’s day Judah’s leaders were incompetent in governing the people. But the Messiah will govern properly.
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, eternal Father, Prince of Peace: This list of titles or attributes for the future king include divine titles that would be unusual if referring to a human Davidic king. For example, “Mighty God” clearly refers to Yahweh Himself.
- “Wonderful Counselor,” in this context portrays the Messiah as an extraordinary military strategist.
- “Mighty God,” indicates that God would energize Him for battle so that He would display superhuman prowess against His enemies. Some argue that this second title points to the divine nature of the Messiah. Others contend that the doctrine of the Messiah’s deity is only clearly revealed in the NT.
- “Eternal Father,” pictures the Messiah as a beneficent Ruler who demonstrates fatherly concern for His people. In the eighth century B.C. “eternal” probably would have been understood as royal hyperbole. Of course, in the progress of revelation one discovers that the Messiah’s eternal reign will literally fulfill the language of the prophecy.
- “Prince of Peace,” indicates that the Messiah’s kingdom will be characterized by social justice and prosperity.
The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end: We serve a mighty King. Jesus will rule everything. There is no end to it. It is vast. It is all encompassing. Dominion in Hebrew is מִשְׂרָה misrâh, mis-raw’. It means government. Jesus is King of God’s country. I am a subject in His Kingdom. My job is to do what Jesus, the King, commands me. My role is obedience.
Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before you as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. For you have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian. For every trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 9:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 9:1–7). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Strong, J. (1996). The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Chisholm, R. B. (1998). The Major Prophets. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (pp. 268–270). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.