2 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:2-7)
Today, we examine Isaiah 9:6 which says, “6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Dr. Don Carson explains that, “The mounting relief and joy in vs 1–5 as the trappings of war are abolished prepare us to meet the deliverer; but instead of some latter-day Gideon (cf. v 4), it is the child (6) already foretold as Immanuel in 7:14; 8:8.”
“For to us” within the immediate context this statement refers to Israel. In the ultimate context it refers to all who are children of God by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. This promise is exclusively for those who are in covenant relationship with God.
“A child” specifically refers to a man child. A boy. This is the child prophesied in Isaiah 7:14.
“Is born.” The grammar here in the Hebrew is most interesting because this verb phrase is in the perfect tense. That means it refers to a past completed action which has continuing results. This seems logical to the 21st century believer because the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 is rooted in an 8th century B.C. historical context. However, this was a prophecy yet future by approximately 700 years for those believers. The perfect tense indicates the assurance of this prophecy coming to pass as if it already has. This grammatical style is known as the prophetic perfect.
“To us a son is given.” To covenant believers God gives a son. Once again, the phrase “is given” is in the perfect tense. The same sense applies a previously noted.
“And the government shall be upon his shoulder” refers to the Son’s right to rule and have dominion over His people and all of creation. Dr. John Walvoord writes that, “He will rule over God’s people (cf. Micah 5:2) and the world (Zechariah 14:9). The government will be on His shoulders 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.”
Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “These terms elaborate further on Immanuel, the child to be born to the virgin (7:14). The virgin’s child will also be the royal Son of David, with rights to the Davidic throne (9:7; cf. Matt. 1:21; Luke 1:31–33; 2:7, 11).In fulfillment of this verse and Psalm 2:9, the Son will rule the nations of the world (Rev. 2:27; 19:15).”
Four descriptive and compound titles, or names, are given to the Son. Each describe His inner character. We will examine each name when next we meet.
Soli deo Gloria!