The God-Man in Isaiah 9:6-7

“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. 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 9:6-7)

“For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on David’s throne, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.” (The Dead Sea Scrolls, 125 BC;

Those who reject/oppose that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, and consider His Deity as an invention of the Christian Church, it is generally believed, that this passage in Isaiah, refers to the Old Testament King, Hezekiah, who lived during the time of the Prophet Isaiah. Hezekiah was an adult man at the time of this Prophecy, so why would Isaiah speak of his birth, and not just the man Hezekiah?

There is no doubt, that Hezekiah was one of the great Kings in the Old Testament, and please the Lord in much that he did. However, it is also clear from the Old Testament accounts, that he also failed the Lord. In 2 Kings 18:13-16, we read of Hezekiah giving into the demands of the wicked king of Assyria, and giving him the gold from the Temple of the Lord, to appease him. In 2 Kings chapter 2, we read of Isaiah becoming very sick, near death, and the Lord sent Isaiah to tell him to “get your house in order or you will die and not live” (verse 1). Towards the end of his life, Hezekiah became “proud, Hezekiah didn’t respond according to the benefit that had come to him. So there was wrath on him, Judah, and Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 32:24-26). He also rather foolishly showed off to the envoys from Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, “his whole treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil—and his armoury, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them”. God sent Isaiah to rebuke Hezekiah for what he had done, and tell him that everything that he had shown these envoys, would be carried away to Babylon (2 Kings 20:12-13, 16-18). Neither was Hezekiah a King of “peace”, as he fought many battles during his lifetime. Neither was Hezekiah’s kingdom an eternal one. The evidence is very clear, that this passage cannot refer to any human king.

In fact, the older Jewish Rabbis, understood this passage to refer to The Messiah. In the 1st/2nd century AD, Rabbi Yose HaGelili, said of this passage:

“Thus rabbi Jose, of Galilee, says, ‘The name of the Messiah is שׁלום  shâlôm, as is said in Isa 9:6, “Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.” ‘Ben Sira (fol. 40, of the Amsterdam Edition, 1679) numbers among the eight names of the Messiah those also taken from this passage, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. The later Jews, however, have rejected this interpretation, because the Messiah is here described as God” (Albert Barnes Commentary)

About the same time we have the Jewish Targum of Jonathan Ben Uziel the disciple of Hillel (110 BC-10AD; Bab. Meg. 32):

“The prophet saith to the house of David, A child has been born to us, a son has been given to us; and he has taken the law upon himself to keep it, and his name has been called from of old (from eternity, Pauli ed), Wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, He who lives for ever, the Anointed one (or, Messiah), in whose days peace shall increase upon us. Great shall be the splendour of them that observe the law, and of them that preserve peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to build it in judgement and in righteousness from henceforth and for ever: by the Memra of the Lord of hosts shall this be wrought” (Targum Jonathan Ben Uziel. J F Stenning; The Targum of Isaiah, p 32. Oxford 1953 ed, also, Rev. C. W. H. Pauli; Targum Jonathan Ben Uziel: The Chaldee Paraphrase on The Prophet Isaiah; pp.30, 31)

Some have tried to weaken this Prophecy as referring to The Messiah, by arguing that the verbs used in the Hebrew, are in the “past tense”. It is clear that both these Jewish works, that date to the first century AD, and older, understood the passage to refer to The Messiah. Ther is also more ancient Jewish evidence that this passage is Messianic,

As for The “past tense”, in Hebrew grammar, it is often used for what is yet to take place, which is agreed by Jewish and Christian Hebrew grammarians.; It really does not matter to the passage, whether it is “is called”, “was called”, or “will be called”, because this does not change the fact, that it cannot refer to any human being.

There is no doubt, that the passage refers to The Messiah, Who is The Lord Jesus Christ.

The Prophecy of the Birth of this Child, Who is a Son, speaks of One Who is not only to be Born “human”, but Who is also fully God. This is clear from the Names/Titles that this Son has.

He is called, “Wonderful” (pe·le), which is the Name that “The Messenger of Yahweh”, gives Manoah in Judges chapter 13, “And the Messenger of Yahweh said to him, “Why do you ask my Name, seeing it is Wonderful (p̄e·li)?” (ver. 18). It is clear that this was not a created being, as Manoah clearly reconsigned Him to be God, “And Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” (ver. 22). Malachi 3:1 is clear, that the Coming of Yahweh/Jesus Christ, is “ū·mal·’aḵ hab·bə·rîṯ (and even The Messenger of the Covenant)”, Who is Himself, “hā·’ā·ḏō·wn (the Lord)”.

This Son is also called “Counsellor” (yō·w·‘êṣ). In 1 John 2:1, Jesus Christ is called, “Paraklēton”, which is often translated by “Advocate”. The Theological Dictionary Of The New Testament, informs us, “of the Rabbis, in their religious vocabulary... became a common loan word in the sense of “advocate,” related in meaning to “counsel,” “defender””

Next this Son is the “Mighty God (’êl Gibbôr)”. Some have tried to reduce the meaning of the Hebrew here, to “mighty-hero”, so as to remove the Deity of the Son. However, it is clear from other places in the Old Testament, where we find “’êl Gibbôr”, like Isaiah 10:21, and Jeremiah 32:18, these same translations that have “mighty God”. Why the difference, when used for The Messiah, Jesus Christ? The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) of Isaiah, reads, “’êlGibbôr”, without any space in the words, so that it is a name, “MightyGod”. This was changed by the Masoretes (MT) Jewish scholars, to read, “’êl Gibbôr”, so the Son Himself here is, “Mighty-God”. We find the same in Isaiah 7:14, which is another Prophecy of the Son, Who is to be Born from The Virgin, fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus Christ. In this verse in Isaiah, the MT reads “‘im·mā·nū ’êl”, but the DSS, “‘im·mā·nū’êl”, as a Name, “Godwithus”, and not, “God is with us”, the Son in 7:14, is Himself, “God-with-us”. Both Names confirm the absolute Deity of The Son. In the New Testament, Paul says of Jesus Christ, that He is “tou megalou theou (The Great God)” (Titus 2:13). The Greek, “mégas”, can also mean, “mighty”, which is what Isaiah 9:6 says.

In the New World Translation, which is published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it reads, “Mighty God”. The cross-reference is to John 1:18, where they accept the reading, “monogenēs theos”, though translated, “only begotten god”, which they do for theological reasons. Since in this verse, both, “theon” and “theos”, do not have the article (ton, ho), they are the same, either both “God”, or both “god”. Interesting that they refer Isaiah 9:6 to John 1:18, and therefore to Jesus Christ. By calling Jesus Christ, “Mighty God”, as the Father is also “Mighty God”, in Isaiah 10:21, the JW’s actually admit to the Deity of Jesus Christ, and His equality to the Father.

Next we have the Title, “Eternal Father”, as in our English Versions. In the Hebrew, it is the noun, “’ă·ḇî·‘aḏ”. This Title cannot be used for any human person.

The Hebrew, “'âb”, is a very broad word, which does not always have the meaning of “father”.

“the Sumerian language…a later a-a, ‘father’ = ‘begetter’…a-a-kalam-ma, ‘father of the land’, i.e., begetter and creator of the world…Like the other Semitic languages…abu... ‘father’…is used as a synonym for banu,  ‘begetter’…In Hebrew ‘abh sometimes means the founder…protector” (Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Vol. I, under ‘abh).

“Of the author, or maker of anything, specially of the Creator” (Gesenius Hebrew lexicon)

“originator, producer, generator, protector, ruler” (Brown, Driver, Briggs, Hebrew lexicon)

“It designates primarily “begetter,” though by extension, ancestor, and metaphorically, an originator, chief, or associate in some degree” (R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke; Theological Wordbook of The Old Testament)

Likewise, in the Greek, πατὴρ, also has the meanings, “author” (Liddell & Scott, Greek lexicon). “founder…as the originator and ruler” (W. Arndt & F. Gingrich Greek lexicon). “the originator, protector, creator” (Thayer Greek lexicon)

It literally reads, “Originator of Eternity”. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ says of Himself, that He is, “egō eimi ho prōtos kai ho eschatos kai ho zōn”, literally, “I Am The First and The Last and The Ever-Living One”. (1:17, 18; 2:8; 22:13). In Isaiah 44:6, it reads, “Thus said YHWH, King of Israel, And his Redeemer, YHWH of Hosts: “I [am] the first, and I [am] the last, And besides Me there is no god”. On the words, “ho prōtos kai ho eschatos”, the Unitarian scholar, Dr Joseph Thayer, says in his Greek lexicon, “the eternal One, Rev 1:17; Rev 2:8; Rev 22:13”. The Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, reads, “ego eimi ho on”, “I AM The Eternal One”.

Prince of Peace: “śar-šā·lō·wm”

The Dead Sea Scrolls, Isaiah lQIsa, it reads, “The Prince of Peace”

In John 14:27, Jesus says of Himself, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful”. The Peace that Jesus Christ gives, is that which is perfect, unlike any that can be found in the entire world. In Ephesians 2:14, Paul says of the Lord Jesus Christ, “autos gar estin hē eirēnē hēmōn”, literally, “For He is the Peace of us”. Again, in Romans 5:1, Paul says of Jesus, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. That through Jesus Christ we can have real Peace with God. And in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “May the Lord of peace Himself (autos ho kurios tēs eirēnēs, Himself The Lord of Peace) give you peace always in every way”

There is not a single King in the entire Old Testament, that can be properly called, “The Prince of Peace”.

Verse 7

“His government will expand, and peace will be endless for the throne of David and his kingdom, to establish it and to sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forevermore.” (Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint and Eugene Ulrich. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible; Fred P Miller; The Great Isaiah Scroll, 2006 ed)

The Government and Peace, of the Son, will expand and be eternal, built on the Throne of King David. This cannot refer to king Hezekiah, whose rule was not one of peace, and did come to an end.