Recently, I have been pondering Isaiah 9:6-7, a couple verses often quoted by Christendom about the Messiah. What has struck me is the seeming incongruity it has with several theological tenets often postulated by those who quote it.
Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will [a]rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
Read that slowly and carefully a couple times.
It is the verses that we have heard so many times that we can rattle them off without thinking that are hardest to understand mostly because we get set in a particular paradigm and then never see past that lens/filter. We have to slow down and ponder them anew to unwind old thought patterns and see the verses in a fresh light.
…His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
We have talked before about the ‘echad’/unified nature of God. Here we have four titles describing this child that is to be born.
Even before I began seeking to understand Scripture from a more Hebraic perspective, I postulated from the pulpit that these titles could easily be ascribed to different Persons of the ‘Godhead,’ yet they are all wrapped up in One. ‘How can this be?’
Consider, from the Greek Christian perspective. Ask any Christian who the Prince of Peace is and they would immediately answer, ‘Jesus.’ Ask who the Eternal Father is and you get, ‘God the Father.’ Ask who the Counselor is and they immediate point to the Comforter/Holy Spirit promised by the Messiah in the Book of John. Yet, quote this verse, ask who it speaks of and they would fall on their swords affirming that all titles here refer to Jesus/Yeshua, all the while being convinced that Jesus did away with the Torah (Instructions) the Eternal Father said is ‘everlasting.’
Yet, this passage speaks very much to the unified God, the King of Israel who will sit on David’s throne!
Wonderful Counselor. As we have seen before, The Angel of the Lord passages, regarded by Christendom as ‘Christophanies,’ point to ‘Christ’ the Messiah. Specifically, as we’ve discussed in several places, the Angel of the Lord, in Judges 13 is an amazing hint at this Wonderful Counselor. Yet, He is the same Angel of the Lord who claims to Himself the giving of the Torah, as revealed in that same article.
Mighty God. El Gibbor. Here is a title I had not searched before, yet multiple places in Scripture we find that this title or name is ascribed to Yahweh!
Isaiah 10:20 Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
[For an interesting side trail, compare the language of Jeremiah 32:17-20 with Revelation 15:3-4!! So cool!]
Besides this appearing immediately after a verse about Yahweh circumcising the foreskin of their hearts, this is another direct connection between the Lord, Yahweh, and the descriptor ‘Mighty God.’ And, for good measure, He is ‘Lord of lords’ the same term applied to Yeshua as the ‘King of Kings and Lord of lords.’
Eternal Father. Interestingly, this term only appears here and does not even appear as ‘everlasting God’ (ad el) though it does show up multiple times in a slightly different form ( יהוה אל עולם , Yahweh God Everlasting), with the same idea. We could come from other angles to demonstrate that indeed He is from everlasting to everlasting.
Prince of Peace. Again, this term does directly appear anywhere that I can find, however, multiple places point to the Peace that will be be brought by Yahweh to the future Kingdom of David and to Zion. The latter chapters of Isaiah speak to this as well as other prophesies. With Yeshua ben David on the throne, how will there not be peace?
And, that is exactly the point of the rest of this passage:
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
This ‘Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God’ will rule over the restored tent of David. And, this very idea is foreign to most of Christendom as they expect some other kingdom or form. You know, Replacement Theology and Supersessionism?
Putting all of this together it brings us back to a very unified/echad understanding of Yeshua and Yahweh. The Holy One of Israel will be seated on the Throne of David and He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. He will rule with a rod of iron and His eternal Commandments will be the standard!!