Isaiah 9:1-11


Isa 9:1

Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.


This verse concludes the previous chapter.  The calamities which will strike Judah shall not be as severe as the time when Zebulun and Naphtali were afflicted.  This came in 734 B.C. when Assyria invaded that part of Canaan.  Tiglath-Pileser III also took Gilead east of Jordan and occupied the plain of Sharon by the Mediterranean Sea.  Beyond Jordan which was known as Peraea which was east of the Jordan River.  Galilee of the nations which means Gentiles, was so-called because not only Jews lived there but people of many different nations.  Galilee where God first humbled his people would be honored in the future because that is the place where Jesus chose his first disciples. 


Isa 9:2

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.


Galilee was in the throes of darkness when Isaiah gave this prophecy about 732 B.C. when Assyria had just ravaged the land for two years.  Isaiah connects this verse with verse 6 and the promise of the Messiah who would bring the light of salvation to the people who were in darkness because of their situation.  Jesus would do much of his ministry in Galilee.  Jesus would be the light that would shine upon them.


Isa 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.


Multiplying the nation refers to the fact that Galilee had enlarged itself by adding the people of other nations but their joy did not increase because they all still walked in darkness not having the light of the gospel yet.  Their joy was the joy which the world produces making it temporary.  When victors divide the spoils of their conquered people, it only lasts for a short while and may be bring elation but it does not yield everlasting joy.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22)  Joy comes as a fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Even a great harvest only yields earthly elation and when the harvest is done, they have to start planning next year’s crops in hopes of another great harvest.


Isa 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.


The yoke of the burden will be broken because when Christ comes on the scene he will defeat the powers of Satan and those people whom he saves will have the burden of sin removed from their souls.  The staff also refers to the same freeing as the staff could be used a weapon to hit someone with.  The rod of his oppressor would be the Assyrian army who would oppress the people under their authority.  The day of Midian refers to the time Gideon defeated the Midianites in Judges 7 when his army was reduced from 32,000 to 300 making it impossible for the people to claim victory when it was the LORD who gave them the victory.  Here all the spiritual darkness would be broken by the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Isa 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.


The trumpets, the drums, the sound of the chariots which were all supposed to work in harmony will now be at odds with each other thus throwing confusion into the mix.  The garments rolled in blood refers to those who were slain in the battle on the Assyrian side.  The burning with the fuel and fire may be referring back to the time of the Midianites or is referring to the fast victory Christ will have over sin.  It will be conquered in 6 hours when he goes to the cross.  This also points to the enemies of God who will be destroyed with fire and they will be made to be the fuel that stokes the fire.


Isa 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, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


For unto us a child is born – Messiah would not be coming the form of a fully grown person but would come in the person of a baby.  This would be in connection with Isaiah 7:14 where the baby would be born of a virgin.  He will come through the birth channel and he will be seen in his humiliation.  Notice the Scripture states “For unto us...” which means he will not be the Savior for everyone but for the believers only.


unto us a son is given – He will come in form of a male baby and then he will grow up to be a man.  Isaiah 7:15 states that he would eat butter and honey which means that he will be fully God and fully man.  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Galatians 4:4)  The fullness of time would be about 700 years later.


and the government shall be upon his shoulder: - This is not the government of the world’s kingdoms such as Rome or Assyria but it is the government of the kingdom of God which will rule over all the true believers that Christ came to save.  Kingship was symbolized by the scepter being on the king’s shoulder.  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (Genesis 49:10)  The Lord Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah.


Wonderful – he is called Wonderful because he is both God and man.  His works which he will do will also be called wonderful works.  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8)  He will heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the people, and die for the sins of the Elect.


Counseller - This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. (Isaiah 28:29)  He will give counsel to his people through both the written word and the spoken word by means of the prophets and the body of Christ as they counsel according to the word of God.


The mighty God – Isaiah 7:14 states that he will be called “Immanuel” which is “God with us.”  He will perform miracles of creation like at the wedding at Cana in John 2.  He will raise the dead and heal people.  These things only a mighty God can do.  This is in contrast to the false gods which can do absolutely nothing because they are just the figments of man’s imagination.  Jesus was involved in creation of the world.  He will save his people and keep them through his power.  He will have all the attributes of Deity.


The everlasting Father - All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)  This verse will trip up those who are Modalists, that is, those who believe that there is one God in three manifestations.  It is also called the Oneness doctrine and it is heresy.  His saved ones are called “children” denoting a father status for Jesus.  Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. (John 13:33)  Unlike our earthly fathers who have a beginning and an end, the Lord Jesus Christ will be a father to his children throughout all eternity making him an everlasting Father.  The fathers were the patriarchs of their families such as Abraham Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc.  Jesus is the patriarch for the family of God.


The Prince of Peace – He will bring about peace among those he has saved.  Even if they are of different races or cultures, the Lord Jesus Christ is the binding power behind them.  When people were enemies they become brethren by means of salvation.  The greatest peace that was ever created was the fact that because of Calvary, the believer, who was at war with God before salvation is now at peace with God because of their new everlasting relationship of love.  1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2) Before salvation we were the enemies of God and had no standing before him.  After salvation we have the right to come into the presence of God the Father.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:18) 


Isa 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.


The increase or greatness of his government and the peace it shall bring, remember we now have peace with God and that is an eternal relationship, which means there will be no end to either the greatness or the peace.  I guess you could call it “Pax Coelum” the “Peace of Heaven.”  Jesus will be the inheritor of the throne of David and that does not mean he will rule physical Israel because they didn’t want him but it is symbolic of ruling the entire body of believers containing both Jews and Gentiles.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: (Luke 1:32)  He will order the kingdom according to his own dictates and there will be no confusion as there are in earthly kingdoms.  Justice and Judgment will be the way the kingdom is ruled and not with any type of oppression or cruelty.  In fact, it was Christ who faced both judgment and justice for the true believer.  He stood before the bar of God’s justice and was found guilty and faced the judgment of God on Calvary for all the believers.  When he was raised from the dead, he was no longer guilty and now the believers could go into Heaven without any sin attached to their souls.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)  The word zeal carries with it the meaning of “jealousy or envy.”  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)  God is jealous over his new creation, that is, those who are saved in Christ and his jealousy is a holy jealousy which is set upon the body of believers.  Whatever he does, he does it for our benefit since he is the one who has redeemed us and therefore we owe our praise and worship to him and no one or nothing else.  God forms the body of believers through the death of his son which was a major sacrifice and that is why all allegiance is owed to him.


Isa 9:8

The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.


The Lord sent a warning to Jacob by Amos and Hosea as well as the prophet Isaiah and the word will be accomplished in Israel or the ten northern tribes.  The word “lighted” means it will be fully accomplished as the Lord has spoken through his prophets.  This warning was also a warning to Judah which in time they did not heed and suffered a similar fate as Ephraim.


Isa 9:9

And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,


Ephraim and the those who dwelled in the city of Samaria were very arrogant and believed that nothing was going to happen to them.  They were filled with pride and had a defiant attitude toward God.  Much like the people of the world have today.  The Lord tells them that people shall know which means they can have all the arrogance they want but their attitude will never stop the coming judgment of God.  Just like in modern times man believes there is no God and tries to remove him from every vestige of society but their arrogance will never stop the coming of Judgment day.


Isa 9:10

The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.


Then they basically raise a challenge to God by stating let him do whatever he wants but after it is over we will build with hewn stones, that is, they will rebuild with better quality stones and will make the buildings much better than the old buildings.  Taking the sycamores and turning them into Cedars is the same thing that they will build with the cedars of Lebanon making their homes and buildings more beautiful.  They disbelieved that God would bring a judgment upon them and thought that it would just be an easy chastisement and that they could endure it and then rebuild gloriously.  They never realized they would be carried away to Assyria and would never return to the land.


Isa 9:11

Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;


The foes of Rezin of Syria were the Assyrians who were much more powerful and stronger then the army of Rezin.  Since they had the rebellious attitude toward God, he would bring the Assyrians down on them and would destroy them and all their buildings and take all their wealth back to Assyria.  Joining the enemies together meant they had an army consisting of other nations who were allied with Assyria meaning the army coming against them would be huge and no defense they could mount would have any effect.