SPECIAL TOPIC: Immanuel's Person and Reign (from Isa. 9:6-7)

The NKJV marks Isaiah 9:6-7 as a separate paragraph.

Isaiah 9:6 describes the special child, "Immanuel" (i.e., "God is with us," BDB 769, KB 846, cf. Isa. 7:14; 8:8)

1. government will rest on His shoulders; the special child, the hope of a righteous Davidic seed (cf. 2 Samuel 7) returns into view

2. His name (the character of His God)

a. Wonderful Counselor, this denotes a divine plan, cf. 2 Sam. 14:26,27; 19:17

b. Mighty God, cf. 2 Sam. 10:21

c. Eternal Father

d. Prince of Peace, Mic. 5:5

The first name could be two separate titles, but the other three are two word combinations. The fivefold names may reflect current practice in Egypt, where the new Pharaoh was given five new throne names at his coronation.

There are four compound titles. These are probably the child's new names when coronated king. The name "Immanuel" in Isa. 7:14 and 8:8-10, as well as the term "Mighty God" in Isa. 9:6, does not automatically imply Deity, but reflects the ideal king (i.e., the OT was not expecting an incarnation but a coronation). The names reflect God's character which hopefully characterized the Davidic King. It must be remembered that these titles deal with

1. the area of administration

2. military power

3. pastoral care

4. the quality of the reign

The Deity of the Messiah is also implied, though not specifically, in Dan. 7:14; Jer. 32:18. It must be remembered that the Jews were not expecting the Messiah (see Special Topic: Messiah) to be the physical incarnation of YHWH because of Israel's unique emphasis on monotheism (see Special Topic: Monotheism)! The Deity of Jesus and the personality of the Spirit are real problems for monotheism (i.e., Exod. 8:10; 9:14; Deut. 4:35,39; Isa. 40:18,25; 46:5). Only "Progressive Revelation" teaches this truth (cf. John 1:1-14; Phil. 2:6; Heb. 1:2-3). If the NT is true then OT monotheism must be nuanced (i.e., one divine essence with three eternal personal manifestations). The hyperbolic OT language has become literal (see D. Brent Sandy, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks)! But the literal fulfillment of OT prophecies about geographical and national Israel have been universalized to include "the nations." See Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan. Genesis 3:15 is realized and summarized in John 3:16; 4:42; 1 Tim. 2:4; Titus 2:11; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 2:1; 4:14).

Isaiah 9:7 describes His reign. 

1. eternal and universal government (cf. Mic. 5:4)

2. eternal and universal peace (cf. Mic. 5:5a)

3. reigns on Davidic throne (cf. Isa. 16:5; 2 Samuel 7)

4. establishes justice and righteousness forever (these two nouns are often used together, cf. Isa. 32:16; 33:5; 59:14)

5. the zeal of YHWH is the guarantee of its reality

Isaiah 9:7 certainly sounds like an eternal reign (cf. Dan. 2:44; 4:3,34; 6:26; 7:13-14,27; Ezek. 37:25; Mic. 4:7; 5:4; 2 Pet. 1:11), not a limited millennial reign (see my notes in the Revelation Commentary, "Crucial Introduction" and Introduction to chapter 20 at www.freebiblecommentary.org ). This promise is the essence of the concept of a new age of the Spirit! The total and complete reversal of the Fall. The reinstatement of God's ideal (i.e., the fellowship of the Garden of Eden).

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