Trying to Understand Isaiah 9:5-6 within its Messianic Context.


Let’s begin by looking at a couple English translations and compare to the Hebrew text. The following is the translation from the JPS bible.

Isaiah 9:5-6
9:5 For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom; 9:6 That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of HaShem of hosts doth perform this. (JPS)

Next the English translation from the NASB English translation of the bible:

Isaiah 9:6
9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (NASB)

And the Hebrew text:

ספר ישעיה פרק ט פסוקים ה-ו
ה כִּי-יֶלֶד יֻלַּד-לָנוּ בֵּן נִתַּן-לָנוּ וַתְּהִי הַמִּשְֹרָה עַל-שִׁכְמוֹ וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ פֶּלֶא יוֹעֵץ אֵל גִּבּוֹר אֲבִי-עַד שַֹר-שָׁלוֹם: ו לְםַרְבֵּה [לְמַרְבֵּה] הַמִּשְֹרָה וּלְשָׁלוֹם אֵין-קֵץ עַל-כִּסֵּא דָוִד וְעַל-מַמְלַכְתּוֹ לְהָכִין אֹתָהּ וּלְסַעֲדָהּ בְּמִשְׁפָּט וּבִצְדָקָה מֵעַתָּה וְעַד-עוֹלָם קִנְאַת יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת תַּעֲשֶֹה-זֹּאת:

Ok, so looking at the Jewish Publication Society and the new American standard bible, which English translation is the best? It is interesting to note that the JPS transliterates the Hebrew text (אֵל גִּבּוֹר אֲבִי-עַד שַֹר-שָׁלוֹם, el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom). The Transliterated portion of Scripture literally says “Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The JPS seems to transliterate this scripture because of the difficulty of who the “son” is that will be called “Mighty God.” That is your question too of course. Looking at the sentence as a whole, the object of the sentence is the child that is born, the verb “given” directs our attention back to this child. In addition to this, the pronominal suffixes also direct our attention to this child that is born and given these names. Both Christian and Rabbinic sources view these Scriptures as prophetic and messianic in nature. But the question remains, how is this Son to be called the “Mighty God?” Obviously the Son is not the Father and the Father is not the Son, that would cause a problem of identity, how can the Son and the Father be the same? I believe this is answered in the way in which God provided His Messiah. The Messiah, according to prophecy in Daniel, is the “Son of Man” who comes upon the clouds at the “right hand” of the Power (See Daniel 7:13-14). In the Scriptures, the “right hand” is a description of power. In our lives what we do, the power to move, create, help, and destroy is found in our”right hand.” We place our right hand upon the sacrifice before it was slaughtered, we offer our right hand in peace, we swear with our right hand raised before God in a court of law, etc. There are many examples that can be given on the “right hand.” Yeshua ascended into heaven and took His place at the right hand of God. The One in Daniel’s prophecy comes upon the clouds at the right hand of the power. The right hand of God is the way in which God influences the world. Scripture says that God sent His Word into the World, and this Word of God, proceeds from the Father (John8:42) and John 1:1 states that the Word is God, and the Word become flesh (John 1:14). Rabbinic tradition has the understanding of the Memrah (Word) of God in the Aramaic translations of the bible (i.e. Targum Onkelos). The Memrah (Word) of God in many instances in the Scriptures is synonymous with God, the covenant is made between Abraham and the Memrah in the Aramaic (Genesis 15-17), in Hebrew it is between Abraham and God. From the Aramaic language, we learn that the Memrah (Word) of God has all of the attributes of the Lord God Almighty, it is by the Word of God everything was created. It is within this biblical context, that Isaiah 9:5-9 is speaking of this Son who will be born, whose throne will be forever established. This Son that will be Born, He will have the authority of God Himself. Just like in the family, the Son has the authority of the Father, so too the Son of God, this Son that is born, will have the Authority of the Mighty God. So, the Name of this Son is God’s Salvation, Yeshua the Messiah, the living Word of God! Yeshua seated at the right hand of the Father has all of the authority, and power. Throughout the Tanach, we read over and over again, God our righteousness (Psalms 4, Jeremiah 23, etc), the Lord our righteousness, etc. We have no intrinsic righteousness in our selves, but it is the Lord God Almighty who is our righteousness! This is how Yeshua is our righteousness, in the finished work that He completed while here on earth. He is our righteousness, He makes us clean, we are healed in Him, etc, because He is the Word of the Living God and has all the authority and power of the Father that is in Heaven.