Bible passage: Isaiah 9:6-7
Written: Between 701-681 BC
By Ray KonigPublished: Jan. 4, 2024
The prophet Isaiah gives an incredible prophecy, in Isaiah 9:6-7, that reveals many things about the promised Messiah, including that he would have human and divine qualities.
In this prophecy, Isaiah reiterates that the Messiah would be a son to the house of David, as in a human descendant of King David, and that he would inherit the throne of David.
This son also would be someone who is referred to as Mighty God and he would have the divine ability to reign eternally, and he would do so in a Biblically defined Messianic way, with justice and righteousness:
6 For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 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. (Isaiah 9:6-7, WEB)
This is a prophecy that is fulfilled with the birth and nature of Jesus, as described in the first few chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. There, Jesus is depicted as a son, a descendant of David, who is also the son of God, because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a human mother.
Critics of the Christian view often abuse Isaiah 9:6-7 both in how they translate it from the original Hebrew and in how they interpret it. They do so by overlooking key details within the prophecy and by failing to see this prophecy's shared relationship with other Messianic prophecies.
For example, they overlook that Isaiah 9:6-7 is a son of David prophecy, one of at least 10 in the Old Testament that speak of the Messiah as being an extraordinary descendant of King David.
King David ruled the Kingdom of Israel about 3,000 years ago, which is about 300 years before the time of Isaiah, and about 1,000 years before the birth of his most famous descendant, Jesus.
During David's time, his family was at war with the house of Saul over control of the throne of Israel. The losing house would face the prospect of total annihilation, such that none of its descendants could ever again lay claim to the throne.
It was before this war between the houses of Saul and David was fully resolved that a prophet named Nathan revealed, in 2 Samuel 7:12-16, that it would be the descendants of David who would inherit the throne and that the throne would be eternal.
Nathan's prophecy is the first of the son of David prophecies in that it is the first to speak of the Messiah as a promised son of David, as in a descendant of David. Other examples would follow, such as with Psalm 2, which again speaks of a promised son; Psalm 72, which speaks of this descendant as having a worldwide impact; and Psalm 89, which reiterates repeatedly that the throne would be eternal.
These three son of David prophecies from the Old Testament book of Psalms might have been written about 3,000 years ago, within a few decades after Nathan gave his inaugural son of David prophecy in 2 Samuel 7:12-16.
With Isaiah's prophecy here, in Isaiah 9:6-7, he is revisiting the key points of 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Psalm 2, Psalm 72 and Psalm 89, that the Messiah would be an extraordinary descendant of King David and that he would be able to do things that no ordinary king has ever done.
Isaiah 9:6-7 also revisits the eternal quality that is present in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and Psalm 89, both of which speak of an eternal throne, and it explicitly clarifies that the promised son will not only inherit the eternal throne of David but reign eternally.
Being eternal, obviously, is something that no ordinary king has ever been able to accomplish. This is a divine quality, and it points to the promised Messiah as being divine, as in having the divine ability to inherit an eternal throne, and in having the divine ability to reign eternally.
These points, which are clearly present within Isaiah 9:6-7, even in mangled translations, are universally overlooked by critics. And, this prophecy's shared connections with other Messianic prophecies are universally overlooked by critics.
Isaiah 9:6-7 not only shares self-evident connections with 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Psalm 2, Psalm 72 and Psalm 89, it also shares self-evident connections with another son of David prophecy given by Isaiah, in Isaiah 7:13-14. That prophecy again reiterates that the Messiah would be an extraordinary descendant of David and it reveals a new detail that the Messiah would have a miraculous virgin birth.