About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Child Becomes A General
to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be
on his shoulders. And he
will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace". (Isaiah 9:6-7) Inevitably,
Christian congregations will incorporate this passage into their
Christmas services. Much of
Christendom throughout the centuries has applied the word "us"
in this passage to the predominantly Gentile church, but that's not
hermeneutically accurate. In
context, "us" refers to Israelis, not Gentiles.
the word "for" that begins Isaiah 9:6.
"For unto us a child is bornů"
When you see the word "for" at the beginning of a
sentence, it indicates that what follows is in reference to what was
just written. In this case,
what was just written recounts a couple military losses that devastated
parts of Israel. In light of these military
defeats, what follows in Isaiah 9:6 comes into play.
A certain child would be born; a certain son would be given.
He would rise to the most prominent place in government.
His kingdom would dominate all world powers and in the process He
would free Israelis from their oppressors.
understand the one who rises to prominence to be the Lord Jesus Christ.
The words "child" and "son" in this verse are
important because they speak to the very nature of Jesus.
The words "child is born" refer to Jesus' humanity.
That is to say, He was born as a human from a woman.
The words "son is given" refer to Jesus' eternal and
divine nature. Jesus already
existed prior to His earthly appearance, when He was given to Israel
by God His Father. The words
"child" and "son"
speak to what we call the "Deity of Christ".
The apostle Paul put it this way.
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily
form". (Colossians 2:9) Paul
would agree with Isaiah when Isaiah calls Jesus the "Mighty
God" in this passage.
goes on to call Jesus the "Wonderful Counselor". Note
that in the NIV, and also in other translations, there is no comma
between the word "Wonderful" and the word
this instance the word "Wonderful" is an adjective that
modifies the noun "Counselor".
"Wonderful Counselor" thus means that the Counselor is
a wonderful person.
translators insert a comma between the word "Wonderful" and
the word "Counselor" for at least two reasons.
In the Hebrew text, the word "Wonderful" is in fact a
noun. Also, there is no
punctuation marks in Hebrew like periods and commas.
Translators insert punctuation into the English text based on
their understanding of the passage.
An insertion of this little comma puts a different slant to the
meaning of these two words in this phrase.
A comma placed after the word "Wonderful" would make
the word "Wonderful" stand alone.
It would not modify or be connected to the word Counselor in any
way. Therefore, instead of
the Counselor being a wonderful person, he is two things.
He is "Wonderful", and, He is also a
lean towards this later scenario because it clearly describes the
essence of Jesus as I will now explain.
Hebrew word "pele" that is translated as "Wonderful"
means "beyond any capacity for us to wonder or even imagine". The
Hebrew word "ya'ats" that is translated as
"Counselor" means one who
"commands or decrees".
These two Hebrew words tell us that the Lord Jesus Christ is
Wonderful. He is beyond our
capacity to comprehend. He
is also the supreme Counselor or Commander of decrees.
He is the final authority over all there is.
His decrees cannot be challenged, changed, or cancelled.
They're not negotiable. With
the above definitions in mind, I believe I can safely say that Jesus is
more than a "Wonderful Counselor".
He is indeed both "Wonderful" and a
also calls Jesus the "Everlasting Father", or, more
specifically, "the Father of eternity".
Here, Jesus the "son" is called the "Father".
The apostle John concurs when he says that Jesus "was with
God and He was God". (John 1:1-2)
also calls Jesus "the Prince of Peace".
This doesn't mean that Jesus is a mild mannered, peace loving,
flower-power, hippie. Neither
does it mean that He is a prince you might read about in a children's
fairytale. The Hebrew word
translated as "Prince" is "sar".
"Sar" means "a leader, a commander, or as is often
the case, a military general".
Jesus is the Prince of Peace because as the supreme general of
the heavenly army, He will conquer and overthrow the enemies of
read Isaiah 9:6 and 7 every Christmas because we relate it to Jesus
being born into this world in Bethlehem. There's nothing wrong with
this, but I suggest you understand the words "child is born"
in the context of the whole chapter.
Isaiah 9:6 and 7 is more about General Jesus conquering the