The Meaning of Isaiah 9:6 Explained

Isaiah 9:6

KJV: 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.

YLT: For a Child hath been born to us, A Son hath been given to us, And the princely power is on his shoulder, And He doth call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.

Darby: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.

ASV: 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, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

What does Isaiah 9:6 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The end of war depends on the coming of a person-a royal person-yet one never explicitly called a "king" here (cf. Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18; John 5:22). He would appear as a child (emphatic in the Hebrew text); He would not only be God come to earth, but God born on earth, i.e, both human and divine. The "child born" points to His humanity and the "son given" to His deity. Moslems deny that God could ever have a son. [1] God would not defeat Israel"s enemies by using larger, more powerful armies, but through the influence of a child to be born (cf. Psalm 2:7; John 3:16). This child to be born to Isaiah"s people would have traits that demonstrated God was with them. Thus He would be the ultimate fulfillment of the Immanuel sign ( Isaiah 7:14). Four titles underscore His deity and humanity.
"Wonderful Counselor" is literally "wonder of a counselor" (cf. Judges 13:18), though there is nothing in the Hebrew construction to prevent taking these as two separate names. [2] This ruler"s counsel would transcend merely human wisdom (cf. Isaiah 11:2); He would have no need of human counselors to guide Him. Jesus advised, for example, that strength lies in weakness, victory in surrender, and life in death. He would be "Mighty God," would possess all the power of God (cf. Isaiah 10:21; Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32; Psalm 24:8; Jeremiah 32:18). He would not only be the father of the nation in the sense that Israel"s kings were, but He would be the "Eternal Father" whose paternal reign would last forever, because He is God (cf. Psalm 72). In climax, He would be the "Prince of Peace," the monarch whose coming results in peace between God and man and between man and man (cf. Micah 5:4).
"Isaiah does not intend that we should understand that in actual life the Child would bear or be addressed by these names, anymore than in actual life He should bear the name Immanuel.... The thought is that the Child is worthy to bear these names, and that they are accurate descriptions and designations of His being and character." [3]
"To summarize, the messianic ruler"s titles depict Him as an extraordinary military strategist who will be able to execute His plans because of His supernatural abilities as a warrior. His military prowess will ensure His beneficent rule over His people, who will enjoy peace and prosperity because of His ability to subdue all His enemies." [4]
"God"s answer to everything that has ever terrorized us is a child. The power of God is so far superior to the Assyrians and all the big shots of this world that he can defeat them by coming as a mere child. His answer to the bullies swaggering through history is not to become an even bigger bully. His answer is Jesus....
"Look at Jesus. As the Wonderful Counselor, he has the best ideas and strategies. Let"s follow him. As the Mighty God, he defeats his enemies easily. Let"s hide behind him. As the Everlasting Father, he loves us endlessly. Let"s enjoy him. As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us while we are still his enemies. Let"s welcome his dominion." [5]
The first two titles suggest divine wisdom and power, and the second two present the ends He would achieve through the use of those attributes, namely, fatherly care and sovereign peace.
There is an interesting alternation of the human and divine descriptions of the Messiah in this verse, which is especially clear in the Hebrew text.

Context Summary

Isaiah 9:1-7 - The Prince Of Peace
When men cease to trust in God and rely on the help of man, they often turn to necromancy and spirit-rapping. The medium takes the place of the Mediator. The séance is sought after instead of the Law and the Testimony. What have God's children to do with back-stair gossip, when their Father's presence-chamber is open to them? What He does not tell us is not worth our knowing.
The land of Galilee was destined to suffer sorely, but better days would dawn on its mountains and lakes. The joy that was in store is compared to the daybreak, Isaiah 8:2; to the joy of harvest, Isaiah 8:3; and to the gladness of the harried tribes when Gideon broke the power of Midian, Isaiah 8:4. The implements of battle would become fuel for the peasants' cottage-fires. What titles are these for our Lord! They befit no human babe! Let us place the government of our lives on His shoulders; and as it extends so shall our peace. Ask God's zeal to do this for thee! In the power of His grace, put the government of all on the wonderful Son of God. [source]

Chapter Summary: Isaiah 9

1  What joy shall be in the midst of afflictions, by the birth and kingdom of Christ
8  The judgments upon Israel for their pride
13  For their hypocrisy
18  And for their unrepentance

What do the individual words in Isaiah 9:6 mean?

For a Child is born unto us a Son is given and will be the government upon His shoulder and will be called His name Wonderful Counselor God Mighty Everlasting-Father Prince of Peace
כִּי־ יֶ֣לֶד יֻלַּד־ לָ֗נוּ בֵּ֚ן נִתַּן־ וַתְּהִ֥י הַמִּשְׂרָ֖ה עַל־ שִׁכְמ֑וֹ וַיִּקְרָ֨א שְׁמ֜וֹ פֶּ֠לֶא יוֹעֵץ֙ אֵ֣ל גִּבּ֔וֹר אֲבִיעַ֖ד שַׂר־ שָׁלֽוֹם

יֶ֣לֶד  a  Child 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: יֶלֶד  
Sense: child, son, boy, offspring, youth.
יֻלַּד־  is  born 
Parse: Verb, Pual, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָלַד 
Sense: to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail.
לָ֗נוּ  unto  us 
Parse: Preposition, first person common plural
בֵּ֚ן  a  Son 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
נִתַּן־  is  given 
Parse: Verb, Nifal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָתַן 
Sense: to give, put, set.
וַתְּהִ֥י  and  will  be 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
הַמִּשְׂרָ֖ה  the  government 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: מִשְׂרָה  
Sense: rule, dominion, government.
עַל־  upon 
Parse: Preposition
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
שִׁכְמ֑וֹ  His  shoulder 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: שְׁכֶם  
Sense: shoulder, back.
וַיִּקְרָ֨א  and  will  be  called 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: קָרָא  
Sense: to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim.
שְׁמ֜וֹ  His  name 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: שֵׁם  
Sense: name.
פֶּ֠לֶא  Wonderful 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: פֶּלֶא  
Sense: wonder, marvel.
יוֹעֵץ֙  Counselor 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: יׄועֵץ 
Sense: to advise, consult, give counsel, counsel, purpose, devise, plan.
אֵ֣ל  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֵל 
Sense: god, god-like one, mighty one.
גִּבּ֔וֹר  Mighty 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: גִּבֹּור  
Sense: strong, mighty.
אֲבִיעַ֖ד  Everlasting-Father 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַד  
Sense: perpetuity, for ever, continuing future.
שַׂר־  Prince 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: סָרַר 
Sense: prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain.
שָׁלֽוֹם  of  Peace 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: שָׁלֹום  
Sense: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.